What COVID-19 buzzword would you guess the attendees of the second session of our 4-part webinar series; Multifamily Amenities in the Post COVID-19 World are the most tired of hearing?
- Unprecedented times?
- Uncertain times?
- The new normal?
- Social distancing?
If you guessed ‘the new normal’ you’d be correct! (Way to go!)
Jennifer Chestnutt, Head of Marketing at Fetch, began the session by asking this question because she, along with our panelists and attendees, are working every day to learn more about how to efficiently navigate and adapt to the new… ordinary and along with that, talk about it in a meaningful way.
As we all plot the path through COVID-19 the best thing we can do is collaborate and there’s no better way to do this than to bring industry leaders together for an engaging conversation about their experiences. In case you missed yesterday’s session (and even if you didn’t), make sure you are registered for the next two sessions of this series and check out our top 5 takeaways from yesterday’s conversation.
# 1 – Create a community and office reopening plan that is fluid: As different municipalities lift their stay at home orders, creating plans that introduce corporate and onsite team members back to work, as well as opening community common spaces to residents is top of mind. Stephen Sise with Golub & Company shared that his team is trying to understand what team members are comfortable with and how they can best adhere to the guidelines set by local municipalities, while also prioritizing peoples’ safety and comfortability. “Reopening is going to be bumpy” added Felicite Moorman from STRATIS IoT. As things develop, it will be important to try to balance local and high-level guidelines while also incorporating some flexibility into a reopening plan.
# 2 – What was once considered convenience is now being used for safety precautions: Todd Burner with Kastle Systems explains that touchless systems and different mobile technologies were previously considered convenient amenities but, in the current atmosphere they are being utilized to promote safety and comfortability for residents. What provides the least amount of contact and helps people feel more comfortable in the long term, may be the new way of doing things says Jeff Kok of Mill Creek Residential. Prasan Kale from Rise Buildings, shared that beacon location-sensing was previously used to inform residents how busy the community gym was. Now, it can be used to inform residents of the number of people that are at the gym and if there are too many per social distancing guidelines.
# 3 – Resident amenity usage will be different: Property management groups that will rise to the top will make cleanliness a visual for residents by regularly and consistently cleaning their community’s amenities, Felicite Moorman shared. Creating an amenity usage and cleanliness plan is the first step, but then determining how to enforce new amenity policies is the next, Todd Burner brought up. We’ll see policies that only allow a certain number of people in a space at one time. What happens when capacity is hit? “People love human interaction. It’s going to be hard to control that” said Jeff Kok, community access technology will play a big role in this process.
# 4 – Industry technology has been fast-tracked: Stephen Sise discussed that the multifamily industry has been adapting to new technologies, like virtual tours, but admitted that consumer adoption was a struggle. Now that virtual tours are the only option, customers are getting more comfortable with and educated about the process. The technology that we are seeing has been fast-tracked and has long term opportunities added Amy Lassers with Embrey Partners. Matt Weirich with Realync expanded on this topic by acknowledging that property managers have had to jump into new options and that finding integrated solutions have presented themselves to be valuable.
#5 – A human-centric approach is the right approach: Stay in constant communication with team members, make sure they hear from Senior Leadership, collaborate with industry leaders and suppliers and remember the human side of this. Shay Dugan of TM Associates Management stated. We all have a desire for human interaction and connection. Humanize your messaging and turn on your Zoom camera, shared Matt Weirich.
Save your spot now for our upcoming webinar sessions happening on May 21st and May 28th at 11am CST. Hear from suppliers that work with many of the largest Property Management Companies in the nation as well as Property Management and Ownership Companies as they share their experiences as we all work through COVID-19.