Today at the post office I became acutely aware of how hard it is to open a door with your elbow and navigate a touch screen through knit mittens. It’s impossible to live life the same as we did a couple weeks ago … the good old days when we were oblivious to the coronavirus clinging to door handles and lingering around electronic buttons. Now, this crisis crossing the globe, will drastically change our society to be more aware of essential hand washing and intentional social distancing.
Yes, the near future in multifamily housing will be disruptive as events are cancelled and handshakes become obsolete, but property management teams are also in a position of power to communicate and educate. In chat discussions across social media, we see apartment management professionals asking, “What are you all doing during Covid-19?”
Even as the National Apartment Association (NAA) advises members to direct residents to the CDC, it’s jolting to see some apartment community managers respond with a “not my job” mentality. The spread of misinformation and comparisons to the annual flu are dangerous and against advice of health professionals. The industry will be measured by our response to this pandemic, a unique event in history that demands extraordinary response. So, how will you respond?
Property management teams can be the helpers. We have a captured audience of apartment dwellers, our community base of residents with an open door of communication, which puts us in a unique position to educate. You can simply throw your hands up and do nothing while residents fend for themselves. You can suggest apartment residents go online to find the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and look up the current Covid-19 information. Or, you can make sure residents, leasing staff, onsite vendors and outreach partners get convenient, timely information by distributing apartment marketing flyers featuring the latest CDC guidelines.
Let’s say your flyer from cdc.gov promoting hand washing convinces one resident at your multi housing property to increase their prevention efforts. That’s one less chance your maintenance techs will be exposed during a service visit. It’s one less chance a neighbor will become sick and home quarantined. It’s one less chance your multifamily building will be closed.
If you believe increasing small chances will result in a healthier community environment then we want to help by giving away free flyers for readily spreading the CDC prevention information. Download a ready-to-print/post Coronavirus Home Action Plan here.