Last modified on June 8th, 2020
By Brittany Benz
In some areas, stay-at-home orders are beginning to lift, and restaurants, retail stores, gyms, and communal spaces are reopening to the public. The majority of businesses are taking a phased approach to ensure the safety of their patrons and staff. From closing off streets and parking lots to make room for outdoor dining to requiring face masks, cities are consulting the guidance of their local governments on what steps are needed to reopen their communities.
As a property or community association manager with shared amenities, such as gyms, pools, dog parks, and playgrounds, you need to make sure your reopening plan is in line with your state guidelines to prevent any potential liability issues. In addition, it’s crucial your residents and homeowners are being informed of any changes in a timely manner and that your team members clearly understand each phase.
Reopening amenities is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every state, city, and community is different. Consult your local government and health officials, along with national organizations like the CDC and NMHC for guidance. Furthermore, be sure to review your company’s general liability insurance policy to see if there are any pandemic-related protections for your business. Some property and association management companies also suggest creating and sharing a waiver for residents and homeowners to sign prior to opening amenities to prevent property liability.
Here are some ways you can use technology to support the reopening of your amenities:
Share Your Reopening Plan & Safety Policy Digitally
Once you have reviewed all of the information and recommendations, start drafting your reopening plan and updating your safety policies. Make sure to share your plan and revised safety practices with your teams, vendors, and residents. A cloud-based property management system, like AppFolio, can make it easy to share documents with your residents digitally through the Online Portal. As reopening evolves, you’ll have to continue to update your residents and homeowners. By having everything in one place and online, you’ll be in a better position to keep everyone in the loop going forward.
Embrace Bulk Communications
Communication is vital when it comes to reopening your amenities. You can save time and support your team by proactively answering questions and sending out information in bulk, rather than waiting for residents to call or email with questions about your reopening plans. With AppFolio’s bulk email/texting functionality, you can quickly communicate details and ensure critical information, such as changing policies, plans, and instructions are clear. With your communal amenities reopening, it’s also important to make sure you’re communicating with your vendors and maintenance technicians. An all-in-one maintenance management system, such as AppFolio, can enable you to email vendors within a work order to quickly cancel or adjust activities.
As you reopen communal amenities to residents and homeowners, it’s essential that you have a clear plan of action. Digital technology can make it easy to keep everyone informed — residents, homeowners, vendors, and maintenance technicians — about your reopening plans, safety procedures, and to send real-time updates. By taking the necessary precautions and maintaining communications, you can ensure the safety and happiness of everyone in your community.
Comments by Brittany Benz