A Multi-Family Property Manager’s Guide
With building residents now hypersensitive to cleanliness and disinfection because of COVID-19, property managers can find themselves fielding calls from nervous tenants who want reassurance that the building they are occupying is being properly cleaned and disinfected.
“I get calls pretty regularly from property managers who are looking for advice around handling the increasing demands around cleanliness from their residents,” says Phil Harper, Co-Founder and President of WellNest Professional Cleaning based in Northern Virginia. “I tell them it all comes down to building resident and workforce confidence.”
Building this trust, however, is easier said than done. But it can be done, says Harper, in fact, all it takes is an emphasis on three key elements: Visual Confirmation, Communication, and Transparency. We explore each below.
The first key element, according to Harper, is as simple as the old motto: Seeing is believing.
“Whether you hire a day porter, shift from night-time to daytime cleaning or beef up cleaning and disinfection procedures during high traffic times, letting your tenants see for themselves the work being done can go a long way toward easing their minds,” says Harper, who is certified by The Academy of Cleaning Excellence as am Accredited Infection Prevention Expert and serves on the ISSA’s Government Affairs Advisory Committee.
But be wary of hygiene theater – it can backfire – particularly in an area like Northern Virginia.
“Over the years that I have been serving this market, I’ve come to really appreciate the uniqueness of this area’s residents,” says Harper. “They demand science-based, data-driven approaches, which means they will sniff out anything that comes across as performative.”
His advice: Make sure you are cleaning and disinfecting in the right areas, at the right time and using the right products. In other words, work smarter, not harder.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Logs
Going hand in hand with visual confirmation is documentation – let your residents know – in writing – what is being cleaned when and by whom by using a cleaning and disinfecting log.
“By posting cleaning and disinfection logs in common areas such as elevators, bathrooms and laundry rooms, residents can see visual evidence of accountability of the cleaning and disinfection program,” explains Harper.
To help you get started, here is an example.
The final key element to building resident confidence is – not surprisingly – communication.
“If you think you’ve communicated enough, communicate some more,” advises Harper. “Detailed, thorough communications with your tenants regarding your cleaning and disinfection protocols will drive confidence and trust.”
But don’t just shove a tenant memo under the door and consider it done. Harper recommends frequent, multichannel communication.
“Make a point of reaching out to your residents on regular basis,” says Harper. “In my experience with working with more than 2,000 customers in Northern Virginia, communication preferences are varied. Some of our clients love text, while others prefer email or phone calls. Many commercial clients prefer recurring, predictable, and steady communication channels.”
At the heart of all of these three key elements – visual confirmation, logs and communication – is transparency.
“With people working from home, kids distance learning and risks associated with venturing out into public, people don’t want their homes and community areas to be one more source of anxiety,” says Harper. “By communicating with authenticity, transparency and authority, property managers have the opportunity to build a relationship of trust.”
To learn how WellNest can be your strategic cleanliness partner, schedule a commercial cleaning consultation or contact Phil Harper at 1-800-791-2878.
WellNest Professional Cleaning is Northern Virginia’s leading provider of Commercial and Residential Cleaning services. With a staff of nearly 50 full-time employees and a fleet of over 15 vehicles, WellNest has cleaned over 100 million of high-end square footage in the past 3 years alone.
Head to www.gowellnest.com to learn more.