The Simple Step to Help Your Tenants Amid the Coronavirus Crisis
- Mar 19, 2020
It’s crazy out there right now.
And that’s probably an understatement.
Currently, there are more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US. People are urged to practice social distancing, and many are working from home. But some continue to come in to their offices or stores. If you’re managing a building that’s still open, even among all the uncertainty, there is one thing you should be doing to help your tenants and make sure that it’s business as [close to possible as] usual: Communication.
People want to know what’s going on. And, as paying tenants, they have a right to know what’s going on in the building. Like they say about voting, communication about the coronavirus should be happening early and often.
Here are some suggestions for ways to communicate with your tenants.
- Emails to lease holders
- Posted signs in highly trafficked areas such as lobbies, elevator banks, security check-in desks, etc.
- Text alerts
- A phone number where people can call in and hear a recording of the latest news
- Web-based town hall meetings, which will allow tenants to ask questions in real time
- Social media updates
There’s also a lot of information that your tenants need to know regarding how the building is managing the coronavirus outbreak. And the more information, the better. (For example, imagine you’re at an airport. The take off time is coming up, but there have been no announcements to board. Would you want to sit back and wait? Or would you rather know that the plane is delayed? Even better, wouldn’t you want to know that the plane is delayed because there was a snowstorm on the first leg of the plane’s flight, but they’re coming in as soon as they can and then you’ll be on your way to the beach with a pina colada in your hand in no time?)
Of course, you don’t want to panic anyone in your building. And you don’t want to say anything that could get you in legal trouble or hurt someone in your building. But there are a few things you should keep your tenants informed of:
- If anyone in the building has tested positive for COVID-19, where they might have interacted with people, and what is being done (though don’t mention names)
- What the building is doing to make sure it’s sanitized and safe—frequency that it’s being cleaning, additional precautions, etc.
- Policy for third-party vendors who come to the building
- What people should do about meetings—are they discouraged? How often are the conference rooms cleaned, etc.
- Inform tenants they need to report to the building if one of their staff members or guests tests positive
- Make sure tenants know to report to the building if they’re changing their hours or security clearances due to the virus
One of the scariest parts of all this is there is so much we don’t know. Help mitigate some of that by communicating with your tenants when there is something to know.
And, of course, stay safe.