4 Things We Did in the Covid Era That We Can Now Laugh About (And 5 Things We Should Keep Doing)

It's the "new normal," am I right?

Jessica Fiur
Jessica Fiur

Doesn’t the Covid-19 pandemic seem like it happened a lifetime ago?

I remember at the very beginning of the pandemic, when no one had any information and everyone was freaked out, my husband went out in the early morning (to avoid crowds) to go grocery shopping. He was of course wearing rubber kitchen gloves but no mask, because at the time everyone thought Covid might be spread by touch. He got a huge haul, because who knew if the grocery stores would be closing, and he called me to help unload. As we were taking out the bags we watched in horror as a gallon of milk toppled out of the back of his SUV—almost in slow motion—and smashed on the pavement and started dripping everywhere. The horror! What if we weren’t able to get more milk for a while? I ran up and emptied a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, rinsed it out, and put the surviving milk into that. (Drinking white “soda” really messed with our minds!)

Now, some of the things we did during the pandemic looks ridiculous. (I can’t be the only one who wiped down everything that came into the house.) But at the time, it didn’t just feel necessary. It felt dire.

Strange covid masks.
Um, let’s not do whatever this is again either. Image credit: cottonbro studio via pexels.com.

Those in multifamily also had to adjust. Luckily, now we can look back and laugh. But there are some things multifamily adopted during Covid that we should continue doing. Here is a list of things to laugh about—and some practices that started during Covid that you might want to continue doing or adapt into your plan.

Thank goodness we no longer:

  • Take everyone’s temperatures everywhere. Remember doing this? But if people were already at the amenity or front desk and did indeed have a temperature, well, then you were exposed to them as well.
  • Greet people with a weird elbow bump. Shaking someone’s hand is just more natural.
  • Have every resident event over Zoom. Cocktails alone in your apartment didn’t quite have the same ring to it.
  • Potentially require on-site team members to be bouncers/medical experts. I don’t even remember where my vaccine card is anymore…

But let’s keep doing:

  • Giving video tours of apartments. This really became popular during the pandemic, because not everyone could get to an apartment to tour, or they were concerned about not social distancing (remember social distancing?). Today, video tours and videos that you can share on your apartment website and social media pages can really help with engagement and lease ups. This was a big topic at the recent AIM conference. (Read Associate Editor Jordana Rothberg’s conference coverage.)
  • Allowing for self-guided tours. This allows prospective residents to see what they want at the community at their own pace. Adopt to modern times by making sure they finish up at the leasing office so agents can answer any questions they might have.
  • Having residents sign up for popular amenities. During Covid, this was sometimes necessary to control the number of people at once at the gym or other social amenities. While we no longer need to do this, it could help ensure that an amenity doesn’t get too crowded, which could hinder enjoyment. It could also give you an idea of how frequently certain amenities are used, the busy times, if something is worth converting to another use, etc., which could all be useful data.
  • Building out package management systems. We* may not need to order as much online anymore, especially since grocery stores, etc., are long back to normal. But residents will still have packages, and you should make sure you have a good system for managing them.
  • Making sure resident meticulously wipe down exercise equipment. Covid, shmovid, I don’t want to touch your gross sweat!

What else do you laugh about that you used to do during the pandemic? And is there anything else you continue to do at your community? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur, send a Threads message to @jfiur, or send me a message on LinkedIn

*”We” doesn’t include “me.” I still get tons of deliveries to my house. Sometimes, a girl just needs a treat.

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