Working from home and hosting virtual meetings.
Sanitizing groceries, packages and literally everything else you might touch.
Finally getting to see Hamilton, and without having to spend $849 for a ticket!
As time goes on and some states begin to relax stay-at-home orders, people will start to go out again and live life. But, post-COVID, things will not go back to “normal”—we will all have to adapt. We can already see how some industries are changing: Many restaurants are requiring outside dining and masked servers. Sports teams might have to play in empty stadiums for a while. And The Bachelorette might not get to have lavish dates around the world and instead the show will be filmed in one location. Is nothing sacred?
Multifamily will have to adapt to life after COVID-19 as well. How so? Here are some predictions.
- Cleanliness will be a well-publicized priority. Common areas will constantly be cleaned and sterilized. But while cleaning used to be something that happened in the background, this will be moved to the forefront. Property managers will make sure residents and prospects see how often areas are sanitized. This will also be mentioned in marketing materials.
- Air quality will be important. HVAC systems will be tested more frequently, and older systems will be upgraded.
- Everything will be contactless. Package management systems, access control, rent collection, everything. Basically, we’ll all turn into George Bluth Sr. in his jail cell.
- Extra fees will be built in to leases. These will be to cover the new technologies, the extra cleaning, etc. Some retailers already have “COVID charges.” Multifamily will have them as well.
- Virtual tours will continue. Prospective renters might be willing to tour apartments in person. But virtual tours aren’t going anywhere. These are useful for people who can’t see a community in person, whether because of COVID or because they live far away and need a place for when they move. They also allow people to compare several different units and properties in a short amount of time. Plus they can do it on their couch while they’re rewatching Arrested Development for the thousandth time. (Just me?)
- Properties will have branded masks as give-aways. Masks might be required in common areas, and having masks handy to give to residents will make that easier to enforce. Staff will start wearing company-branded masks, and residents and potential residents will be offered them. (Beats getting an apartment branded mouse pad. Who still uses a mouse pad, anyway?) These will be good for photos on the community social media pages.
- Free food will be verboten in common areas and leasing offices. This one hurts. Sorry, but there will be no more freshly baked cookies, communal coffee, or lobby margarita machines. There’s too big a chance of spreading germs. I mean, I guess maybe there could be individually wrapped granola bars or something, but why make the cure worse than the disease?
- There will be a return to in-person events. Eventually. Sure, Facetime book clubs and virtual cooking demonstrations and online movie screenings are all nice. But people are going to get tired of sitting in front of their computers. (Zoom fatigue is a real thing.) Eventually people will be coaxed out of their apartments and will want to do something fun with others. As long as they’re six feet apart, of course.