Preparing Tenants and Staff For Life After a COVID-19 Shutdown

RCM&D has designed a comprehensive Back to Business Playbook for the Real Estate Industry. This playbook aims to assist in developing a tailored plan for bringing back your full workforce and tenant population. If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please complete the form at the bottom of this page and an RCM&D advisor will contact you. The RCM&D team is available to help review your existing plan, offer enhancement and verification, or even to help you build a customized plan tailored to your operations.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to alter their operations as a majority of Americans were under stay-at-home orders. As states and local jurisdictions begin relaxing these orders, the real estate industry is preparing to return to the world after coronavirus restrictions. As we return to a state of normalcy, changes will need to be made to reassure tenants, visitors, and staff that your location is a safe place to live, visit, and work. As owners and managers in the real estate industry, the steps you take over the next few months will be extremely important to reassure your tenants, guests and staff that measures have been implemented to ensure their health and safety.

Below, we offer a concise but effective overview of necessary considerations to ensure a safe return to operations for your facility.

Key Considerations for Property Managers

Following the advice of risk control specialists can help you assess and control the risk of infection at your properties. These steps must be aligned with federal, state and local guidance. During this time, the task force should develop strategic plans to prepare for a smooth transition back to full operations. Considerations include:

Preparing the Facility

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your building may have been completely vacant or operating with a skeleton crew and/or at limited occupancy. It is recommended to perform thorough inspections or assessments before allowing employees, tenants and guests to return. Applicable inspections and other considerations may include:

Proper cleaning and disinfection of common areas at your facility is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Whether your building was shut down or was open for regular business, you’ll need to consider your cleaning and sanitization protocols.

Preparing Your Facility for Social Distancing

As staff, tenants and visitors return, social distancing should be employed as a control to reduce the risk of infection. Spaces that tend to get crowded may need to be rearranged, meeting spaces closed off, custodial and maintenance shops modified, and package and product delivery redesigned. In addition, clear circulation patterns for high-traffic areas will need to be identified. It’s prudent to evaluate social distancing risk for all areas of the building, utilizing building blueprints/floor plans and heat map tracking.
Consider the following elements for social distancing at your facility:

Additionally, it is important to consider the following factors when implementing a Social Distancing plan for your facility:

Resident/Tenant Infection

If a resident tests positive for COVID-19 and notifies the property owner or manager, the owner or manager should follow the CDC’s guidance and work with local health officials. It is the responsibility of the healthcare provider, not the patient, to report cases of disease to health departments and the CDC. A notice to the community may go out in the event a resident or employee has a confirmed case and should be a business decision made with appropriate legal counsel. Extreme caution is advised if choosing to make a disclosure because of privacy laws. It is important to remember that the person’s identity or other identifying information (name, unit number, etc.) should never be disclosed.

Preparations for the Workforce and Tenants

An important aspect of a back to business plan for all industries is creating an effective communications plan for the workforce to ensure their health and wellbeing.
Additionally, considerations should be made for the following areas:

Custodial Services

Policies for worker protection and training to all cleaning staff onsite should be provided prior to providing cleaning tasks. The risk of exposure and infection is low to housekeeping staff, as long as they follow provided guidelines. Training categories should include:

Specific Considerations for the Real Estate Industry

There are a number of unique areas for the Real Estate industry to address in a back to business plan.
These areas include:

We’re Here to Help

RCM&D’s risk consulting team is highly experienced in developing back to business plans for the Real Estate industry. Whether you are a fully operational facility bringing back ancillary services or a fully remote workforce returning to onsite operations, we’re here to help you identify your route to reopening by:
Developing Internal Programs

We can develop or review custom internal programs targeted for your specific facilities, employees and operations.

Implementing Infection Control Protocols 

Ensure that you are able to not only prevent exposure but also identify, isolate and sanitize in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.

Social Distance Heat Mapping 

Identify areas within your facility that may be a concern for effective social distancing measures. Using those insights, we can help you mitigate concerns through appropriate intervention techniques.