Summertime is in full swing and many residents are looking to enjoy community amenities like swimming pools, barbeques, rooftop decks, and more. But with COVID-19 cases still on the rise in many parts of the U.S., multifamily properties need to be mindful of safely reopening amenities.
Keep current and prospective tenants happy while also adhering to federal and state guidelines by following our tips for how to safely reopen amenities:
Outdoor Amenity Spaces
Summertime is all about being outdoors but it is important to be sure the apartment community provides residents with a safe outdoor space and environment during the pandemic. Whether it’s a swimming pool, barbeque, rooftop deck or terrace, dog park, outdoor bar or lounge, fire pit, or playground, it is important to ensure that tenants are following all social distancing guidelines and other local safety protocols.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to shared outdoor amenity spaces:
- Request residents wear a mask at all times while using outdoor amenities.
- Do not allow residents to bring any outside guests into shared amenity spaces.
- Consider offering advanced reservations and/or limited hours of usage for specific outdoor amenities, like the swimming pool area or dog park.
- Consider limiting the number of people that can use a specific amenity at a given time.
- Place stickers and decals on the ground to remind residents to keep at least 6-feet apart at all times.
- Utilize posters to remind residents to wash their hands and maintain proper social distancing at all times.
- Provide complimentary hand-sanitizer stations for use by both current and prospective tenants.
- Provide complimentary disinfecting wipes so that residents can wipe down any shared outdoor amenity space features before and after use.
- Designate specific staff members as monitors to ensure residents are adhering to social distancing and mask rules in and around the apartment building.
Indoor Amenity Spaces
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indoor amenity spaces are often designed with less ventilation to improve energy efficiency, and are more risky when it comes to spreading COVID-19. Therefore, extra precautions must be taken to keep residents and staff safe while using indoor amenities like a fitness center or gyms, conference rooms, game or party rooms, orand a workspace. We recommend following the suggestions noted above and enforcing advanced reservations for the use of any indoor amenities. Alternatively, if space and weather permits, consider moving some gym equipment outside to allow for better ventilation and proper social distancing between residents.
When it comes to common areas like parking lots or the building lobby, remind residents to wear their masks and follow all social distancing guidelines. It may be beneficial to utilize 6-feet apart stickers and decals to encourage social distancing. We also recommend displaying posters discouraging the use of common areas if residents are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms to help decrease potential spread in the community.
For packages and deliveries, investing in smart lockers, like those offered by Parcel Pending by Quadient, can provide a quick, safe and contact-free way for residents to retrieve their packages at their convenience. Our lockers allow residents to pick-up their online orders and goods without having to come in contact with a touchscreen or keypad.
There are two contact-free package pick-up methods available to multifamily properties with Parcel Pending lockers:
- Barcode: Scan the barcode included in the Parcel Pending delivery notification (email, text, or optional mobile app) to collect packages without having to use the touchscreen.
- Parcel Pending Mobile App: Download the Parcel Pending mobile app (available for download on the App Store or Google Play Store). By scanning the barcode or pushing the button in the app notification, the locker door will open without having to use the touchscreen.
For added protection, we suggest providing complimentary disinfecting wipes for residents to use to wipe down the lockers before and after use, as well as a complimentary hand-sanitizer station near the lockers.
Above all else, be sure to clearly communicate with your residents the rules, restrictions, and policies surrounding amenities. We suggest sending reminders via email and also reaching out via text or phone call to ensure all residents fully understand the protocols surrounding indoor and outdoor amenity spaces and common areas.
Properties may also want to design a survey or solicit feedback from residents about the use of amenities, so that they feel involved in the overall decision-making process and in helping to mitigate the spread of the virus within their community.
Some questions to ask in a potential survey include:
- Are you receiving the information you need on COVID-19 and actions to take in your community to slow the spread?
- Are you concerned about getting access to basic needs either now or in the next couple of weeks?
- If you need help getting access to basic needs would you like the information for local resources who may be able to assist?
- What do you need during this time to feel safe around the building/community and to take care of yourself and your family?
- What do you need to feel comfortable accessing and using amenities around the property?
- Is there an amenity you need access to that you feel unable to use or unsafe using right now?
- What preventative measures would you need to feel safe admitting a member of our facilities team into your apartment to handle a service request?
Finally, as the social distancing continues, consider hosting virtual events for residents to build community rapport. Ideas include hosting a complimentary virtual yoga session, happy hour, movie night, and more!
We encourage all communities to monitor COVID-19 cases in their areas and to adhere to local health and safety guidelines in order to keep residents and staff safe. Parcel Pending hopes you and your residents enjoy the summertime, safely!
Adding new amenities may not be at the top of most properties’ to-do list right now. But if package management has gotten out of hand, Parcel Pending is available to help. Reach out to a member of Parcel Pending’s team to find a solution that fits a range of unique property needs and budgets.