Stay-at-Home Order Is Lifted! Now What?
As states attempt to re-open after the COVID-19 shutdown, HOAs and communities need to be ready for the changes it brings.
Property managers need to consider what they learned in the months their state was shut down and how to re-open community facilities in the safest way possible. The mass shutdown took everyone by surprise and property managers had to act fast and learn how to work in a new environment. With the reopening of states, property managers must now adjust to a world where they aren’t completely shut down, but also not 100% open as they were before. The balance can be tricky to navigate, but we have some solutions to help ease the transition.
Maintain Regular Contact with Your Residents
While state-wide shutdowns were a struggle, they also provided lessons for HOAs and property managers.
The biggest lesson was the importance of keeping up-to-date communication with your residents. This will be especially true as states re-open. Information is changing daily and each state has its own guidelines on reopening. This makes it easy for information to get lost in translation. TOPS allows you to send a direct text messages or mass emails to your community residents updating them on changing information, guidelines, policies, and more. Using TOPS [ONE]’s messaging feature will keep your residents informed reducing confusion and helping create a safe environment as re-opening continues.
Take Steps to Reopen Your Amenities
When communities begin reopening, property managers need to take necessary steps to maintain social distancing guidelines.
This means making sure your amenities and amenity rules are up to code. Your community pool, gym, clubhouse, and office will all have different risk levels associated to them when your community reopens. To help keep residents informed on best practices, there are 2 steps managers can take. The first is to communicate via mass email or text your updated amenity guidelines. This ensures your resident always has it on hand. The other option is using color-coded association guidelines, as recommended by the CAI. This chart gives your residents a quick overview of the risk factors involved and the proper steps they should take to use the amenities responsibly.
Part of getting back to normal means following up on delinquent accounts.
We know collections is probably a property managers least favorite aspect of the job, but collections are vital to a community’s bottom line. As stay-at-home orders are lifted it is time for residents to uphold their responsibility and make sure their fees are paid on time. With TOPS it’s easy to keep track of payments for both owners and board members. HOAs can keep track of who still needs to pay their fees, and residents have an easy-to-use portal to submit their payments. While some residents may still be feeling the financial burden of the recent pandemic, it’s important HOAs be sympathetic to what residents are going through and work with them to get their payments submitted. This will not only help ease the reopening process but build better moral with residents as well.
Embrace Working Remotely
One of the biggest changes we can expect from the recent stay at home practice is the increased reliance on working remotely.
Working remotely was already a trend on the rise before the recent pandemic made it mandatory for many companies. A recent survey from PWC shows that 83% of employees want to work from home at least one day a week even after social distancing is no longer required. As we’ve seen in the past few months, employees can get their work done from home and want to be able to keep the option. With TOPS [ONE], property managers are always connected via cloud-based computing and can access their portal by phone, tablet, or computer. With TOPS [ONE], remote work becomes easier to handle for HOA boards and your employees don’t lose productivity. Embrace remote work for your board and improve worker productivity.
Getting Ready for the New Normal
As states and businesses re-open, they’re reopening to a new world.
The normal we knew before has changed social distancing may be the new normal. It’s important for property managers to adjust with the times to maintain a strong resident relationship and keep your community running without issue. The steps above, combined with TOPS [ONE] software, can be a great way for your community to adjust to this new normal. Creating a reopening plan for your community will allow you to be prepared for possible future public health scenarios and keep residents safe. Including TOPS [ONE] in that plan will benefit your community, learn how today.
1. PwC’s US Remote Work Survey — June 25, 2020, Accessed 7/20
2. Repke, Amy, How-to Guide for Reopening HOAs and Condos, Accessed 7/20
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