5 Tips for Safely Reopening Apartment Amenities

Your tenants are usually used to enjoying the common spaces and amenities your facilities have to offer. However, with the impact of COVID-19, you've had to close most of those spaces to maintain proper safety precautions. With some states moving into the green and opening for business again, it might be time to allow people back into the facilities; you work hard to make available — albeit with caution. Here are five tips for safely reopening apartment amenities.

Even with spaces beginning to open up, it's vital to implement social distancing and other safety measures to protect your tenants while enjoying the amenities in your apartment complex. Opening your facilities must come with caution to stop the virus's spread and protect the people who call your property home. There are a few critical ways to uphold the necessary safety standards for those who rely on your leadership.

1. Continue to Blend With Digital Communication

Digital communication is efficient and safe, so it makes sense to continue it in some capacity. Many landlords have already transitioned to a system of virtual apartment tours to handle vacancies. While leasing offices can use digital spaces for leasing, renewals, and requests, you can also adopt some of those ideas into activities and amenities.

Things like mixers, trivia nights, and games have probably already moved to digital spaces. It's smart to keep some of these activities online for safety purposes, especially if they're working particularly well, and tenants have gotten into a routine with the new format.

Some people may not feel safe and comfortable going out yet, and blending physical and digital spaces still allows those individuals to participate.

2. Regularly Clean and Disinfect Your Spaces

One of the essential ways to keep your building safe is to create a cleaning and disinfecting routine. That might mean you and your property management team might have a little extra work on your hands, but it's much better to be safe than sorry. Cleaning your surfaces can help stop the spread of germs from person to person, so it's vital to keep up with the traffic flow through a space.

The number of times you need to disinfect a space depends on the number of people regularly coming through that area. High-touch surfaces like door handles and light switches warrant extra attention. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting can save lives. If someone in your facility was sick, it's best to consult a professional who can guide you on best practices.

3. Have a Maximum Capacity

Establishing a maximum capacity that generously allows for safe social distance can help keep your tenants safe. Your maximum capacity will depend on your space's size and purpose, but posting it on the door of gyms, common areas, and other indoor spaces can help keep people mindful of their distance and responsibilities.

Even having staff enforce maximum capacity in certain areas can work, especially if people tend to be less thoughtful about their actions.

4. Space out Your Seating

Common areas, co-working spaces, and recreation rooms are all places where people are used to sitting close together without much thought. While you cannot possibly enforce social distancing for your residents, you can arrange common areas to encourage it.

People sit where seating is available, and spacing people out to maintain proper social distancing can be a simple as removing chairs so individuals must stay least six feet from one another. It may seem like a small change, but it can make a significant difference.

5. Use Discretion With Pools

Pools can be tricky. Often, the question looms: Should you open, or leave it closed? Social distancing in pools is possible, especially if you limit the number of people in the pool. While thorough cleaning and disinfecting with chlorine or bromine should kill the virus in the water itself, people must still maintain safe distances in shared spaces like the pool and hot tubs, bathrooms, and locker rooms.

Doing so is especially critical, as wearing masks and face coverings in pools isn't safe due to the compromised breathability of wet fabric.

Are Your Apartment Amenities Ready to Reopen?

While safety and caution should remain your top priorities, the time could be approaching to open your facilities. While property managers cannot control their residents' decision-making, they can put forth their best effort to establish safety guidelines and prepare the building for increased use.

Keeping your tenants happy and safe isn't always easy, but you can handle the heat with a few extra steps in mind.

Holly Welles covers real estate topics for the up-and-coming renter or homeowner. She runs her own blog, The Estate Update, and can also be found dishing up advice over on Twitter @HollyAWelles.

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