Sanitization No Longer a Dirty Word
Last year at this time, the cutting-edge features that multifamily residents were seeking in a modern home included coworking spaces, smart home efficiencies, app-based services and connected buildings. Flash forward to 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have a new trending topic: sanitization.
As far as buzzwords go, it’s not sexy.
But it’s time for apartment communities to embrace sanitization measures, not just as part of their best practices but as a key component of their marketing strategies. In the current climate, renters are seeking out living environments that offer the peace of mind that only stems from professional sanitation practices.
Hype Sanitization Like it’s a New Swimming Pool
It’s not going to feel natural to promote cleaning efforts. Prior to the pandemic, the up-front mention of cleaning or sanitization practices might have just suggested to prospects that the property is filthy. But sanitization is no longer a dirty word.
Now, the knowledge that high-contact surfaces, common areas and amenities are regularly disinfected provides relief. It eases the move-in anxiety for someone entering a new apartment and a new living environment. It tells residents that they have the option to put in a workout at the community fitness center or take the family down for an afternoon at the pool or game room.
“What you’re delivering is a comfort level to residents,” said SightPlan CEO Terry Danner. “It’s not just about keeping something clean.”
That assurance is cause for excitement for renters, and you can capitalize on that enthusiasm. Treat comprehensive sanitization service like it’s a brand new swimming pool that was just completed. It’s a new community feature that not every property in your market can claim, and it sets you apart.
Provide Prospects with a Detailed Description of Disinfecting Services
Not all sanitization practices are created equal. If you’re doing more than just wiping down doorknobs, create a detailed description of all sanitization efforts for use in marketing materials and tour presentations. Ensure that those measures are incorporated into virtual and self-guided tour platforms, as well.
For instance, consider how your new cleaning protocols could be used to further differentiate your community from the competition:
- What are the procedures for sanitizing a home during the turnover period between residents? If disinfectant foggers are utilized, be sure to mention it.
- How often is the fitness center cleaned? Is it closed periodically to allow for surfaces to be fully sanitized? Be sure to list those hours.
- What methods are utilized to maintain the pool area, offices, elevators or coworking spaces? Highlight the CDC-recommended cleaners you are using.
- Which self-service products – hand sanitizer, cleaning sprays, wipes, etc. – are available for residents to disinfect shared contact points, such as dumbbells, benches, touchscreens or pool loungers? Promote that the community is open and ready for residents to enjoy with the utmost of safety in mind.
- A comprehensive list of sanitization practices, and an explanation of how those procedures meet or exceed the recommendations of the CDC and local health departments, will put prospects at ease.
Communicate Sanitization Measures to Residents, As Well
At this point, current residents are well-versed in their community’s pandemic-related restrictions and phased reopening plans, but how much do they know about the behind-the scenes efforts being made to help reduce the spread of the virus? Residents need to know the ins and outs of their community’s sanitization practices in order to build an appreciation for the work being done on their behalf.
Establish a sanitization standard, as well as an awareness among residents, that creates a real sense of value in those services. By establishing and promoting sanitization as an asset, property managers can increase resident retention. If residents trust and rely on those cleaning and disinfecting practices, and feel at ease in their living environment, they won’t want to give up that comfort level when their renewal period comes around.
Multifamily operators who are doing their part to maintain their communities during the pandemic should also exploit the ancillary advantages of those efforts. It’s time to bring sanitization services to the forefront, because the benefits have gone beyond just having a clean place to call home.