It’s an understatement to say that most individuals are experiencing changes in their lives and lifestyle with the advent of COVID-19. Property management companies are now working to find ways to adapt current business practices to the new realities and expectations of users. These businesses find they must be responsive to their current and future renters. As renters’ needs have changed over the past several months, property owners must be creative in order to find solutions for these newfound necessities, whether in a longstanding property or a new location.

Due to spending more time at home, renters are looking for privacy and safety. Owners can meet this need fairly quickly by adding landscaping and privacy fences where possible. Cleaning methods currently in place can be expanded to include disinfecting surfaces in common areas such as light switches, window frames, and doorknobs. Rental and leasing offices can begin to utilize contactless methods for handling paperwork, alongside updating their website to allow their tenants to book maintenance appointments at specific times. Office hours and procedures can be adjusted to incorporate more video and on-line meetings between owners, managers, cleaning staff, and potential renters. Virtual tours can take the place of an initial in-person tour. Each of these methods will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is essential to tenants.

At the same time, renters are looking for spaces that will allow them to easily work at home or work from a semi-private space in their current building. What can be done to improve the sense of safety, privacy, and cleanliness to meet this demand? This often requires developing new procedures and standards for inspecting, renting, and managing buildings. Existing buildings often have space that can be repurposed to include comfortable work areas in a common area in the building. These spaces should be regularly sanitized.

Furniture in both common areas and private units can be rearranged to create a friendly, business-like work from home setting. For example, a rental unit that had been decorated to include a reading nook can be furnished to include a small office area instead. Revised floor plans and informational signs can be used to draw attention to these changes in a positive manner. In addition, furniture can be arranged to create work areas within a larger space. When showcasing your apartments online, consider turning a second bedroom into an office space to highlight the flexible living space within your units.

Renters in the era of COVID are expecting a clean, safe, and secure environment. Do not make things too complicated; instead, focus on small changes you can make that will have the largest benefit.