We know these are challenging times. We are on the front lines too, working to help ensure the health and safety of those who live or work in the buildings we manage. To help you navigate the ever-changing landscape, we’ve gathered resources to help with the disinfecting, late payments, coping skills, and more. As more resources become available, we’ll update the guide regularly.

We hope this guide is helpful to our MBB community and the greater public during this difficult period.

Stay Safe.

– Ashley Atwater, Principal


How to Prevent Spreading COVID-19 in Office Buildings 

Facing a pandemic is new and uncharted territory for property managers and the teams they manage. However, containment, preparedness, and mitigation is an approach you’ll want to include in your plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This, as well as effectively communicating with staff, and reevaluating sick leave policies will help ensure a safe environment for all.

*Source: Commercial Property Executive

Disinfecting Commercial Office Buildings

When disinfecting a commercial office building, there are several key components property managers should include in an RFP when hiring a commercial cleaning company. Since not all cleaning products will kill Coronavirus, the RFP should require EPA approved products to be used in the building’s high traffic common areas. Prioritize areas like the lobby and cafeteria, for example. The RFP should also specify the disinfecting techniques to be used to ensure the most effective methods are used. 

*Source: Property Manager Insider

How Office Owners Will Play a Role in Re-Opening Businesses

As states slowly begin to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, property owners will need to work with tenants to create a safe re-opening plan. Both parties will need to agree on the process of re-opening and share information like the number of employees returning to the space, when they’ll arrive, and precautions taken before they enter the space. Creating mutually agreeable solutions will benefit both parties while in the re-opening phase.

*Source: Globe

Looking to Re-Open Your Office? 

With most of the country already undergoing phased reopening, offices should also adopt a phased reopening strategy. A recent CBRE study found that 72% of organizations already have a re-entry strategy. Since 78% of surveyed organizations will require social distancing in the office, adapting the number of employees and staff who work in offices versus work from home will be key.

*Source: Globe

What to Consider When Your Tenant Wants a Lease Modification

As tenants begin to form their reopening strategies, some may request a lease modification from their landlord. In these cases, building owners have several options. Landlords can agree to lease the space to a new tenant under the existing lease or assign a portion of the space to a new tenant. The timing of a tenant’s lease modification request (for example, the middle of the lease versus near the end) will also weigh into how flexible a landlord needs to be.

*Source: Globe

Office Amenities to Welcome Employees Back to Work 

As offices begin to open, the amenities a building provides will become incredibly important. While some shared amenities may be off limits for now, building owners can help create a calm and stress-free environment for their tenants by focusing on outdoor space and water features. Water features specifically have a calming impact on onlookers and can add value to the property.

*Source: Globe


Property Managers Debate Whether to Tell Residents About Coronavirus Infections 

Property managers are struggling when trying to decide whether to tell residents about a confirmed Coronavirus case. This is due to legal parameters as well as best practices. When making the decision to share the information with all residents, reassuring the individual that their privacy is paramount and their identity, or information that could reveal their identity, will not be shared is vital. Alternatively, when deciding not to share the information, property managers should continue to urge residents to take all precautions and act as if there is a known case in the building.

*Source: Globe

Operating Multifamily Properties in a Time of No Evictions

As the economic consequences of COVID-19 continue, including the suspension of evictions across the country, property managers find themselves in a new predicament. Taking a proactive approach in identifying and reaching out to those who may have trouble paying rent can benefit the resident and the bottom line. Creating payment plans and updating lease terms can help alleviate financial burdens as well.

*Source: NREI

Combating Coronavirus in Multi-housing Laundry Rooms

As many property managers have limited or closed common spaces in buildings, the laundry room is a space residents still need to use. To keep the shared laundry room as clean as possible, provide sanitizing wipes and disinfecting sprays to residents. The maintenance or janitorial team will also need to disinfect the machines and surface areas multiple times a day.

*Source: Property Manager Insider

Navigating the Multifamily Market During COVID-19?

Many people are feeling the financial strain of COVID-19, especially multifamily lenders, borrowers, and their renters. Resources like Fannie Mae allow lenders to learn important information like changes to credit terms and site inspection requirements. The program also provides information to qualified lenders looking to grant forbearance to their borrowers. As for renters, keeping them in their homes is the ideal solution and the program can help by providing up-to-date information about the CARES Act and guidance to navigate new circumstances.  

*Source: Commercial Observer


The Front Line: How Property Managers Cope With COVID-19 

Property managers are on the front lines assisting owners, tenants, and their teams to respond to COVID-19. To help fight the virus, only essential personal should report to the building, where possible. Adding hand sanitizer stations at building entrances and near elevators will also help stop the spread. Most importantly, clear communication of local regulations and recommendations will help keep everyone safe.

*Source: Commercial Property Executive

COVID-19’s Impact On CRE

Since the COVID-19 pandemic is truly unprecedented, experts don’t have a lot of insight into how courts will rule on the matter. For instance, “force majeure” could be used when discussing the pandemic and forced shut down of business. Similarly, condemnation or eminent domain lease provisions could also come into play. Since so much is still left to be seen, some legal experts are encouraging mitigation when possible.

*Source: SIOR

3 Tips For Preparing Annual Property Budgets In A Global Pandemic 

Preparing an annual property budget will look significantly different as many property management teams are working remotely and following social distancing requirements. Timing is everything this year, starting earlier than you have in the past will give you a cushion to adapt and get creative to solve any problems that may come along. For instance, using video conferencing tools to interview contractors and host pre-bid meetings is a great strategy. Since property walkthroughs may not be permitted, shooting a video on your phone to accompany a detailed RFP will significantly help contractors provide a more accurate estimate. 

*Source: Property Manager Insider