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The COVID-19 virus is creating disruption and risk for multifamily operators everywhere.
A few weeks ago we started to review and consider what it is we should be doing now, later, and longer-term. The features & details below detail work done to date by our team in response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak to multifamily maintenance operations.
We don't know how long the outbreak and subsequent lockdowns will last (hopefully not long!), but we do have a pretty good idea that the impact will be far reaching for the multifamily industry.
COVID-19 is forcing all of us to get creative on how to stay connected with each other during this global initiative to "flatten the curve".
Where I live in North Carolina, my family's favorite restaurant, like many others around the country, has scaled back menu options, lowered prices and setup an impressive assembly line of dedicated employees to prepare and deliver food curbside. Among other safety precautions, all employees undergo daily health screening before being allowed to work. This extra effort, along with the desire from loyal patrons to support their favorite establishments, will hopefully keep them in business during this odd time in our history.
Small businesses are the only ones getting creative.
Many traditionally face-to-face organizations such as not-for-profits, clubs, gyms, schools, and churches have completely gone online with virtual meetups in an effort to do their part in responsible social-distancing. My family's place of worship is completely online; streaming Sunday services with Facebook Live as well as weekly studies, classes and social meetups, all via Zoom meetings. Interestingly, attendance is up!
One of the really great parts of my job as CEO of ServusConnect is traveling around the country, meeting with multifamily operators (executives & practitioners alike) and having discussions about their successes & challenges with maintenance operations.
Needless to say, we're not traveling any longer, but the week before the NBA suspended play and the NCAA conference tournaments were shut down, I was doing just this in New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania.
At the time of my trip, there were already several confirmed COVID-19 cases in NYC.
As much as multifamily has become data-driven, there are a few major areas of operation that still operate in the dark from a data perspective.
Multifamily Maintenance Operations is one of them.
The reasons why vary, but the primary one seems to be centered around the fact that maintenance is a hands-on operation, performed in the field, and capturing good field data is hard. This is fueled by a common industry misconception that maintenance personnel are not capable of using technology to enable more accurate capture of repair data.
This could not be further from the truth! There is a ready and willing workforce that is well positioned to turn a light onto a new subset of data that will fuel the next transformation in multifamily operations.
Maintenance data is a hidden gem and here your 5 Keys to Unlocking The Potential of Multifamily Maintenance Data: