Suppliers Offer Solutions to Help Communities Reopen
As Florida begins the process of reopening, suppliers are finding innovative ways to assist multifamily communities in coping with the COVID-19 crisis and getting back on track.
The creators of Parking Boss have launched Amenity Boss, a smart software that gives managers the power to open, manage, and track amenities responsibly and fairly.
Using the Amenity Pass app, managers are able to set time and occupancy limits for each amenity. In order to visit or use the amenity, residents must create passes from their smartphones or computers using their name, unit number, and a unique passcode.
“The process of reopening could be a slow one, with many social distancing and cleaning measures still in place. Amenity Boss allows managers to control the maximum occupancy in their facilities by limiting the number of passes for each amenity. As guidelines change, they can edit these limits so they have flexibility as they go through the post-quarantine phases of reopening,” said Leah Griffiths, design and marketing manager at Parking Boss and Amenity Boss.
To keep amenity use fair, managers determine how many passes are available for each amenity, as well as the hours each amenity will be open. They can also limit the number of hours and passes per day, per apartment.
“Keeping amenities clean between uses will be an important part of reopening. With Amenity Boss, managers can easily set open hours and schedule closed blocks of time for cleaning. Residents will not be able to register passes in the Amenity Pass app for closed times,” Griffiths said.
Managers can see a log of all passes and how many are active for each amenity and check passes if there are too many people at the amenity.
“As passes are issued, the numbers are updated and residents can see how many others should be using the amenity. Residents can voluntarily show their pass to the other residents, giving everyone confidence and peace of mind,” Griffiths said.
BioSweep Suncoast, an air and surface decontamination treatment service located in South Florida, is another supplier offering a way to keep communities clean during and after the pandemic.
“Bio Sweep’s base treatment utilizes hydrogen peroxide vapor, UV germicidal radiation, hydroxyl radical, oxyradical plasma, and HEPA filtration, which kills pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and allergens. We run our proprietary technology within indoor spaces to eliminate pathogens, smoke, and odor,” said Jolyn Covelli, owner of BioSweep Suncoast. “We have treated several apartment communities and vendor businesses before COVID-19 and even more so now.”
BioSweep’s surface defense treatment is used to control the spread of viruses, bacteria, and microbes in kitchens, lobbies, playgrounds, and more. Protection from microbes lasts from 10 to 12 months, though the company recommends touch-ups for high-traffic areas like elevators or gyms.
Sanitizing is an essential protocol, but it only lasts until someone touches that surface again, Covelli said, which is why BioSweep Suncoast’s treatment is a more efficient and cost-effective solution.
“Our proven EPA-listed, DoD-certified, USDA-registered antimicrobial treatment is an organic technology to safeguard property, contents, residents, property sales and maintenance employees. Our antimicrobial is non-leaching, colorless, and invisible to the touch and sight. The antimicrobial bonds and wraps around the surfaces at 75 times the force of gravity. Millions of antimicrobial spikes form. They are positively charged atoms that rupture the cell wall of microbes, killing viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew on contact. This is a long-term solution for all areas treated,” Covelli said.
This decontamination technology is has been traditionally used in hospitals and institutions, before being implemented in multifamily housing.
Package management has also been an area of concern for communities, since receiving and picking up packages typically requires contact with others. Parcel Pending, which provides package management solutions for residential, commercial, retail, and university properties in the United States and Canada, delivers more than two million packages monthly and offers a wide range of solutions, like smart lockers, that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages.
“Our smart lockers provide a safe and secure option for packages, which enables residents, customers, and employees to pick up their packages conveniently,” said Kyle Murphy, account executive at Parcel Pending. “Having minimal to no-touch contact with shared amenities is important right now, and this feature takes it to the next level by alleviating anxiety and stress for residents during pickup.”
Couriers have a unique code which gives them access to the smart locker system, and then each package is placed in an individual locker. Once the courier shuts the locker door, the package owner will receive a text, email, or notification from the Parcel Pending mobile app to retrieve their package at their own convenience. All the package owner has to do is type in the code from their notification, and their locker door will automatically open for them to retrieve the package. Parcel Pending is also offering a contact-free option which allows residents to access the lockers by scanning a barcode or pressing a button in the mobile app.
“We are working hard to make sure we meet the new demands of the multifamily housing market as we are already seeing a 20 to 25 percent increase in package volume at communities. With leasing offices closed, the need for secure package storage with contact-free retrieval is even more critical,” Murphy said.
Parcel Pending recognizes how challenging it can be for communities to juggle priorities, as the safety of associates and residents are a number one concern. They have recently introduced new products and services and have developed a new financial model to help those properties that need an immediate solution without a long-term obligation.
“Our company is still expanding as we strive to support all communities and management companies looking for help and direction,” Murphy said.
Property TextBox, a two-way communication tool that allows multifamily managers to communicate with their prospects and residents through text, is helping communities stay connected.
“One of the benefits of Property TextBox is that we allow the community to use their already recognized phone number to send and receive text messages through desktop and mobile apps,” said Brian Bazinet, sales manager at Property TextBox. “This is important because it is the number that is normally published on business cards, bandit signs, and Google search results. It is usually the number that a resident already has in their phone as their community office, so they know exactly where the message is coming from.”
When the stay-at-home order was implemented and leasing offices had to close their doors to the public, Property TextBox offered their services to allow prospects to contact the leasing staff directly through text message from a link on the community’s mobile website. Leasing agents could then respond about availability, virtual tours, or other information. Property TextBox also helps communities keep their residents up-to-date about changes in policies and other important developments, Bazinet said.
With Property TextBox, on-site teams can send private messages to individuals as well as buildings, floor groups, or the entire community. The feature includes the ability to send and receive pictures, which enables a contact-free exchange of driver’s license pictures, copies of renters insurance certificates, and more.
“We will continue to support our communities in any way that we can and are always looking for creative uses of our service. The overall goal for Property TextBox is to improve the on-site team’s effectiveness and efficiency by providing a top-notch service that allows them to communicate with their prospects and residents by the most preferred form in today's market, text,” Bazinet said.