Working Arrangements for COVID19 - October 2020
2020: The Year We All Adapted
COVID19 has encouraged all businesses to think of smarter, more effective ways to serve customers and clients in contact-free ways and Pursuit Real Estate is no exception.
During the COVID-lockdown and state emergency period, Pursuit created a bubble environment for our team so that they were protected from coronavirus exposure as much as effectively possible. Some of those measures included a temporary relief to routine inspection schedules to minimise contact with tenants, full closure and distancing within our physical office for visitors so that our team could stay within their work environment safely, additional measures to support employees choosing to perform more duties from their home environment, a preference to communicate using email channels and other tough but necessary choices.
With strong, effective coronavirus controls in Queensland and high public awareness and support of coronavirus safety measures, we have been taking slow, considered steps to return to a more ‘normal’ working and business environment.
Our team remains healthy and able to perform their duties. Their efforts to protect tenants and the greater community and their work-ethic to continue performing throughout an incredibly challenging year are to be commended.
During June and July, we began reintroducing routine inspections with a revised working policy. Routine inspections are performed with minimal surface contact to the property. Routines will be rescheduled in line with the Coronavirus Emergency Response legislation (read here) in order to provide privacy to tenants and protection to team.
Outside of regular routine inspections, our in-person leasing activities are the largest contributor to potential exposure. Pursuit Real Estate have made several changes to leasing protocols in order to provide sufficient protections for team, tenants and community.
- We invested new resources to acquire 3D scanning equipment in-house, allowing us to rapidly create virtual inspections for our properties. We are now scanning all vacant properties for our clients at no added charge;
- Group open homes have been limited to vacant properties. All visitors details are collected and stored using our existing leasing management software;
- Tenanted properties advertised for lease are shown on a 1-by-1 basis with walkthrough visitors supervised in 5-10 minute individual blocks;
- New and Vacating tenants are asked to return any documentation via email in the first instance. If this is not possible, we ask tenants to use our drop boxes to limit face-to-face contact;
- We have shifted lease execution to be completely contact-free including digital lease signing, over-the-phone sign-up and contact-free key collection and drop-off;
Visitors to vacant or tenanted property must abide by COVIDsafe rules – maintain social distance, regular sanitisation of hands, minimise touching of surfaces, do not enter when unwell, etc.
Earlier this year, visitors to our office were barred entry. Meetings of 5 minutes or less could be conducted in our grassed garden entry in front of our office, however longer discussions were to be conducted via phone or email channel. Tradespeople collecting keys were provided entry on the condition of minimal contact. Our after-hours drop box became an all-hours return chute.
Our steps towards reopening have included the application of COVIDsafe plan/checklist and rules. From June, our office adjusted to visitation by appointment-only. We have now taken the next step to return to an open-door business with the following restrictions:
- Visitors must remain within the reception area at all times; our meeting areas remain access-only;
- We remain ‘appointments-only’ for visitors who expect to be within the office area for longer than 15 minutes in order to remain within our allowed occupants number;
- If our allowed occupant number has been reached or there is simply not enough room to accommodate social distancing, we ask visitors to wait outside.
COVIDsafe processes for visitors are strictly enforced. The application of these include minimising touching and touching of shared surfaces, contact tracing logbooks, social distancing and hygiene protocols.
Our sales division has undergone similar changes. Notably, ensuring all open-for-inspections satisfied our COVIDsafe plan was our initial priority. Similar to our leasing efforts for our landlords, we have included more virtual means of viewing and inspecting our properties. We include free virtual tours, videography and drone photography where possible. With the digital leap accelerating due to COVID, we are encouraging all parties to a property sale to adopt digital settlements.
This year we have all learnt to adapt in new ways, embracing new ways to work and live safely. Pursuit Real Estate is committed to better property management that creates occupied, cared for and compliant homes. Our operations continue to evolve so that we always make good on our promise to deliver authentic, honest real estate you can trust. Whether we care for your property from home or from office; in a COVID-lockdown world or a COVID-free world; we’re prepared and ready to give it our all.
Thank you to all our tenants, all our vendors, all our contractors, and all our landlords for their partnership and assistance navigating a strange year. A year we all learnt to adapt.
Lets keep on flattening the curve as we end 2020 so that we can do great things in 2021.
On behalf of all the team, be well.