How to Respond to Residents Upset About Barred Amenities

Summer is here, and nothing quite says “summer” like a day spent by the pool. Residents love knowing that after a long, hard day at work, they can relax poolside with a good book and earbuds. What better way is there to spend a Saturday with the kids than cooling off with a swim?  However, many properties’ pools, hot tubs, spas, and gyms have been barred in compliance with local and/or state COVID-19 guidelines.

Summer is here, and nothing quite says “summer” like a day spent by the pool. Residents love knowing that after a long, hard day at work, they can relax poolside with a good book and earbuds. What better way is there to spend a Saturday with the kids than cooling off with a swim?  However, many properties’ pools, hot tubs, spas, and gyms have been barred in compliance with local and/or state COVID-19 guidelines.

Due to the fear of spreading of this novel virus, many multifamily properties have resorted to shutting down amenities.  With extra time on their hands at home, this has left some residents angry and frustrated.  Though they may have had no option but to close the amenities, property managers now find themselves in the sticky spot of mediating between an irate resident and a global pandemic.  Here are three ways to help diffuse the residents’ angst while supporting the property’s COVID policies.

rusty lock on door

Due to the fear of spreading of this novel virus, many multifamily properties have resorted to shutting down amenities.  With extra time on their hands at home, this has left some residents angry and frustrated.  Though they may have had no option but to close the amenities, property managers now find themselves in the sticky spot of mediating between an irate resident and a global pandemic.  Here are three ways to help diffuse the residents’ angst while supporting the property’s COVID policies.

rusty lock on door

Show Some Sympathy

Whether a property manager agrees with the closures or not, it is important that they sympathize with the residents.  Residents need to feel heard, and certainly, the manager can understand the disappointment they are experiencing. The residents may express that they chose the property based on its amenities alone. They may contend the rent is higher than other properties they considered, but they felt it worth the extra for the gym because they would not need to pursue an outside membership. The fact is, they are not able to enjoy the living they anticipated because of factors out of their control. It’s frustrating. It’s understandable.  It is temporary.

Show Some Sympathy

Whether a property manager agrees with the closures or not, it is important that they sympathize with the residents.  Residents need to feel heard, and certainly, the manager can understand the disappointment they are experiencing. The residents may express that they chose the property based on its amenities alone. They may contend the rent is higher than other properties they considered, but they felt it worth the extra for the gym because they would not need to pursue an outside membership. The fact is, they are not able to enjoy the living they anticipated because of factors out of their control. It’s frustrating. It’s understandable.  It is temporary.

woman with a facemask shocked

Remind Them of the “Why”

There are laws and guidelines in place for properties and residents for their protection, not their inconvenience.  Take a moment to check up on your residents and remind them that this is done with their safety in mind. It is also a great opportunity to inform the residents of the maintenance and disinfection protocols being performed on the amenities. Often, when emotions are high, the ”why” can bring a steady calm of reason.  It is the property manager’s job to uphold the policies of the property, and COVID-19 dictates current property policies regarding amenities, and they are temporary.

woman with a facemask shocked

Remind Them of the “Why”

There are laws and guidelines in place for properties and residents for their protection, not their inconvenience.  Take a moment to check up on your residents and remind them that this is done with their safety in mind. It is also a great opportunity to inform the residents of the maintenance and disinfection protocols being performed on the amenities. Often, when emotions are high, the ”why” can bring a steady calm of reason.  It is the property manager’s job to uphold the policies of the property, and COVID-19 dictates current property policies regarding amenities, and they are temporary.

Salvage the Relationship

In the end, it is imperative that the relationship between residents and their manager is preserved.  A level of trust should be maintained throughout the life of a resident’s lease, and the proper handling of this situation is absolutely necessary to accomplish that end. At no time should a loud voice or hostile word prevail.  While COVID is temporary, a working relationship with residents is a much-needed best business practice.

In this extraordinary time of COVID-19, change is inevitable.  Let’s face it, no one likes change if it involves getting suited up and finding the pool gate locked!  Approaching the residents’ discontent with a combination of sympathy and duty will remind them that they are heard and protected.  Policies barring amenities in multifamily properties ARE temporary, and there will be many workouts and pool days ahead.

What have you had to close?

Salvage the Relationship

In the end, it is imperative that the relationship between residents and their manager is preserved.  A level of trust should be maintained throughout the life of a resident’s lease, and the proper handling of this situation is absolutely necessary to accomplish that end. At no time should a loud voice or hostile word prevail.  While COVID is temporary, a working relationship with residents is a much-needed best business practice.

In this extraordinary time of COVID-19, change is inevitable.  Let’s face it, no one likes change if it involves getting suited up and finding the pool gate locked!  Approaching the residents’ discontent with a combination of sympathy and duty will remind them that they are heard and protected.  Policies barring amenities in multifamily properties ARE temporary, and there will be many workouts and pool days ahead.

What have you had to close?

Spread the word. Share this post!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.