President and CEO,
Matthew Adam Properties, Inc.
One lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. In fact, the unexpected is now commonplace. As I write this, New York City is in another surge cycle and we do not know which variant, if any, will pop up next. This puts a burden on all of us as we schedule events and go about our daily lives — what guidelines do we follow and what personal decisions do we make?
Property managers face the same quandary. What procedures and rules should we relax, and which maintain? For our properties, in consultation with the boards, we have taken a conservative approach and maintained many of the rules and procedures established when the pandemic overwhelmed us more than two years ago. Yes, it’s been a long haul.
Let’s look at what we have been doing. For more than a decade, Matthew Adam Properties has emphasized the use of non-toxic and extremely effective cleaning materials. While we have been using these in many of the properties we manage, we have extended this to additional properties. Not only are these more effective cleaning materials, but they provide a safer and healthier environment for residents, visitors and staff.
In conjunction with this we have also expanded our warehousing of supplies. We all know about supply chain issues that have prevailed since the pandemic began for cleaning materials and almost everything else. We have adapted the practices of many of our institutional clients to maintain adequate supplies rather than rely on “just-in-time” deliveries. In doing so, we invest in having sufficient PPE’s (personal protective equipment) and other products and applications on hand.
Added to the above, we have significantly stepped up our cleaning protocols by increasing the number of times a day our staffs clean the public areas.
Probably no issue has caused more controversy regionally, nationwide and globally than the use of masks. While requirements and practices are changing, many buildings we manage still require staff to wear masks to protect themselves as well as residents and guests. One concern is that many of the staff take public transportation to work and increasingly fewer people are wearing masks on the subways and buses. The mask requirements also applies to vendors and contractors.
We continue monitoring the health of each staff member. We expanded our cleaning protocols to include sanitizing employee locker rooms. While the city and medical facilities reduced availability for testing, we encourage staff to test regularly, particularly now when there are expanding cases where people are asymptomatic. Most union insurance that our staffs have provide testing kits.
While restrictions have lessened in the past few months, some buildings still do not permit deliveries to the unit and when they do they make certain the delivery person goes directly to the correct floor and apartment.
Gyms have been an issue since day one of the pandemic, with many closing for months in the beginning and then at surge times. Many buildings still require proof of vaccination and boosters, and boards are asking users to wear masks, though it is not mandatory. Since the start of the pandemic some buildings have improved the air circulation systems in the gyms, which usually are located in windowless spaces.
Matthew Adam Properties represents a broad range of clients including foreign governments, medical institutions, universities as well as co-ops and condominiums. It’s interesting to see that each group, with variations within the groups, have their own priorities on rules and procedures. Those that handle considerable traffic each day, such as medical facilities and universities, have different protocols than let’s say a small co-op or condo.
With all the focus on health and safety and with the added expense over the past two-plus years, it’s important that properties maintain their preventive maintenance programs for systems. Failure to do so can only lead to costly future problems. If a property has fallen behind, now is the time to bring the inspections and maintenance up to date. With rising costs throughout the economy, repair costs will only increase as we move forward.
President and CEO
Matthew Adam Properties, Inc.
375 Pearl Street – 14th Floor
New York, NY 10038