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Posted Thursday November 19, 2020


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Property Management Cleaning Practices

Majority of Property Managers Report Lower Cleaning Costs and Strong Communications Efforts

DCS Global (“DCS”) announced the results of its recent survey amongst property managers on cleaning costs, plans and communications.

“Our survey clearly shows the majority of property managers are staying on top of cleaning issues during the pandemic,” said Randy Burke, President and CEO of DCS. “Approximately three-quarters of respondents have detailed written pandemic cleaning plans in place, and almost all are communicating their cleaning efforts to employees, tenants and visitors. My biggest concerns from the responses are the relative lack of hygiene testing and the potential for significant cleaning cost increases next year.”

The survey was sent to approximately 200 property managers in mid-October. It contained seven questions, and the full results of the survey can be viewed here.

Asked if they or their contract cleaner have a detailed written plan for cleaning during the pandemic, three-quarters said yes. This is foundational for effective and efficient cleaning, ensuring clear expectations are set and cleaners and property management are on the same page.

DCS asked if the pandemic was taking a significant amount of time out of their workday. Two-thirds of property managers admitted it is taking some time but is essentially manageable. In the spring, many property managers were spending extended hours dealing with pandemic-related issues. This suggests that dealing with COVID-19 has gone from a full-blown crisis to being better understood and managed.

Just over 50% of respondents tell us that their cleaning costs have come down significantly (25% or more) to reflect lower occupancy rates in the last six months. Despite increased touchpoint cleaning and sanitization, and the need for greater cleaning staff visibility, DCS believes at current occupancy rates, most property managers can reduce their building cleaning-costs by up to 40%.

However, over 70% of property managers expect cleaning costs to rebound to pre-pandemic levels once we establish a new normal. Almost 30% of respondents believe these increases will be significant (10% or more). Rethinking cleaning priorities for the new normal and developing performance-based costing models will help optimize costs and quality.

A surprising and concerning number is that 3/4 of property managers reported they do not test the quality of touchpoint cleaning to ensure it is being done properly. Independent verification and auditing of potential pathogens are essential to ensure the effectiveness of cleaning (getting what you're paying for) and as a proof point for stakeholder messaging.

Almost everyone (99%) told us that they are effectively communicating the steps they're taking to make their building cleaner and safer to employees, tenants, and visitors. This is a crucial part of demonstrating duty of care and to reassure and build trust among stakeholders. Empathy and care are important pieces of pandemic messaging.

As a final question, just out of curiosity, DCS asked where property managers were getting their information on cleaning for the pandemic. Equal numbers mentioned public health agencies, industry associations, and their contract cleaner.

The survey results reinforce the need for independent testing of hygiene results and expert advice on cleaning cost optimization and quality.

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ISSN 0824-45
Copyright, 2020

Publisher: Exchange Business Communication Inc., PO Box 248, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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