The ‘Home’ team: The Home Depot is there to help property managers safeguard residents and employees
By Nick Fortuna
The Home Depot provides essential equipment, supplies and knowledge to property managers navigating COVID-19
Property management teams and associates at The Home Depot have shared one big thing in common ever since COVID-19 emerged last winter: There’s no doubt that they are essential workers.
Apartment managers and maintenance technicians have been among the many unheralded frontline workers during the pandemic, stepping up their cleaning and sanitation efforts to keep residents, visitors and employees safe. It’s a challenge that requires close partnerships, even in this time of social distancing, and The Home Depot is committed to being property managers’ closest ally, said Juan Bueno, vice president of sales for The Home Depot Pro.
“The Home Depot has worked hard to meet the unprecedented demand for cleaning/disinfecting supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from both the consumer and professional market segments” said Bueno. Popular products aimed at curbing viral transmission have included Plexiglass barriers, liquid floor and surface cleaners, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, masks and gloves, he said.
In addition, The Home Depot Pro’s janitorial and sanitation business, a key market for the company, has given property managers access to a number of innovative products, including electrostatic sprayers that disinfect large surface areas efficiently and affordably, Bueno added.
To keep customers and employees safe, The Home Depot began requiring facial coverings in its stores in July and mandated that associates visiting customers in the field wear masks and appropriate PPE. Most of The Home Depot’s office employees have been working from home as the company continues to monitor guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Prevention and strategically plans a return to the office, Bueno said.
“The Home Depot has a close working relationship with the CDC, and we follow and adhere to their public guidelines,” he said. “Keeping our associates and customers safe remains our No. 1 priority.”
In August, The Home Depot Pro Multifamily division published a 52-page guide for property managers and other customers showcasing the many products and solutions built for the COVID-19 environment. The free online guide, “Disinfecting, Safety and Social Distancing Solutions,” features an array of products, including protective barriers, PPE, touch-free restroom fixtures and cleaning solutions using disinfectants and ultraviolet light.
The Home Depot Pro also produced an eight-minute video detailing best practices for property managers and businesses seeking to reopen their facilities or continue operations amid the pandemic. Key strategical components included:
- Establish an enhanced cleaning protocol and move some cleaning routines to the daytime to reassure employees, residents and customers that their health and safety are top of mind.
- Have a three-month supply of PPE such as masks available to employees, and make cleaning supplies readily available in high-touch and high-traffic areas.
- Instruct employees to continuously spot clean and sanitize surfaces, reiterate best practices to them and encourage them to give honest feedback to management, sharing their concerns and suggestions about how to improve operations.
- Develop a plan for how you will respond to a positive test for COVID-19, including disclosure to residents and employees, contact tracing and disinfecting.
- Supply PPE such as masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, gowns and head and shoe coverings to maintenance technicians who must enter residents’ homes to make repairs, and discuss with them in advance the level of PPE needed for each type of job.
- To the extent possible, have employees work from home, reconfigure workspaces to promote social distancing, install touch-free technologies and have directional signage and social-distancing markers in high-traffic areas such as lobbies.
“The Home Depot Pro has kept our customers top of mind,” Bueno said. “Our ‘Restore. Resume. Recover.’ campaign gave customers an easy-to-follow plan on how to safely and thoughtfully reopen their businesses, with our sales professionals alongside them every step of the way for help and support.”