Communicating during a crisis can be challenging for any industry and commercial real estate is no exception. In order to maintain the safety of your tenants, building, and the reputation of your company, it’s crucial to ensure that you have a robust crisis communication plan, and don’t forget to do an AAOA tenant screening to make sure everything is above board. Credibility and financing are major aspects of commercial real estate and ineffective communication methods during an incident can often lead those being compromised. By including your communication plan in your Emergency Action Plan (EAP), you will be able to ensure that your building is ready for any threat, that all employees are familiar with the communication plan and that your plan meets OSHA and state requirements.
Here are a few ways you can help improve communication with your tenants during a crisis:
- Implement an emergency notification system – Don’t rely on phone trees when communicating with tenants during a crisis. By implementing an emergency notification system, you will be able to easily communicate with tenants, employees and staff during an emergency situation. Some emergency notification systems, such as the one offered by Preparis allow you to create and send notifications to custom groups based on roles, departments and buildings. This feature allows you to save time, which is incredibly valuable during a crisis.
- Encourage employee training – Another way to improve crisis communication is to make sure all property staff are trained on how to handle an emergency situation and are familiar with the phrases they might see in an emergency notification. In addition, providing tenants with the option to go through training would also be beneficial for not only them as individuals, but for the building’s overall safety. The more people who are familiar with the terminology and how to respond to emergency situations, the lower your chances are for additional damage caused by human error. To learn more about the training offered by Preparis, click here.
- Be aware of timing – When it comes to a crisis, trying to conceal it almost always results in more issues. For commercial real estate specifically, it is important that you get the word out about the crisis in a timely matter. The quicker you alert tenants, employees, staff and media, the better off you are. Failure to make contact with relevant parties often results in a reputational issue where you appear to be hiding or intentionally withholding information. For all businesses, the goal is transparency.
Preparis offers a wide array of interactive, online training, a 5 star emergency notification and incident management system and expert content, such as checklists and webinars. On February 27th, Preparis will begin part one of a four-part Commercial Real Estate Webinar Series: Why You Need an EAP/FPP & New Codes for 2018. To learn more about the webinar and to register, click here.