In this unprecedented time, businesses are quickly adapting to meet their goals while staying healthy and safe. To help address our community’s concerns as we navigate this together, we’ve launched a Q&A series on LinkedIn with the leaders at Bridge Commercial Real Estate. Comment on our LinkedIn page with any questions you have and we’ll select a question to answer in-depth here.
This week’s question is:
I’m on the lookout for new office space. Can I virtually tour assets in Bridge’s portfolio?
We understand that right now companies want and need to keep business moving forward, while also staying safe and healthy.
To adapt to these times, Bridge recently accelerated the launch of our virtual office tours program, allowing prospective tenants to get a realistic view of different workspaces from the comfort of their home, remote office or wherever they may be. To start, we’re testing the program in our own backyard, by offering virtual tours of all properties and available vacancies across our nine Atlanta-area assets.
The platform is designed to be very user-friendly and a great complement to other leasing tools in the market. All the info you need is in one, easy-to-skim place, including videos for several different spaces within a building, downloadable renderings, comparable price points and fast facts about amenity offerings.
As one of the first Atlanta-based office landlords to roll out on a wide scale for an entire portfolio, we’ve already received great feedback from the local leasing community. Within 24 hours of launching the new platform, an estimated 25% of all Atlanta-area tenant rep brokers had visited the page. We’ve had several follow-up calls and video conferences from interested prospects, where we can offer a guided virtual tour experience and provide more insight about planned capital improvements for various assets.
As we continue to develop the platform, we see great potential to expand the offering into more markets where Bridge owns properties as well as to continue to add more features, such as virtual floor plans of a multiple phase re-entry to the office. While Phase 1 may include plans for three people per 1,000 square, later phases will allow prospects to see how office spaces could appear at double the ratio, with retrofitting options included.
This year has brought many unforeseen challenges, however, this new platform is just one example of how we’re building tailored solutions for users through a three-pronged approach of creativity, collaboration and compassion. As conversations and guidelines around the future of the workplace continue to emerge and evolve, Bridge is here to help your company navigate our “new normal” and provide solutions that make sense for your team and business goals.
For more information about Bridge Commercial Real Estate’s Atlanta Digital Portfolio, please visit https://www.bcre-atl.com or reach out to our team to schedule a guided virtual tour.
This week’s question is:
What measures is Bridge Commercial Real Estate taking to ensure that its properties are safe and secure to use when companies start returning to the office for work?
MARK’S ANSWER: Though timing remains fluid in all of our markets, we understand that many of our tenants are already thinking about when they may be able to return to the office while doing so in a safe and responsible manner due to public health concerns that may take several months to gradually dissipate.
After the COVID-19 driven government orders went into place, we immediately made modifications in building operations that resulted in some short-term operating efficiencies. Since then, we have shifted our focus to preparation for when in-place government orders are lifted and restrictions are softened with respect to stay-at-home orders. As we plan those very positive developments and corresponding re-occupancy of our buildings, the health and safety of our tenants and guests remain our highest priority. We have therefore concentrated our initial efforts on plans that address a few key areas:
- Social Distancing Protocol: As you know, the CDC has advised everyone to practice social distancing guidelines that leave a minimum of 6 feet (2 meters) of space between each person. We are asking tenants in every building to support this protocol and advance this messaging campaign with their employees out of respect for all of our community members. We are working on specific rules that will relate to queueing / riding elevators and using amenity and fitness areas in the building.
- Prudent Protective Measures: We are also implementing our Tier 1 protective measures, which will be incorporated as appropriate for each individual property. Examples include:
- Face Masks: At some properties, tenants and visitors will be required to wear a face cover while in the common areas of the building.
- Hand Washing: We will keep signs posted in all restrooms on best hand washing practices as a reminder for everyone to wash hands often and thoroughly.
- Hand Sanitizer: We are continuing in our attempts to source hand sanitizer to keep available in the main lobbies of our buildings. When soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Hygiene Reminders: Signs will be posted throughout buildings reminding people to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay Home Policy: Respectfully, we also ask our tenants to instruct employees who are not feeling well to stay home.
- Common Area Cleaning Considerations: In addition to social distancing guidelines and implementing Tier 1 protective measures, we will also continue to instruct our janitorial teams to clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. This includes elevator buttons, door handles and push plates, light switches, countertops, toilets, faucets, and sinks, etc.
We will continue to communicate other initiatives that we are exploring and plan to implement in subsequent communications to our tenants in the weeks ahead. Property management teams across our portfolio continue to take proactive measures and will be able to keep office users up to speed on the latest information for their specific building while also coordinating requests for individual offices and work suites.
Bridge Commercial Real Estate is a leader in delivering the best office environment and services to its customers while aggressively managing building operating expenses. Within the Bridge managed portfolio of properties, we are proud to confirm a very high level of satisfaction and will certainly draw upon all of our firm’s resources to offer the best service to businesses as we navigate through this challenging time together.
More specifics with respect to resources and public health authority recommendations can be referenced at https://www.bridgeig.com/covid-19/.
This week’s question is:
In an environment where more and more people are being tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, what is the action plan with your office buildings, the property management teams and tenants when your firm is notified of a positive test case in any of your buildings?
MARK’S ANSWER: “Bridge’s top priorities are to protect the safety and well-being of the occupants of its buildings.
We have a culture of leadership, transparency and integrity within Bridge and have empowered our teams to solve problems while serving tenants and setting an example for industry peers. Since COVID-19 first came on our radar, we swiftly assembled a cohort of experienced property management professionals and launched a communication campaign that addressed the impact of different state, county and local government orders.
Our property management teams suggested continuity planning considerations for our tenants and provided reference materials and web links to public health authority information and references.
The property teams modified operational protocols to proactively perform CDC-approved cleaning methods and, in some cases, managed property access procedures for specific tenants in the portfolio. Lastly, our teams developed a response protocol when a confirmed COVID-19 case was reported to a property team.
With over 14 million square feet in the portfolio, the reports we have received have ranged from individuals that have tested positive, to people that have been exposed to family members, friends or coworkers that have tested positive. In each case, we have maintained anonymity of individuals and companies, while informing the other tenants in the building so they can follow their own response plans. Simultaneously, we immediately scheduled additional cleaning for the common areas and tenants’ spaces, with special attention to high touch surfaces utilizing the same CDC-recommended cleaning protocols.
The communication efforts have been and continue to be appreciated and an effective resource for tenants. We recognize the importance of maintaining an environment for our essential tenants to remain open for business. Our property teams have worked hard to facilitate the needs of those businesses that have elected to work remotely. To help those who may be facing challenges of the current business environment, we have circulated information from the Small Business Administration identifying government-sponsored assistance programs and resources.
Although the idea of receiving notice of confirmed COVID-19 cases in an office building can be unsettling, we have confidence in the Bridge team professionals that are executing on deliberate cleaning procedures and communication protocols. We work hard to create a community in our office buildings and our relationship with the people in our communities is meaningful. Like all of you, we are preparing for a brighter time together and know that we will return to reconnect again soon. I personally am following the “physical distancing” recommendations, strictly keeping the minimum six-foot distance apart. However I am also engaging more with friends and family over the phone, via a text exchange and in some cases the virtual gathering. Maintaining our connection with each other is what will help us all get through these challenging times.”