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DCS announces property management cleaning survey results
Canadian-based consultancy DCS Global has announced the results of its recent survey amongst property managers on cleaning costs, plans and communications and it says that the majority are reporting lower cleaning costs and strong communications efforts.
"Our survey clearly shows the majority of property managers are staying on top of cleaning issues during the pandemic," says 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 on the DCS website.
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, says DCS, 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 DCS 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 sanitisation, 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 a new 'normal' has been established. Almost 30% of respondents believe these increases will be significant (10% or more). Rethinking cleaning priorities for when this time comes, and developing performance-based costing models, will help optimise costs and quality.
A surprising and concerning number is that three quarters of property managers reported that they do not test the quality of touchpoint cleaning to ensure that 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, says DCS.
Almost everyone (99%) told DCS 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 optimisation and quality.
DCS has been providing independent advice on cleaning issues for over 20 years. Its services include:
- Customisable current and post-Covid-19 cleaning specifications to help ensure the quality and effectiveness of cleaning and sanitisation.
- Hygiene testing & auditing to ensure that proper cleaning techniques are being used and to provide an extra level of comfort for stakeholders.
- Janitorial costing models to help ensure that cleaners are prioritising the right tasks in a cost-effective way.
- Current contract analysis, KPIs, standards, reporting ... so that the cleaning contract clearly reflects contractor deliverables.
- RFP support, writing, administration, risk-analysis, contractor tours, recommendations, transition and implementation.
19th November 2020