Principle tackles COVID-19 crisis with huge focus on hygiene and technology

Thousands of properties looked after by Principle Estate Management have benefited from a huge focus on hygiene in the last few weeks to minimise COVID-19 health risks.

The leading property management company already organises regular cleaning, but the extra push was timed well ahead of self-isolation measures to make sure staff and tenants were kept as safe as possible.

Meanwhile, thanks to its use of the very latest technology, Principle is now operating as near to “business as usual” as possible across its entire portfolio, despite UK self-isolation rules.

Joe Jobson, a director at Principle, said: “Several weeks ago we instructed all of our contractors to pay particular attention to the ‘touch points’ like door handles and push-plates, stair bannisters, light switches, lift buttons and intercom panels.

“This focus not only kept properties as clean as possible but had a double-effect on our tenants – firstly reassuring them that they were being looked after, and secondly reminding them to be super-hygienic as well.”

Since the government’s shutdown measures, Mr Jobson said Principle’s use of the latest technology meant all staff has easily switched to working from home, with special arrangements in place to deal with inbound and outbound post.

And whilst restrictions meant regular site inspections had been temporarily suspended, he said a new customer portal meant urgent security or safety matters such as lifts, lift alarms, lighting, gates, door closers and fire alarm panels could be acted on promptly.

He said: “We have always strived to collect email addresses for all clients and contractors so that all correspondence can go from our system by email in case of postal interruptions.

“All our property management and office accounting software, document storage and telephony systems are all cloud based, and all staff members have laptops set up to access the system from home.

“Meanwhile, our office phone line can be answered on mobile apps or laptops, and we have fully functioning conference call facilities that we’ve been using for two weeks now for client calls and team meetings.

“We have also implemented a cascade call system to ensure all staff are contacted daily, including our site staff like caretakers and concierge teams.”

Mr Jobson added: “We’re really pleased that our alternative ways of working have clicked in perfectly, enabling us to continue looking after all our properties.

“The customer portal was the final piece of this jigsaw, and by registering our clients and tenants will receive all correspondence by email which is ensuring continuity of communications, with conference call facilities to enable real time discussions.

“If anyone becomes aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within their development, we can respond immediately with a special disinfection clean.”