During these difficult times, everyone still deserves an amazing place to work and call home.
Our thoughts are with our impacted employees, residents, and their loved ones. As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’re continuing our focus on the safety and wellness of these individuals, and we are fortunate to have an amazing group of employees who have been rising to the challenge in remarkable ways.
In the face of the challenges brought on by COVID-19, we’ve adjusted operations so we can continue to make good on our commitment to providing an industry-leading experience to Venterra residents and employees.
We took action early, to ensure all our employees had the resources needed and appropriate work processes to minimize exposure to COVID-19. This included closing amenities and offices, limiting service requests, minimizing onsite staffing and reducing office hours, providing computers and resources for employees working from home, and implementing strong safety protocols including providing our maintenance teams with personal protective equipment and creating sanitizing and disinfecting procedures beyond CDC suggestions, among others.
We are also very happy not to have needed to lay off, furlough, or otherwise reduce pay for employees across the organization, and our objective is to maintain this position throughout the crisis. We want to provide as much stability as possible for our amazing people who work to take care of our residents, and many of the same precautions that benefit our employees also minimize our residents’ exposure to COVID-19. In addition, we’ve launched a Venterra COVID-19 Resources website to allow all renters to stay in the know regarding important information as it relates to Coronavirus and a Resident Blog so our residents can read up on tips on working from home, earning extra income during a pandemic, engaging learning websites for children and more. Residents are also receiving CV-19 weekly updates that include any Venterra-related operation changes.
We’re fortunate to have maintained a focus on streamlining, simplifying, and enhancing the way we meet resident and employee needs through technology in advance of these changes. This has proven invaluable in easing the transition to a more tech-driven approach to our operations. Due to our proprietary operations platform, we were able to make changes to expand and constrict exactly where needed to operate differently, almost overnight.
The ability to provide future residents remote tours, screen share demos, 3D tours, and actual unit videos, conduct virtual interviews with future team members, and provide the tools and resources needed for a shift from working out of offices to working out of homes has been critical during these uncertain times. Additionally, we’ve ramped up the use of internal video conferencing and instant messaging via Microsoft Teams, providing employees with real-time updates, CDC information, and CV-19 related resources and groups. Team members have also been supporting one another on the platform by sharing ideas ranging from best practices in maintaining operations from a distance, communicating with our residents about their unique challenges, how to keep kids occupied during the workday, and, to help keep spirits and humor up, sharing favorite memes.
We are also committed to protecting the financial strength of Venterra during the turbulent financial upheaval that is happening as a result of COVID-19. We have always aimed to make smart organizational and investment decisions to prepare ourselves for success during difficult times, so we are well placed to weather these market disruptions and have been able to provide a number of accommodations to our current and future residents who are facing CV-19 challenges alongside us. Changes include allowing flexible move-in and move-out dates to those who need it because of CV-19, the creation of SMARTMOVE, which facilitates a contact-free move-in process and an apartment which has been professionally sanitized for new residents, and providing residents relief by establishing payment plan options for those who have been furloughed, laid-off, or terminated.
Given the combination of the incredible commitment and compassion of our team members and the strong social bonds that have been well-established within our communities, we fully expect to come out on the other side of this difficult time an even stronger organization.