As we transition out of our COVID induced lockdown in the UK towards something which is starting to feel a little more ‘normal’ for a lot of us, I have had many retrospections about the positive situations and stories of resilience that I’ve personally encountered during the strange 12+ weeks within which we’ve all been adapting as best we can to a significantly altered reality.
One of my favourite quotes is ‘adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it’ by the Roman era poet Horace, which for me definitely rings true when I think about the brilliant intuition, not to mention kindness, that has been demonstrated during this rather anxious time by colleagues, clients, partners and of course our residents.
At Navana, we have been incredibly fortunate to have some extraordinary people working for and with us, strong reciprocal relationships with our residents, a first-class network of supplier partners and partnerships with wider community groups around our managed schemes. So, now feels like as good a time as any to cast a look over the shoulder and call out my lockdown luminaries!
Our cleaning teams have absolutely stepped up to the challenge, and have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of their colleagues on the estate team and residents with an enhanced and fastidious cleaning regime across all of our sites. Many of our cleaning teams have also been enjoying their new found fame within their resident communities!
Like others, our concierge have had to adapt to a new way of manning reception desks and social distancing when dealing with residents, contractors and colleagues. Due to increased volumes, they have spent more time than ever processing a veritable Everest of parcels and working hard to make sure these get to the right residents in a prompt, safe and secure fashion.
Our residents definitely deserve a mention. From Joe Wicks work outs to the now ritualised Zoom quiz with friends, many have been getting used to spending more time in their homes and thus on their estates than ever before. We talk about community resident engagement a lot at NPG, however it as now taken on a new dimension with support networks growing and residents shopping for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours. A number of food banks have also been created across our sites to support those who may need to call upon one. The way our residents have responded to the situation has been affirming and inspiring in equal measure.
We have received a number of virtual engineer visits, who have talked our on-site teams through a range of maintenance issues with their calm, expert advice, resulting in a fix rate of 98%. Our fire safety and other key H&S relates activities have all been delivered throughout the lockdown period and we are grateful to the support from our contractors and engineers for their support here.
We have also all been required to fully embrace technology, and quickly. Our residents meetings have continued but virtually rather than in person. Our lettings team have undertaken a number of virtual tours and successfully registered new residents right the way throughout the lockdown period.
Like many in the industry, we are now looking forward to getting back in the saddle and pushing on with our work to deliver for our clients and residents. It is far too early to say with any degree of certainty what will change as a result of COVID and what will stay the same, but we’d all be wise to make good use of the present and remember the lessons it is teaching us so we can move forward effectively into the new normal, whatever lies in store. I’m sure Horace would steadfastly agree!