Updated March 18, 2020- Nareit updated its survey of membership to capture the fast-moving operational changes and preparations related to COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Thirty-seven REITs (representing most property sectors and more than $220 billion in equity market cap) responded to the survey between March 16 and March 17. This research note summarizes the results as a share of respondents and as a share of respondents by equity market capitalization.
Travel Restrictions and Policy Changes
Table 1 summarizes respondents’ policies related to business travel. While more than 60% of respondents were allowing domestic travel without special permission in the first round of the survey, that number dropped to just over 5% in this survey. More than 92% of respondents have severely curtailed travel.
Table 2 summarizes respondents’ polices related to conference attendance. In the previous round, over 40% of respondents were not restricting conference attendance. In this survey, 78% of respondents are requiring special permission for employees to attend a conference.
Table 3 summarizes the respondents’ use of three common business continuity actions. The number of respondents requiring employees to take laptops home has increased over 21 percentage points to 78% and discouraging in-person meetings has increased over 16 percentage points to 84%. All respondents indicated they are ensuring employees can work remotely.
Table 4 summarizes the respondents’ efforts to keep social distance. Over 80% of respondents are emphasizing that employees should not come to work while sick and discouraging in-person meetings. All the respondents are either encouraging employees not required to be on-site to work from home or requiring it.
Safeguarding Employee Health
Table 5 summarizes the respondents’ use of practices focused on employee health and welfare. Respondents have taken the most action in the employee health and disease prevention area. Nearly all respondents have communicated CDC or other guidance and encouraged preventative habits. More than 80% have also developed an action plan, an increase from 74% in the first round of the survey.
Table 6 summarizes changes respondents have made to building operations. These numbers have remained relatively steady since the first survey. This question was not applicable to 22% of respondents who are not responsible for day-to-day operations in the properties they own. Of the respondents with facility operations, 86% had increased cleaning and 59% had reached out to tenants.