C. Brent Smith, president and CEO of Piedmont Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: PDM), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: Virtual Investor Conference (held June 2-4).
Smith discussed sanitation and cleanliness practices that will be unique to office REITs post-COVID-19, noting that Piedmont has cleaning crews cycling through its properties every two hours and is also encouraging its tenants to wear masks.
“We’ve installed additional touchless devices in doors and are promoting social distancing throughout [our buildings],” he said, adding he expects a reversal of the densification trend as well.
Smith said he and his colleagues have been impressed by the courage and compassion they’ve witnessed across Piedmont’s markets by first-line responders, noting “these individuals are deserving of our thanks and praise.”
Smith also discussed Piedmont’s “Returning to the Workplace” guide, which outlines how the REIT is coordinating with tenants and contractors to enact new operational procedures.
“Our highest priority, like every other business, is the safety and well-being of our customers, employees and vendors, and we’ve worked diligently to prepare our buildings to be ready to welcome our employees back into the workplace,” Smith said.
Smith added that Piedmont is regularly engaging with and listening to its tenants to understand their changing needs as office REITs begin to emerge from the pandemic.