The size of the staff in the 80 buildings that his company manages is also a factor, Mr. Wallack said, “because we’ll have to keep up with the cleaning of fitness rooms and community rooms.”
For many landlords and management companies, the pressing questions used to be, “How do we get residents to keep their masks on in the lobby?” and “How frequently do we need to sanitize the door knobs?” These days, they’re more likely to ask, “How do we get the staff vaccinated?” and “Can we force the staff to get vaccinated.”
Wallack Management has sent notes to doormen and porters asking them to get the shots. And Mr. Janangelo, of Elliman Property Management, has tapped some doctors who sit on co-op boards to address the questions and concerns of employees in their buildings.
“We’ve made a big push to educate our building staffs about the vaccine and to make sure they’re being provided with research from the C.D.C. and the Department of Health because there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” said Robbie Janowitz, the senior vice president of Orsid New York, a residential property management firm. “We’re not strong-arming them,” he added. “But we want them to make decisions based on facts.”
Orsid has had group meetings and one-on-one conversations to offer support to building employees, who, for whatever reason, are skittish about rolling up their sleeves. Further, thanks to a family connection, Mr. Janowitz has been able to get logistical support from B’nai Jeshurun, a synagogue on West 88th Street.
“Someone here started a program to arrange vaccines for vulnerable members of our congregation and within the wider community,” said Leah Silver, a B’nai Jeshurun member who is also Mr. Janowitz’s cousin by marriage. The result: a dedicated text line to book vaccine appointments for the staff of Orsid buildings.
For its part, Local 32BJ of the Service Workers International Union, which represents building service workers, “has encouraged employers to find incentives that will encourage and make it easier for employees to get the Covid-19 vaccines,” said Kyle Bragg, 32BJ’s president. “We don’t think mandates work as well as incentives.”