COVID-19 And Commercial Real Estate – 5 Trends Emerging From The Pandemic

It’s easy to panic when there’s a pandemic sweeping the globe, and many investors did. However, the best commercial property agents knew that the market always finds a way to recover. New trends emerge to match changing demands, and downturns can be overcome if you have the right strategy in place. The truth of this is already being proven by the commercial real estate industry. The following five trends are set to be game-changers over the coming years: 

1. Location is less important

With so many people switching to a remote working model, the need for “prime real estate” close to the city center has diminished. Dense traffic, packed pedestrian areas, and bustling buildings are no longer ideal in the post-pandemic world. As such, businesses are favoring the idea of satellite offices, where workers can collaborate with one another in a less congested environment that’s closer to the suburbs where they live. Of course, downtown office districts are unlikely to become ghost towns. Rather, we will see a more even distribution of the working populace. This means lucrative commercial real estate investment opportunities will open up in many new places over the coming years. 

2. Reimagined spaces

As online shopping took off mid-pandemic, many people feared this would mark the death of malls and shopping centers. Though there’s no denying the changes that are happening in this space, it’s important to remember that commercial property can be reimagined and reinvented many times over to match the ever-changing needs of the market. Many businesses may shut up shop. However, they will make way for new enterprises with fresh ideas. Online stores still need a premises from which to operate and distribute goods, so commercial property won’t be going out of style any time soon. 

3. A health and safety overhaul

From hotels and restaurants to office buildings and factories, health and safety will be one of the biggest driving factors over the next few years. With new business models, technology, structures, and changing designs, companies must provide cleaner, more hygienic environments to their employees and customers; from updated restroom partitions to better, more efficient spaces.

Improved HVAC infrastructure, an automated touchless experience, and contract tracing systems are being implemented as we speak. Natural light and fresh air will become premium commodities and in ten years’ time, the commercial real estate landscape will be unrecognizable. 

4. A focus on wellness initiatives

In addition to the focus on health and safety, it’s been fascinating to see wellness brought into the picture by many companies. It seems the psychological toll of the pandemic has had an impact on commercial real estate developers who are now taking it into account in their new designs. For example, the best shared office spaces constructed in 2020 are offering comprehensive wellness programs, featuring gyms, basketball courts, yoga classes, meditation rooms, and even e-bike fleets for tenants. 

5. Flexible contracts

After the events of 2020, long-term leases no longer seem like a viable option to many tenants. Instead, a more flexible approach to leasing is needed. Though this removes a level of financial certainty for property owners, a middle ground must be found that allows everyone to mitigate risk. After all, a long-term lease is no use if your tenant is unable to pay rent.  

The pandemic may have cut a path of destruction through the world, but humanity has stepped up and proven how resilient and flexible we are in the face of challenges. Though this is a time of great change and uncertainty for the commercial real estate industry, the trends above demonstrate that there’s a bright future ahead for those able to think innovatively and spark new trends.