The COVID-19 pandemic has affected multiple industries, but truly changed the face of commercial real estate. The way that agents conducted showings, tenant requirements, and the overall activity all changed pretty much overnight in March of 2020.
When the pandemic started, lots of people had to adjust to working remotely from home. In turn, the amount of people in the office decreased significantly. After a while, workers started to no longer enjoy the “vacation”, because there was no separation between work and home. With that in mind, bosses started to look for a more realistic space for their workers to be in, while still maintaining COVID-19 protocols. The space that they wanted needed separation from each worker’s area, but still have a conference room where teams could meet and interact with one another in a socially safe manner. The treatment of Tenants by Landlords also became more of a factor when searching for a new office space. The income of some businesses was more inconsistent than before the pandemic, possibly causing some lag in the rent; how the Landlord helped the tenants comply and navigate COVID-19 safety protocols was important to some as well.
Not only were the tenants affected in the commercial real estate industry, but agents and Landlords changed the ways they handled interactions along with how they went about making a deal. With the needs of potential Buyers and Lessees changing to fit the safety and well-being of their workers, Landlords had to potentially update older spaces, or completely change some spaces. Property management became increasingly more important than before the pandemic, helping out Tenants navigate their day-to-day challenges.
When Ben Brackett, one of our agents, was asked how the pandemic affected the way he worked he said that he adjusted well to working from home, but it was tough to meet with people because most didn’t want to meet in person.
The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on a lot of people and industries, but with the adjustments that the commercial real estate industry made, it is expected to slowly get back to the state it was in.