Written by Eric Davis
Real estate trends to keep an eye on 2021
It is no secret that the real estate market has taken a huge hit as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged global economies and affected billions of lives worldwide. We can see and feel its real-time human and economic impact as governments impose lockdowns. Businesses of all scales are forced to close to encourage social distancing and reduce virus transmission risks in order to protect human lives.
The pandemic era has brought about a norm wherein major businesses including the property management industry are compelled to adapt to ever-changing business practices, some of which are unprecedented and never-before-seen approaches in the industry.
Since the third quarter of last year, nations have been coming out of “survival mode” and transitioning into “recovery mode”. We can see economies start this process by moving out of lockdown and beginning “re-entry”. This means opening borders, businesses, economies, and recalibrating their policies. Once the appropriate steps have been taken to integrate into the “new normal”, we can venture a guess into envisioning what this new normal could look like for the ever-resilient property management industry. Here are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the property management industry and what their implications might be:
Safety – one key lesson learned from this new normal time
1. Industrial Impact – history has proven that the property management industry is resilient and even thrives in a time of crisis.
a. Major Process Adjustments – in order to adapt to fast changes brought about by the global pandemic, many property management companies had to recalibrate their maintenance workflows. Routine inspections and to be adjusted and tenant services had to be realigned to adhere to local policies and restrictions.
b. Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) – all industries now know better and understand the importance of having a BCP in place in order to ensure the survival of the business in times of crisis. Not having a BCP can spell the difference between surviving and thriving.
Fearless Forecast: Property managers, landlords, and tenants will continue working to ensure a safe environment for all stakeholders. New policies will be created to adapt to the new normal and best practices will continue to be shared across property management agencies.
2. Technological Impact – the pandemic has highlighted the need for all industries to adopt digital technologies or risk getting left behind. If they choose to stay in their outdated sphere.
a. Digital Solutions – tools such as CRMs, video conferencing, and iterations of smart systems have made property management a whole lot easier. Repetitive tasks such as tenant updates and communication can be automated with the help of smart systems and workflows.
b. Enhanced Customer Experience – it was unthinkable to find a solution for the hurdle of organizing a property walkthrough during the pandemic. But now property walk-throughs via video calls are now as commonplace as online banking. Property managers can even customize this process to maximize customer experience.
Fearless Forecast: Property Managers will learn to appreciate the use of online cloud-based solutions as essential tools to help them do their job.
Working from Home despite pandemic was a necessity for office-based companies that wanted to maintain operations
3. Human Impact – as offices and brick n mortar shops close, people have retreated to the comfort of their homes to do remote work or start online businesses.
a. Work from Home Boom – across the globe, businesses have been encouraged to keep their workforce to only the essential workers and let the rest work from home. With the help of technology, most of the workforce is now working from home to promote social distancing. Thus, highlighting the need to have a proper workspace at home as opposed to working on a dining table or a living room coffee table.
b. Flexible Spaces – because staying at home is the prevailing mood in the new normal, the home is now the center of all activities. People are now spending longer hours at home, so designs that offer more flexibility will be the trend. Homes that allow for flexible layouts, for example, an open-plan room that can convert into spaces for inclusive family activities or health-focused activities such as installation of an entertainment room or an exercise/playroom will gather more interest versus clear cut, one purpose layouts.
Fearless Forecast: Working from home is the new normal and there will be a growing trend for homes with the option to carve out home offices or proper workspaces.
4. Social Impact – the pandemic has exhausted our coping mechanisms, and everyone is in dire need of a break. While a lot of people thought this pandemic would blow over quickly, we now realize that at this point moving forward, everything else is partly the new COVID normal.
a. Staycations – if there’s one thing that everyone else will unanimously agree upon, is that we need a break! Travel has been banned and holiday plans have been canceled. The best way to inject some variety to our lockdown lives is going on a staycation. A change of scenery will do the mind good.
b. Going Greener – with the people almost all their time at home, more of them are now investigating how to improve their wellbeing while making an environmental impact. They are making a conscious effort to go green by making greener changes at home: for example, the use of natural lighting and ventilation to reduce carbon footprint.
Fearless Forecast: Staycations are starting to become a big thing. Everyone needs a change of scenery and staycations let people enjoy their day in the sun while still adhering to local lockdown policies. Property managers might see an increased interest in vacation rentals and short-term rentals.
Instead of dwelling on the devastation left by the pandemic aftermath, let us take the time to imagine what is possible for the property management industry and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. There are many things to look forward to. Here at Davis Property Management, we believe that an optimistic outlook puts us in the best position moving forward. We can help clients through all their property management needs while prioritizing their safety. Call us today at 425-658-7471 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation with us.
Davis Property Management
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