The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted a range of industries. Real estate and property development is no exception. However, some of the specific ways in which the pandemic has affected property development are easily-overlooked.
Consider the following examples. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the ways the industry has changed (and will continue to change) as a result of Covid-19, it covers several key points those who work in real estate and property development should be aware of.
An Emphasis on Safety
Traditionally, property developers may appeal to potential customers by equipping their properties with attractive luxury amenities and advertising them heavily.
That hasn’t necessarily changed. To some degree, it’s still wise of developers to prioritize amenities that allow an apartment, condo, or office building to stand out.
However, industry experts have found that it’s becoming less important for developers to advertise luxury amenities, and more important for them to show off safety features. Specifically, they need to embrace how certain technological innovations can boost the safety of tenants without being too intrusive.
For example, some developers are now ensuring their buildings have ultraviolet wands conveniently hidden in ducts to promote improved air quality. Developers are also promoting apps that allow tenants to book communal spaces or take advantage of other on-site amenities without necessarily having to interact with another person face-to-face.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of maintaining safe, sanitized living spaces and work environments. Property developers and real estate professionals must consider this going forward.
Again, although safety may be the higher priority now, the pandemic hasn’t rendered attractive luxury amenities entirely irrelevant. To the contrary, some amenities have actually become more appealing to a property’s tenants as a result of the pandemic.
For instance, because many people are now working from home and may continue to do so even after the pandemic is over, they naturally want to live in spaces that don’t feel excessively cramped. However, this isn’t always an option. Tenants don’t have unlimited budgets. The desire for more space doesn’t provide someone with the means of renting a larger apartment.
There are other options, though. Some property developers have started adding “robotic” furniture to apartments. These fixtures, for example, can expand to serve as large desks with cabinets when necessary, while shrinking down to take up less space when not. They thus allow tenants to maximize the limited space they may have when working from home. Additionally, when robotic furniture may not be an option, property owners and developers have also offered tenants more space by providing furniture that can be suspended from a ceiling.
It’s also worth noting that the remote work trend has already yielded a shift in the types of properties developers create. Naturally, because there’s now less demand for traditional offices, many developers are focusing more on creating residential properties.
The pandemic has also given some property developers and managers reason to make upgrades that they may have put off in the past. An example would be providing tenants with key fobs instead of actual keys in order to minimize how often they have to touch various surfaces throughout a property. Many property developers are also adding “smart” thermostats that tenants can adjust remotely via apps.
Once more, these are just a few examples of the way the pandemic has changed how property developers and real estate professionals work. As the long-term effects of Covid-19 continue to impact our lives, it’s likely we’ll see additional changes arise in the near future.