The United States CDC has reported over 3,600 fatalities from the coronavirus, but it has impacted nearly 1 million people worldwide. The coronavirus is spread from person-to-person and can remain on surface objects for days. More importantly, a state of emergency over the coronavirus has had an effect on the traditional office setting. Most employees are being asked to work from home or choosing to work from home as a self-quarantine measure. What does this mean for the office market?
What Is the Coronavirus?
Most everyone know that the actual pathogen behind the Coronavirus impacting society is known as COVID-19. Unfortunately, the virus can spread fast and can have a serious impact on older adults or individuals with a compromised immune system. Symptoms of the coronavirus include:
- shortness of breath
- runny nose
- sore throat
More severe cases of COVID-19 include pneumonia or difficulties breathing. Individuals with asthma or heart disease are more likely to experience severe symptoms.
Has The Coronavirus Impacted The Office?
State officials have declared a state of emergency with California and New York leading the forefront. The real estate market has stalled, there are international travel restrictions, Americans are being quarantined and there’s no definitive answer on how the virus will have an impact on society.
For the office market, there’s a deep sense of uncertainty permeating the industry. The office setting has felt the impact of the coronavirus in real-time. To limit the spread of the virus, many offices are reducing the number of employees by requiring their staff to work from home. Limiting the use of office space, reduces a gathering of people that can initiate the spread of the virus. Limited use of the office has had a direct negative impact on the office market.
In fact, a travel ban has made it nearly impossible for real estate professionals to close on an office deal. Most buyers want to see the office space before they sign on the dotted line, but the coronavirus is placing restraints on buyers and sellers with international travelers buying U.S. real estate taking a hit. In fact, a reluctance to travel is also hindering the office market.
As An Office Realtor, Should I Be Alarmed?
Real estate is a tangible asset and a very hands-on industry. Smart realtors should be aware of the impact the coronavirus can have on their office real estate, but it’s certainly not a time to throw in the towel. Making use of modern technology, like virtual tours, can help in keeping your business moving forward.
How To Stay Ahead Despite The Coronavirus
Our members have told us that quite a few office deals have managed to follow through despite the coronavirus. However, if your business wants to stay ahead, it’s imperative to stay connected with buyers and tenants who maybe interested in doing business once the coronavirus stabilizes. A sense of urgency to close on a deal is the worst strategy a real estate professional can use during a pandemic.
Follow-up with potential real estate clients as the news of the virus starts to develop. Try following up with your clients in a few weeks to reassure them the deal is still available. For instance, send an update on the virus to show empathy for the state of emergency and as an update on the area of real estate your client is interested in.
As an ally, let technology work for you. For example, offer your clients a high end virtual tour of your property, like the ones we have on OfficeFinder. A virtual tour allows your clients to see your property without meeting face-to-face from anywhere in the world using a PC, tablet, or smartphone, which reduces the threat of the spread of the coronavirus. Encourage a virtual tour as a way to combat the virus, but also as a strategy to keep your office space top-of-the-mind.
What The Experts Are Saying About The Office Market Industry
There’s no guarantee on the impact of the coronavirus on the office market specifically and the real estate market in general. The experts are saying; “it’s to early to predict the impact the virus will have on real estate.”
However, investors are predicting international buyers like China will seek to invest in real estate in the United States as their real estate and foreign market starts to falter due to the coronavirus. The United States real estate market will be attractive to foreign investors because the virus has had very little impact on the American people.
Realistically, if the United States is hit hard by the coronavirus, the commercial real estate market will take a hard hit. Thus, being prepared for a worse case scenario is wise, but there’s no need for the real estate industry to panic.
How Can Professional Assistance Help
Our professional have experience with the local and international office market. You can expect an expert to have knowledge of the latest real estate news to save your business time and money. In fact, during the uncertainty of the office market, a professional can help you spruce up your real estate portfolio or fine tune your lease in preparation for the stabilization of the virus. The coronavirus doesn’t have to cripple your real estate business.
For more details or if you just need some professonal advice for free related to the impact of the coronavirus on your business, contact us at OfficeFinder for more details. We are happey to help however we can.