How the real estate industry is responding to the COVID-19 crisis?A commentary by Hani Zeini

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a deadly blow to the United States and world economy at large, but the future remains uncertain.It is unclear how the virus will progress, as we see sudden spikes in cases around the world. Countries are desperately trying to re-open economies that have come to grinding halt over the past few months, but at what cost?

COVID-19 has revolutionized the way people occupy and interact with physical space. The aftermath of the virus outbreak has reduced the demand for many types of spaces, observes Hani Zeini. In particular, the real estate industry has suffered due to businesses and individuals alike refraining from investing in properties.

Hani Zeini outlines the possible actions that real estate leaders should take

Real estate leaders must respond to the challenge at hand and adapt to the modern situation brought about by COVID-19.

  • Utilize centralized cash management to focus on efficiency to change how decisions regarding capital expenditure and portfolio are made
  • Examine digitization of the business to provide a more distinctive and modern experience to customers and tenants.
  • Be ready to make decisions on a case-to-case basis, rather than making any broad decisions across portfolios as clients have unique safety and wellness concerns.

What real estate players are doing to navigate the crisis?

While it is difficult to predict how the real estate market will change in the future, the coronavirus pandemic’s immediate consequences need to be addressed. There has been a dramatic public market sell-off in certain real estate sectors. Both public and private companies are working hard to adapt during the present crisis through involving all end-users of space, tenants, and employees besides going for business trade-offs. Striking the right balance between strengthening competitive differentiation and capital preservation has been the goal for most industry leaders.

The COVID-19 crisis has propelled real estate industry leaders into modernization — pursuing digital strategies, diversifying sources of revenue, and focusing on tenant experience have all come to center stage.

The crisis has unified the real estate industry to the point where the innovative real estate players are now working on a set of common goals to help everyone stay afloat during these uncertain and unprecedented times.