Commercial real estate is an essential factor in the success of the U.S. economy. In 2018, it was estimated to be worth $14-17 trillion, according to U.S. Nareit. However, it did not matter what industry you were in pre-COVID. Nothing could have prevented any business owner from dealing with the global changes brought on by the pandemic.
Industry leaders are not giving up and predict that brick and mortar shops are here to stay. They just might look a bit different. Here are a few tips for tackling the commercial real estate industry in a post-COVID world.
When quarantine first hit, Americans and people everywhere were suddenly forced to work from home. Unsure of returning to the office, businesses started to adapt to a new way of life. While most companies learned that they could successfully run their businesses from home, others found it nearly impossible. This goes to show that brick and mortar shops and office workplaces will never go away completely.
This being said, staying flexible is critical right now. It’s also important to keep an open mind because you never know what you might be able to turn a space into with a business plan and a vision.
It will take some time for the world to return to normal, but it’s also going to take a while for small businesses to assess how to proceed post-COVID. With more and more small and large companies returning to their commercial retail space, it will take a bit to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You’ll need time to figure out exactly how much space you’ll need moving forward.
Whatever changes you may be implementing, be sure to be patient with your customer base. Commercial retail spaces and stores are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Be Willing to Change the Building Space
While some businesses may be cutting down on the amount of square footage they need, others are expanding due to social distancing protocols. With the rule being to stay six feet apart, retail stores and other businesses are expanding their floor space to accommodate long lines and wider aisles. If your commercial real estate space has tighter quarters, consider opening up the floor space to add to the area and expand your possibilities.
It may not happen as quickly as we’d all hope, but things are going to get better from here. We have passed the lowest point of the U.S. economy, and if history has taught us anything, it’s that the U.S. economy always bounces back. Colliers even predicted that the office market specifically would see an increase by 2021, and strengthen again by 2022.
We hope you found this information helpful. TD&A is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage serving businesses throughout the mid-Atlantic and beyond.