- Trend: The Great Relocation?
Early pandemic forecasts predicted that the growing adoption of remote work would “untether” traditional office workers from the need to make housing decisions based on their office location. So far, the migration has been relatively limited, and many workers have held off on any relocation as they waited for their employers to finalize return-to-office plans. “But,” as the report explains, “these moves can be expected to rise as firms again delay the return to work or formally make remote work a permanent option.”
Key Takeaway: White-collar workers might be adding some distance between their home base and the office, but relocation radiuses are limited by the fact that most employees are still coming into the office a few days a week as part of a hybrid workplace approach. If hybrid work environments prevail as the preferred model, more workers could embrace slightly longer commutes and move to more distant suburbs or smaller, less expensive markets within the area. However, a mass adoption of full-time remote work would be necessary to spur a more significant worker migration. Either way, a more suburban-leaning future could be imminent for commercial real estate.
- Trend: A Post-COVID Acceleration of Proptech
A rapidly evolving commercial real estate landscape as a result of COVID-19 has provided new opportunities—and a new sense of urgency—for technology adoption. According to the report, proptech can now do more than just help a property team efficiently operate and manage an asset; it can also help tenants more effectively use their leased space.
Key Takeaway: The most proactive commercial real estate firms are continually seeking out and adopting the latest proptech innovations, which the report describes as “ a continual process for all companies as the number and nature of property technologies continue to evolve.” Moving forward, property professionals will be especially receptive to solutions that help them assess, understand and operate their assets. For instance, the report suggests software that determines the required level of cooling or heating based on building occupancy might be well-received by today’s tenants, especially if the initial investment can be tied to cost savings over time. And, of course, proptech solutions like touchless technologies will continue to play a critical role in facilitating the return to the office and giving buildings the competitive advantage they need to rebound from the pandemic.
For more insights into the top trends for the year ahead, read the complete Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022 report.