Would you rather have to travel long distances to get what you want or find them at the convenience of your own home? Would your company prefer to spend a lot of money on non-essential expenses or use resources more affordably and efficiently? Finally, what kind of office would you like to work in with the ongoing virus?
As we ponder answers to these questions, let us look at three current real estate trends.
Multi-purpose Living Spaces
The best way to combat the ever-present covid-19 global pandemic is isolation. As a virus carrier, I will not infect anyone around me if I don’t have any contact with them. After a few days or a week, I will get better. As a non-carrier, I will not be infected by anybody else if I stay at home as much as possible or maintain an appropriate distance from others when I do happen to go out.
From a housing real estate perspective, this represents a growing trend in multi-purpose living spaces. As the name implies, these are places equipped with an adequate number of facilities to ensure people go out as little as possible.
Of course, the apartment complex with a gym is nothing new. Neither is a swimming pool or kids area in housing enclosures all across the country. But it goes way beyond that. If you are looking to sell your existing property and move into a high-rise, urban condominium, you will find yourself with many more choices than ever before.
Today’s apartment buildings include daycare centers, convenience stores, laundromat facilities, and even private clinics. If you feel sick, you can take the elevator, go down a few floors, and see your doctor. If you are out of food in the middle of the night or want to buy some toiletries, you can do the same.
Environmental Awareness in Construction and Maintenance
If you have ever been to Tokyo, Seoul, or the island city-state of Singapore, you will notice many buildings have rooftop gardens. Aside from looking pretty and colorful, the purpose of these natural environments is to provide food, control temperature, create wildlife ecosystems, and diminish the effects of pollution.
Perhaps now, more than ever before, it is essential for construction and civil engineering firms to implement environmentally-friendly policies into their building agendas. As we all know, the world is getting warmer and warmer with each passing day, and the number of chemicals spewed into the atmosphere is at an all-time high.
Along with rooftop gardens and hanging plants, commercial buildings are now equipped with energy-savings mechanisms that minimize resources and create sustainability. The materials used have their origins in renewable sources and feature chemical properties that make natural control management and ventilation systems.
One example is roofs made out of metal instead of wood. Apart from being made of recycled materials, they serve as a natural cooling system resulting in a much lower need for air conditioning.
Re-Imagining the Office
Before 2020, there was a clear commercial real estate trend as it relates to office space. A single word could define it, and that word was collaboration. Most offices had large tables for all employees to eat together, island desks for all to use, and recreational lounges for workers to sit with one another, have a chat, or play a few board games.
The word collaboration is still very much present, albeit in a completely different way. What once entailed physical proximity and socializing now represents working together but being as far away from each other as possible. No wonder the geometric growth of video-conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams and collaboration tools such as Slack, ClickUp, and Trello.
Those of us who do not have the luxury of telecommuting are slowly beginning to notice the changes in our offices. Instead of open workspaces and share facilities, we are now being met with cubicles for 1-2 people and miniature lounges. Another example is standing workstations and floors with different colors or shapes to represent minimum distances.
In essence, the office has become a place where we have to be aware of one another at all times. We cannot afford to ignore where others are, who they are talking to, and what they are doing.
The real estate industry is always changing, always evolving with the times. It is true both from a housing and commercial perspective. Today, three trends are multi-purpose living spaces, environmental awareness in construction, and post-covid-19 office spaces.
As we wait for a mass-scale, symptom-free vaccine, they will continue to define the industry as we know it.