Real estate tends to steadily adapt to lifestyle trends, whether it’s the embrace of open concept living, or the fusion of technology in smart homes, or even the demand for multi-generational options in more spacious homes. The industry is quick to satisfy buyers’ needs and wants. But never has our industry had to adapt in warp speed, as in the last six months. These unforeseen times have given rise to many challenges, work-arounds, temporary requirements and long term ramifications, working from home and at-home schooling among the most impactful.
Approximately 40% of Americans are working remotely now. Long after the pandemic is over, we might see 20% of the workforce continuing to work from home, according to Forbes.com. As an example, Twitter announced employees could work from home permanently and Google has stated that employees will be allowed to work from home until at least July 2021. Schools nationwide are mostly virtual, presently, and South Florida schools appear to be virtual through at least October. Students are using the resources teachers are giving them as well as the best student learning guide 2020 has published to help them get through the academic year and achieve good grades.
Moreover, work-from-home solutions such as virtual offices have also soared in popularity, with more businesses than ever before managing their teams remotely. Many are renovating their existing homes, to include the office space, for privacy mainly. For those groups of population, an office garden could be a practical choice (if they have outdoor space). Essentially, a virtual office is a service that provides a business owner with all the perks of commercial property such as an office address and telephone number, communication and administration services, and access to meeting rooms, all without the need for physical office space.
Even before the pandemic began, virtual offices had become a popular workspace solution for freelancers and entrepreneurs who wanted to work from home but needed a professional-sounding business address for their company. Moreover, virtual offices give business owners all the benefits of a physical office location without the expenses of renting an actual office. Ultimately, a virtual office address can help to add credibility to a business, making it easier to successfully attract clients. Accordingly, to discover the advantages of using a virtual office head to the website for Your Virtual Office London yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk where you can find plenty of helpful resources.
Furthermore, with more teams now working remotely, these factors have driven an instant demand for “zoom-rooms”: additional bedrooms or flexible space suited for work and/or distance-learning in home purchases. Ideally this extra space can provide a pleasant, uncluttered background, great acoustics, natural light and reliable WiFi! New home builders seem to be up for the challenge. They are revisiting existing floorplans to introduce proper home offices, some have even developed cabinetry upgrades for a workspace build-out. People looking for this type of working space are obviously in need of something a lot quieter from where they initially were, as people have come to realize that some of us in where we are living is not the best place to work due to distractions, location, noise, etc. that is why businesses will provide hybrid work training and implement work-from-home software for employees to help them where they are. If they decide to move as well then it is just another step for them to feel positive about their remote working situation.
This might seem challenging for existing homes currently on the market. However, I’m seeing potential buyers increasing their bedroom count or square footage size requirements when searching for their next home. If they were considering a 3-bedroom, a 4-bedroom with a 2-car garage is looking like a necessity right now, not a stretch. Imagine having at least one adult working from home and two school age children virtually attending class. This is a very real scenario in Miami.
It may seem daunting (and crowded) when considering a new home given our current predicament but here are some of the tips I’m providing my buyers:
- If you can afford it, consider an extra bedroom. With uncertainty of what the near term offers, the extra space tends to offer incremental value long term. The additional room can be a respite for work calls or a virtual classroom.
- Can’t stretch your budget? Contemplate having siblings share a room and allowing for the other bedroom to be used for our new (un)normal as flex space.
- Reimagine your 2-car garage as a 1-car garage. Adding sheet rock wall partition and extending the air conditioning might meet your temporary needs.
- Envision bedrooms with a desk nestled in a corner in lieu of oversized dressers. It may not be the best feng shui but we need to adapt.
Of course, expansion is always an option but most of my current buyers have an immediate need to relocate to more spacious homes which instantly meet need their needs. Given our deep knowledge of the local market, I am confident we are up for the task even during these unpredictable times.