By ROBERT LEIGH
In 2020, COVID-19 took the world by surprise, including the unprecedented length and severity of the pandemic. The toll on the economy and the workforce is clear for all to see. Though vaccines are being rolled out across the country, with the emergence of a new strain of the virus and the resultant government measures, the year ahead will be challenging. However, many of us hold great expectations for 2021, especially in the second half of the year. Many are hopeful that a successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will enable us to emerge from this state of continuous lockdowns and return to a state of ‘normality.’ As we prepare to return to the office in the coming months, is now the right time to dust off those deferred commercial real estate plans?
A squeeze on cash flow, underutilised workspace, and a successful and positive adjustment to remote working are just a few factors that led many businesses to defer property decisions in 2020. The pandemic caused most companies to go into survival mode, meaning that searches and negotiations for new office space were far from a priority. However, the delay of such decisions means that occupiers now face looming deadlines in 2021 on lease expiries or break options.
Accordingly, DeVono has released a selection of 2021 predictions for the commercial property sector. After a year of enormous change and changing market dynamics, we believe 2021 will be a year of opportunity and choice for occupiers. You can read our predictions here.
Every organisation should seize this moment to implement the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, analyse their present and future business objectives, and set about building and delivering a real estate strategy that supports rather than inhibits their business’ goals.
Our ‘Commercial Real Estate Roadmap’ is a handbook to help all businesses devise their future commercial real estate strategy, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In this handbook, we outline how business leaders should approach commercial real estate decisions based on a short, medium, and long-term strategy using our ‘Return, Revitalise, and Transform’ model.
Our ‘Commercial Real Estate Roadmap’ is a crucial guide to help inform occupier decision-making. To find out more about how it can support your business, click here.
Throughout the pandemic and on an ongoing basis currently, DeVono helped clients overcome specific challenges – be it advising them on short-term rent mitigations, carrying out ‘Return-to-the-Office’ risk assessments, or crafting holistic real estate strategies to complement their business goals.
Find out more about DeVono’s Return-to-the-Office Risk Assessment here.
We believe that a window of opportunity has opened for businesses who have imminent space needs and those who have longer-term requirements. Securing a preferred option at today’s preferential rates (rent and incentives) for space that is not needed for another six months, one year, or even several years away could be significantly beneficial – for occupier and landlord.
Pent-up demand could see a larger number of businesses than usual vying for a similar quality and type of space at the same time. Some occupiers with active searches have already found increased difficulty in matching needs with existing options. Widening the tenant pool will lend further pressure to such decisions. It is time for occupiers to act.
Dusting off real estate plans, whether to confirm decisions already made or to create a strategic plan for growth for the next couple of years will prove invaluable not just to business operations, but from a cost perspective too.
We are here to help you and advise you on all commercial property needs. Get in touch with DeVono’s Equity Partner, Robert Leigh, on 0207 451 1339 or at email@example.com
"I was impressed by the service I received from DeVono when it came to finding new offices. They considerably reduced the stress, hassle and time that this process would have otherwise involved and we are chuffed with the end result."
"It was a pleasure working with DeVono - the team were very professional, knowledgeable and provided the right advice when needed. The most important aspect was that you took time to understand what we were after rather than position everything on the market. I would not hesitate recommending you and your firm."
"We’re delighted to have found a home at Seven Dials Warehouse and a commercial real estate framework that is fit-for-purpose, and one that gives us space to grow in the future. DeVono helped us realise our ambition of providing a sustainable and ‘appropriate’ home."
"We have used DeVono as our property advisers for a number of years. Their greatest strengths lie in their ability to understand quickly what is required and to grasp all the relevant issues. They regularly ‘think outside the box’ and offer creative solutions to complex problems. We have no hesitation in recommending them."
"I have worked with DeVono for many years. I value their approach – always looking at the big picture, not just the deal. They consider the real estate challenges we face through our eyes, understanding not just the real estate reporting requirements but also the complexity of our organisation’s structure and stakeholders. I’m always very happy to work with the team and value their support."
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