The Remote Ripple Effect: COVID-19 is Re-Shaping Future Office Requirements

The return to in-person office working has been slow and cautious, and for good reason. COVID-19 unapologetically upended the standard of “business as usual”, and has made many office workers gun-shy about setting foot in a physical space within arms-reach of co-workers once again. Business-owners have been diligent in taking employee concerns into account when considering how best to approach getting workers back into a central office space, and the solutions they have come up with have been reshaping what features will become popular in future offices in general. 

Remote Working and Reduced Communal Space

Overall, business-owners have come to accept that there is a certain percentage of workers that find it more comfortable to work from home, and that the work being completed is still on par with the quality produced in office, according to preliminary research from Deloitte. While some of these employees will be able to transition to full work-from-home status, many will still need to set aside days for necessary in-office days. To accommodate this, employers have begun adopting plans for hoteling desks — semi-permanent seating that can be easily cleaned and shared between multiple employees, depending on which days they are in the work space. In turn, this allows employers to reevaluate the true amount of square footage necessary for their business, potentially downgrading to better utilize the reduced permanent staff without taking a hit to overall profit.

Of course, these shifts in space will need to be balanced against the need to adhere to social distancing requirements. Not only will this affect overall occupancy, this will also adjust physical lay-outs, as additions that were growing in popularity now pose certain safety risk and logistic issues. Spaces like shared phone rooms and small conference rooms will need to be re-evaluated as viable choices, as the increased cleaning necessary to make these spaces useful could prove to be prohibitively disruptive and costly. Also up on the chopping block are shared kitchens, particularly when shared between multiple businesses on the same floor, as the risk presented by one business not maintaining the same health and safety standards as another pose too great a risk to employees.

Virtual Visitation and Drive-Thru Viewings

COVID has also introduced dramatic changes in the way spaces are able to be scouted. The way business-owners will be able to tour prospective properties is shifting away from physical tours, and turning to either digital viewings, or far more elaborate choices. In some instances, in warehouse spaces, some developers are offering drive-thru tours, where brokers and prospective tenants were guided into the warehouse still in their vehicles, driving from checkpoint to checkpoint to receive hand-outs and information from a welcoming committee and guided signage. Whether these dramatic shifts in experiential touring will catch on as a popular alternative over developers ramping up robust virtual tours with 360 degree photos and VR integrations is yet to be seen, and is largely dependent on the continually evolving circumstances of the COVID spread and response. 

The prevalence of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has understandably shifted what many business-owners are looking for in their office and work spaces. Trying to come to terms with how this virus will create lasting change for the entire workforce throughout the U.S., it is important to remember that making decisions about relocating, leasing, and buying new office spaces does not need to be a decision made alone. Enlisting the expertise of a commercial property tenant representative such as Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. can dramatically help sort through the issues raised by these uncertain times, and help steer you toward the best location for your business’s future success. 

Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. provides clients with the in-depth knowledge and experience that is critical to determine the right path to your next move, lease renewal, or strategic repositioning of your real estate portfolio. Contact us or call 847.550.0160 today about your needs, and put our success to work for you

How E-Commerce in the Time of COVID-19 is Driving Change in Warehouse Demand

If there is a single piece of consistency with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, it is that it is causing disruption across industries. Forcing countless individuals to comply with stay-at-home orders on top of factors limiting in-store shopping, COVID-19 created the perfect conditions to drive consumers toward e-commerce solutions. Almost overnight, online outlets became the primary source of shopping for essential goods, and in the U.S., the amount of essential goods being purchased has been rapidly ballooning. By the numbers, online sales increased 40% from May 26th–June 1st, compared to the number of overall online sales between Feb. 24th–March 1st, according to Signifyd, Inc. 

Naturally, consumers utilizing e-commerce at increasing rates will have effects across the supply chain pipeline. Overall, e-commerce has increased the demand for industrial real estate, and warehouse solutions in general. However, due the massive spike in e-commerce adoption in the recent months, this need for warehouse space from retailers has risen dramatically. According to current research by Reuters, industrial leasing in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2020 has increased to a 3-year high, particularly as retailers are looking at last-mile solutions, overflow space for stock increases, and ways to mitigate the inventory shocks experienced at the beginning of the COVID outbreak.

In addition to increases in short-term leases for overflow warehouse space, manufacturers are seeing increases in demand for parts and goods made closer to home, to provide faster turn-around times for in-demand supplies. This has driven many manufacturers to look at ways to relocate their facilities closer to densely populated urban areas, partially in an effort to dramatically shorten the supply chain to consumers. Additionally, both manufacturers and retail businesses are taking this time of volatility to re-evaluate supply chain logistics as a whole, looking toward more technology-based solutions such as automation and drone shipment fulfillment, which would dramatically change the layout and interior requirements of commercial properties.

As the wave of these changes continues to roll onward, the effects in the wake are already being felt. The average asking price for rent per square foot of U.S. warehousing has risen by 4.8% to $7.86 over 12 months, and the demand for micro-warehouses — crucial for last-mile delivery and technology-based shipping solutions — has continued to increase according to real-estate experts. Demand for warehouse and manufacturing spaces has no signs of slowing as we enter in to the back half of the year, and all signs point to the steady rise in e-commerce continuing to escalate the interest in industrial spaces in general. Increases in online grocery orders specifically are beginning to shed light on the growing necessity for more cold storage facilities, which are in short supply at the moment. Overall, the market for industrial space will steadily maintain increased competitiveness as the COVID-19 issues continue, which means those looking to relocate or expand their current operations will need to be prepared for stiff terms, particularly in areas closer to urban areas. 

More than ever before, now is the time to utilize every advantage available to find the best location and lease terms possible for your business. And the best way to accomplish this is by working with a commercial property tenant representative broker who understands your unique business needs, and the current demands of the commercial real estate landscape. If you are looking for a way to relocate or expand your business during these times, and require a professional edge to ensure you secure the perfect space to suite your business needs, consult with Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. 

Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. provides clients with the in-depth knowledge and experience that is critical to determine the right path to your next move, lease renewal, or strategic repositioning of your real estate portfolio. Contact us or call 847.550.0160 today about your needs, and put our success to work for you 

Machine Learning: The Ways Manufacturing Automation Will Continue to Reshape Warehouse Spaces

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

The shockwaves of change that e-commerce has unleashed continue to ripple outward. As online buying is further ingrained into the daily life of consumers, the fundamental expectations of what it means to buy a product continue to change — consumers continue to expect products to be delivered faster, and cheaper than ever before. Accommodations for this monumental shift in buying attitude affects how companies meet the expectations of their customers, primarily through adjustments to major portions of company warehouses and distribution centers to be specifically tailored for automated solutions. Continue reading “Machine Learning: The Ways Manufacturing Automation Will Continue to Reshape Warehouse Spaces”

Keeping An Eye Out: What To Look For While Touring Commercial Spaces

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

During the buying, leasing, or relocation process, touring the prospective locations is one of the most thrilling times. Actually being within the space, walking around, taking in the possibility and potential, is both exciting and overwhelming. It’s one of those times when it makes the entire process feel real, and gives it actual weight, which is why it can also be easy to be so caught up in the tour that one forgets or overlooks several key opportunities. Taking some time, and knowing what to look for, before setting out on the tour can help minimize distractions and keep the focus on securing the best space possible for future business growth. Before setting foot inside a potential space, keep these tips in mind to prepare and to take full advantage of the office space tour. Continue reading “Keeping An Eye Out: What To Look For While Touring Commercial Spaces”

Repurposing with Purpose: Advantages in the Redevelopment of Older Buildings for New Uses

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Driven by a shift in the demographics dominating today’s workforce — from older generations looking to capitalize on their disposable income as they transition into retirement to millennials continuing to occupy greater space within the working world — businesses have adapted by relocating into urban areas to better target the rising population of workers and consumers shunning suburban lifestyles for city-living. With the increased interest in urban land and business space comes a spike in prices for newer, modern real-estate developments, which in turn can be cost-prohibitive for some business owners looking to capitalize by making the move into a city. Fortunately, alternatives exist to counter-balance these obstacles, in the form of “adaptive reuse” properties — i.e. the redevelopment of existing, older commercial properties within the city for modern business uses, drawing from the established architectural foundation of the urban centers. Continue reading “Repurposing with Purpose: Advantages in the Redevelopment of Older Buildings for New Uses”

Distributing More From Less: How Mini-Distribution Centers can Revolutionize Existing Brick-and-Mortar Facilities

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Adapting to the evolving consumer demands presented through the adoption and refinement of the e-commerce experience has been a perilous journey for many retailers. Near the beginning of the online shopping revolution, the established model for fulfillment revolved around stand-alone distribution hubs operating regionally, but as the percentage of online shopping sharply ascended, customer demand shifted toward procuring items at the lowest possible shipping costs, delivered in the least amount of time, making the old guard model unsustainable by all but the very largest of retailers, as the overhead price for large warehouse space on top of demanding material handling considerations was too much for mid- to small-sized retailers to shoulder. As such, survival within this new e-commerce retail landscape means finding more creative logistic solutions to maintain competitive pricing and shipping deadlines to, in turn, retain customer business and bolster brand loyalty against larger competitors. Continue reading “Distributing More From Less: How Mini-Distribution Centers can Revolutionize Existing Brick-and-Mortar Facilities”

The Forest Through the Trees: Why Looking At Eco-friendly Properties For Relocation Can Save You Green

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Relocating a business can become a costly endeavor, no matter how you slice it. During the search for the perfect property, while balancing the benefits of choosing a new building or an existing property, and navigating the pros and cons of renting versus buying, the additional prospect of looking at a more eco-friendly building can appear anywhere from cursory to daunting, depending on how it’s being approached and assessed. Continue reading “The Forest Through the Trees: Why Looking At Eco-friendly Properties For Relocation Can Save You Green”

On-Site Gyms, Dry-Cleaning, & Juice Bars: Which Corporate Amenities Matter to The Rising Millennial Workforce?

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Recruiting and retaining top talent within a company are key variables to continued, successful business growth, as well as fundamental principles of the human factor influencing corporate relocation. In 2019 − the year that Millennials are projected to dethrone Baby Boomers as the largest generation − the pool of top talent prospects is increasingly becoming the mystifying market of 23 to 38-year-olds. That word alone — “Millennials” — conjures innumerable jokes about ping pong tables and nap pods in the workplace to please the Millennial demographic. These asides have continued to hound this sector of the workforce to this day. However, by peeling back the layers of misinformation and half-truths, we can drill down to the true driving forces that keep Millennials productive, engaged, and loyal to one employer over another; providing a potent edge to the informed company willing to put these considerations into practice within their workplace. Continue reading “On-Site Gyms, Dry-Cleaning, & Juice Bars: Which Corporate Amenities Matter to The Rising Millennial Workforce?”

Roadmap to Relocation: Take Stock of Your Needs Before Finalizing Your New Location

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Planning out the relocation of a company is an involved process. It’s easy to get stuck envisioning an idealized location, but before sinking valuable time and resources into your search, it’s important to step back and determine the needs of your business driving the relocation in the first place. Here are some of the most important details to assess when creating a plan for commercial relocation. Continue reading “Roadmap to Relocation: Take Stock of Your Needs Before Finalizing Your New Location”

5 Key issues to consider when negotiating a lease for your business

 

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

After scoping out the perfect location, it’s time to saddle up to the table and hammer out the fine details for your relocation. Taking the plunge and signing a lease on a commercial property is no small feat; requiring a multitude of considerations. Ideally, the lease will strike a fair balance of responsibility and risk between the owner and tenant, but it can be easy to overlook important details within a lease that will shift this balance of costs in an unfavorable direction. To help you navigate through this process without becoming overwhelmed, here are 5 important issues to consider when negotiating a lease for your business.
Continue reading “5 Key issues to consider when negotiating a lease for your business”