A look back at Colliers market leader's pandemic real estate predictions and what's next
A lot has changed in the past year as the pandemic's impact has lessened its grip on Central Florida.
However, issues linger in real estate in sectors that faced challenges last April. So, Orlando Business Journal looked back with Colliers International Central Florida Managing Director Danny Rice on his April 2020 predictions on the future of real estate and what the next year may look like.
Many of Rice's predictions were dead on. He successfully called a pent-up demand for dining out, evidenced now by a shortage of people to keep up with the work. In addition, the clairvoyant Rice saw that decisions around office real estate would depend on each individual industry. You can read of Rice's 2020 predictions here.
Rice once again spoke with OBJ about what's next for office, restaurants and industrial real estate. This time, though, the future looks a bit brighter. Here's what he had to say:
This time last year, Colliers' Orlando office was working from home. Have things changed? Roughly half the staff is back on a frequent or daily basis. Some still have kids in virtual schools, and they have to juggle work and personal. We haven't set a formal date to return, and there are still a lot of unknowns. We've talked about potentially creating incentives to bring people back to the office, but we haven't implemented anything. We hope our culture will bring people back to the office.
What's next with office real estate? It's still very industry-centric. There was a belief that this could have a drastic impact on office space, and there were plans to reconfigure and downsize across the industry. However, as time went on, many employers saw the challenges and inefficiencies with working from home — and the need for fewer distractions that an office setting provides. The belief that there might be a lot of changes has morphed more into a desire to keep what we used to do in place with some adjustments.
What's next for restaurants? The retail and restaurant industry is one of the most fascinating to track. Government orders forced them to close their doors briefly, so that allowed them to step back and look at their business strategy. Now, it's busier than ever, on top of to-go orders. Many restaurants had one kitchen, but now they're realizing they may need two for to-go. Restaurants probably are our most active clients looking for space.
How will industrial real estate fare? There continues to be a crossover with industrial and retail. For example, some retail locations are becoming small fulfillment centers with pickup ordering. Still, there's a lot of supply coming to the market and that will put pressure around some of the activity to get absorbed.