It’s needless to say there are few markets in the world that have faced as much upheaval from the COVID-19 virus as real estate.
Thinking in first principles about what real estate actually is, merely the land, infrastructure, buildings, homes, and city centers humans inhabit to live, work, play, sleep (and store value), is helpful as a perspective reminder of just how severe the shakeup has been. Nearly every asset type has had its transaction volume, occupancy rate, rent rates, and functional demands from the tenant disrupted. To state the obvious, real estate as a cash flow generating asset is obsolete without its occupants, which, historically, landlords have had to do little management to retain.
Rather than beat a dead horse and join the incessant public conversation around 1) the future of work, 2) the death of retail, or 3) when the lockdown will end, we want to discuss an asset class that has born more of the societal weight of serving the needs of its citizens during a public health crisis. An asset class that has seen its tenants spend more time inside its walls while simultaneously watching its macro risk balloon higher than ever. It’s an asset class that could be damned for the next decade due to the pandemic alone, yet represents the heartbeat of urban cities around the world. That asset class is multifamily urban housing.
As a result of shifting needs and modes of business operations, technology adoption has come to the forefront and seen acceleration. Why? It gives CFOs optimal leverage and residents the safety and convenience they need to thrive.