What Will Real Estate Look Like On The Other Side Of COVID-19?

2021 real estate predictions

What will real estate look like after COVID-19 ends? Which current adaptations will become the norm in the future? Take a look at some predictions for 2021

Covid-19 Marketing Tips Realtor Success Tips

Misael Lizarraga
Senior Content Coordinator

I think we can all agree that this year has been the worst. And we can’t wait until this whole pandemic business is over and done with. 

This year has also brought tons of changes in pretty much every aspect of our life, including how we do real estate and how we market our properties.

But what can we expect from the near future? What trends can we expect in 2021? Let’s take a look at a few predictions. And if you have your own predictions, let us know in the comments.

woman home hunting

Most Of The Home Shopping Will Be Done Before A Client Even Reaches Out To You

Technology has made it possible for real estate agents to be more productive than ever before. From time-tested tech such as IDX, to more recent innovations such as virtual open houses and property tours, real estate today looks very different from what it used to be even just a few years ago.

But in our current COVID-19 reality, the usage of technology in real estate has exploded. Even real estate agents who were more conservative and averse to technology are being forced to use Zoom, Skype, Facebook Live, and other similar technologies to communicate with clients and continue doing their job.

Of course, as we have experienced so far 7-8 months into the pandemic, life goes on. We have learned to adapt to our new reality. We automatically distance from people, many of us wear masks daily, and we disinfect surfaces regularly.

And while we are very likely to continue to be wary of close contact with people, even after we start seeing the pandemic going away, some changes in real estate are here to stay.

Open houses and in-person showings are never going to go away completely. Real estate will always remain a physical good after all, and buyers will want to know exactly what they are getting, especially if it’s the most expensive thing they’ll ever buy in their life.

However, we’re going to see fewer traditional open houses and showings. At least for some time.

Buyers will do most of their research at home on the internet, they will be more drawn to properties that offer virtual tours. Once they reach out to a real estate agent, they will be even more educated than ever, and a lot closer to making a final decision.

Why does this matter to you?

It really comes as no surprise that home buyers would become more and more reliant on Google to do their initial home shopping. And this is nothing new. It’s been a trend for over a decade. 

The question, are you properly set up to capture that traffic, and keep them engaged on YOUR own real estate website, and not a massive aggregator such as Zillow?

Are you doing what you can to capitalize on hyperlocal search engine optimization (SEO) practices that will attract highly-motivated buyers and sellers?

If you’re not sure, we suggest you book a guided tour of AgentFire’s features. Our team of client success experts can show you personally just how AgentFire’s can help you capture as many hyperlocal leads as possible, and will answer all of your SEO questions.

outdoor spaces

Outdoor Spaces Will Be More Important For Buyers Than Ever

Way before COVID-19 was even a blip on our collective radars, outdoor spaces such as balconies, terraces, private roof decks, and gardens were already highly coveted amenities. But these will become even more important now, and for the rest of 2021.

With so many people being forced to shelter in place, and possible future restrictions coming into place if we face a second wave, more and more buyers are realizing how important it is to have more living space, and access to the outdoors.

Why does this matter to you?

You can expect more of your clients to prioritize outdoor spaces and spaces to get some fresh air, and at least grow a small garden. 

Knowing this, if you’re a seller’s agent, you might want to put additional on your property's outdoor spaces, and feature them more prominently in your marketing efforts.

And if the home doesn’t have any outdoor spaces, make sure you mention any parks or trails nearby that homeowners can enjoy.

supply chains

Home Construction Supply Chains Will Be Disrupted

Many years ago, when home developers didn’t have enough building materials in their own area but demand was high, they could tap into construction materials from overseas to fill in the gap.

But in our pre-COVID-19, highly interconnected world, overseas construction materials became an alternative (many times a cheaper one) to local materials in many markets.

In fact, it’s estimated that more than 30% of construction materials come from China alone.

Most markets functioned under a “just in time” inventory system. While this system is extremely efficient in predicting demand and reducing inventory storage costs, the pandemic brought to light just how fragile this system is, and how vulnerable it is to political issues, trade wars, and border closings.

It also highlighted just how quickly supply chains can collapse.

Will we see a larger growth in locally produced building materials, and a diminished reliance on foreign construction materials? 

Given how volatile the situation is, it’s nearly impossible to predict national trends with any certainty. But we can expect that in the near future, construction costs will increase. But this increase in construction costs could be offset by our current rock bottom borrowing costs.

Why does this matter to you?

Depending on your real estate niche, and area of service, this may or may not affect you. But it’s definitely something to keep on your radar if you deal with new construction on a regular basis, or if you yourself are a developer. 

man working on home office

Home Offices Will Be As Essential As Bathrooms

Several years before 2020 and COVID-19 were in everyone’s mind, we were already experiencing a huge growth in workers telecommuting to work. To give you an idea, from 2009 to 2019, remote work grew by 91%. In fact, in just the last 5 years, it has grown by 44%.

And that trend is not going to slow down. If anything, it’s going to accelerate even more and will affect each and every one of us.

A lot of it has to do with necessity. With many states continuing to implement restrictions, and the possibility of a second COVID-19 wave on the horizon, even more businesses are going to have an incentive to have their employees work from home.

But even once this pandemic is over, the trend will continue due to convenience, personal preference, and economics. Remote work allows companies to hire talented people from all around the world, and lowers their monthly expenses since they don’t need to pay rent for so many physical locations.

We’re already seeing this being reflected in home buyers. More and more home buyers are changing their home feature priority list, and one of the top features they expect is a home office.

In fact, many households now need more than a single home office.

Why does this matter to you?

If you’re a seller’s agent, it might be a good idea to consider marketing the home as having space for a home office or two. You might even consider highlighting all the amenities around the home that a person working from home might enjoy. Amenities such as parks, coffee shops, high-speed internet providers, gyms, grocery stores that offer home delivery, etc.

And if you’re a buyer’s agent, one of the first questions you would ask your buyer is if they need a home office. You would also help them find a home in a location that caters to their unique needs, and has amenities that make their life easier.

man working from home

Buyers Will Not Be As Constrained By Location

Following suit with the last point, as more and more home buyers work from home, they will be less concerned about commute time, since the only commuting they need to worry about is going from their bed to the kitchen, and then to their home office.

Not being tied to their job in terms of commuting (or even shopping, thanks to Amazon and grocery delivery services) means that home buyers will expand their home searches away from the pricey properties in city centers, and more towards the suburbs and beyond.

In fact, don’t be surprised to see more home buyers embracing life in more rural areas. When the availability of local jobs isn’t an issue and social restrictions continue to be implemented, the low prices of rural areas become way more appealing, especially to young homebuyers.

Why does this matter to you?

Just like in the previous point, knowing that more and more people are working from home will help you market your listings better, and aim any paid advertising you do to the right people. 

For example, if your area of service is outside a major city, you might want to consider marketing your property to young professionals living downtown. 

And if you’re a buyer’s agent, you could ask your client to consider looking into properties outside a major metropolitan area. 

Also, you might want to reach out to other real estate agents living outside of your area of service, and send referrals their way.

multigenerational family

Multigenerational Households Will Become Far More Common

Throughout history, multigenerational homes have been a pretty standard way of life. And now they are making a significant comeback. In fact, this was already a trend before most of u even knew what a coronavirus was.

High home prices, stagnant salaries, and crushing student debts have made multigenerational households a necessity for a large percentage of millennials.  

In fact, the latest US Census shows that one out of every three Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 are either still living with their parents, or have moved back with them.

However, living in the same household in the middle of a pandemic has a number of advantages beyond just the obvious monetary ones. 

Grandparents can help take care of their grandchildren, especially if daycare centers are closed, or if they are forced to take online classes. This arrangement allows parents (especially those with double incomes) to continue their jobs without interruption, and with more peace of mind.

At the same time, with an entire extended family living under the same roof, they can take care of each other in the middle of the pandemic.

Why does this matter to you?

Multigenerational households could become a profitable niche. Since these families need larger homes, it could mean a larger commission for you for about the same amount of effort.

At the same time, it will help you narrow down the kind of homes they need. Multigenerational families include older family members, many of which with mobility issues. 

And if you’re the seller’s agent, and the house is fairly large, you could also include in its description that it’s well suited for multigenerational households.

family with pet

Pets (And Plants) Will Weigh More Heavily In Buyer’s Decisions

With so many people spending more and more time indoors away from friends, family and coworkers, more and more homeowners are turning to pet ownership.

And when they decide to move, they will want to take their furry friends with them. More and more home buyers are looking for homes that will accommodate their pets and all of their needs.

At the same time, more and more Millennials are becoming botany enthusiasts. This resurgence in this hobby came about just a couple of years ago, and was further boosted in 2020 thanks to the pandemic. 

And with many places fearing supply line disruptions, more Millennials are both looking for space to grow a vegetable garden, or simply more decorative plants.

Why does this matter to you?

If your clients have a pet or are thinking about getting one soon, you would include in your property search efforts condos that are pet-friendly, homes near dog parks, or those that have vets and pet supply stores nearby.

Conclusion

Are you looking forward to 2021? What changes are you expecting to happen next year? Let us know in the comments below.

And if you want to dominate your hyperlocal real estate market, check out AgentFire’s Spark Sites#1 rated for several years in a row.

And the best part? You can try out all of its amazing features for free with our 10-day trial.

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