As New York begins to reopen after months of stagnancy, the real estate market is springing back. However, the lessons of the pandemic should be carefully considered, notes M Patrick Carroll, the founder of CARROLL, one of the country’s top real estate investment companies.

Despite ongoing uncertainties with the COVID-19 virus, there are clear signs that activity is returning. That means the city is primed to recover after a difficult 2020 and early part of 2021.

The pandemic pushed many employees to work from home. While businesses are now reopening, some changes have become trends. Employers have seen that at-home employees can continue to be productive, meaning they are saving on rent and operational expenses by reducing their real estate footprint.

At the same time, some workers are returning to the city while others will be working a hybrid model or remaining primarily at home.

Responding to the Needs of a Remote Workforce

That means that real estate developers of single-family and multi-family homes and apartments need to think about how to best accommodate workers who need a strong, reliable, remote workspace.

According to real estate expert M Patrick Carroll, developers and property managers need to remember that the quality of these features is likely to drive decision-making for workers wanting amenities that reflect their changed lifestyle while maintaining work-life balance.

Here’s a closer look at some of the amenities that should be a part of marketing plans for residences seeking to attract these remote workers, who are in many cases younger and single or married without children:

  • Smaller Spaces. Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units are going to be more appealing to this demographic, many of whom want to avoid the upkeep of larger homes
  • Single-Purpose Workspaces. The pandemic begat lots of creativity as homebound workers converted dining room or kitchen tables, couches and beds into workspaces. In the long term, these workers will want dedicated workspaces that have the amenities of a modern office. In some communities, business centers can suffice but do not have the privacy required that a dedicated in-home workspace could provide
  • Integrated Wireless and Wired. At-home employees need reliable Internet service and Wi-Fi to connect with coworkers and customers. Consider building homes and apartments with built-in services and make sure that common spaces also have wireless and wired available
  • Reliable Cellular. The smartphone is a lifeline in today’s remote business environment. That means having reliable cellular reception available in the home
  • A Home for Cats and Dogs. Many remote workers jumped at the chance to adopt a four-legged friend during the pandemic. Now, they’ll need places to live without stringent pet policies. That also means providing areas, such as onsite dog parks, outdoor spaces and playgrounds where remote employees can take breaks to play with pets and kids
  • Lease Flexibility. We are living in a disruptive time and tenants may need more flexibility than before. Property managers should consider providing tenants with flexible lease options that allow for volatility during times of uncertainty.

With amenities and options that appeal to today’s workforce needs, M Patrick Carroll is convinced that developers and property managers will reap serious rewards in a changing marketplace.