Change in lifestyle
COVID-19 had compelled companies to adopt a 'work from home' lifestyle for their employees. More traditional employers feared such a work practice would be hard for employees who find it arduous to maintain self-discipline without any surveillance. Since being forced into quarantine, people have had to bend over backward to accustom themselves with having meetings over Zoom or conversing with colleagues over Microsoft teams while also making sure their families enduring similar changes do not come in the way of their work.
A key reason people state for holding out on property decisions is the strain on financial resources or job losses due to such an uncertain time. The change in lifestyle choices will last only until people start to reel in their normal life again because the drive to buy still exists. This is what realtors bank their hopes on for the betterment of the market.
Change in buying behavior
As things start to settle, people realized that their dependency on their living space was not subjected to just sleeping. Work from home practices allowed people to fully experience the surroundings they live in, which caused a shift in buyers' expectations for a home. The atmosphere at home required an essence that would boost productivity and necessitated bigger spaces to accommodate the needs of everyone living in the house. Extra bedrooms, better lighting, and a more open-spaced living were some of the newer expectations buyers seemed to have placed emphasis on. That being said, market research also showed that the Chinese real estate experienced locals demanding bigger house spaces that favor a work from home lifestyle compared to their usual taste of smaller living spaces.
It is clear that the behavioral patterns of people and their preferences are changing. If real estate companies want to survive, they will have to adapt their services according to such changes.
Dubai real estate experienced a surge in first time home buyers despite people having endured job losses and financial struggles; because those with cash reserves quickly realized now is the best time to buy. Affordable market prices and lower interest rates were key motivators for first-time buyers to take a plunge in such unprecedented times.
Real estate agents actively follow guidelines issued by the Dubai government to ensure every property viewing and client meeting is conducted as sanitary as possible. As the popular saying goes, 'the show must go on,' Real estate agents in Dubai have come to terms with the increased safety measures required while conducting house tours and engaging with clients. After making sure that the masks are in order, temperatures are monitored, and the sanitary criteria have been met, then the real estate agents proceed with their viewings. By adhering to such guidelines today, real estate agents are guaranteeing their own viability in serving their clients the best way possible.
Scope for Digitalization
Dubai real estate has already dived into the process of digitalizing their services for their clients long before the pandemic hit. The need for such strict measures of safety imposed by the Dubai government emphasized the necessity for digitalization to keep the industry alive. For clients that still exhibit concerns, virtual tours and zoom meetings are state of the art tools to interact with prospective clients. To keep up with the market conditions, agents have had to design a differentiated experience investing in digital sales by offering clients concierge services, contactless viewings, involving them in virtual communities, and creating personalized sales.
2020 has been a rather strange year consisting of a lot of uncertainties but, real estate experts are certain that the market will bounce back and gradually instill confidence in those who are still reeling with doubt over investing. The real estate industry has definitely felt the heat from the pandemic but, the level of adaptability is what sets apart companies as winners.