Pandemic Disrupts Office Market As Investors, Owners, Occupants Reevaluate Space Utilization

Commercial real estate brokers, investors and analysts are watching and waiting – along with much of the nation – to see what the future holds for the office market in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We don’t know the full impact yet,” said Wayne Barber, Jr., co-founding principal of Southern Illinois commercial real estate firm BARBERMURPHY. “There is already a change in the attitude of how employers and employees utilize space.”

Collin Fischer, a principal at BARBERMURPHY, says his conversations with office prospects reveal a definite demand for decreased office square footage. “Many office users are looking at reduced spaces such as 2,000 square feet rather than 5,000 square feet, and they’re planning to rotate their people in and out of the office and allow them to continue working from home the rest of the time,” Fischer said.

Fischer advises office property owners to seek counsel from their real estate advisors. “If you’re an owner, don’t hesitate in talking with your commercial real estate professional about value,” he said. “You may be thinking it is a terrible time to sell, but you may be pleasantly surprised by our professional opinion of the value of what you have.”

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Article By: Kerry Smith, a full-time business writer in Edwardsville.