Egypt’s property companies need to create a shift in the products they offer, whether commercial, residential, or administrative, in the post-coronavirus (COVID-19), real estate developers have emphasised.
The shift in products on offer would reflect the change in concepts and customer requirements in light of the global pandemic and the impact it has left on the way customers live.
Ahmed Shalaby, President and CEO of Tatweer Misr, said the real estate sector’s main changes in the post-coronavirus period will see greater work from home and increased Internet use. As a result, it will only be necessary to build small office spaces, and add a small office space inside residential units.
Shalaby added that multi-national companies have already started to develop new, flexible designs that allow for extra office space to be added in resident units and according to multiple options.
He pointed out that conference activities will also be reduced in the post-coronavirus period, which will see hotel conference spaces reassigned to other uses.
Meanwhile, Ben Packard, Associate Director of Hotel Valuation at Savills, pointed out that the hotel industry has the opportunity to capitalise on the layout and location of hotels and provide alternative workspace for individuals or for companies. This would come on the back of depleted office space capacity due to wide-ranging social distancing regulations.
The increase in work time from home will ensure a change in residential unit designs, to better accommodate the people’s presence for longer periods at home.
Hisham Shokry, Chairperson at Rooya Group, said this change will see increased technological infrastructure in the residential unit setting to enable work to be carried out at home.
There is also a greater likelihood for office space to be built into residential units to ensure that working from home is a more comfortable possibility.
Shokry added that commercial projects will change in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, with online shopping also increasing. As a result, developers will be obliged to increase the range of offers on hand to attract customers.
The design and use of administrative projects will also change, with less space needed due to an increased dependence on the Internet.
This will be particularly noticeable as changes to the way business meetings take place, and a reduced percentage of employees needed in offices, will see many able to work from home.
This does not mean office space will be completely dispensed with, but it does mean there will be less reliance on it during the work week, Shokry said. This will be due, in large part, to the reduction in administrative spaces allocated to employees.
He anticipates the emergence of a new product that merges the ideas of cafe and work, to make the work experience both leisure and work at the same time.
Ahmed Samir, Commercial Director at Al-Wadi Tourism Investment and Real Estate, said, “Real estate products will change after the coronavirus, because of changes in client priorities as most of them will keep working from home and generate their own space for work inside their homes. This should be considered in the coming period when designing a residential unit.”
Samir noted that property developers should pay attention to initiating solid health services inside their projects. This will ensure that they are better suited to customers spending longer periods at home alongside fears of going hospitals and clinics outside their area.
Ashraf Ezz El-Din, Managing Director at Al-Futtaim Real Estate, said that some tenants are demanding reduced rental areas inside malls, due to a decrease in employment and a dependence on online shopping.
He pointed out that the design of real estate projects, whatever their activity, will change following the pandemic, although the shape of this change remains undetermined until now.
Ezz El-Din noted that there will certainly be an increase in transformation to ensure they meet customer environmental and health requirements.
In a recent report, however, Kevin Mofid, Head of Logistics and Industrial Research and Commercial Research at Savills said, “Because of COVID-19, supply chains are now grappling with a new normal.”
Mofid added, “As the dust starts to settle, many commentators have been speculating about what supply chains may look like in the future, and in turn what this might mean for the amount of warehouse space needed. There is likely to be an increase in short-term and possibly long-term levels of stockholding, which will increase demand for space.”
It is clear that the dynamics of the new normal are changing rapidly, and it remains hard to say what the end result will be exactly. What is certain is the lasting impact the current global health crisis is having on the overall infrastructure of our supply chain operations for decades to come, Mofid said.
Mohamed Abdel Gawad, Founder and Chairperson of Vantage Developments, noted that that customers have leant towards a growing trend in the recent period to invest in savings vessels other than real estate. As a result, real estate products must be transferred to a financially beneficial product that attracts customer investments.
Abdel Gawad explained that the conversion of property products takes place through increasing the attractiveness for housing or investment, whilst #providing solid technological infrastructure and distinguished designs.