Another week of working from home ahead. While many enjoy the perks of seeing loved ones at home 24/7 (or not) many are challenged with the loss of work, the lack of work and the inability to work fully and efficiently from home. As a CRE advisor, I won’t deny it’s been an eerily quiet time. I miss the consistent interaction with CRE players, the adrenaline rush of multiple offer deals and the physical connection to clients needing things yesterday. But reaching out to clients has been crucial, even just to listen and offer advice. This past week I’ve been dealing with tenants needing to negotiate changes to their lease length and landlords who are altering their tenant type (in many cases to an essential service) in order to fill a vacant space. Landlords have also had to be open to shorter-term leases because some tenants won’t commit to long-term leases during this time. Others want a temporary environment where they can stay open and adhere to social distancing regulations.
Everyone is still waiting for the federal government to come up with a national plan for tenants and measures to assist landlords. Both hope to receive assistance from the government for rent relief and loss of income. Landlords hope to be able to defer their land tax, water rates and other property expenses. No federal government plan could have a big impact on the economy. Additionally, no matter how long the crisis goes on, asset values will be affected by leasing struggles and maintaining rental rates. The good news would be that low rates and government grants would boost owner-occupier demand. On the home front? The rewards are pretty good: hot meals; flexible time; an opportunity to take some online courses; and the occasional treats to keep the “spirits” up.