Surviving COVID-19 and getting out in one piece is all about navigating it carefully. That’s pretty much what it’s like for almost everyone now, surviving COVID and living to see another day. You’re not only ensuring you stay healthy and safe but you’re also doing whatever you can to look for opportunities to earn and bring food to the table.
They say that a crisis can bring out either the best or the worst in a person. It’s all about perspective, resilience, adaptability, and the ability to make the most out of any situation and turn it to your advantage.
The same can be said when it comes to real estate investment amid a pandemic. COVID-19 has put many industries on their knees as they came to a grinding halt and had to temporarily and indefinitely cease operations. But as economies have reopened and communities are now slowly recovering, the real estate industry is caught in an interesting place. Investors are asking: Is it a wise time to invest in real estate now with the pandemic still looming over us?
Navigating Real Estate Investment in a Pandemic
The answer is yes. But it won’t be as easy as it seems. Real estate investment was already a challenging game before the coronavirus took over the world. Things are a lot more complicated now as its threat still hovers over us.
Although we’re in a crisis now, it’s not the same as the financial crisis in 2008 where it is directly connected to the housing market. Even then, despite the circumstances, a lot of people were able to get ahead of everyone else as they found or made opportunities. Although the present global health and economic crises we’re in caught almost everyone off-guard, experts believe there’s still a silver lining to the COVID-19 cloud.
The entire real estate industry all over the world is experiencing a major behavioral shift with consumers. There is a huge decline in demand for commercial property, such as office and retail spaces, that is brought about by the health crisis. This decline is coupled with residential buyers opting to leave the crowded cities and making their way to the less dense suburbs. The pandemic-induced behavior made people from all over the industry on their toes to quickly adapt to the changing trends.
We’re living in unprecedented times. Industry professionals are writing the playbook for navigating the pandemic as we go along. Talk to representatives of a reputable mortgage company about the current state of mortgage rates (which has hit all-time lows) and you’ll get a best-case scenario response that shows faith in the market’s quick recovery. They won’t lie about the advantages and disadvantages of getting into real estate investing at this time but they will give you reasons to remain hopeful. If you talk to other real estate agents and brokers, they will also tell you it’s a tall order but it can be done if you just know how to do it right.
If you’re the liquid buyer type and you have more than enough resources, there are a plethora of opportunities waiting for you, especially if you don’t limit yourself to local or domestic real estate properties. Asia, Europe, and the U.K. have plenty of distressed real estate assets just waiting to be acquired by the right investors. It’s just a matter of looking beyond the immediate vicinity.
Despite the ongoing crisis, real estate is still a good hedge against inflation. Think about it. No matter what season we’re in, people will need roofs over their heads. Therefore, they will continue to buy homes, even if the struggle is a little harder than usual. Vacation homes and rental properties have started to regain their footing and are expected to continue thriving.
And if part of your apprehensions of getting into it is your health and safety, let technology do the work for you. Real estate companies have already transitioned to digital platforms that have allowed them to still make transactions despite the pandemic. In fact, as early as 2018, it has been predicted that real estate transactions will move online in three years. Surprise, surprise.
Online correspondences, virtual walkthroughs, digital open houses, and other things needed to close deals can be done with the help of technology. It also makes investing internationally a lot easier this time.
So yes, despite the pandemic, opportunities are present for real estate investors. It just has to be approached with much caution as we’re treading uncharted territory. Do your research but listen to your instinct, too, especially if you don’t feel good about it. No one will blame you for protecting your money and playing it safe at this time. We all need to be a little wiser and discerning now more than ever.