Home Is Where the Action Is
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
While some have compared the cataclysmic effects of COVID-19 to a natural disaster, in reality, it is the opposite. In the case of an earthquake, flood, hurricane or other disaster, dwellings are usually destroyed. The Coronavirus, on the other hand, while deeply impacting our nation’s economy and our personal lives, has not physically affected our properties. What it has done, however, is shift our perceptions about how we think about “home.”
Our residences have historically been the places to which we retreat when done with the activities of the day. Whether work, school, play or other pursuits, the perception has been that we do the important stuff somewhere ‘out there’ and then head home when done. COVID-19 has dumped that idea on its head. As an example, whereas working from homes used to be a privilege enjoyed by a select few, many companies have been forced to reevaluate the practice in light of data reversing previously held beliefs.
Sharon Koifman, COE at DistantJob.com, a remote work recruiting firm that sources globally, states, “Before the pandemic hit, remote working was more of a niche that worked really well for those who did it, but most larger corporations were afraid of disconnecting from their offices.” She reiterates, “However, since being ordered to shelter in place, many are finding it’s much better than they feared, and managers are changing their tunes on the practice, including major companies.”
In fact, her research reveals that productivity and profitability both increased with workers sheltered-in-place during the crisis. Major companies such as Google, Nationwide Insurance, Morgan Stanley and Barclays have all announced plans to increase remote work. It’s also good for the environment as less congested freeways mean fewer emissions hitting the atmosphere.
With workers not having to endure long commutes, the actual time spent working has increased. Companies are also discovering that the pool of exceptional talent expands dramatically if employees are not required to commute to a central location and can, in fact, live almost anywhere. It is affecting real estate as well: as an example, our team currently has a member living in Oregon, another in Florida and four in the Philippines. Clients have also told us they love the convenience of online meetings.
While there will always be a need for “boots-on-the-ground,” COVID-19 is metamorphosing the way we view our homes from “home is where our heart is” to “home is where the action is.”
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.