The Home Office: Now Essential to Homebuyers Due to COVID-19
COVID-19 and the year 2020 have redefined our lives and industries in so many ways. Real Estate is no exception. With employees now working from home, and mortgage interest rates low, homebuyers have begun to factor potential home office space into their real estate decisions like never before.
It’s no surprise, then, that home office staging is in high demand. Sellers want buyers to recognize that that vacant den, guest room, or basement is a home office waiting to happen.
According to George Ratiu of realtor.com, office space is noticeably becoming more and more of a selling feature. “As more companies have been embracing remote work, buyers are driving demand for houses with home offices higher. Homes featuring the term ‘office’ are selling 9 days faster than the overall housing inventory,” says Ratiu.
But not just any office space. Buyers want an ideal office space – an office that they can spend 40+ hours a week in comfortably. That’s the most attractive part of virtual staging – the beauty of staging virtually is that you can stage the same room multiple ways and show buyers all their options. Let’s face it, people are very visual and can’t always see it for themselves.
According to Houzz, 25% of homeowners work from their kitchen table and 11% work from their sofa. You can imagine that as this pandemic continues, these people are going to get sick of their makeshift office spaces sooner or later and want to purchase a home with a real office space… the home office craze isn’t going away any time soon.
As a real estate agent, you might be able to win that listing agreement simply because your home office virtual staging services will “wow” sellers by proving to them that you’re two steps ahead of this new Real Estate trend.
(And there’s no limit to virtual office furniture, by the way… you can choose from so many styles of desks and chairs and accessories to suite the look and feel of your home.)
George Ratiu adds, “…the continued increase in the share of remote workers implies that demand for homes with offices or dedicated work spaces will continue to increase… companies and employees will have to develop plans and clearer policies for remote work beyond the current [pandemic] crisis.”
The demand for home offices (and virtually staged home offices) isn’t going away any time soon.
According to research conducted by RiverBed.com, here are a few stats to keep in mind as you strategize on key ways to land that listing agreement and show sellers you understand current marketing trends:
-Since the pandemic, 88% of companies have mandated (or encouraged) work from home.
-77% of executives acknowledge that the increase in remote work could lead to lower operating costs (and we know what that… means the work from home shift is definitely here to stay!)
-74% of companies intend to continue a remote work emphasis even after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
If that doesn’t scream “remote work is here to stay and home offices are essential to any real estate purchase”… well, then I don’t know what does.
According to Forbes, in 2020 as much as 62% of Americans would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant they could work from home. Sixty-two percent. Let that sink in. That’s your home office real estate clientele, right there.
Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, concludes that, “25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” That is a staggering number.
So, what does all this mean for real estate? This is the moment to make that bonus room shine, show buyers the potential of that unfinished basement, and demonstrate how your listing will suite their work from home needs. And if a home office is essential, so is home office staging. Because most buyers can’t envision the potential of a room without something to spark their imagination…
Next time you have a listing, consider Virtual Staging to highlight that home office space that your buyer needs to visualize. Virtual Staging is a fraction of the cost of traditional staging, so why not give it a try?