Ready to Return to the Office?

October 29, 2020

CommercialCafe, a listing site for commercial real estate, says it registered a record number of website visits—even surpassing pre-pandemic records—as online interest in office space surged in August and September.

Google searches are showing the same. Commercial real estate-related terms are nearing pre-pandemic levels, according to Google Trends. Terms such as “office space for rent” are seeing a higher number of searches now than in January or February of this year. This does mark a drastic change: Searches for “commercial real estate” and “commercial property” dropped sharply while the nation was mostly in lockdown to try to control the virus in March and April.

CommercialCafe recently surveyed 1,882 respondents to learn more about tenants’ current leasing process. Forty percent said they were actively searching for office space and that they were ready to sign a lease.

The two most important criteria in their search: location (71%) and rent price (70%). These factors far outpaced the rest of criteria for respondents in choosing their next office property, according to the survey.

Respondents also expressed an increase desire for certain amenities in their next office space, led by demand for parking space (39%) and natural light (32%). Some respondents also showed an interest in health and safety measures, although at a much lower percentage in comparison. Sixteen percent of respondents expressed an interest in improved HVAC and antimicrobial furniture, and 11% were looking for buildings with multiple entrances to reduce crowding.