Reopen or Repurpose? What To Do With CRE Properties After COVID-19

 April 20, 2021

By  Guy Gray

Reopen. Repurpose. Resize. Reuse. Sell. The number of options CRE property managers or investors are facing these days with their properties can be downright overwhelming. 

Why? COVID-19.

The coronavirus has put many CRE pros in a tough spot when it comes to their commercial properties. Should you reopen? If so, when is the right time? What about repurposing the property so you can open it sooner than you could with its original purpose? Let’s go over your options and help you decide the best route to take. 

The Case for Reopening

One of the easiest options, reopening is a consideration if your local laws and guidelines allow. That being said, it depends on the type of property and the tenant. Retail spaces are some of the most problematic. Other types of spaces, like gyms or restaurants, are unpredictable. Then there are tenants or property types that may make more sense to repurpose.

Advantages of the reopening option include the obvious revenue results, brand awareness and boosts to the local economy. Disadvantages include the unknown response from the public and costs of ensuring the reopening (and future use of the space) is safe. 

The Case for Repurposing

It might make more sense to repurpose the space. If you’re dealing with an office space that is no longer full of employees (who are instead working remotely), you might as well downsize or repurpose the space into something more practical, like a delivery hub for restaurants. Or, perhaps it makes more sense to turn a hotel into a multi-tenant property. Ultimately, this is an option you really want to consider if you think your property is just going to sit dormant for the foreseeable future.

Other Options

Finally, there are a few other options for your CRE properties after COVID-19. You can always think outside the box. Here are some additional choices you have:

  • Selling: You might not recoup your investment, but if reopening or repurposing don’t make financial sense, it might be time to sell and shift your sights on different investments. This doesn’t mean you have to exit the industry, however.
  • Reusing: Sometimes you can reuse a space without repurposing it. If you have restaurants and hotels in the same portfolio as an empty property, you can use the latter for inventory storage.
  • Resizing: You can also split up an unused property into multiple spaces with different sizes. Medical offices and storage facilities are just a couple of examples to consider.

Whether you’re looking to reopen or repurpose your CRE properties after COVID-19, the right CRE software can give you the insights you need to get it done efficiently. To see this for yourself, request a demo of Quarem today.

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About the author 

Guy Gray

Guy Gray serves as Chief Operating Officer overseeing our technology and client services teams. He is responsible for guiding Quarem application development, networking and security, as well as new client implementations.

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