Time for regrowth

Richard Howells, CEO of commercial property listing portal Proplist, writes:

It’s an odd situation, when you are in lock down, in the midst of a global pandemic, and we are hearing tragedy on a daily basis that a lot of people are taking time to reflect and plan their re-growth.

But, perhaps, this is the ideal time to do so.

At the end of the month, we will be entering the quarterly phase of rent renegotiations for a lot of businesses and, if we are completely honest, is there a point?

Considering the current availability of stock and take-up across the country, we are over supplied and have entered a buyers’ market, so is there any ability to impose any upward increases?

Add to this the sadly inevitable loss of some businesses, even with the government stimulus packages, and the simple fact that working from home has landed with a massive bang, the space required will reduce massively.

And let’s face it, the biggest hold backs for many businesses when it came to working from home was not the technology but the fear of whether people will actually be working productively. From today, that fear may still be there but we’ve all had to move to the next stage – trust.

But this does not have to be all doom and gloom – do the changes that will inevitably happen post Covid-19 have to be all bad? Is this a time when we can start to re-purpose offices into much needed, good quality and affordable homes? Will an influx of new families into cities and towns help to revitalise the high street (and boy, have we been thankful for the high street this week!!), will supply chain in industry change and to move back to more local manufacture and will the impacts on air travel revitalise local tourism?

All this together could also make one of the most massive improvements on the environment – even after a few days, the noise pollution has reduced and the air quality improved.

Over the forthcoming week, members of the Proplist team will be putting together their thoughts on what we see happening in the future because in nature, the destruction caused by a forest fire allows new life to flourish, with plants being able to stretch forward to the light an grow, stronger and more vigorous than before – and we think that however things change have come about, there is a massive scope for positive growth.

Richard Howells, CEO, Proplist
Father and Grandfather
Optimist for the future