Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Remote working, also referred to as telecommuting, is coming to Colorado Springs and Denver. Actually, it's here: ushered in by an invisible virus that forced every reticent employer's hand, work from home is the social experiment we didn't necessarily consent to but is now our reality. And while employers are seeing the upside of that reality (no longer paying for commercial real estate, no longer paying for utilities and in many cases, no longer paying for phones or computers), so are the employees, who now have the ability to work anywhere.
NPR is reporting that the new lifestyle is translating into a 14-24 million person mass movement revolution. People that no longer need to be tethered physically to their jobs are leaving... and it is our belief that remote workers will flood the tenant and buyer pool in Denver and Colorado Springs. Basically, remote workers are about to seriously impact real estate. They are going to change business as we know it on both the commercial and the residential side, but this article will focus on remote work and residential real estate.
Where will you find remote workers?
You will find remote workers on Airbnb and Furnished Finders. To date, these have been the two places we have had the most success. In the past, this model has been called the medium-term rental model or subletting or traveling nurse rentals, etc., but they are all just: 1.) furnished and 2.) rented for 30+ days. These two criteria will be the same for the remote worker rental model as well.
What do Remote Workers Want?
As this New York Times article points out, remote workers are going to want really nice home offices. Remote Workers want home offices almost as much as they want a nice kitchen. Here are the top five things remote workers want in a home office:
Quiet. Remote workers are going to need quiet. This can be accomplished a lot of ways, but if adding sound proofing is necessary, you might consider it.
A Lock. The whole kids busting in on your zoom call lost its charm awhile ago. The time for a reliable lock is now.
Wifi. Obviously, it's very hard to do your work without wifi these days, so if you are doing this for tenants, plan on paying for the nicer wifi.
Light. A lot of people are trying to figure out where to configure home offices. My advice is to put them upstairs. It's my opinion that going forward, people will be more willing to retire to the basement for the evening than they will be willing to work in the basement all day. The advantage to having the bedroom in the basement is that it is dark and it is away from the rest of the house (which has basically become your office), so it's a nice place to retire. The disadvantage of having the office in the basement is that it is dark, it is often cold and it's even more isolating.
The Container Store build outs. Okay, it doesn't have to be The Container Store, but I firmly believe some type of cute organizational system on a wall or tucked into a nook will photograph well. This will be money well spent.
What should you know about remote workers?
My experience with remote workers as tenants has been a positive one. Remote workers tend to have well paying jobs, they tend to be a little older, and often they get used to your place and don't want to move but continue to pay the elevated price to have a furnished place in the area they want.
This is coming, so we feel it's smart to plan for this now. Please reach out if you have questions about this topic (either how to plan for a remote working tenant or how to list your property in a way that is appealing to them.)