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May 21, 2020

'I Was Slow To Come To It': CEOs Resistant To Remote Work Now Embracing The Model Long-Term

Mark Wight was worried as the architecture, design and construction firm he led for decades first faced the spreading pandemic. Wight & Co. depended heavily on seamless cooperation among a wide variety of disciplines, a one-stop shop for clients needing new buildings.

Wight said he thought that complex process could only work with frequent face-to-face meetings, but productivity actually improved over the next few weeks, and that will change how Wight & Co. works even after the pandemic subsides.

“It was hard to imagine doing all this from home, but it’s remarkable how we have adapted,” Wight said. 

'I Was Slow To Come To It': CEOs Resistant To Remote Work Now Embracing The Model Long-Term

The Darien, Illinois-based firm is far from alone. Wight used to meet twice a year with a peer group of mostly construction CEOs, but after the pandemic’s onset, the group now does weekly Zoom meetings, and the attitude toward working from home is universal.“Every CEO says…

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A 'Cleansing' Of The Brokerage Ranks Is Afoot As Deal Volume Collapses

David Sturner, the CEO of MHP Real Estate Services, started making calls to members of his team last Friday to deliver some news. The company’s office leasing arm, comprising 16 brokers, is closing.

“We don’t think there will be a lot of brand-new leases,” he said. “People just don’t know how much space they are going to need.”

MHP is keeping its six-person asset sales group and four in-house leasing agents for the business’s 2.5M SF office portfolio. But MHP’s tenant representation business, which Sturner had considered closing for years since it hasn’t been a big income-producer, is officially over. 

Much of the commercial real estate industry has faced a reckoning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It has forced a rethink on everything from how people shop, where they want to live, how safe their office buildings are — and how many brokers the industry will need.

Some will be forced out of the industry, more than a dozen New York commercial brokers said in interviews, and further consolidation of brokerage shops is likely.

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The last three months have been fraught with uncertainty, but America's pivot to a remote workforce has been substantial and largely successful. We have covered this trend from many angles: how it has affected productivity, what it may mean for new workflows, why some companies are offering it permanently

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