‘Zoom fatigue’ – European industry shares thoughts

PropertyEU readers are now slightly less concerned about the impact upon their jobs or firms than they were at the start of the Covid-19 crisis. But many are suffering ‘Zoom fatigue’ as travel restrictions and some continued lockdown impinge on face-to-face meetings with colleagues and market participants.

Those are two findings from the latest PropertyEU Market Barometer (Round 4) sent to PropertyEU subscribers on 4 June.

Asked on a scale of 1-10, the average reader rated their concern about their job or firm as a ‘5’ out of 10 whereas in March it was a ‘7’, and April a ‘6’.

However, there is deep concern over the direction of travel. The majority rate their concern about a Global/European recession as a ‘7’ out of 10.

PropertyEU’s Market Barometer Round 4 gathered hundreds of responses.

The majority of people said their firms were concentrating more on landlord-tenant issues than on fresh investments. 16% said the split between asset management and new investments was 80/20, and 32% judged the split to be 60/40. 15% said the spit was 40/60 in favour of new investments. Some 12% said the split was 20/80 as their firms are clearly spending more time working on opportunities.

The results can be summed up like this: firms are working on fresh transactions a ‘moderate amount’. 45% said so. Some 11% however said they were not working on fresh deals at all, while 30% said they were working a reasonable amount on new deals, and 12% said they were working on new transactions ‘a lot’.

Interestingly, when asked to rate to what extent tenants were behaving 'reasonably', respondents gave them a ‘6’ out of 10. Readers also said their favourite form of receiving market intelligence and staying in touch was via e-letter. Zoom is the main meeting platform with 69% saying so.

Zoom fatigue

As ever, responses from readers as to what they felt were the most frustrating or exciting parts of the crisis were illuminating and sometimes humorous.

One reader said, ‘Overload of FaceTime, Zoom and Team. People have stopped using the telephone!’

Another said, ‘Lack of physical meetings is frustrating. More flexible working schemes are positive.’

And another: ‘Negative: Real time information sharing with teams due to working from home. Positive: accelerating use of technology in business.’

Here is a sample of anonymous comments on the most frustrating and exciting aspects arising from Covid-19

Valuations - Material Uncertainty clauses

Finding deals that are futureproof and being able to discuss pricing of assets with sellers on a reasonable level

Frustrating: Lack of spontaneous interactions with colleagues and webinars where the conclusion is ‘But we don't know’

People getting tired of Zoom (or similar) meetings. Human interaction is necessary

Difficult: rent collection and lease event negotiations dated mid-Covid. Exciting: future of local high street retail

Adaptation of delivery and online solutions to enhance footfall and spending in store

Getting a decision out of anybody!

Trying to predict when/if distressed deals will hit the market

Lack of clarity on pricing moves and how quick the economic recovery will be

Yield guessing

The whole business is influenced by Lemmings, e.g. herd driven

Uncertainty: occupancy trends (offices), demand, supply, financing, rents, valuations

Keeping city centres attractive and busy

A switch to digital, more transparency and more efficiency

Trying to second guess what’s next!

Trying to determine the potential impact on future tenant behaviour due to the coronavirus

Rapidly evolving consumer behaviour and companies changing their supply chains

Finding new investors

Frustrating: human aspects and reaction time; Interesting: the obligatory use of new technologies and the optimization of working time 

Difficulties in organising site visits; Excitement – the way real estate will rapidly change in the coming years due to change in behaviour of tenants

We thank our readers for taking part and guarantee that each and every comment has been read and apologise to those whose comments have not been included this time.

Click here for previous PropertyEU Market Barometers: 1, 2, and 3.



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