CRE Insights in the Midst of COVID-19

During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have been hard at work checking on clients, keeping deals moving forward, and doing our best to see around the corner of what this unprecedented event will mean for our commercial real estate industry.

We felt that it would be helpful in this time to share some of the feedback and insights we’ve received from the business owners, professionals, and market players we interact with daily. People like: Investors and developers in all property types, all types of commercial tenants, contractors, lenders, attorneys, government officials, property managers, and colleagues from around the country.

We are here. We are working. And if there is anything you need, real estate or otherwise, please reach out to us!

– Team Elifin




Overall Feeling

  • Uncertainty of duration of COVID-19 makes for tough planning.
  • Many in a “pause while we eagerly seek answers” mode.
  • Construction deemed “essential services” and continuing for the most part.
  • Contractors and subs holding on to cash.
  • Layoffs are real. Many people suddenly out of work.
  • Small biz has eyes on SBA loans and bill making its way through Congress.
  • Municipalities are “all hands on deck”.


  • Landlords flooded with tenant requests for rent relief from businesses not deemed “Essential Services”.
  • Some lenders granting mortgage payment deferrals to landlords.
  • Grocery stores are doing record sales.
  • Restaurants are being forced to get creative to drive sales during the shutdown. Many restaurant tenants noting significant decrease in revenue.
  • Large layoffs / reduced hours for retail industry workers.
  • New retail leases are being stalled, but are not dead.


  • Cash flow for March is fine as most tenants paid their March rent prior to the pandemic’s impact.
  • Landlords are bracing for when April’s rent is due as they’ll start to feel a larger impact of newly unemployed tenants who may struggle to pay their rent.
  • New leasing has slowed dramatically.
  • Student housing concerned about the Spring semester and when universities will be back open.


  • Office buildings largely empty.
  • Rent still being paid.
  • Businesses learning to work remotely.
  • May have at least a short-term impact on the “co- working” trend.
  • Market players curious of the long-term impact COVID-19 will have on the demand for office space as people get used to working from home.


  • Limited adverse impact to date.
  • Most tenants still up and running as essential services.
  • Rent is still being paid.
  • Some tenants doing more business now than ever.


  • Hit hard.
  • Low occupancy.
  • Right-sizing staff.
  • Most staying operational for now.


  • Limited adverse impact on existing tenants so far.
  • When April’s rent is due, look for the impact to grow.
  • New leasing stalled.


  • Limited adverse impact to date.
  • New development projects on hold temporarily.
  • Buyer’s timelines lengthened.


Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay on Offense!


The Elifin Team:

Mathew Laborde, CCIM – President & CEO – / 225-659-8651
Will Chadwick – Retail Specialist – / 225-659-8657
Mark Segalla – Multifamily Specialist – / 225-659-8656
George Bonvillain, J.D. – Office Specialist – / 225-659-8654

Elifin Realty
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