This week, Dubai hosted the biggest and most influential real estate event in the Middle-East, Cityscape. The event is designed so that industry professionals can network and learn from each other, through talks, panels and exhibitions. Despite being held in the middle of a pandemic, the event was carried out successfully and safely, with strict social distancing rules put into place. This included employing social distancing ambassadors who ensured participants adhered to the rules, enhanced cleaning of all areas, non-contact registrations. This stringent safety measures put in place shows that events like this, whilst very different from what they were like pre-pandemic, can still be held. 

The director of CRC, Ben Bargh, was part of a panel at Cityscape, discussing the new reality of the commercial property market. Despite a turbulent 2020, the commercial real estate market will survive, thanks to an increasing amount of importance being placed on 360-degree digital portals and building management. 

Due to the circumstances brought about by the lockdown, real estate companies have been forced to turn to digital solutions to show off their properties. More companies are moving towards a multichannel approach and expanding their online marketing. Rather than traditional brick-and-mortar estate agents, companies are adopting online marketing campaigns, boosting their SEO, and using social media, which keeps in line with the digital mindset that is becoming an expectation for modern brands. As technology moves forward, real estate companies are also looking to better, more advanced property portals, such as Houza, which offers an optimal user experience in searching for properties in Dubai, especially when it comes to bringing the property to life online. 

Behnam Bargh, Director at CRC, echoed similar thoughts, as he said the first impression of a commercial property for a client is looking at the picture of the property. In that sense, portals become very important in a customer’s journey when looking for an office, retail space or warehouse. This is especially the case now that we have seen a shift in people searching for properties on their desktop to their phones. 

Whilst nobody expected for the market to depend on technology as much as we have, it is something that we need to take in our stride, allowing for commercial real estate companies to develop a more rounded marketing effort as we head into the New Year.