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A new era in the fight against COVID-19 and plans for reopening has begun – one where consumers will impact how commercial real estate (CRE) fundamentally conducts business, impacting reopenings across critical sectors like office, hospitality and schools. While owners and operators of office buildings work to reopen safely, consumers remain hesitant and fearful around returning to public indoor spaces. Carbon Lighthouse recently conducted an insights survey of 1,000+ U.S. consumers to better understand their sentiment around indoor air quality (IAQ), and the impact of these perceptions on the commercial real estate (CRE) industry.
• The results reveal that a vast 91% majority of consumers believe that IAQ is important in the prevention of COVID-19 spread — and consumers are taking this into account when considering re-entering public buildings.
• 76% say that a ‘rating system’ similar to restaurant ratings on the IAQ of a building would help them feel better about entering that building.
The survey also revealed key insights for offices, hotels and schools, three sectors impacted most directly by COVID-19 because of their reliance on the physical occupancy of the space:
• Proof about a hotel’s IAQ would impact where 77% of consumers decided to stay
• 52% would pay more to stay at a hotel with better IAQ
• 74% say office IAQ data — and 66% for schools — would make consumers feel more comfortable about their safety
These results underscore the need for building owners and operators to quickly address consumers’ very real and growing concerns around IAQ — providing clarity to consumers who are reluctant to re-enter public buildings due to COVID-19 transmission concerns.
With real-time data available in almost every other aspect of their lives, consumers have come to expect data-driven insights to help inform their daily decision-making and will inevitably drive demand for such information around IAQ from offices, hotels, schools, and other public buildings. Building owners must not only ensure their buildings can adequately manage IAQ and implement the appropriate measures, but they must also effectively communicate their efforts and the resulting impact on occupants to begin driving building occupancy and work towards economic recovery.Read the full survey results here for more insights on how consumers are thinking about IAQ.