By: Bilal Atout

Regional Head of Leasing
Alfardan Properties

The start of the new year marks new beginnings and new resolutions. For Qatar, the year has already begun on a positive note. Investment-friendly laws, the emergence of new state-of-the-art properties, the strong economic recovery in addition to a projected increase in the number of visitors are pointing the real estate industry to a lucrative direction. However, as we move forward, we must take our greatest lessons from 2020 with us to the upcoming year.

One year into the pandemic, one thing is for certain: the role that real estate developers play in public safety. Our properties interact directly with the daily lives of tenants whether at residential, commercial, or mixed-use properties. So, what can we do to maintain our tenants’ trust and inspire confidence?

Ensuring clean and safe environments
There is an increased need to foster safer environments for tenants and visitors. While the long-term impact
in consumer behaviour remains yet to be determined, safety is the immediate concern at the top of any visitor’s mind when entering a property. This is an opportunity for developers to explore technology and innovate solutions. For instance, introducing touch-free buttons in elevators, QR codes to retrieve information or automatic car plate number readers. New customer preferences that have emerged are certain to remain long term. But by adapting to these changes, we can embrace the opportunity that comes with it to upgrade amenities and enhance customer experience.

Creating bigger and more spacious areas
Inspired by social distancing, there is also a visible preference shift toward bigger spaces. Spacious living rooms or offices are more in demand as tenants are conscious of the increased risks of transmission in smaller or cramped areas. In some cases, this has necessitated alterations to existing designs towards open spaces. Accounting for the new changes in design, we could be looking at reversing open-plan layouts in offices and creating more spacious areas with extended outdoor facilities when developing properties moving forward.

Strengthening open communication channels
It is crucial to protect crowded areas from infection and transmission. To implement precautions effectively, developers must adopt open and clear communication channels. This strategy is key to restoring feelings of trust and security. Transparency between B2B and B2C not only helps increase accountability but also makes it faster to implement government directives. Ultimately, this inspires trust for tenants who can see how swiftly government directives are being implemented and communicated to them without delay.

In crisis situations where risks are heightened, the involvement of top management and leaders in every step of the response is beyond crucial. This ensures that new procedures are implemented attentively and with care. This approach has been a guiding philosophy for Alfardan Properties and can even be regarded as the underlying principle in developing an effective model for managing properties to success.

Ensuring cleanliness in our environments, adapting to bigger spaces, and relying on strong communication channels, have proven successful for inspiring tenants’ trust at Alfardan Properties. At the end, it is the promise to continuously answer the evolving needs of our tenants and maintaining, if not exceeding, the high quality of services we offer as we adapt to changing market needs. More importantly, they help the real estate sector to remain in line with the core pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030 – towards economic, social, environmental, and human capital development – that is focused on providing a high standard of living for the population of the country today, and tomorrow. By working together in the industry, real estate players can ascertain confidence in the minds of the population, just in time for the expected boost in the sector.

This article was published as part of the fifth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report