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7 trends for the real estate market in 2021

7 real estate trends of 2021

The corona crisis has proven to be an accelerator for a number of disruptive trends. What real estate trends are we predicting? What changes can you expect in 2021?

After an unpredictable year, Immowi dares to predict some important trends. These will define the real estate market in 2021. Some trend movements, such as the growth of tourism, the hospitality industry and migration, came to a temporary halt, but for most developments, the coronavirus is mainly an accelerator.

Real estate trend 1: Focus on health

Balancing city life and natureNow that the first vaccinations have been carried out, the impact of the coronavirus will hopefully be reduced. But the focus on health remains and could be the real estate trend of 2021. Research shows that Belgians have started to exercise more; we walk through parks more often than before. 


We now know what the impact of long-term working from home is on employees. We now know how important it is to exercise a lot, to breathe healthy air. And we now know even better how important it is to live, shop and work in comfortable, safe and above all healthy buildings. Real estate therefore plays a crucial role in the (mental) health of citizens. The commercial property market is largely responsible for these healthy buildings and will take on even more responsibility in 2021.

Real estate trend 2: Hybrid work

With the biggest home-working experiment in history under its belt, 2021 will be the year of the hybrid office. Just as we have become used to on-demand hotels, sushi, shared cars and bicycles, the office will increasingly become a place where employees go when it suits them. Or where the office fulfils specific needs for him or her. For some, that may be a place to give a presentation, for others a space to brainstorm with the team. Yet another is looking for a quiet place to work or certain equipment that he or she does not have at home.

In any case, this hybrid working has an impact on the entire real estate market and will be an important real estate trend for 2021. In the first place, it means a changing view of living. More and more often at home means that residents will demand more space and more comfort. 

Living-as-a-service, with all kinds of facilities on demand, is also becoming increasingly popular among young city dwellers. Especially since many cities are doing away with rented accommodation, students and yuppies will more often move to these kinds of trendy sharing concepts with communal (work) spaces. But the biggest impact, of course, is on office space.

Real estate trend 3: Shopping streets

Living in the shopping streetsDue to corona, vacancy rates increased and many shopping areas were in need of transformation. The growth of e-commerce only increased in corona time. In some places, the corona crisis is therefore being seized as a momentum to transform shopping areas on a large scale into future-proof residential shopping areas and even work areas. 

Living in the shopping street plays a major role in all renewal plans and is another real estate trend to consider. After all, it solves several problems, from housing shortage to vacancy. For several reasons, this is not easy. But it seems certain that work will be done by 2021. 

Real estate trend 4: The return of small local shops

No holidays to faraway places, no international conferences, no weekends in Paris or New York. But even the daily drive to the office was no longer an option for many employees. The result was that many suddenly spent a lot of time in their own neighbourhoods. Local bakers and butchers knew this. They saw their sales increase by dozens of percent in the past year. 

Besides the proximity, the social aspect also played a role. A chat at the baker’s or butcher’s is appreciated again. Moreover, it makes many people feel good to give the local entrepreneur a helping hand. The support for local entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry was also heart-warming last year.

Will this remain the case when we are all allowed ‘outside’ again? There is a good chance that many Belgians will not throw the preference for the local entrepreneur overboard just like that when the borders open again. Shopping is about experience, and local entrepreneurs offer that experience with their authenticity. 

This is bad news for the large, anonymous retail chains. They will focus more and more on e-commerce. After all, the oldest generation has also embraced online shopping en masse. But that daily chat at the baker’s or the cup of coffee at the bookshop, that is here to stay and should be recognised as a real estate trend for 2021 .

Real estate trend 5: Holidays in your own country

Before corona, Belgians were among the most travel-hungry people in the world. But in addition to the home-working experiment, Belgium underwent another experiment last year: going on holiday in their own country. This renaissance of Belgium as a holiday destination will do many smart investors in holiday homes, catering and boat and bike rental business no harm.

Real estate trend 6: Suburbanisation

With expats staying away, urbanisation has come to an abrupt end. At least, so it seems. Because if you look closer, you will see that the trend of urbanisation had already turned into a trend of suburbanisation in recent years. This has nothing to do with leaving the city, but with the scarce space in the city. Especially now that many Belgians are more dependent on their own homes, suburbia beckons.

One view of this development is that the cities are emptying out. But the other view is that the Belgian urban area is being expanded with spatial, green living areas that are close to all the urban amenities. With the exception of a few people who really do swap the city for the countryside, the modern Belgian wants both the peace, greenery and space of the countryside and the amenities of the city. Another real estate trend to keep in mind.

Real estate trend 7: Wood

Wood is hot, because wood is circular. More and more real estate developments are focusing on timber construction. In 2021 and the years thereafter, Belgians will increasingly discover wooden buildings with lots of greenery among all the bricks and concrete. Who would ever have thought that of the oldest building material in the world? 

In the 1990s, cutting down wood was about the biggest crime in the sustainable world. Nowadays, wood is embraced on a massive scale. And the real estate world will notice this in 2021. The big question, of course, is whether this real estate trend will last.

Immowi Assistance

There is often an invisible wall between marketing and sales. Companies invest in marketing campaigns to generate leads, but do not take the right actions to turn those leads into customers. To remedy this shortcoming, the strategic online lead generator Immowi is adding a new extension: Immowi Assistance. Until now, we delivered high quality leads thanks to online marketing, but with Immowi Assistance we significantly increase the chance of these leads actually becoming customers. Thanks to this approach, companies that do business with us know how to convert their leads and have a platform where the leads are offered on a silver platter, ready to be converted into valuable customers.
Extremely result-oriented
We could make it easy on ourselves and be happy with just bringing in high-quality leads. But it’s frustrating when your hard work doesn’t follow through. Immowi’s great strength has always been that we are very results-oriented. Many marketers have a reputation for selling hot air, because they can’t substantiate their returns. We did that right from the start, and that’s why we were able to grow from one to more than 10 full-time employees in a very short period of time.
With MyImmowi we just go one step further than what classic lead generators do. We go to the point where a lead becomes a valuable prospect. We help our customers convert their leads into customers.
Entrepreneurial mindset always in mind
MyImmowi builds the bridge between marketing and sales. We Make it as easy as possible for the client to contact the lead. You have to keep them warm. If you let a few days or even weeks pass between the moment a lead shows interest in your product and the moment you contact that lead, you will lose him. Then your success ratio will remain low. So, we try to immediately set an appointment in the diaries of our clients’ salespeople. You have to strike while the iron is hot.
Letting sales people do what they do best
Sales people like to sell, but they thoroughly hate administration. They keep track of their leads, their appointments and their deals in Excel, or even with pen and paper. They only keep track of their own prospects. Many companies do not have a sales pipeline. So, you risk sending a quotation to a customer after a successful meeting, but ultimately missing the customer because you forgot to follow up on the quotation. You’re almost done, but because of the lack of a decent digital process you miss out on a customer – and therefore also on turnover.
We pick the low-hanging fruit for our customers. We automate the entire process from lead to customer, and put it into one clear dashboard. This way, as a business manager, you can follow everything from A to Z. How many leads does a campaign produce? How many of those leads drop out along the way? How many become customers? What stage is each lead in? The personnel cost of sales people is very high in many companies. If sales people do not lose time calling leads and recording appointments – which we do – they can focus on what they are really good at. And that is still selling, closing deals.
Measuring ROI to the euro
We bring marketing and sales under one roof. That way, you can make your campaigns much more effective. Imagine that your campaigns for one brand on Facebook and on Google both generate 10 leads, but that 8 of those 10 Facebook leads become customers and only 2 of those 10 Google leads. If you’re purely marketing, you won’t get that information and so you’ll continue to put the same amount of effort into Facebook and Google.
If you also include the sales part and you do get that information, then you can turn the right buttons, redirect your budgets and generate much more turnover.