How Can We Help You?

Sector and market analytics

Driven by economists and leveraged by market makers.
CRE performance across major metros and asset classes. History and forecast by CBRE.

Thought leaders abound

Depth, breadth and rigor concentrated at all levels.
Synthesizing macro factors and leading indicators into actionable national, sector and market research.

Advantage is CBRE

Perspectives, scale and connections that work.
Commercial and cultural insight aligned with intellectual capital and experience to fuel informed real estate decision-making.

Which data are right for you?

Data views and extracts by scenario and on demand.
Check out the fundamentals, capital markets, and data tools now on our one-pager.

Experience the platform

See first hand why top institutional investors, direct lenders and private equity firms are clients.
Set a time that works for you.

Econometric Advisors' blog

Coronavirus: Social Distancing and the Secular Trend Toward a “Virtual Society”

Mar 19, 2020, 14:28 PM by Bill Wheaton

Before the onslaught of coronavirus, most developed economies were moving along a secular trend with an increasing share of virtual transactions and economic relationships. The share of consumer purchases made online through e-commerce has been growing steadily. The contract between employees and their firms was also evolving toward greater flexibility with remote or home-based work. Lending, mortgage origination, and even home buying were experimenting with web-based platforms.  

Now, suddenly, these sorts of changes are being thrust upon populations that heretofore may have been reluctant to adopt them. Firms are being asked to allow all kinds of employees to try working from home in order to support population sequestering. In the end, many jobs, tasks and transactions which were not yet “ready” or “suitable” for conversion to a virtual format are being forced to convert – at least on a temporary basis.

So, what will all this mean for the longer-term trend in “virtualization”? It’s impossible to know for sure, but educated speculation is certainly possible. I see two possibilities:

            1). Those activities or individuals forced to convert by the coronavirus in fact turn out to be not appropriate or not yet ready for this evolution. In this case, once the virus is tamed and conquered – which it will be – society will return to the spot it was in prior to the virus. We will all be delighted to reconnect with colleagues, places, stores, activities – in person.   

            2). The alternative is that as activities and people are forced to convert, they will innovate in order to maintain themselves. Through this “experiment” they will learn and discover new virtual techniques, strategies or preferences that were overlooked or not tried before. In this situation, the long-term growth curve of web-based activity will experience a sudden positive jump which may turn out to be permanent. Possibly even its time-based trend will increase as well.  

Taking these two together suggests that the long run movement toward a more virtual society is likely only to increase as a result of the coronavirus “shock”. Necessity has often been the mother of invention and evolution.   

 

 

Ready to Get Started?

60 second demos.


WATCH NOW

Experience the platform.


TRY IT TODAY

Become a client.


NEXT STEPS

Global Research Tools

redirect pin user minus plus fax mobile-phone office-phone data envelope globe outlook retail close line-arrow-down solid-triangle-down facebook globe2 google hamburger line-arrow-left solid-triangle-left linkedin play-btn line-arrow-right solid-triangle-right search twitter line-arrow-up solid-triangle-up calendar globe-americas globe-apac globe-emea external-link music picture paper pictures play gallery download rss-feed vcard