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Coronavirus is upending the real estate industry. From job cuts to new opportunities, here's everything you need to know.

Empty NYC Coronavirus
  • Offices, hotels, and malls have been emptied by the coronavirus, which could lead to more than 18 months of disruption in our day-to-day lives. 
  • Flex-space providers like Knotel and Convene, rental startups like Sonder and Zeus Living, iBuyer Opendoor, and brokerages including Compass and Redfin have laid off or furloughed staff. 
  • The coronavirus has provided the largest experiment ever in remote work. Some experts think it could forever change our relationship with the physical office.
  • Customer behaviors are also changing how we buy and order, and that could have long-term effects on areas like industrial real estate. 
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The coronavirus has thrown the real estate world into disarray, as people empty out of offices, hotels, and malls and work from their homes. The spread of the virus and the economic disruptions that have followed are transforming how people finance, operate, and occupy real estate.
We've been tracking a slew of layoffs in the venture-backed real estate world, as empty short-term rentals and coworking spaces have hit once-buzzy industries hard. We are also keeping tabs on what experts are saying about the industry, and the future of offices as the virus has created the biggest experiment in remote work ever.
Have a tip about layoffs or major changes in this space? Contact this reporter through the secure messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-4772 using a non-work phone, email at anicoll@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @AlexONicoll. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
Here's everything we know right now:

Latest news

  • A Neiman Marcus bankruptcy could mark a major blow to NYC's glitzy Hudson Yards, one of the most expensive mega-malls in US history. Here's why.
  • The lender to a trendy Brooklyn hotel is looking to offload an $80 million mortgage as the hospitality sector craters — and it's the type of deal distressed-debt investors have been waiting for
  • Real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen is abandoning $600 million worth of acquisitions as the coronavirus slams New York City's multibillion-dollar sales market
  • Major tenants are delaying big leases in NYC as they re-think their office space needs for the post-coronavirus world
  • Blackstone bet big on 4 huge Las Vegas casinos. Then the coronavirus brought Sin City to a halt, right as the PE giant was trying to unload one of its multi-billion-dollar jewels.

Layoffs, pay cuts, and furloughs

  • SoftBank-backed Compass is cutting pay and offering equity in exchange — a month after it slashed 15% of staff
  • Some of WeWork's outsourced cleaners just lost their jobs — even as the coworking giant keeps offices open and charges members for space they can't use
  • SoftBank-backed iBuyer Opendoor just slashed 35% of staff after the coronavirus forced the startup to halt its home-flipping operations
  • Knotel is scrambling to pay millions in bills that started stacking up before the coronavirus hit, and hasn't paid April rent at some locations
  • Leaked documents from Knotel show the WeWork competitor struggled to hit financial targets well before the coronavirus hit
  • Real-estate brokerage Redfin is furloughing agents and laying off 7% of staff as housing demand plunges
  • Peter Thiel-backed insurance startup Jetty lays off 40% of staff days after pausing the sale of all new policies
  • Flex-space unicorn Knotel just laid off 30% of workers and furloughed another 20% as the coronavirus cripples a once buzzy industry
  • Days after laying off 20% of its workforce, Brookfield-backed Convene furloughs more than half of remaining employees due to coronavirus closures
  • Brookfield-backed Convene just laid off 20% of its workforce as the coronavirus upends the flex-space and events industries
  • Airbnb-backed Zeus Living just laid off 30% of staff as the coronavirus upends travel and hospitality startups
  • The coronavirus is slamming iBuyers, and firms like Zillow and SoftBank-backed Opendoor are halting their capital-intensive home-flipping businesses
  • SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage Compass just slashed 15% of staff and is pausing marketing as coronavirus slams the housing market
  • Hospitality startup Sonder is pushing ahead with plans to open its largest NYC apartment hotel yet as coronavirus cripples the travel industry

A sneak peek at the future of real estate

  • 'This is the day of reckoning' for companies like WeWork. 10 real-estate insiders lay out the future of flex-offices, and how employers are preparing now.
  • Virtual tours are being hyped as a way for commercial real estate giants like CBRE and JLL to keep deals flowing. Here's a look at how they work — and what factors they can't replace.
  • 7 charts show how the coronavirus could clobber real estate, from retail vacancies of nearly 15% to plunging office rents in Texas cities
  • Real-estate services giant JLL explains how the coronavirus could usher in a permanent 'paradigm shift' towards more remote work
  • A surge in grocery deliveries is creating a huge opportunity for industrial real-estate developers. Here's how the coronavirus is transforming retail and warehousing.
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