Commercial Real Estate Redefining Office Demand Models for Office Space

Posted on Oct. 25, 2021

CCIM Institute chief economist details new metrics and methodologies for this property sector.

Given the impacts of COVID-19 and remote work, the commercial real estate industry must reimagine both the traditional steadfast — and now obsolete — predictors of demand for the office market and also future office needs. CCIM Institute recently released its latest special report entitled, “Office CRE: The Rest of the Story is Still Being Written,” which provides an in-depth look at the drivers of this change, and the new benchmarks and best practices for predicting the growth in this area of CRE.

“To more accurately foretell the future price and total return metrics post-COVID-19, office property investors and participants need to adopt a whole new set of data sources and metrics to monitor,” says K.C. Conway, CCIM, CRE, MAI, CCIM Institute chief economist. “And they’ll need to recreate a more sustainable and balanced remote work model.”

The CCIM Institute report indicates key insights for consideration, including:

  • The current state of the workforce — including those age 50+ leaving the workforce earlier, large employers moving to a permanent at-home or flex models, and still just over a third of workers back to the office — is providing millennials and Gen Z with much greater influence on the office sector. 
  • The growth of the subleasing sector — which reached a record-high 208.6 msf of space available in the U.S. — has presented both challenges and opportunities.
  • The great migration of businesses to different states is creating new industry hubs, and CRE opportunities, in previously underutilized locations. 
  • Pre-existing conditions prior to COVID-19, that were already contributing to the need for recalibrated metrics, have been accelerated.
  • What’s needed to draw investors back to this property type?

“Office property is one of the key contributors to the overall health of the commercial real estate industry. The pandemic illuminated a need to create a new barometer that can provide an effective snapshot of the growth opportunities — and barriers — for office property in the future,” said 2021 CCIM Institute President Timothy Blair, CCIM. “Our latest report lays out a compelling roadmap for this much-needed overhaul.”

CCIM Institute is widely considered the foremost thought-leader in global commercial real estate investment. The full report is now available and can be downloaded for free at


About CCIM Institute

CCIM Institute created the language of global real estate investment. Our courses and worldwide community deploy commercial real estate investment methodologies and tools that speed the pathway between opportunity, a go/no-go decision, and success for an asset, taught by instructors who are themselves industry leaders. Today, the organization, through its 50-plus chapters, continues to innovate best practices and elevate the commercial real estate professional through its core Designation program to earn the CCIM pin — real estate’s most coveted credential — and its topical education courses offered through the Ward Center for Real Estate Studies. In addition, membership in CCIM includes the industry’s best technology and operational platform, allowing entrepreneurial and mid-sized businesses to compete with the largest multinational providers. Today, almost 70 percent of Designees hold the title of owner, partner, principal, or president, representing an exclusive worldwide referral network of approximately 13,000 members in 30 countries. Ultimately, CCIM represents a larger vision of the commercial real estate provider, leveraging investment analysis, opinions of value, and underwriting to become a leader in sourcing capital, building a cash-flow vehicle, and ultimately creating value. Information at

Larry Guthrie | Director of Communications | (312) 321-4535


Larry Guthrie

Larry Guthrie is director of communications for CCIM Institute.