CEBU’S real estate sector is looking to adopt new strategies to cope with the “new normal” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a Cebu property webinar hosted by Santos Knight Frank last May 7, property players said these strategies include work-from-home schemes, repurposing existing facilities and maximizing real estate assets. They also emphasized the importance of protecting the health and safety of their employees and stakeholders.

“We feel a responsibility for every one of our stakeholders: employees, contractors, suppliers, construction workers. It’s all about picking the right baskets right now and having a game plan not just for 2020 but for the coming years ahead,” Franco Soberano, executive vice-president and COO of Cebu Landmasters, Inc., said during the webinar.

Lockdown measures have effectively shut the tourism and hospitality sector in Cebu, one of the key tourist destinations in the country. Developers had to convert some of their facilities to serve as alternative sites for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, as well as employee housing.

However, there are also opportunities seen in the industrial and logistics sectors.

“The industrial and logistics sector remains a bright spot for Cebu, driven by the shift to e-commerce and the continuous demand for essential goods,” said Rick Santos, chairman and CEO of Santos Knight Frank.

Amid the challenges, there is a need to find a “win-win” solution between landlords and tenants.

“Landlord-occupier partnership is a long-term relationship. During these difficult times, both should be able to understand, listen, and be flexible to survive and thrive in this crisis,” Kling Lacson, director for occupier services and commercial agency for Santos Knight Frank Cebu, said.