When you hear the term "snowbird," it's likely you think of an old retired couple from the North who heads south each winter to the warm sun and sandy beaches of states like Florida, Texas, and California. But there is an anomaly to this longtime status quo that may raise an eyebrow.
COVID-19 has released the younger generations from their cubicles and allowed them the freedom to work remotely, creating a growing trend of young snowbirds. But as offices begin to reopen, investors are unsure if this trend will last or if these young working snowbirds will soon return back North. Here's what investors should know.
Will they stay or will they go?
In a recent survey by Wakefield Research of 1,000 U.S. adults, nearly half of employees surveyed want to continue working remotely at least some days. In addition, 41% said they would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant maintaining their remote work schedule, and 47% said they would even likely leave their job if not given some flexibility. And according to a Best Practice Institute study, although 83% of CEOs want their employees to return to their desks at some point in 2021, only 10% of employees want to return to the office.
Obviously, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation. Business, society, and daily life were turned upside down with lockdowns that changed the way the world functioned. To claim that we know the final repercussions of this momentous shift in culture and business would be a farce.
But from what researchers have gathered in polls, this data can give us a clue as to the possible trends, at least in the near future. With the vast majority of employees indicating resistance to returning to the old norm, it seems likely at this point that this young snowbird trend will stick around.
What should investors know?
As a real estate investor, it's necessary to adapt to ever-changing market conditions over time. If young snowbirds are here to stay, even if just for a little while, it presents an opportunity to capitalize on the influx of short-term rentals or potentially even buyers in these popular snowbird destinations. Just remember that this new version of snowbirds won't be looking for the same lifestyle and housing that typical retiree snowbirds seek out. These are single people seeking a social life and young families who are looking for plenty of room for their kids to thrive. This could be anything from a downtown apartment to single-family homes in quiet neighborhoods, as the desirable market for this clientele is expanding.
The Millionacres bottom line
Businesses shifted their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it showed employees that working from home or remotely is not only feasible but reasonable. Employees aren't being shy about their demands either, which means there will be at least a portion of the current interest in the short-term rental market and secondary homes for the foreseeable future.
The young snowbirds are making waves, and real estate investors can take advantage by acquiring accommodations that fit their needs and marketing their properties to target this younger generation.