By Kathleen Morgan
It’s been just over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m grateful that there’s finally an end in sight! I’ve received both of my vaccine shots. Most people that I know in Arizona have received at least one round of the vaccine with the 2nd vaccine scheduled to take place in the near future.
Staying well has been on everyone’s mind more than usual throughout the past year. While 2020 was fraught with lots of uncertainties, I think that 2021 is a good year to focus on wellness. In my line of work, this means not only focusing on the wellbeing of everyone I work with but also lending my expertise to medical office users.
Medical office buildings should be set up to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of everyone who uses them: the tenants themselves, patients, and anyone else who visits the facility. When talking about leasing or investing in MOBs, this should always be a consideration.
The Characteristics of MOBs that Stayed Leased Throughout the Pandemic
Not surprising, the pandemic had an enormous effect on the way medical facilities operate. From financial uncertainties to the challenge of keeping patients safe, there have been significant challenges to overcome over the last year. Some practices struggled to overcome these challenges and ended up closing, whether temporarily or for good.
But throughout it all, it became clear that there are certain characteristics that remained desirable to both tenants and investors. Here are a few of the characteristics of the medical office buildings that stayed leased despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Here in Arizona, we’re lucky to have a climate that allowed us to socialize safely in outdoor, breezy locations. Medical office buildings with open courtyards were in high demand. Many practices even extended their waiting room out into the courtyard to allow for more spacing between each patient.
Single-Floor or Mid-Rise Buildings
Crowded elevators felt normal until social distancing became a necessity. In tall buildings, it became necessary to limit the number of people who could enter the elevators. In an era of social distancing, buildings with just one to three stories are far more convenient: not only is it possible to take the stairs, but people also don’t have to wait as long for the elevator.
Now, at most medical practices, patients have to call their practitioner before entering the suite for an appointment. Once patients call to check in, they must wait in their car – not in the waiting room – until their room is ready. With nearby parking, they can walk to their appointment much easier once they’re called back, which saves time for everyone involved.
Windows that Open
Open windows have never been as important as they are right now! With an airborne virus, ventilation is key. Within multi-tenant medical office complexes, if there was a window that could be opened to allow for fresh air and wellness, it was open. The CDC continues to recommend open windows and constant ventilation of spaces.
Adaptable, Flexible Spaces
Healthcare practices did an amazing job of adapting their layouts and spaces in order to maintain patient care and health. It was common to see spaces being rearranged, furniture being moved farther apart to allow for distance between patients, and spaces being used to support patients in new ways. Adaptable layouts have been and will continue to be a desirable characteristic for MOBs.
Interested in Medical Office Building Investments?
Reach out today for a free consultation! I would be happy to discuss solutions that create wealth while solving healthcare real estate needs at the same time.
Wishing you health and wellness, and I look forward to hearing from you.