COVID-19’s impact on industries across the world can’t be understated. The pandemic spread across populations like wildfire, leaving people sick, anxious, and confused. In a desperate effort to stop the spread of the disease, governments enforced shelter-in-place orders.
While these lockdown measures certainly saved lives, they initiated labor shortages, material scarcities, supply chain problems, and more. Entire industries suffered. However, some survived by shifting their business models, utilizing technology, and being creative.
1. Real Estate
Conventional wisdom suggests that the real estate industry would suffer drastically because of the pandemic. After all, people have never bought or sold homes with physical distancing protocols in place. Finding reliable professionals to help with significant real estate decisions also became challenging.
But the pandemic forced real estate to innovate. PropTech tools like virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D cameras, and 3D printing all helped buyers with their research. Additionally, Nobul, a next-gen real estate marketplace founded by Regan McGee, helped buyers and sellers connect with top verified realtors.
Nobul’s role was critical at a time when the real estate industry was being flooded by inexperienced and mediocre agents who were seeking to capitalize on the hot housing market. On a marketplace offering verified reviews, homebuyers and sellers could pick from the cream of the crop.
Although the pandemic may be behind us for now, its impacts may be felt across real estate for years to come.
“The pandemic has shifted so many industries, including the lumber industry, which is experiencing sky-high prices right now,” McGee explained in an interview with Techno FAQ. “While this hasn’t impacted the ‘housing high’ yet, we know we need to watch the impact of this on the real estate industry in 2022.”
Should raw material prices rise like McGee fears, housing prices may continue to grow in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic was catastrophic for certain parts of the fitness industry. Gyms, health centers, service clubs, recreation facilities, and sports organizations struggled to implement physical distancing protocols while maintaining operations.
Some gyms tried to adapt by holding virtual classes and encouraging members to use proprietary fitness apps. Unfortunately, not many businesses found success through these innovations and were forced to shut down and lay off staff.
Analysts say that in Ontario, Canada, alone, the wedding industry was hit with $780M in losses in 2020. It was simply impossible for wedding venues to safely host customers with rising COVID-19 case numbers and physical distancing rules.
In addition, wedding caterers also suffered losses. Many were forced to throw or give away raw food purchased for canceled parties. Some also had to pay back hefty deposits to customers, suffering significant losses. With fixed costs still in place, businesses without any revenue shut doors for good.
Some businesses adapted by hosting drive-by weddings. Here, guests passed by the bride and groom in their vehicles one at a time to pay their respects and exchange pleasantries. Later, guests were served in the parking lot in their cars by waiters wearing protective gear. But such measures were only a stop-gap solution for struggling wedding businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on several industries. Although some survived by leveraging technology, others had no modern solutions to fall back on.