The ‘Zoom room’ boom: A very 2020 real estate trend
In a real estate trend that could only happen in 2020, agents and sellers are adding “Zoom rooms” in listings, alongside more traditional home features.
As buyers look to a future of working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, home offices with pretty backdrops are seemingly in demand.
A three-bedroom house currently on the market in the Oakland Hills boasts, “A decorative wall in the home office provides a nice backdrop for Zoom calls,” as noticed by reporter Sarah Frier on Twitter.
A very 2020 thing:
Home listing in Oakland touting a “nice backdrop for Zoom calls” pic.twitter.com/ZBlHAIG8F7
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) July 24, 2020
A bougie $4.9 million listing tucked behind San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park has a lot to offer, but the “impressive Zoom Room!” gets a higher billing than the wine cellar and hot tub in the realtor’s blurb.
Another recent listing in Oakland suggests that a third unfinished bedroom would be “perfect for a private home office, zoom room or au-pair suite.”
While it should be assumed that a multi-million dollar home would have a room with space for a chair with a wall behind it, the trend is apparently real.
This writer’s wife rearranged her home office/laundry room only last week so her backdrop on important finance calls would be a hastily repainted sea green wall, rather than the sock-strewn washer-dryer.
A dedicated Zoom room may also provide a space to make work calls away from housebound, home-schooled, stir-crazed kids. Professor Robert Kelley could have used one when conducting a now infamous interview live on the BBC.
While many condos and apartments don’t have the luxury or square footage to dedicate rooms for zooming, realtors are predicting that a communal work space will be added to the planning of new condominium developments, in the same way as gyms and roof decks have been.
How long the Zoom room boom trend in real estate lasts will likely depend on how long home buyers are forced to reckon with a life cooped up at home. But even when the pandemic is history, many signs point towards working from home as the new normal.
“People will definitely be looking for a work-from-home zone and a place where they can use the camera on their laptop or phone for their Zoom meetings. People want to make sure that the camera doesn’t point right into the living room or kitchen where the kids are playing,” realtor Patrice Groleau recently told the Montreal Gazette, “so you need a place to do your video conferences that is an intimate space but doesn’t show your whole home.”
“If you’re going to work from home, especially if you have kids, you’re going to need that extra space,” broker Joe Brimo added, “It was cute at first, the dog would bark or the kid would come into the room. Ha ha, everyone laughs. But it’s got to the point now where people say, ‘Hey this is a business. Let’s get serious and get the job done.’”
Andrew Chamings is an editor at SFGATE. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @AndrewChamings