While Hines' Senior Managing Director John Heagy was able to close a massive deal with Microsoft at the 523,000 square-foot Atlantic Yards office development in West Midtown Atlanta in May, he admits COVID has upended the office leasing process.

"There is no question that the environment for traditional marketing has been completely rocked," Heagy says. "While we were working with Microsoft [before the pandemic], we were able to show space, have meetings with them directly and meet them at the site on a regular basis. We're just not able to do that right now." 

While brokers are now able to meet with clients again, if both parties are willing, the process is still cumbersome. Everyone is wearing masks, staying socially distant and arriving in different cars.

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Leslie Shaver

Les Shaver has been covering commercial and residential real estate for almost 20 years. His work has appeared in Multifamily Executive, Builder, units, Arlington Magazine in addition to GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum.