There are excellent opportunities for local and regional estate agents to add an extra profit centre to their business by becoming involved in commercial property. That’s according to the Chairman of the Institute of Commercial and Business Agency (ICBA), David Broschomb.
Competing with a national company can be tough. The key to this, David states, is realising that the buyer is usually closer than the seller thinks:
“Statistics show that smaller business sales and leases are usually purchased by an interested party within a 10 mile radius of the property concerned. This gives a local agency a huge advantage when it comes to knowledge of the area. In addition, the local agent can offer a more personal service than a national may offer. A number of the nationals are only able to handle the sale via telephone, following the listing, without any personal knowledge of the client’s property.
“Large commercial properties such as industrial units, offices and development sites, may well be handled by an RICS practice, however, smaller units such as convenience stores and takeaways need the knowledge, expertise and contacts of a local estate agency.”
David believes that, with proper marketing, local agencies can get ahead of the big boys. Furthermore, because the sale of commercial properties works differently, the opportunity for growth is greater:
“In a competitive market where residential agents must be starting to feel that the next step is them paying the vendor to sell their house, commercial property deals offer a refreshing difference. As there are not commercial agents on every corner and due to the shortage of qualified BTAs, fees are at a higher level. Most BTAs would look at a percentage of the freehold sale, or a percentage of the premium and annual rent on leases, with a minimum fee.”
ICBA offers a membership that helps to promote your commercial property expertise and allows you to raise your profile in the community through the use of ICBA branded letterheads, sales particulars and window display. ICBA can be contacted on 0845 250 6016.
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