By Sean Berowsky
Office space is the underperformer of the three major commercial segments, and also has significant technological challenges as companies are becoming more flexible in terms of whether staff work from home or the office. In many cases, this is lowering the need for office space.
The South African commercial market cannot be approached with a ‘cookie cutter’ model / pricing and offerings need to be tailored to suit its unique market. Price point is a key driver in the commercial sector.
Broll Property Intel’s latest report released this year, titled ‘The Evolution of Retail’, looks at how the retail property sector is evolving and highlights some of the changing retail, consumer and technology trends. It finds that South African consumers are anticipated to become more mindful of spending, focusing “more on needs and less on wants”, which filters through to the commercial sector.
Competition within the South African commercial market is rife. As such, new property offerings within commercial parks are vital in order to attract market share. The commercial market is changing and evolving at a rapid pace, with innovation being one of the key success factors to survival.
The adoption of more sophisticated tech platforms by property brokers for their customers is also a good thing for landlords, as it significantly reduces the pen-and-paper, phone tag churn required to confirm financial information between all parties. Streamlining processes with tech improvements will go a long way to ensuring control of outgoing vacancy information to market both in terms of accuracy and quality – which ultimately means more deals for the landlords.
The benefits of a tenant dealing directly with landlords remain fairly limited, as in most cases a tenant doesn’t have access to data like market trends and likely landlord concessions. They also lack experience in the industry and so have to rely on often conflicted advice to navigate through complex decisions towards a satisfactory financial outcome.
Technology enables property brokers to concentrate on increasing deal flows, interpreting the data, advising clients and providing a more intimate and consistent property needs-driven by pre-engagement with tenants. In this way, brokers are evolving towards providing ever more valuable consulting services in commercial property transactions – which ultimately benefits both tenants and landlords alike.
At Broll, when it comes to commercial property broking, we have:
– Access to a wide range of value-adding services
– Comprehensive in-house research and analysis capabilities
– Knowledge-driven team-based approach to solving your property needs
– National and Sub-Saharan Africa footprints
– Unmatched database of high quality office and industrial properties available to let
– Working relationships with major listed and unlisted property funds
Finding the right industrial property or space often involves a combination of complex technical considerations which include electricity supply, access to distribution hubs, airports and rail links, turning circles for large vehicles, load-bearing floors and roller shutter doors and high eaves amongst others.
Broll’s dedicated team of investment property professionals can assist with properties within and beyond South Africa through its global network partners.
Finding the right offices to let is not just about square metres and parking ratios. It’s more about the office space meeting the tenant’s ever evolving and total business needs.
Sean is the head of Broll Broking South Africa