The head of a commercial property listing site has shared his advice on how SMEs can get the best deal when looking for a new property to accommodate their business, and where they often come unstuck.
Simon Rose, CEO of CommercialPropertyGuide.com.au, told My Business that there are common trends among SMEs seeking new premises, and it is possible to secure a better deal for your business by being alert to alternative opportunities.
1. Reduce competition by being flexible with your requirements
“[Most businesses] are looking for nearby parking, coffee shops, obviously whether or not it’s got broadband, and the range in sale price for the suburb,” Mr Rose said.
By going in armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your search to properties that don’t necessarily fit the bill for most businesses (for example, if you have little or no need for car parking).
2. Can you afford to buy rather than lease?
It may be possible to reduce your competition for a space by doing the opposite of what is most commonly done in your particular market.
“Especially in retail or if it’s a small start-up, most people will be looking at leasing in offices and retail. [With] small industrial places we do have more for-sale properties for SMEs that start that way if they need warehouse facilities, because they are affordable,” explained Mr Rose.
If you have the available funds, consider purchasing your office or store rather than leasing, or alternatively use the lower demand for industrial property to your advantage to negotiate a better lease agreement.
3. Where does your business need to be?
“It’s always very strong in Sydney and Melbourne for offices and industrial,” Mr Rose said.
“In Brisbane, everything is coming down on the asking price level from offices, retail and industrial, but there are more listings in Brisbane than there are available in Melbourne or Sydney.”
Consider whether you really need the space to be in a particular city, or whether your business can take advantage of more favourable options elsewhere.
4. Use Google to maximise your options
Not all properties are advertised on all listings sites. You will cast a wider net by searching on Google or another search engine for the type of property you are seeking and your desired area.
5. Never judge a book by its cover
“When people are looking for that new location, they are [sometimes] easily put off by cosmetic sort of things such as carpet and paint,” Mr Rose said.
“It’s a very easy, quick fix to get in and negotiate a good deal. I think the best advice is look beyond [the fact that] some of these properties aren’t displayed in the best form, but you can go in there and get a good deal and make it look brand new with some cosmetic changes.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.