Why it is so important to make use of an experienced Commercial Property Broker: Providing an Efficient and Professional Service to a Diverse South African Property Sector.
The general public is often confused between the roles provided by an Estate Agent and that of a Real Estate Broker. A commercial property broker works with clients to buy, lease, sell, or rent non-residential properties, such as office, retail and industrial space.
In South Africa, Commercial real estate professionals start off with the same license as those who work in residential real estate. A degree in marketing, business, property management studies or real estate is an advantage, however, experience in the industry is what triumphs. Estate agents and agencies, such as ours – Ask Ash National Property Brokerage – are required by law to obtain a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) from the Estate Agency Affairs Board and to renew this certificate yearly. Without an FFC, agents cannot claim commission or do property transactions legally.
Agents and brokers need to know about property tax, financial property analysis, zoning requirements, to mention a few. This doesn’t downplay the fact that residential real estate is simpler. Residential properties are living environments whilst commercial real estate is significantly more diverse with the focus being on the businesses bottom line. One example is the health / medical sector. If a pharmaceutical company is looking for storage space, working work with a commercial property broker with experience in this field would be a distinct advantage. For instance, at Ask Ash, we pride ourselves in having placed many medical manufacturing companies. This means that we understand medical Tenant requirements when it comes to cold storage, production lines and access for trucks. We also wouldn’t present a warehouse that has asbestos roofs or anything that goes against the sector’s operating guidelines.
Commercial real estate brokers are the middlemen between Tenant and Landlord. It is the brokers job to match the perfect property with the person and to assist in negotiating a deal that is favourable for all parties. Brokers should be transparent in their dealings and at the closing of a deal, all parties should be winners. When the deal is closed, brokers should always be available to provide the Tenant’s that they placed with support and advice throughout their lease agreement.
Lockdowns and covid-changed consumer behaviors have affected all industries in one way or the other. The new economic climate has increased office vacancies globally more than ever before and created a surge of demand for warehouses (so much so that we have a stock shortage in South Africa). Many Tenants have been unable to pay their rent and staff have had to seek rent deferrals and reductions as many people have had to relocate office space to home or shut down. The office sector is suppressed, and I do not believe it will bounce back to the way it was ever again.
The upside is that the commercial real estate industry will see a demand for more industrial manufacturing as well as logistic warehouse buildings and infrastructure. As commodities change and more specialized warehousing is in demand – mainly driven by the boom in E-commerce, the broker with expertise and knowledge is going to play a very important role in sourcing these viable spaces.
Ashleigh Meyers is Principal Commercial Property Broker and Managing Director of Ask Ash National Property Brokerage. Having let multiple square meters of space throughout the Western Cape, Gauteng and Port Elizabeth, her knowledge around tenants and leasing provides invaluable insights for both public property funds and private Landlords. If you’re keen to continue the conversation (because Ashleigh sure is), please connect with her on LinkedIn: Ash Meyers or email email@example.com or look up Ask Ash on Google to read their reviews.
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