When it comes to researching the local commercial real estate market, you can find lots of opportunities if your research is comprehensive and carefully handled.
Things always change in commercial real estate. I like to say that it’s an ‘agents market’ most of the time. The buyers and the tenants come and go subject to the economic trends in the local area. So it is up to the agents to connect with the right people and build the business. When you find the best listings, most of the enquiries will come your way. Top agents build their market from quality listings.
Every property market is seasonal and based on how your local businesses and property investors are reacting in those seasons. As an example there can be better times to lease and better times to sell a property throughout the year. As the local agent you can judge the current levels of enquiry and those seasons of activity.
Here are some tips to do local property market research:
- Track the numbers of signboards on properties in the local area. Split those numbers into sales and leasing as well as agent groups. If you can do so, split those numbers into exclusive listings versus open listings.
- Given the previous point you can also track internet listings in a similar way. That will be by location and property type.
- When you look into a given property area, there will be sales and leasing activity over the last few years that can give you trends and opportunities. The cycle of commercial real estate is quite long and on that basis you can make contact and position yourself with property people that purchased or leased property about 4 years ago. They are likely to be doing something again in the not too distant future.
- In a given property area or zone there will be changes to supply and demand for property; that is property for sale and also lease. Keep a close eye on the new zoning changes, new property developments, refurbishments, and redevelopments coming up.
- Time on market will change for some listing types or price ranges throughout the year. Some of those changes are just seasonal but others are the result in a shift in the economy. Graph those changes on a monthly basis given the listings that you are aware of in the local area.
- If you get involved with leasing, track the levels of incentive and the vacancy factors locally by property type.
- If you do a lot of sales, review the best methods of sales in commercial real estate currently to see what is working and how to best approach each marketing campaign.
So these things say that you can and should be fully informed about the local property market. As you gather the information you will see the places to focus your prospecting and marketing efforts.