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Online sales: What can commercial landlords do to keep up?

By Greg Bell

The value of the online shopping market is enormous, with Australian's having spent a whopping $21.3billion online in 2017, according to Auspost. With people shopping from the comfort of their home, or anywhere with an internet connection, they don't need to visit physical stores as much as they used to. Gold Coast commercial property is still in demand though, and it's down to landlords to keep with new developments to ensure their investment is desirable.

What can commercial landlords do to remain competitive?

1) Provide smaller spaces for essential services

Whether small businesses or bigger department stores, bricks and mortar traders no longer need the large spaces traditionally seen in shopping malls and at other outlets according to Forbes. Larger companies are cutting down on space and small business don't always need big retail environments. 

It also pays to consider what kind of businesses are unlikely to be able to go online. Hair salons and cafes, for example, require customers to head out to a physical shop and provide an experience as well as a service. It's these experiences that cannot be replaced by the online world. 

Landlords already in possession of large spaces can adapt by subdividing their properties or offering lower rent for a shared space.

2) Offer property with multiple uses

With a property that can be used as a cafe, small shop, or office, you can appeal to a wide range of business owners. When it comes to finding new tenants you can advertise more widely and to a larger pool of people, increasing the chances that you'll find the one who wants your property.

To ensure you appeal, invest in areas surrounded by multiple business types. If you stick to an area solely populated with offices, you'll struggle to sell the benefits of your location to shop relying on weekend business. A variety of companies in the area also increases the chances of your tenants catching the attention of customers who set out for something else entirely.

3) Keep up with new trends

Office landlords in particular need to keep their finger on the pulse. Tenants want different facilities than 10 years ago and to compete, landlords must make sure their offering is up to scratch.

Hotdesking and coworking environments are now popular in many Australian cities and work well for small or start-up companies. Dedicating space in the building to these types of environments opens up the possibility of dealing with new types of tenants. Comfy seating areas, break rooms and meeting spaces are essential components of the modern office.

All types of businesses now expect fast internet connections and all the latest technology, so it pays to stay up-to-date with what's available. Shops with slow internet connections that cannot process card payments quickly will soon get frustrated, as will their customers.

To find a commercial property that suits your needs, speak with the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise.

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