Recent bullish reports in the South African property media regarding the strong demand for commercial space in the Cape Town CBD, the central Southern Suburbs of the Cape Peninsula and Century City are by and large true but in some cases misleading, says Liz Grimbeek, a co-franchisee for Rawson Commercial Century City.
“Our experience,” said Grimbeek recently, “has been that certain properties are now seen as very desirable and tend to be fully let, while others can still have considerable surplus office space. A result of this has been that, while the going rate for commercial space in these areas is still at a satisfactory R90/m2 to R130/m2, we are still able to find space for smaller clients at R60/m2 to R90/m2.”
The number of small and medium enterprise clients looking for space below 300 m2, said Grimbeek, has risen noticeably this year and her own team has, this year, brokered many deals for smaller office spaces. The current trend towards smaller spaces, she said, bears witness to the tendency among big corporations to reduce overheads and staff and to outsource certain functions.
Asked what makes a commercial broker really successful, Grimbeek said that she could list a whole of number of factors, but undoubtedly one of the most important is the ability to discern exactly what the client is looking for – even if they are vague on this matter.
“A good broker is essentially sensitive and intuitive,” said Grimbeek, “and I am happy to say that I think we have several people on our team who fit into this category.”