Now that you are more informed and more confident, it is time to start looking. There are various ways to do this, but these are my preferred methods:
- Direct contact with an agency
- Online research
If you love to do a lot of online research first, then go to www.commercialrealestate.com.au.
Commercial Real Estate is part of the Domain Group, owned by Fairfax Media. If you have ever searched for residential property, you will be familiar with the Domain web site and Domain magazine that appears in the Saturday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. There is a commercial real estate section in all the major Fairfax Media publications across Australia, including The Age, the Australian Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald. A high percentage of Australian industrial real estate agencies advertise their available stock on the Commercial Real Estate website.
The website is very user-friendly, even for the novice. You can narrow down your search by entering specifics, such as a price range or a suburb you are interested in, and then you can view online available properties that meet your criteria. You can also enter keywords for a more personalised search. I entered a specific real estate agent’s name and pulled up all buildings for sale under $500,000 that were currently on that agent’s books. You can use this website to familiarise yourself with industry-specific terms and compare prices across different suburbs before calling an agent.
I particularly like the small icon at the foot of each advertised property on the website that shows you the category of the property–whether it is an industrial property, a commercial property, an office, and so on. There is even a handy free mobile app to download onto your iPhone or iPad. The app lets you shortlist properties that you may be interested in. This is a fantastic tool when you are searching to buy, because if you are like me, when you leave home to go and inspect a property, you may inevitably leave behind your notes, or forget specific information you have recorded about a property – like the address for example!
DIRECT AGENT CONTACT
If you prefer direct human contact, then call Bawdens Industrial, who specialise in industrial real estate and ask them to send you information on properties that meet your criteria. The sales agents will be happy to discuss your budget and send out appropriate information. It goes without saying that availability depends on the current market situation. It is also worth keeping in mind that agents are busy people, and suitable factory units can be far apart. Unlike residential house hunting, there are no open house viewing times. Remember, these factories are usually tenanted and people are earning a living there, so inspections are only held when you have been ‘qualified’. This means that you have demonstrated that you are ready to buy and have the means to do so. It would, however, still be best to do some independent research about the properties you have targeted that seem to fit your criteria before visiting them. Also bear in mind that typically, industrial real estate agencies are not open on the weekend, so you will need to make appointments in advance to view properties.
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