What is the Commercial Real Estate Industry Sentiments Survey?
Conducted in December 2021, our survey captured the views of business owners, principals, licensees, and CFO/CEOs from around Australia. This includes a broad cross-section of businesses, including franchises and independents, and both small and large businesses. The purpose of the survey was to get a comprehensive overview of the commercial real estate industry in Australia, as it has changed through 2021 and into 2022.
What did the survey find?
The future of commercial real estate appears bright. 91% of respondents reported feeling upbeat about the future of the industry. There was an overall reported increase in revenue, with property management income being reported as increasing by 64% of respondents. This was especially true for smaller businesses (1-10 employees), with 88% reporting an increase in property management income. With these numbers, it’s unsurprising that 71% of survey respondents report that they are looking to grow their business in the next 12 months.
Commercial property managers and trust accountants are in high demand. All respondents reported finding it difficult to employ qualified commercial property managers over the past 12-18 months. Overall, this sentiment is also felt towards trust accountants. New South Wales is the only exception to this, with only 17% reporting that it has been difficult to find qualified trust accountants.
When it comes to keeping pace with industry changes regarding technology, 24% of respondents believe they could be doing more. 60% believe that they are keeping pace with industry changes – for example, having a cloud-based system in place and keeping active on social media. Cloud-based software came out as the most common practice, though only 69% of respondents have made the change. Switching to cloud-based software was ranked as respondents’ top investment priority for 2022, suggesting that by the end of the year that number will be much higher.
The highest priority of respondents for the new year is to grow their rent roll, followed by increasing productivity. 53% of respondents reported the availability of qualified staff – often commercial property managers – as being the key challenge in achieving these goals.
Over the past year, 44% of survey respondents have found that tenants and owners have had increased expectations of customer service levels and rate of response. Only 13% reported not seeing a change in tenant and owner expectations. Despite these trying times, 93% of respondents report that they have adapted to the growing expectations of tenants and owners.
66% of respondents report seeing a high or medium impact on revenue this past financial year due to COVID-19. Respondents have reported experiencing increased demand, restricting spending, and adjusting hours of operation among other effects. 73% of respondents expect the effects of COVID-19 to continue.
Read more about these insights and others here.