There is no denying the fact that internet has transformed our lives and has caused a great shift in the way things were done. Consumers as well as businesses have gone online and they have established an online market where the competition is the same, if not more severe as is in the conventional market.
Undeniably, internet has also affected the real estate market as well. Now investors as well as the retailers or tenants consider the use of internet in achieving their desired objectives pertaining to sale and purchase of commercial real estate units. Surprisingly, this effect of internet on retail leasing is still limited to a certain extent, whereas the real estate agents are pretty much in business and their presence is pivotal to the market.
In the context of Toronto, the effect of internet can be seen at work when it comes to tertiary retail spaces. The charm of a tertiary space usually works for the independent tenants who in most of the cases are non-nationals. All they require is a space for them to conduct their business independently – void of any interaction with others. This much effect of internet is accepted and acknowledged pertinent to real estate leasing in Toronto, however, things change when the national tenants are considered.
The national tenants still prefer having a real estate agent over the use of internet for retail leasing. To them, an agent brings added value, which the internet despite its all facilities and ease fails to provide. For the national tenants, conducting business in a retail space is a long term investment, therefore, it can neither be void of interaction nor can it survive in isolation from the market.
The primary reason why the national tenants prefer agents is the fact that hiring an agent brings in the human-connection factor on contrary to the internet serving as an intermediary. The agents help the tenants build a relationship with the Landlords, which is crucial for the success of the business in the long run. If this relationship is not stable, then the course of things seldom runs smooth, which surely is something not desired by the investors.
The agents also bring information regarding new developments in the market to the investors leasing the retail space. This information can be about the uniqueness of the retail space in itself, the locality it is situated in, the legal developments that are taking place pertaining to retail leasing and so on.Like the relationship with the landlords, the information regarding the new developments is also crucial for the business to stay ahead of the competition.
Real estate agents are also a reliable source of information pertinent to analytics of the market. The agents being the stakeholders of the trends in the market are aware of the different factors that can affect the business. The agents can inform about the demographics, the preferences of the industry related customers in the particular region and so on.
With these added benefits, it is quite natural that the national investors who are in for the long haul would prefer agents to the internet. With agents, the smaller tenancies will be in a better position to locate storefronts and spaces that cater to them. Similarly, dentists and medical use outlets in addition to the professionals like lawyers and accountants will continue on locating to retail spaces by availing the services of agents in Canada in general and Toronto in particular.