Q2 2019

38 | Q2 2019 Mar19565 Virtual Commercial is the UK’s leading fixed-fee commercial estate agent, capitalising on their position as the first online commercial estate agent on the digital marketplace. In March, the firm were recognised among the ‘2019 SME Top 100’ as the ‘Most Innovative Online Commercial Estate Agent’. We spoke with Virtual Commercial’s CEO and Co-Founder, Andrew Vertes, to find out more about how they have made their mark on a market that was ripe for disruption. Virtual Commercial - the Future of the Commercial Real Estate Market Technology is the great disruptor, driving change across a plethora of industries. Some have relished these developments, finding new avenues for growth, whilst others remain steadfastly traditionalist. The residential real estate market belongs very much to the former group, finding a certain inspiration in the online landscape - revitalised on the back of greater connectivity and visibility. In comparison, the commercial sector remained unexplored, and commercial clients were forced to remain offline, deprived of the opportunity given to their residential peers. This is where Virtual Commercial stepped in, realising that no one had moved into this critical market, as Andrew explores in more detail. “We take great pride in our business, having taken it from concept stage through to where we are today. Our platform has taken a number of years to get to the stage it is now where it can handle every type of commercial property disposal. We are extremely proud that we save our average customer thousands of pounds in fees, and the fact that we have so many 5* reviews and around 20% of our clients are repeat customers speaks for itself. We have heard many times from clients that we are changing how commercial property is transacted in the UK! “We have the widest marketing reach in the UK, operate nationwide and offer a straightforward and transparent fixed-fee service for those looking to sell or let their commercial premises. We have built a company dedicated to commercial property sales, lettings and business disposals and have removed the high commission-based fees whilst retaining the core traditional estate agency services.” One of Virtual Commercial’s strengths is their ability to be adaptable and flexible, offering clients an unprecedented level of support through the entire process, regardless of the nature of their listing. “The great thing about our platform is that it can cater to any type of customer and any type of property. We have had clients assigning leases, owner-occupiers looking to let out extra space within their premises and all the way to PLC’s selling entire buildings. We have dealt with all types of property, from shops, offices, warehouses, investments, land or a combination of these; our platform offers estate agency services to everyone and everywhere.” As one of the leading Proptech firms in the UK, Andrew believes the core of their success hinges on an ability to cater entirely to their clients needs. “Commercial property owners have only ever had two options when selling their property and that was either instructing an expensive agent to assume control of the process, but which came with high commission-based fees, or to do it themselves with little or no support. Our platform modernises the sales and lettings process and enables us to offer estate agency services at fair prices that all can benefit from. We are at the forefront of technological use in the commercial property sector and I am delighted to say our completion rates are outperforming many traditional companies and we are one of the fastest growing commercial estate agencies in the UK.” In his final comments Andrew offers more insight into the future of the firm, as they look to accelerate their already impressive growth. “It has been a busy start to the year and we have exciting plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond. We have just agreed a partnership with Rightmove, the UK’s leading property portal meaning all of our commercial properties will be featuring on their website. We are the only nationwide commercial estate agent to offer marketing on all the major commercial property portals. We have also now introduced a much demanded on-completion charging model, where clients will pay a smaller upfront fee for 12-months of marketing but with a fixed success fee only if we find them a tenant or buyer. This ensures customers only pay for the services they receive but can still save significant sums compared to a traditional commission-based estate agent. We will also be closing a new funding round that will help us extend our marketing reach as well as looking to finalise a corporate partnership with a large financial institution. ” Client Testimonials “Virtual Commercial were brilliant, professional and efficient. I let my office in a very short time for the asking price and it cost me significantly less than the traditional commercial estate agents, who all came in at exactly the same price and wouldn’t negotiate. A refreshing improvement on the ‘norm’, I would definitely use again.” Rosie B. (Company Director) - Cambridge

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