And never arrange a viewing as an excuse to meet an agent – you’ll be wasting their time and denting your credibility too. Simply being on an agent’s database won’t secure you a hot buyer call. You’ll need to build rapport with them to be front of mind when an opportunity arises. Stay in touch regularly and cherry-pick agents you have the best connection with – don’t try to get on everyone’s hot buyer list.
Get yourself on local auctioneers’ mailing lists, so you receive a catalogue. Become familiar with the auction buying process using their online guides, and always have a dry-run visit before bidding in anger. Introduce yourself to the auctioneer, and never pay more than the ceiling price you’ve set yourself; it’s easy to get carried away. Sit on your hands if you have to.
Tell everyone what you do and put yourself out there. Business networking can be particularly profitable as you’ll be in a room of business owners who will know other business owners – and most will own commercial property AND could have money to invest. Reaching ‘friends of friends’ gives you an exponential increase in your contacts, but be aware that people will also want to see your website to make sure you’re the real deal.
Direct to vendor:
This involves buying a property that isn’t currently on the market. Why would someone sell you a property that’s not for sale? Usually, it’s because you can offer them more money than their property is worth on the open market. A tired shop or office building might be worth £200k to someone looking to house their business. But because you can convert it into flats using permitted development rights, you can afford to pay them £300k. From their perspective, it’s a one-off opportunity for a cash windfall. There’s a knack to finding these properties and their owners and persuading them to sell. And you’ll have zero competition as it’s just you and the vendor.