In recent years, we have seen a number of new commercial property trends emerge. Most visibly, in the office and retail space. (Storage Panda follows Property Wheel to stay informed on the latest. Be sure to check them out.) 

Office Space

The traditional office commercial property, like your single tenant properties or small professional office building. Are quietly being disrupted. This with the introduction of the co-working space, or shared office space.

Rent a desk amongst a sea of young professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives and freelancers. Pay a fraction of the price of a private office, maintain your flexibility and network with like minded individuals. It all stems from the scalability of the internet, and the resulting tech startup boom therein. Although a seemingly attractive choice, particularly the cut in rental. Remaining focused and productive in this environment, for the average user, may require more effort. Without a dedicated office, background noise can prove challenging for some who are less disciplined and easily distracted. coworking really works best for businesses with less than 10 employees as well. And with businesses that require stringent privacy, shared office space may also bring potential security risks.

Nonetheless, this model is seeing massive growth. Essentially doubling each year worldwide, since 2008. Many forecast exponential growth in 2016. It is clear the coworking office is filling a gap that has never been tended to.

Retail Space

commercial property

The retail environment typically includes single tenant retail buildings, small neighborhood shopping centers, larger centers/malls with grocery stores and anchor tenants etc… In South Africa, the large shopping mall is the mecca for any retail tenant. South Africa is also seeing major growth here. Much like the rest of the world, important trends and patterns emerging include the heightened emphasis on customer experience, and the technology that enhances it.

Shopping has become less about the product, and more about the consumer and their experience. The goal is for people to feel more comfortable and stay longer. The result, they spend more. With time becoming a scarce commodity for the consumer, retail is reaching one of two extremes. Offer a great experience, or superior convenience. In some cases, it can be both.

Certain technologies are slowly beginning to enhance these consumer experiences. In South Africa, and most developed countries, ibeacon technology has set the benchmark. Of which companies like iBeacon South Africa, are at the forefront. The tech enables store owners and malls to utilize micro location. The consumer can be pinged on their mobile, when passing an item on sale. Malls can direct shoppers to stores and toilets etc.. All via mobile.


If you would like to find more useful content on commercial property in Southern Africa. Be sure to check out Property Wheel. The website contains a wealth of industrial, retail, office and residential property news. It is South Africans ‘go-to’ property news portal.

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