Talking to an estate agent before the Christmas break and he was asking about how his competition in his location had revamped their websites and maybe he should too. We discussed the use of the Internet in promoting properties and the conversation moved around to commercial property for rent in Gorey, Co. Wexford.
80 commercial properties
For rent in the town and rumors that 1 large commercial unit had been actually given “Rent Free” just so the landlord could get in a tenant. That’s how desperate the market is to fill properties and then I had to inform him that not only has he to compete against other estate agents and letting agencies in the area, but in fact web designers like ourselves.
He was totally unaware that people starting a business are actually calculating the difference between paying, rent, rates, public liability insurance and wages against the cost of opening a shop online. When I explained to him that we and other web designers are actively encouraging businesses not to go down the traditional road of shops and move online he was astonished and later claimed to be a little bit worried about the market place in which he works.
€30,000 v’s €3,000
This is typically the price difference between a physical shop and an online shop. Its a no brainer and remember when its snows you actually get busier and dont have to shut your doors due to poor foot fall as many shops experienced as they had virtually zero sales for nearly 1 month in total in 2010. Can you afford to close for 4 weeks every year?
Now imagine investing in a website for your shop and actually seeing an increase in sales when your competitors have closed up and gone home. The type of people who open up an online shop are people who are looking towards the future and not stuck in a rut in their business planning. Each week we see businesses using the net in some simple and easy ways to sell online. It can be as simple as a paypal link to accept a payment to actually setting up a shop on ebay and putting your products up to a global market and not relying on ice covered footpaths with poor footfall.
So if I was an estate agent what would i do ?
I would talk to Cada Media and see how we can help businesses use the Internet in a more flexible and mobile manner whilst still using commercial office spaces.