'Meet the Agent' - Danielle Spurling, Rego Sotheby's International Realty
This month for ‘Meet the Agent’ we interview Danielle Spurling, Commercial Associate, Rego Sotheby’s International Realty. Danielle discusses the best parts of her job and working under the 'Sotheby's International Realty' brand, favourite listings on the market currently and outlook for the commercial market over the next 12 months.
How long have you been a real estate agent? I have been a licensed Agent since November of 2014 (8 Months).
Why do you like working for Rego Sotheby’s International Realty? I really enjoy my colleagues as we have a bunch of dynamic characters who are always willing to share insight and knowledge of the industry and pass on good advice from their many years of experience. There is definitely something to be said about working under the ‘Sotheby’s International Realty’ brand as people associate us with high-end / luxury real estate both in the commercial sector and residential. Even though this is the reputation, we as agents work with all sorts of properties from warehouses to penthouses.
What is the favorite part of your job? The best part of the job for me is meeting new people. Being a commercial agent is exciting as you meet all sorts of clientele, from local startup ventures, to larger firms who are looking to expand their practice, to overseas companies who are looking to open a branch in the Bermuda market. It’s certainly exciting to be part of the search to find the perfect space in the right location.
What is your favorite property on the market right now? There are a few to choose from, but my favourite is Tokio House (rental property) at the Waterfront Properties. 7,496 SF of Japanese influenced design with harbour views from every corner. The building is situated on the water so you can even drive your boat to the office. It is also conveniently opposite from my favourite restaurant, Harry’s!
What property on the market right now, in your opinion, do you think is really good value? Cedar House on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Victoria is a great spot with several rentable spaces on various floors and can lend itself to a variety of uses. Prices here range from $25 PSF for ground floor spaces up to $35 PSF for the penthouse floor which has balconies, a gym, large boardroom / meeting rooms and views overlooking the Cathedral. The service charge is only $6.50 PSF, which is also very reasonable.
How do you see the Bermuda property market over the next 12 months? Since starting at Rego Sotheby’s International Realty in September of 2014, I have seen an increase in market activity, specifically in the sales market. In fact, since I have started, we have sold one commercial building on Reid Street and currently have four buildings under contract, most of the deals are due to close within the month. While we still have a lot of rental space on the market, there is now a need for more inventory for purchase, particularly on Front Street. There has also been interest in city living and certain buyers are looking to convert commercial space into residential city living, mainly the Penthouse level and having the rest of the building used for commercial purposes. I think we will continue to see an interest and demand from buyers, both owner occupiers as well as investors.
Similarly, there has been quite a buzz with rentals. I expect we will continue to see more companies moving to the island, as new startup companies as well as those looking to expand their businesses who are in need of another location. There has been more confidence in the market and I think it will be an interesting and busy next 12 months!
What are your top 3 tips when looking for a potential new commercial property?
1. Definitely important to have a business plan, especially for startup companies, it is a useful tool for both the Tenant and Landlord to understand the Tenant’s obligations and how they intend to use the space / fund the space / expand their business etc.
2. Understand all your costs associated with the space. It’s important to know what your base rent is, service charge (and what it includes / excludes), who is responsible for the electricity, taxes, cleaning costs etc. before signing any Leases.
3. Think about the potential growth your company may have and if the space you are considering has the potential for expansion if the company plans to grow within the timeframe of the Lease obligation.
What do you think of propertyskipper.com (we promise not to edit!)? I think propertyskipper.com is a great avenue to advertise a property and I use it every chance I get! It is easy to search and find properties as the search engine is very specific and helpful.