Is it “just an agents-landlord thing”…?

So how many of those visibly vacant units in your place are being proactively marketed…?

We’ve just run some data based on current #TheVacantShopsAcademy commissions, and wonder how many #highstreet #property and #placemaking colleagues might be surprised.

Feel free to take a guess before you get to the line with the numbers.

It feels important as part of our belief that the place – whether council(s) or BID where there is one – have an important role to play in tackling vacancy and that it’s not “just an agents – landlords thing”.

It also, I think, plays in the discussion about High Street Rental Auctions, and whether or not such a power is even needed.

So here goes. Our ‘audit’ stage found 316 visibly vacant units across 17 locations we’re involved in. What percentage had no visible agents board…?

Just over 40%.

In other words, if you’re a business out looking for potential units to expand into, for every 5 empty units you see there’ll be 2 that give you no clue as to how to find out more. In some places the figure is 50%.

Now it’s worth saying that in some cases there will have been a sign now removed because the unit has let or it has a tenant that’s left but is still paying rent on an unexpired lease, but that’s not much help to a would-be occupier.

For many others it suggests little or no effort is actually being made to find a new tenant. That surely contributes to long term vacancy and isn’t helping places.

So how close was your guess…? Is your place at that 40% average figure, better or worse…? Or don’t you know…?

It’d be interesting to hear.

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