Hemnet's new commerial listing service is launched

Hemnet's new offering 'Hemnet Kommersiella', a listing service for commercial properties on sale (or space to lease), was launched yesterday. See press release. (Google Translated version)


It's actually more correct to say 're-launched' since the site has existed for a number of years (see screenshot below). Originally created by Svensk FastighetsData, a company that in late 2007 was acquired by Vitec (both Swedish IT firms focusing, to a large extent, on the Swedish real estate market).

 The older version of kommersiella.se 

However, in 2009 the domain was 'transferred' to Hemnet. Read more at an earlier post. The new version of the site  is now running on the same platform as the originally Hemnet (residential listings). Very much the same functionality and also linking between them. Actually, just one way.

I guess just to keep the traffic down in the start. Otherwise, it will miss a lot of opportunities.

The business benefits

The aim with the service is clearly stated in the press release 

"There is a clear need for a platform for commercial real estate in Hemnet auspices, which has been lacking. Today, if a company is looking for a property or space to rent it has to use a number of platforms to get an overview of the overall market. The ambition of Hemnet's investment in commercial properties and real estate - www.kommersiella.se - is to eventually offer a platform that gives speculators a fast, precise and reliable overview.

The commercial real estate brokers have long called for a pure business for commercial properties. When we rebuilt hemnet.se we took the opportunity and created a separate site for commercial premises and buildings, and we are delighted to now be able to launch, says Carl-Henrik Borg, president of Hemnet."

A press release that got a quick reply from Objektvision's CEO Marianne Olseryd via Twitter. 

Objektvision is the largest (so far) listing service for commercial properties on sale and space to lease. In competition with services like Lokalnytt och Lokalguiden

My thoughts

First of all, I'm delighted to see an initiative to bring better efficiency (using IT) to the process of selling a commercial property.

Secondly, I believe that Hemnet has a great opportunity to provide more traffic to those listings with an integration with their residential listing service. There are many high end buyers that interested in finding a (smaller) commercial property to invest in.

However, I was surprised to see that 'Hemnet Kommersiella' also will include space to lease. My thought is that in the longer run it is better to separate those two different markets. Especially if one is aiming for the 'real' commercial properties in a range above 100 million SEK (15 million US dollars).

Another, interesting fact is that, as far as I'm concerned, only registered commercial property brokers are allowed to post their listings on the site. With an extremely high market share in the residential field that is enough to be the biggest site. However, on the commercial side that number is lower, not to mention letting out space for lease, which in Sweden is done largely directly by the property owner.

Furthermore, the listings are imported from the two largest 'brokerage systems (CRM)' used commonly among residential brokers, but not that often among commercial brokers. To be successful there needs to be alternatives. On the other hand, the question is if the commercial brokers are eager to make all their larger listings 'public'. I doubt it.

To sum up, an interesting move with a lot of potential, but also some great challenges.