Owning, sourcing and selling property never ceases to pose challenges! Despite the trials and tribulations, it is certainly a profitable and vibrant industry to work in, and this is especially true for commercial property.
When purchasing, selling or renting property, you need to make sure you have the best tools and websites at your disposal. To assist, we’ve curated a list of websites to help you easily find, sell and source UK commercial property much more effectively.
Each website/platform on this list is ranked according to its features, application, and usability. The list contains the following sections:
- Commercial listing websites/platforms.
- Commercial real estate publications/news websites.
- Land listing websites.
On and Off Market Properties
There are two different markets available for commercial property listing: on-market and off-market property. On-market property is generally accessible to everyone as the property owner has actively posted their property online with the use of an agent via a range of platforms, and advertisements created for the listing are distributed to networks of listings sites.
Contrastingly, off-market commercial property is not listed on the open market. Off-market commercial property provides an opportunity to secure bespoke deals. Off-market property sales may occur when the owner is working with an investments company who has contact with clients who are interested in commercial property on an ongoing basis. Sometimes, property can be sold off-market for confidentiality purposes or when a vendor doesn’t want to attract public attention to a sale.
For standard off-market property, classified ads are a great place to start. Newsnow’s off-market commercial property listings have become very popular despite the site itself being more or less totally unrelated to property. It’s essentially become the Gumtree of commercial property, the first port of call for many listing standard commercial properties such as warehouses and offices without going through a formal agent marketing process.
Newsnow connects to the global property listing site Realty, a property listing search engine that can be used to locate all types of properties worldwide, including commercial properties listed by mainstream and niche vendors and agents.
Other types of off-market property may only be made available to specific buyers who are part of private equity groups or investment management services. Commercial property may be made available to specific types of investors or buyers first before they’re offered up the public market.
Commercial Listing Websites
For most buyers, commercial property listings sites and portals are the go-to. We’re all probably familiar with using some of these sites or sites similar to these; they act as property search engines that put potential buyers and investors in touch with the agents that are marketing the properties.
The following CRE (commercial real estate) platforms are designed specifically for commercial listings and can help you to easily find relevant property listings which are suitable for a range of commercial purposes including offices, industrial or brownfield sites, etc.
Realla is a commercial real estate’s platform with:
- 23,500 active listings for renting and 6576 listings for sale.
- All of the listings are categorised by property type such as retail, office or industrial buildings.
- Advanced search functionality: There are 14 filters which allow you to quickly refine your search. This allows you to quickly find specific types of commercial property, one of the unique filters is called features and allows you to find properties that might have useful components such as a reception, kitchen or lift access, etc.
- Email marketing campaigns: From within the Realla platform you can create email campaigns to automatically market your commercial real estate.
- Toggle map vs show listings: You can easily switch between viewing listings in standard or via a map view.
- Transportation information: Additionally, every listing page provides all of the different transport routes available for access to the site.
The Estate Gazette is a well-known publication which also provides a commercial property listings platform that receives 2.7 million monthly visitors.
- Easily search between rent, to buy or auction properties.
- There are several obscure property types that can be included in your query such as; science park, healthcare and mixed-use.
- Upon subscription as a vendor, buyer or investor, you can receive a dedicated account manager and a suite of data analytics tools to help with researching, marketing and buying commercial property.
- Property size can be queried by either square feat, square metres, hectares or acres.
The Commercial People commercial real estate platform has ~1000 commercial UK property listings.
- In comparison to other property listing platforms which often only provide generic categories i.e. healthcare, leisure, etc, the Commercial People’s search function allows you to select sub-category property types. For example in the healthcare property category, you can query to view dentists, opticians or nursery listings.
- Filter properties between a min and max price.
NovaLoca is a commercial real estate platform containing 8500 unique property listings. Despite the website having limited search functionality for property types, it does give you the option to search for properties via a keywords filter. It’s a simple and slick commercial listings platform that offers a no-frills deep database of commercial property across the UK.
- There is a detailed specification section for every listing that highlights all of the main features of the property.
Land Listing Websites
If you’re looking to buy land and plots for various purposes including development, there are some websites explicitly designed for such purposes. Such commercial properties and land have niche classifications and many may already be purposed or developed for specific businesses, e.g. as golf courses or fisheries.
UK Land & Farm
UK Land & Farm is a fantastic platform for locating farmland, agricultural plots, farmland for recreational use, e.g. equestrian or country sports, mixed residential and commercial farm property as well as land that has been purposed for specific businesses, such as horticulture.
- Simple Interface: This platform features a diverse array of properties but it’s easy to use. You can choose a rural property category and then search listings within various subcategories. For example, under the ‘leisure’ category, you can search listings for caravan sites, golf courses, shooting ranges, land for equestrian sports, fishing lakes, etc.
- Search Lettings, Sales and Auctions: It’s simple to toggle between listings marketed for sale, let or auction.
UK Land Directory
The UK Land Directory specialises in selling land only, either without planning permission, with outlined planning permission, or with full detailed planning permission. The suitability of the site for development projects is included in each listing.
The listings include all basic information about the site as well as details describing what potential developments could be made on the site and whether or not planning permission for development is currently outlined in any local council plans, or whether it has already been granted.
You can conveniently query land based on location, price range, use for the land, and planning permission status. You can sign up to receive email notifications when land is listed in your area.
- News & Articles: UK Land Directory has a great blog with many informative articles on land and development. You’ll also find testimonials and press releases that reflect the credibility of the platform and its agents. Additionally, there are news updates regarding changes in the UK land market and industry. Overall, it’s a great platform for staying up to date with current affairs and events in rural land development and agriculture.
Multi-Family Listing Websites
Many listings platforms can be used to search for both commercial and residential properties. These are the big names in property searches – they opt for listing properties of all types in volume. As such, you’ll find the greatest choice on these sites, though they may not always be optimal for those searching for niche plots and buildings.
Rightmove is often recognised as the UK’s biggest and best portal for the property marketplace and offers you the opportunity to showcase and source property from a global audience. It’s generally considered to be most agent’s number 1 choice and many agents will put the most effort into listing property well on Rightmove as it gains the most traffic of any UK property portal.
The choice with Rightmove is hard to beat with over 1 million listed properties at any one time. Its only weakness is in its niche commercial property listings, e.g. agricultural or rural land, where you’d likely be better off using a niche listings platform like UK Land Directory.
Aside from that, Rightmove covers every base for those searching for commercial properties and everything is displayed intuitively with a high level of detail on building condition, use, any relevant planning permission, terms, etc.
Furthermore, Rightmove also has an extensive UK property database which can provide you with property insights and data, aiding businesses and investors in their commercial property market analysis. It’s a powerful platform that lets you find and research the property in detail and with reference to contextual local and national statistics and data.
- Oversea Expansion: Rightmove can help you to find overseas properties – the platform currently covers over 90 countries.
- Find An Agent: Rightmove also consists of a vast network of real estate agents that are spread right across the UK. As the agent’s platform of choice, Rightmove boasts closing rates some five times better than other listings platforms. It’s efficient for both buyers and sellers as agents will always be evaluating the status of their listings on Rightmove along with any enquiries made.
Zoopla is Rightmove’s main competitor and another dominant property listing and marketing platform which blends property listings with contextual local property information and some excellent tools for analysing property data. Rightmove and Zoopla are closely matched and both provide an exceptional means for accessing commercial property listings of most types and use categories.
- The commercial property selector allows you to filter by offices, retail premises, industrial, leisure/hospitality and land.
- Detailed Search Queries: Zoopla allows you to calculate office space units, search according to minimum-maximum price, units property type, and much more. Its advanced search tool enables you to use keywords, distance from a location, and a ‘sort’ tool to order listings for easy viewability.
- You can search for properties which have been recently added to help you easily find new commercial property opportunities.
Property News is an award-winning website specifically designed for locating properties for sale and rent within Northern Ireland.
- Draw on map: Property News allows you to search properties by drawing areas in which you would like to view properties.
- My Important Places: This feature allows you to highlight places and locations that are important to access from your commercial property, the distances to these places will be calculated in reference to the desired property – perfect for working out logistics and transport routes.
- Advice Area: A unique feature of this platform is the advice area, where you can ask the community about best practices regarding renting, buying, and selling a property. It’s a great initiative to help beginners who do not possess extensive knowledge within the property market.
- Alerts: You can create custom alerts that will notify you about lettings, sales and even auctions.
For many, the top-of-the-mind property portals will be Zoopla or Rightmove. These two sites dominate UK property listings, both residential and commercial. Both support listings from a hugely diverse array of agents that specialise in all manner of property across the UK. With fully-featured and advanced search tools and even analytics suites designed to aid market and property research and analysis, it’s hardly a surprise that these sites rate as the best around for anyone searching for commercial property.
However, with all that said, Rightmove and Zoopla are not always the most effective for those searching for niche commercial properties. Rural commercial properties and land are best found using specifically designed platforms such as UK Land & Farm and the UK Land Directory. Both have quickly gained popularity in catering to emerging rural property and land markets and provide an excellent means for investors and developers to find exciting potential projects.