Properties & Pathways

How to find off market commercial real estate?


16 June, 2020

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There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition, but when hunting for a good property deal, the less rivals the better – that’s why we’re often asked how to find off market commercial real estate?

Also known as unlisted property, off market commercial real estate can be hard to find. By its nature, there’s no ultrabright advertisement shouting “Enquire today!”

We’ll show you how to find off market commercial real estate and avoid buyer competition by:

  1. Building professional relationships
  2. Approaching realtors
  3. Putting your best foot forward
  4. Investing in a commercial property syndicate

But first, another common question – What do we mean by off market?

What does off market mean in real estate?

Usually, property purchases in Australia are made after a property is advertised. These are called listed properties.

With a listed property, it’s simple for buyers to find an asset they like, walk into a property inspection and make an offer… while a bunch of other would-be property owners do exactly the same thing.

The more offers that a seller receives, the higher price a property will be sold for. That’s not good for buyers who are looking for a deal.

buying off market commercial property

Buying off market, however, means you’ll have less negotiation battles and a bigger chance of snapping up quality real estate for quality prices.

That’s because off market real estate hasn’t been advertised to the public.

Buyers of off market property will compete against little to no other buyers and have first dibs on (what they will hope is) a great value property investment.

How to find off market commercial real estate?

There’s no overnight strategy on how to find off market commercial real estate. But putting in the work to find off market deals can be well worth the savings and exclusive investment opportunities.

1. Build professional relationships

Not only real estate agents, but leasing agents, property lawyers, and even commercial bankers can help you find a great unlisted property opportunity. These professionals can either put you in touch with a vendor or keep their ear to the ground for one to come along.

The downside to this approach is it will likely take years to establish strong relationships with the industry’s best. But as we’ve seen over our many years as commercial property investors, building these professional relationships can be the most rewarding move you’ll ever make in commercial real estate investment.

2. Approach realtors

Getting on a commercial realtor’s database is a great start to be considered for an off market asset.

If you’re new to commercial property, get your name out to local commercial property agencies by enquiring about off market property opportunities. Be as specific as you can about the commercial property you’re looking to buy, so that you’ll be front of mind when that special opportunity comes along.

Otherwise, use your networks to find the best real estate agents in your area of interest, and leverage these existing relationships as a referral.

3. Put your best foot forward

It’s not just about the money. You’ll find that sellers want their property in good hands after they sell it.

Agents need to present sellers with the best buyers, who are of good standing and character, understand the market, and will be professional from inspection to settlement.

Put your best foot forward by doing your market research and knowing exactly what you want out of the transaction. In other words, don’t waste your time – or the seller’s.

4. Invest in a commercial property syndicate (unlisted property trust)

A commercial property syndicate, also known as an unlisted property trust, is the quickest way to access off market commercial property.

Commercial property syndicators, like us, pool money with investors and go after big league commercial property, together.

Unlisted property trusts have built the relationships with those in the know, are front of mind with the nation’s top commercial realtors and typically hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). This licence means us syndicators are compliant with the strictest financial rules in the country.

We see off market opportunities every day. In fact, we turn most of them down.

If you want to learn more about how we work, get in touch with us.

Why sell off market real estate? Why don’t sellers list property for sale?

There are a few reasons sellers will sell a property off market.

Pre-market property

We’ll commonly meet sellers who are preparing to market their property for sale but are still open to offers before this time. These are called pre-market properties.

Pre-market property can be a chance for sellers to avoid the hassle of marketing their property and for a buyer to pick up a high quality investment with less competition.


Another reason for off market sales is a seller might prefer to keep the sale hush hush.

Big property players might not want competitors to figure out their investment or divestment strategy by marketing or advertising their sale, or don’t want the press to know their business, so will sell the property to a small pool of buyers.

There’s a hair on the property

Perhaps the property is not fit to be advertised.

Maintenance, vacancies or another issue might have plagued the owner, and they want to find the type of buyer who is happy to get their hands dirty and add value to the property.

Avoiding advertising costs and fuss

Sellers can avoid advertising and marketing costs by keeping their property unlisted. These costs add to the pile of outgoings, like Capital Gains Tax, a vendor should consider before selling their property.

Another reason for selling off market is to avoid the fuss of low ball offers and time wasters. If the vendor can trust the sale to a few potential buyers of a high standing, there is more chance they can seamlessly sell the asset.

For more information on the commercial property market, subscribe to our monthly updates.

Properties & Pathways is a dynamic commercial property investment firm. We handpick our properties throughout Australia to reduce risk and protect investor return. The strategy works. Our completed syndicates have provided investors an average return of 19.22% pa.

Contact us today for more information.

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Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Any information provided on this website has not considered the objectives, financial situation or needs of any investor; investors should consider whether it is appropriate to them to partake in a commercial property investment prior to investing, in light of their objectives, financial situation or needs. Every investor should obtain and consider the investment’s Information Memorandum before making a decision in relation to the investment.