If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to find commercial real estate listings in Edmonton, you’re not alone. Drive around any commercial area in Edmonton and you’ll see dozens of For Lease and For Sale signs. Some may be the wrong size, while others might have the wrong zoning.
Even worse, some may have worked but were just leased.
It doesn’t get much easier searching online either.
Home buyers can rely on Realtor.ca (formerly mls.ca) to find the majority of residential houses listed for sale. Realtor.ca also has a commercial component, but the ability to post is restricted to Realtors (noting the important distinction that not all real estate agents are Realtors). In fact, most commercial real estate brokerages in Edmonton are not members of the Realtors Association of Edmonton or the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and therefore cannot post listings to Realtor.ca (or call themselves Realtors either).
As a result, commercial listings on Realtor.ca represent a small portion of all available listings. We just did a survey of industrial properties in Leduc / Nisku to show the difference.
- On Realtor.ca there were 3 industrial properties available for lease.
- From our own database, we found 94 industrial properties available for lease.
While the numbers will undoubtedly vary with time and the area, this specific search we performed shows that Realtor.ca only had approximately 3% of all available listings.
So the question becomes, where do I find the other 97%?
There are other listing platforms that have been created specifically to address this gap but each of them have their own limitations.
For one, provincial regulations prohibit any website from displaying property listings without both the seller or landlord’s permission and the listing brokerage’s consent. In residential real estate, this permission achieved through the MLS® System agreements in place between and among brokerages, real estate boards and CREA. For reasons mentioned above, the commercial real estate industry in Edmonton lacks these arrangements, and therefore any and all websites are restricted to displaying listings in which they have obtained express permission to do so.
Also, these listing platforms run like any other business and require revenue to operate. In the case of a listing platform, this comes from a fee that buyers / tenants pay to access the listing information, or it’s a charge that landlords, sellers or brokers pay to list their property. A free classified ad service like Kijiji is a viable alternative, but it lacks the robustness and usability found in a system dedicated to commercial real estate. Furthermore, Kijiji also charges a listing fee to brokers, so it lacks a high participation rate.
Since there isn’t a comprehensive database, a buyer or seller is left to do a manual search through dozens of different commercial brokerages and general landlord websites or to hire a broker. We’re happy to provide a third option as we offer a free, no-obligation search to anyone looking for commercial real estate in Edmonton. We maintain an in-house database of all available listings, but for reasons mentioned above, we are not able to display them all on our website. We can, however, prepare a personalized list based on your requirements and send it to you by email. Whether you’re a landlord or seller looking for market comparables, or a buyer or tenant searching for the right property, we’ll send you a comprehensive list of all available properties for sale and / or for lease in the Greater Edmonton area.
While we hope that you would use us as your brokers, we offer this completely free of charge and with no obligations whatsoever. Please feel free to fill out this form if we can be of help.
Chad Griffiths, SIOR, CCIM
Ryan Brown, SIOR, BComm