Spotlight on commercial: The Australian’s Ben Wilmot on the real estate world of pubs, retail and corporates; the big trends emerging; and surprising investor shifts

Just like residential real estate, the commercial arena offers a wealth of great stories about people, property and the great Australian love of real estate. Here, The Australian’s Ben Wilmot offers an insight into the big stories of commercial, and how agents can work with the media to have their tale told.

Residential property might appear to steal the media limelight, but the commercial arena abounds with interesting tales.

And often, like residential real estate, the best stories are found in the people behind the property, according to The Australian’s Ben Wilmot.

Ben should know. For almost a decade, he has been the Commercial Property Editor of NewsCorp’s flagship national publication, bringing the big stories about corporate takeovers, office vacancy rates, historic pub purchases, and the rise of mum and dad investors to life.

It’s a unique position that has one watchful eye on the corporate camp, big industrial players, and retail movers and shakers, and another on micro trends emerging in the commercial space.

Ben reflects it’s a fascinating mix, but regardless of the scale, it always comes back to people and the great Australian love of property.

In this Elevate podcast with Cassandra Charlesworth, Ben takes a whistlestop tour of the major stories emerging in the commercial real estate space, looking at what’s changed over the past couple of years, and how that also relates to residential real estate.

He shares his expert insight into what makes a great commercial real estate story and offers tips on how agents can work with the media to have their stories told.

In the process, Ben dives into the trending tales that have even surprised him, shares his favourite stories and why they resonated, and offers a series of predictions about what’s likely to occur over the coming months in the commercial space.

It’s one part a commercial real estate round-up, another part expert market insight, and also a whole host of great tips about how every real estate agent can forge better relationships with the media.

“Just try and inform yourself as much as possible. It gives you a huge advantage in all your dealings. The reason that people read us from the top of the tree – the chief executive – to the guy who’s just starting out is to gain knowledge. And that gives you a huge advantage in whatever you’re doing.” – Ben Wilmot.

Ben and Cassandra also discuss:

  • The rise of mum and dad investors and the impact this has had on both residential and commercial real estate.
  • How Australia’s commercial landscape is embracing trends previously seen in Tokyo and Singapore and why transactions are now worth billions, not millions, of dollars.
  • The surprising commercial real estate trends that emerged during the pandemic and how the market is changing now as a result.
  • Why environmental and social governance is becoming a game changer in the commercial space.
  • How agents can build trusted relationships with the media to have their story told in the right way at the right time.
  • Why people are often key to a great real estate story, how big names can get a yarn across the line and why sometimes it’s the small, quirky stories that attract the greatest reader attention
  • The best ways agents can prepare themselves to work with the media, including the value of media kits and why a journalist might choose to reach out to you.
  • Examples of interesting and surprising stories that have trended, and how they can help agents identify what an audience might like to read.
  • How The Australian and realestate.com.au have joined forces to hone in on commercial real estate coverage and how agents can be part of this move.

And much, much more…

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.