SpaceMatch, an online platform that allows landlords with available space to list their properties and prospective tenants to view and secure those spaces for rental, is shaking up the traditional retail rental market.
“Retail is an industry in flux and SpaceMatch provides an exciting platform for landlords to find tenants and vice versa. Think about it as a matchmaking service for landlords and tenants that offers the convenience of Airbnb.”
– Kevin Singer, CEO at SpaceMatch
The platform – www.spacematch.co.za – already has more than 200 spaces loaded, together offering an impressive 37,148m² of prime retail space. These range from tiny kiosks to huge outlet spaces and can be found in malls, community shopping centres or in shopping precincts across South Africa.
“The time is right for this disruption and this amazing opportunity for both landlords and prospective tenants to collaborate, creating a platform for the resurgence of bespoke tenants within the retail sector.”
– Adam Bravo, Head of Partnerships at SpaceMatch
How it works
The model works by allowing landlords (or Space Owners) to list their sites for free. Potential tenants (or Space Users) then register on the site and apply to rent spaces that best suit their location and budget.
Space Owners have full control over how their spaces can be used as well as the ability to accept or reject enquiries. This means there’s no risk for landlords and only upside in the form of more eyes on their vacant spaces.
Space Users can browse available properties and shortlist their potential sites from their desks, without having to track down and engage with multiple parties.
The whole transaction, including legal contracts and FICA verifications can be done online (or offline if you prefer) and can be concluded in a matter of days. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
It also offers information on industry trends as well as plenty of inspirational and informative content. This includes information on retail areas, cities and suburbs as well as in depth opinions on retail trends and tips on how to successfully turn your idea into a thriving retail space.
SpaceMatch, which first launched the platform late in 2020, has partnered with property giants such as Growthpoint, Investec, Redefine and Moolman to breathe life into their unused spaces and is reaching out to players in the industry, big and small.
As the portfolio grows, more services will be provided to both Space Users and Space Owners. These include photography, music, shop-fitting and design. There is also a focus on incubation with education and mentoring being developed to offer to emerging entrepreneurial retailers.
Retail markets worldwide have been heavily impacted by Covid-related lockdowns and the subsequent change in consumer behaviour. Traditional models have been thoroughly disrupted, forcing retailers to reimagine their strategy and providing a springboard for a concept like SpaceMatch.
Rentals have traditionally taken months to negotiate and SpaceMatch offers an attractive alternative for the fast-paced, tech-savvy market that is emerging with its online, almost instant model.
Internationally, short-term rental has been growing rapidly with pop-ups dominating as businesses explore ways to straddle online and instore models. SpaceMatch embraces this new trend, while still offering a vehicle for longer rentals as the local market adapts to new ways of operating.
Current Space Users include recognized brands that want to try out new areas as well as entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses.
Finding space has traditionally been so cumbersome and it’s exciting to see how many potential tenants are coming across our site and using it to fast-track the process.
The team behind this exciting new platform has pooled a wide range of collective experience. They include co-founders Kevin Singer (CEO) and Andrew Marshall (Chairman), together with Adam Bravo (Partnerships), Kevin Trinder-Smith (Operations) and Sue Parker (Marketing).