Master, sole or general agency?
Unlike the commercial sales market where they dominate, sole agencies are a rarity in the leasing property market. They are mostly used on large, complicated offerings greenfields development projects, often with a mix of uses, which require a significant long-term investment of resources from an agency.
Most properties are still offered for lease under a general agency arrangement, where all agencies can represent the premises to prospective tenants, although master agencies are becoming more common.
A master agency is not dissimilar to a sole agency when one agency has control over a listing and there is a single point of contact and accountability. However, other agencies are also invited to participate, generally at full fee, with the master agent receiving an overrider fee. The master agent coordinates enquiries, advertises the property and liaises with the owner on a regular basis.
This type of agency has become more popular, particularly for larger properties and multiple units, because not only does it engender more agency motivation, but it provides for better coordinated and more focused marketing, with controlled signage and a specifically targeted marketing plan for the property. This will result in a more consistent message in the marketplace and enable you to differentiate your property from other offerings.
However, a master agency is not suited to all properties. A general agency will be perfectly adequate for many leasing offerings, particularly at the smaller end of the market, and will enable you to reach the biggest possible audience in the quickest time.