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Consortium looks to stir things up on Sydney’s commercial scene

By Grace Ormsby
30 June 2021 | 12 minute read
LJ Hooker Commercial team reb

Four Sydney-based commercial real estate businesses are joining together to manage $1.5 billion worth of assets and “shake up” the Sydney market.

X Commercial is combining LJ Hooker Commercial offices across South Sydney and the Inner West with David Brown’s Surry Hills-based DB Property and Chatswood’s PCC Agency.

A statement revealing the consortium said X Commercial will be a full-service commercial agency able to offer specialised advice for owners, buyers, developers, tenants, plus asset portfolio and facilities management — already housing 1,500 properties under management.

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It also has its own dedicated commercial and development finance division, with the business flagging that more than $100 million in loans have already been facilitated through it.

Heading up the new venture as chief executive officer is Daniel O’Brien, who believes “the power of the large global firms in the local Sydney market is not what it was 10 years ago”.

“We believe this decline is due to a combination of the growth in social media, which has levelled the agency playing field, coupled with too much bureaucracy and very high levels of staff turnover born from leaders with no equity,” he explained.

He’s also critical of the franchise model, citing “growing fees for franchisees and few sales leads provided by head office, lower value for money for clients, as well as a lack of leadership and teamwork among offices”.

He argued: “There is no doubt that the days of the global and franchise operations are becoming shorter and more dubious as models like X Commercial launch and grow quickly with a very new service offering and team model.”

Even though the official launch is on 1 July, X Commercial has already “hit the ground running”, according to the CEO.

The four metropolitan locations are playing host to 21 “specialist commercial sales and leasing agents”.

Mr O’Brien hinted that more agents and other businesses are expected to join the group over the coming months, with the target of 15 offices over the next five years.

He’s joined in the business by chief operating officer Alex Bennett, while DB Property’s Mr Brown will join as a principal of X Commercial.

Mr Brown has touted the pooling of combined resources which he said “includes a database of about 90,000 commercial owners, investors, tenants and developers”.

“X Commercial already manages many office towers, industrial sites and retail locations on behalf of mainly private or high-net-worth clients. With a pipeline of sales already in place, especially in Surry Hills, and an active agency team, we can now offer our clients a unique X factor in Sydney,” Mr Brown explained.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

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