Jeremy Hall, managing
director, Westwon Capital
As we pack away the
Christmas decorations, our attention returns to business and what’s
in store for 2011. Lease brokers have had an interesting ride over
the past few years.
The fourth quarter of 2008
was the time of crisis; 2009 the fall-out period of many finance
companies leaving the market and end users cutting capital
expenditure; and 2010 was reported as a period of
Many brokers are saying the
same thing: volume is down 50% on the good years, bad debt is under
control, and while the leasing environment is not fantastic, it is
at least stable.
So what are brokers’ views on
2011? I emailed this question to a broker who has been trading for
10 years. As the height of his business he was writing 40 deals a
month, but during the hard times this was reduced to just two. He
has little to do, his logic being: Why canvas for new business when
you cannot get it placed? However, he is now resolute that come 1
January, he will get back to visiting new and existing
Another broker, having run a
successful l brokerage for many years, had established a niche
market. Its volume of business was reduced by intergalactic
proportions when the recession hit. After making the majority of
his staff redundant, the principle decided it was time to arrive
late and leave early for a few years; he has new marketing plans in
place for 2011.
And one IT leasing broker
explained how a new web-based system would revolutionise the
industry. For him, 2010 was a year of web development, ready to
awaken his business in 2011.
The theme to emerge from
these conversations is that leasing brokers are ready to implement
ideas, market their business and generate new sales in 2011. They
are tired of being inactive and very aware that end of term rental
income will begin to disappear from October this year.
Brokers are fed up with their businesses being in
hibernation. They have adapted to the lower income but do not like
it. For many brokers, 2011 is the time to go hunting for business