The Phnom Penh serviced offices market is a relatively new real estate market in Cambodia that has made a huge impact on the local business sphere since units started to become available in Phnom Penh a few years ago.
Mr. Anthony Galliano – Chairman of BG Serviced Offices in Phnom Penh – recollects from his experience in Cambodia that before 2012, serviced offices was almost a non-existent industry.
Galliano explains, “I think, conceptually, the market took its time to understand the model. But it’s been a fantastic business.” He continues to say that serviced offices are now an established business model in Phnom Penh, with many different operators across town.
The All-in-one Solution:
One of the qualities that have made Phnom Penh serviced offices popular is the convenience of not having to bring in all the tools for business - instead, they are already waiting for you. This is particularly useful for new foreign owned business ventures, especially the small scale, looking to test the Cambodian market without all of the hassle of transporting an entire business abroad.
Galliano says that the good thing about set-ups like these is that you’re not just paying for the space. You’re paying for that space and everything in it.But of course, depending on the office grade, different things will be included. The Variations:
Galliano details that you can currently rent Phnom Penh serviced offices from the 10 to 46 square meter range and it will only cost you around $25 to $28 per square meter a month. If you are a startup and just need a small office, the 10 square meter unit should be enough for a two-man staff set-up. But prices can still vary depending on which office grade you opt for. Currently, there are a lot of C-grade serviced offices around Phnom Penh.
Galliano explains that this is because A-grade offices initially had very high rental prices compared to local norms. But because landlords have come to their senses and gave more realistic rental rates, it’s now seeing an increase in demand.
He adds that B-grade offices fill up really quickly now too because it’s better quality than C but still affordable. Another reason for the B grade popularity is because the supply is not as large as C-grade offices, says Galliano.
As evidence of this growth in higher grade offices, Regis will be doing higher scale and higher quality serviced offices to take advantage of the growing demand.
As a precaution though, Galliano warns that C-grade offices are okay, but you have to look for the right landlord and be able to discuss terms with them. Since this is a lower grade office, landlords tend to be less generous and attentive.Renting Versus Owning:
When asked about the developments who are now targeting office strata titles to be able to offer office ownership opportunities for locals and foreign investors, Galliano says that it’s a strange concept because it may not serve the best interest of business owners.
He explains that this may cause difficulties in transferring from one office space to another, especially for an expansion or merger. He states, “You don’t want to be stuck owning an asset that you have to pay for,” because it will only bring you additional business costs. He clarifies though that while it may have some potential, right now the economics of this offer just doesn’t make sense to him.No matter the case, there is a clear expectation of continued growth for the office sector in the next couple of years as Phnom Penh continues to attract new business venture from abroad. Find out the latest Commercial space outlook in Knight Frank’s H12016 report!