The market is for everyone – a boutique agency point of view

Marek Ciunowicz has been associated with the commercial real estate market since the mid-90s. He started when the main office space in Warsaw was the Palace of Culture and Science. In his career he co-founded and worked in foreign agencies in Poland, he was also a partner in one of Polish agencies.

“I made the decision to create my own boutique commercial real estate agency – Corees Poland – a long time ago, and the thought had been smoldering in my head for at least a decade, until I felt a greater need for flexibility, independence, dynamism in conducting projects, relationships with clients, getting out of a rigidly defined framework.” – says Marek Ciunowicz, CEO at Corees Poland.I suspect that this desire for independence and flexibility in many fields becomes the driving force for change. To redefine one’s own brand according to one’s own knowledge and experience, to define values, quality and scope of cooperation with clients.” – he adds.

Looking at the commercial real estate market from the perspective of my nearly 30 years of experience, one can say that it is thanks to these largest foreign agencies that the commercial real estate market has been shaped in Poland. 20 years ago, only large organizations with know-how and experience gained in other markets entered Poland. And only they could afford to take such a step. Currently, people setting up boutique agencies are those who have gained experience in corporations, drawing inspiration from them, improving standards of cooperation, developing know-how or relationships. At the same time rejecting what could not be implemented on the Polish market, which often results from cultural differences or a different way of approaching business.  At present the Polish office market is more mature, and the emergence of new companies or smaller players entering our market is a natural element, which can only benefit from the diversity available on the market.

The trend of spinning off or creating new companies does not only concern brokerage departments of agencies. Hotel departments, property management or architects are also spinning off. In each case it is the people who count and with them their knowledge, experience and knowledge of the market. This is becoming more and more apparent also from the perspective of the general trend that focuses on the development of personal brands and building the authenticity of the business on their basis.

The great advantage of boutique agencies is their independence and lack of complex, ossified structures. As a client of such an agency you can be almost 100% sure that you are in the hands of a person with extensive knowledge and experience. Therefore these relationships, dynamism in action and willingness to go beyond the schemes are often a bargaining chip. Clients often prefer to be an important client for a boutique professional agency rather than one of the clients of a large corporation.  Relationships between employees of such agencies and clients are not strictly formalized, but are often built on purely human cooperation and sympathy while maintaining the full professionalism of the transactions. For us as a boutique agency it is not the quantity that counts, but quality and stability of cooperation in the long term.

“There are many associations and international organizations of commercial real estate professionals, and they are a kind of mix of experiences. These include small boutique agencies created by professionals. By working together, the agencies have more clout, while still remaining free in their decisions.  Altogether they form a large international network of cooperation with expertise in individual markets. This makes them a much stronger and competitive force in relations with clients or in tenders. Sometimes we hear that as a boutique agency we are not international. However, it is important to remember that what we have learned has not been left behind. We have experience of global companies, whose standards and way of functioning we in fact created ourselves, and these combined with our international contacts build our clout.“- emphasizes M. Ciunowicz.

The fact that new structures appear on the Polish market, including foreign ones, only proves that our market is popular and perceived as interesting both for domestic business and international investments. Hence, new organizations or associations entering into alliance with real estate agencies. I believe that the market is for everyone. It is a place for both larger and smaller structures. And the fact that some companies are created and others consolidate or change – in effect gives clients a much greater choice. Personally, I always prefer to have a choice. – concludes Marek Ciunowicz.