Vanessa Penn

Five minutes with…

Vanessa Penn

Managing Director

Penn Commercial

What was the motivation behind setting up your own commercial estate agency?

After 20 years of experience within the commercial property market locally and regionally, I felt it was an appropriate time to start my own business in 2007, especially as there was no future within my current organisation.

Having established the company back in 2007, how has the commercial market changed over the years? And how big a sector is transportation and logistics for your company?

The commercial property market is always fluid.

When I first started, we were in the grips of a recession for three years, then followed better times, the property market is always cyclical, and new trends are always emerging.

Being close to the Port of Felixstowe, transport, warehousing, logistics and industrial requirements have always been key drivers in the local market, and they are one of our main sectors.

In your opinion, do you think females are underrepresented in your industry?  

Usually, when I go to an agent’s breakfast, I am often still the only woman represented there.

What is the current landscape of available land and warehousing in the region v. supply and demand?

There is a lack of supply across the board for second-hand and new warehousing and a shortage of land with planning permission along the A14 corridor.

Rents will continue to increase because of low stock levels., As the EPC regulations bite, companies will need to seek more modern premises to comply, whilst many of the older-style units will require significant upgrades.

What advice would you offer anyone considering starting out in the property sales and rental business?

Being tenacious is really the key, and following up on every lead. However large or small, you never know when a single instruction can lead to a much larger portfolio.

If you could wave a magic wand, what three things would you change about running a business in East Anglia?

A larger population would bring with it more development; a much speedier planning process would bring sites forward within reasonable time scales; and better infrastructure generally.

And finally, what’s your favourite guilty pleasure?

A glass of Champagne…or maybe a bottle.

Penn Commercial