Be Your Own Boss in Commercial Real Estate Leasing

In commercial real estate leasing it is fairly easy to dominate market share as a leasing expert and be your own boss.  It is simply a matter of understanding the leasing market and all the tenants that are located therein.  From that point you will have a lot of people to serve and work with.

Leases come to an end, tenants want to move, or landlords need adjustments to a property tenancy mix configuration.   When you specialise in certain property types, these ‘change points’ give you real and relevant leasing opportunity.

It stands to reason that an agent or broker that knows most of the major properties in the market as well as the main tenants seeking to move will have the potential to dominate leasing activity overall.  So the targets here for an agent is to comprehensively understand the variables of leasing property such as:

  • tenants,
  • vacancies,
  • landlords,
  • leases and
  • rental structures

To help with all of this you can build a leasing business with a good database program, a prospecting contact system, and ongoing personal contact with the right people.  You can also structure a ‘leasing timeline’ that you can use with working with tenancy deals and enquiries.  Here is a basic timeline that can be adjusted to your needs:

  1. Tenants interviewed – know who you are working with.  Talk to the decision makers in the business.  If you are going to look for ideal properties for the tenant, you require accurate and open discussions with the right people.  Create a list of ‘hot points’ that any new property must satisfy.
  2. Lease expiry identified – set a timeline for the tenant that helps them transition to any new property with minimal fuss.  To do that with the bigger properties it is likely that you should be working with the tenant at least 18 months prior to lease expiry.
  3. Property needs determined – that will include location, size of property, configuration of fitout, floor plates and layouts, staff and customer needs.  In the case of any industrial property or special needs buildings you will also include warehouse, loading, access, and transport factors.
  4. Rental budget set – that will include rents, outgoings, rent reviews, options, and incentives.  What can the tenant afford?  Make sure you get the right answers in all respects.
  5. Improvements and business needs will be merged into property selection – local property variations will offer all types of alternatives.  Create a short list of properties and work through that before you move to more properties and inspections.
  6. Permitted uses determined for the ideal property – the permitted use should match the zoning and the location criteria.  As a property expert you can work through that with the tenant.  You may also require property approvals through the local building authority for any business to trade in a particular location.  If in any doubt about this, ask questions first before any lease negotiation commences.
  7. Architectural advice sought on fitout alternatives – this advice should be obtained when you find a good property or one that is on your short list for your tenant.  An architect can help with the placement of a business into a defined space and property layout.

So there are things you can do here with leasing commercial, industrial, or retail property.  Create your leasing timeline to help your clients and the property type.

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