How to Qualify Tenants Professionally in Commercial Real Estate Leasing

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In commercial real estate leasing, you can earn some valuable commissions and fees from working with tenants and landlords in your location. There are separate specialized leasing services that can be offered in each case.   You can put yourself at the center of those leasing services. (NB – you can get our Leasing Course here in ‘Snapshot’)

So what are they?  Consider these for starters:

  • Tenant mix change
  • Leasing vacancies
  • Market rent negotiations
  • Rental optimization
  • Tenant mix business planning
  • Anchor tenant placement
  • Tenant advocacy
  • Project leasing
  • Property renovation plans
  • Property expansion changes

There are some very special services in this list.   Where do you fit?  What value do you bring to the leasing process?  The brokerage information that you know about local rentals, lease strategies, and tenancy placement will always be useful and attractive to tenants and landlords.  Use that information to pull in prospects, be they landlords or tenants.

Local area first and foremost

Use your local area knowledge to connect with more people in your location. Create conversations and communications with landlords and tenants incorporating local area knowledge and leasing information.

Rents, incentives, lease terms, new businesses, occupancy needs, and vacancy factors are all interesting to tenants and landlords.  Share that information as you talk to new people and existing prospects; become the leasing strategist and solution provider for the location.

So where can you start?

Your database and the information captured within it will be valuable to the landlords and the tenants that you work with. Understand your database processes and improve them on a daily basis by talking to new people, and maintain relevant and direct contact with the people that you already know.

Connect constantly with local business leaders and business proprietors throughout your region.   You can do lots of business with them.  Understand what they are thinking and doing when it comes to property occupancy now, and what they will be doing into the future.

The change and the churn of business activity in your location will produce lease listings and leasing opportunity. There will also be some sales opportunity evolving from that as businesses move or relocate from owner occupation and or take up sale and leaseback.

What can you do?

So you can work as a leasing agent to resolve vacancy problem for a landlord, or you can work as a tenant’s agent as part of a tenant advocacy service in finding a property or a new building to lease. There are opportunities in each category of activity.

Specialization is the key to converting more leasing appointments and lease listings.

Develop some specific and special services for tenants as well as landlords. Work with the larger and better clients in the region. Quality of premises, and size of property will always be valuable criteria to set in your client actions and decisions.

Qualify and test

How do you qualify a tenant or a landlord in leasing premises?  Try some of these for starters:

  1. Name and business details – always understand who you are talking to and how you can contact them into the future. Ask their permission for future communications and contact.
  2. What have they seen already? – It is likely that they have already inspected properties locally with other brokers and agents. Understand what they have seen with other properties, who they have inspected the property with, and what they know about the local area from a property perspective.
  3. Location – define and refine the location requirements from the leasing inquiry. Some buildings and some streets will be better than others when it comes to a future and ongoing lease occupancy. The key issue here is that the rental budget is appropriate for the leasing requirement. You will need to ask questions about the leasing budget.
  4. Permitted use – question the business type and the permitted use that applies to the future lease. The property zoning will need to match the intended property usage. The landlord will always question the property use intentions and requirements of the tenant as part of the negotiation process.
  5. Rental budget and occupancy costs – find out how much money can be devoted to leasing new or existing premises, and then compare those capabilities to the prevailing rents and lease terms in the existing property market. There is no point in working on a lease requirement if the tenant or landlord is unrealistic.  Comparable market information will always help in conditioning the people that you work with.
  6. Timing of lease – exactly when will they need to make the property change or make the leasing choice? When the pressure is on, there are property decisions to be made.  Be helpful and involved with tenants and landlords when the timing of property change is escalating.
  7. Improvements required and services and amenities – some businesses as tenants are quite specific in the future leasing requirements of space, size, and configuration of fitout. Look at their current premises to make sure you understand how they operate their business and how divisions of the business interact.
  8. Staff requirements, customer needs, and car parking – transport requirements, and the impact of such on staff and customers will influence property choices. Work through the priorities with that concept in mind, so you are identifying the triggers or ‘deal breakers’ that the tenant will have in any relocation.

So there are some good questions and concepts here to explore as part of qualifying a tenant in commercial real estate office leasing.  The depth and relevance of your questions will help in tuning your property offerings and inspections.  Specialize your leasing questions and qualifications and then go deeper.  That’s how you find the leasing opportunity with tenants.

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