The leasing of commercial and retail property is a job for experts. If you are making the most of your leasing opportunities in your local property market as a real estate agent, listings and commissions should be easy to attract. That being said you do need tenants and landlords to work with. Contacts are everything in our industry.
It is one thing to know all the details about the market; it is another to have the contacts that will help you put the deals together.
When we work with tenants or potential tenants, we really must get all the facts from them regards their property need and lease requirements. Here is a checklist of some of the bigger issues to help you with that:
- Just who you are talking with is perhaps the most important fact of the connection. Get all the persons details and contact information first. If you are taking an enquiry across the telephone, it is even more important to qualify the person and have all their property needs information. This is before you give out too much listing information. If you are in any doubt about who you are talking with, do not give out critical information. It is not unusual for another agent to be making a call and ‘posing’ as a tenant or person making an enquiry.
- Property size will be important. Understand the property needs both inside and outside of the premises. There may be requirements of access, car parking, staff facilities, signage, and storage.
- Permitted use will be relative to the tenant, the improvements, and the property zoning or legal usage. It may be necessary to get the local zoning and development plans to see what is possible in that location. The legal use of the property is one thing; the improvements need to match the use and demand that the tenant will place on the property.
- Location will be important to the way that the tenant does business and connects with their customers and clients. Location may also require access to transport routes and airports, seaports, or rail heads. Ask questions to get all the right facts.
- Improvements will include office, warehouse, or showroom configuration. There will be an area of occupancy that should apply to each. Exactly what does the tenant need?
- Services and amenities needs could be quite normal from a tenant perspective, although it pays to ask the questions in case there are special factors to take into account.
- Signage on a property will be of importance to most businesses considering the taking of a lease. Review the property to see where signs could be placed and how those placements comply with local council and municipal signage regulations. It may be that the tenant will need special signage approvals.
- Fit out questions should be asked. If the property has an existing fit out installed, determine what alterations may be required by the tenant for any lease to be taken out. Approvals will be required to premises alteration, as will code compliances for safety and building occupancy. Just who will pay for these extra works?
Inspecting the premises to be leased comprehensively before and after occupancy is really important. You will see issues that need rectification and remediation. Recording those issues will be important for the discussions around just who pays for what.
Be very careful when it comes to leasing older properties. You will need to ask questions about outgoings, energy, risk, health, and environmental issues. When you have any doubts get an expert opinion. Many landlords do not know the total issues that their property presents occupants. It may be that the local council or municipality has orders or notices on the property that must be satisfied before occupancy is created.
When you completely understand the tenant and the landlord, it makes life a lot easier. Over time you can create a great checklist of leasing facts and questions that would apply to your location and property type or speciality.
If you want more tips on leasing commercial and retail real estate today, you can get them in our Newsletter.