New Business Toolkit for Commercial Property Leasing

office building with leasing words

When you work as a commercial leasing specialist, you need a few tools and business processes to help you with tenant and landlord attraction, interaction, and conversion. You never really know when you will need to talk about leasing opportunities with either of those groups of people. Be prepared in every way possible for the leasing challenge and discussion. Develop a toolkit for that very process.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

The property leasing process is quite special and should be respected in that way. Some agents and brokers make a very good living from focusing entirely into the specialized services of property leasing; they service tenants, landlords, and business owners. They diversify their client base so that they can act for landlords solving vacancy problems, and also for tenants from a tenant advocacy position.

If you choose your leasing clients with a bias towards quality and premises or portfolio size, you will find that the leasing part of our industry can be very lucrative and continuous.

 

Property performance & leasing

 

The clients that we serve require agents that really understand how to strategize a lease into a property performance model. It is called strategic leasing. They are the solution providers for this very special part of the industry, and they know how to relate to the differences between office, industrial, and retail assets. They generally have a toolkit of leasing resources to help them with every variation of business activity and opportunity that they may find.

 

How can you improve?

 

Consider the tools and the resources that you use today with both tenants and landlords. Can it be improved? Here are some of the leasing tools that you can use as you work with tenants and landlords locally:

  1. Map of the Area – carry a map of the area so that you can talk about roads, buildings, and business locations. A hard-copy map is more valuable in this process than a map that you use on a laptop or cellular phone. Use something ‘tactile’ to engage the other person. You need something that you can talk to and point to. Use a map in your interaction with tenants and landlords.
  2. Tenant Mix Profile for the Building – every building will have a unique and different tenant mix profile. Some new tenants or those considering entering the building will be interested to understand the overall tenant mix and occupancy levels.
  3. History of the Building and the Location – if the building has a history, be prepared to talk about it and show that history to interested parties. The history of the building can be a unique point of difference when it comes to tenant interest and negotiation.
  4. Graphs Relating to Rental Trends over Time – many tenants and landlords think that they understand the leasing process and the rentals they should be paid in today’s market. That awareness can frustrate your lease negotiations. You need some market evidence to work with the problem and the issue. The only way that you can negotiate through the rental opinions of others is to have a chart or graph to support the process. You will also need a few case studies relating to recent rental transactions and lease outcomes.
  5. Laser Measurement Tool – purchase a laser measurement tool or device to measure premises and rooms. It will make your job a lot easier when it comes to talk about rentals and potential tenant occupation. You can size up a room and talk about the potential rental or location of improvements within the premises.
  6. Plans of the Building and the Tenancy – carry with you a set of plans relating to the building and the occupancy. This is certainly an advantage if you are working with a major building project leasing appointment. You can also load the plans into an online resource area where you can access them at any time remotely from your computer or laptop.
  7. Examples of Marketing Relating to Vacant Properties and Premises – there are many different ways to market a property for lease today. The marketing strategies that you can use will always be unique and different depending on the challenges of the asset and the property type. Have some prime examples of lease marketing with you relating to the various leasing strategies that apply to industrial, office, and retail property.
  8. Case Studies Relating to Recently Leased Properties Locally – when you consider all of the recent leasing transactions that you have finalized over the last 12 months, you will have some good case studies to use when it comes to negotiating with landlords and or tenants. Those case studies will support your opinions and recommendations when it comes to lease marketing and negotiation. Every case study should have the appropriate research and photographic evidence to show the other parties exactly what the property was like internally and externally.
  9. Competing Properties – research the local area so that you can understand the location of the competing properties and the asking rentals in each case. Take photographs of those properties and carry with you a resume of asking rentals and marketing strategies in each case. There is no point in repeating the errors or the promotional initiatives of nearby competing assets. What can you do that is different when it comes to your particular leasing appointment? Be prepared to take appropriate steps to escalate your leasing engagement competitively for the location, and thereby encourage or inspections with qualified tenants. Tell the landlord exactly how you will achieve that momentum for their asset in today’s market.
  10. Outgoings for the Building – the tenants that you negotiate with will be concerned with occupancy costs. That will include rental and outgoings. Before any property inspection relating to leasing, make sure that you have a schedule of property outgoings to support any negotiation if and when it starts. Be prepared to talk through the occupancy costs and the rentals in a positive and direct way. The outgoings history will allow you to do that and prepare the potential tenant for the lease negotiation and the expectations of the landlord.
  11. Standard Lease for the Property – many landlords have particular formats relating to lease configuration and occupancy conditions; and so they should, understanding that the property is their key investment. The concept here is called a ‘standard lease’ approach with the asset, and it relates to the document to be used with the incoming tenant; it works very well when you consider the requirements of the investment and the landlord from both a cash flow and occupancy perspective. When working with landlords, ensure that you understand the requirements of the standard lease that they want to use as it supports their investment, and wherever possible you should have a copy of that document with you. You can then move through the document with any questions the tenant may produce.

 

So there are plenty of things that you can do here and use as part of preparing for the lease negotiation and or the listing. You can create a lease toolkit for that very purpose, and that toolkit can help you move through the stages of lease marketing, inspection, and negotiation with both landlords and tenants. Preparation will always help you with your conversions in property leasing.

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