Questions for a Leasing Agent to Ask

The questions that you ask in commercial real estate leasing will help get you to the focus of the tenant’s requirements in relocating or leasing.  It should be remembered that many tenants will work with multiple agents and brokers at the same time.  On that basis, you really do need to qualify the tenant fully before spending too much time in locating the right property.  Of course you can act as a tenant advocate.  That is a separate strategy and certainly very wise when it comes to the large corporate tenants looking to relocate.

A leasing agent can attract a lot of listings and quality commissions over time.  Successful leasing outcomes will lead to better sales opportunities and property management appointments.  Versatility is the key to the process.

Here are some questions for a leasing agent to ask today when working with tenants:

  1. Firstly you should be identifying the person that you are talking to and get their contact information for further follow up.  If the person is reluctant to share that information, then don’t give them the property detail.
  2. Find out if they have been inspecting other properties locally with the other brokers and agents.  Whilst you may not get a straight or correct answer, see if you can identify their leasing enquiry actions with others.
  3. What do they know about the local property market and the leasing activity?  See if they understand the leasing strategies, the rental levels, and the property supply factors.  Those issues will have an impact on negotiation.
  4. Identify the budget that they have for rental and occupancy costs.  Remember all the variables that come into activity as part of leasing a property.  There will be rentals, outgoings, consumable energy, water costs, gas, and occupancy levies.
  5. If they were to lease premises today, what would it look like, and where would it be.  Identify their priorities in property selection and choice.
  6. Check out the best locations that will suit the tenant with their property choice.  Have they looked at other properties locally and if so when?
  7. What types of improvements do they require in the property and how large should the property be?  If they are occupying premises currently, see if you can inspect the property to understand the function of their business.
  8. Understand the interaction between staff and customers within their business.  Those factors will have impact on car parking, property access, security, and function.  If a large number of people occupy and use the premises on a daily basis, there will be the need to consider special lease terms and conditions regards renovation and refurbishment.  As a case in point, consider a call centre in occupancy within a commercial building.  The intense use of the call centre and the greater number of people using the premises will make it necessary for special lease terms and conditions relative to damage and wear and tear.

It certainly helps if you have a check-list for the process of working with tenants.  Recognise that each property type will have specific questions.  Your town or city will also have locational issues to add to the list of questions.  When you really understand the tenants that you’re talking to, the deals get a lot easier.

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