Commercial Real Estate Leasing – Perceptive Tenant Canvassing Tips

In commercial real estate leasing, you need lots of tenants on your database. Without that foundational fact supporting you it is very hard to get traction in leasing premises locally. Talk to tenants every day and systemize the process so you are working the streets, buildings, and business types.

You have to be perceptive and direct in your tenant canvassing. Conversations with business owners and tenants will help you find the leads that you are looking for. When you have a solid and comprehensive database of tenant movement, the landlords cannot ignore your leasing services. Top leasing agents position themselves accordingly. Are you ready for the challenge?

Tenant Canvassing Systems

A good database of tenants and a fuller understanding of their lease attributes will help you with deal progression. These are the things to look for and track:

  • Premises – Where are they located now and why is that a preference for them? Some businesses have to be located specifically for servicing customers or end user markets. They also have issues with sourcing materials or resources for their business activities. Freeways, ports and highways can all have an impact on premises location.
  • Key people – When it comes to different businesses you will find corporate structures, directorship boards, decision influences, decision makers, and gatekeepers all striving to limit what they tell you about their property and property requirements. Careful questioning will help you get through the barriers. Be professional in all ways as you connect with your market and the people within it. Most of the high quality deals you create will come from the people that you know and those that trust you.
  • Improvements – Understand how businesses use the property improvements such as office space, warehousing, showrooms, and storage or car parking. Go ‘deeper’ with any conversation about property needs and improvement placement.
  • Size of occupancy – Size impacts rents and affordable occupancy. Sometimes you will need to do a self-assessment of occupancy to understand how or why a tenant or business is located where they are today. From that fact you can determine whether you should help them relocate when the timing is right.
  • Market rents – In every location you will always have different rents and levels of rental to track. Those rents will be attributable to location and building type. Get to know those rent benchmarks and variations. From a good rent strategy, you can improve the performance of any investment property.
  • Lease expiry dates – When will a tenants lease expire? How can you get into a tenant’s property cycle help them with lease change decisions? Within your database and prospecting process make sure you have a clear idea of when all leases expire for all of the tenants that you know.
  • Understand the people – There are two sets of people to work with in leasing and or tenant advocacy. Firstly, you have the landlords that need your help in finding good quality tenants, and secondly you have the tenants that potentially will want to change property at some stage in the future.  How can you get deeper into these groups of people and get to know their property needs? Get your system of contact underway.


So you have some good things that you can do here in tracking tenant leasing requirements. Comprehensive awareness of lease churn and change factors will help you with positioning yourself as a leasing expert for your location. That is what you should focus on. Be perceptive in your tenant canvassing.

(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)

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