The questions that you ask industrial tenants today will help you shortlist the properties that you quote to them, and subsequently inspect. In that way you can focus your efforts and your property inspections on the listings that really matter; that will then lift your conversions as a leasing specialist in the property market. Get to the real facts of every property enquiry and inbound tenant telephone call.
As a general rule, don’t quote too many properties at the one time as it will only lead to confusion. As an extension of that fact, don’t inspect too many properties at the one time. Seek to understand the tenant and their property needs fully from the very start of the process.
The questions that you ask the tenant will help you qualify exactly what they are looking for by way of property type, timing, and location. To help your activities as an industrial property specialist you should have a list of qualifying questions readily available to use in any meeting or telephone enquiry.
Good questions will also help you strengthen the relationship at the very start, and the professional image that you wish to convey to the landlord or the tenant. Any tenants that are calling you today on a property enquiry are likely to have spoken to at least two or three other local property agents quite recently. The short time that you have in conversation today may be the only connection that you have with the tenant, and on that basis the qualification and questioning processes are critical factors to winning the business.
Here are some interview questions that will direct the flow of the property enquiry or the conversation, and help with the selection of the best industrial property or properties to inspect:
- Contact details – Understand exactly who you are talking to at the very start of the conversation, and how you can talk to them again in the future with more property details. Some tenants are reluctant to give out too much information at the start of the contact. Selectively work through the initial inquiry and restrict some of the information that you provide until such time as the tenant has been fully open and honest about just who they are, how you can contact them, what they want, and what they have seen already.
- How did they find you? – Early in the conversation, determine how the tenant has found the property or why they are contacting you. In that way you will know exactly which marketing processes are working for you.
- Confidentiality – Some properties today are quite special, and the release of information may be sensitive. On that basis you could ask for a confidentiality document to be signed before information is exchanged. You may also want to meet with the enquiring party before greater detail is provided.
- The location needed? – Most industrial businesses need to be located in a specific area, due to customer, transport, or end user markets. Asking the right questions will help you get to the bottom of that choice. You can then provide well targeted information.
- Are they coming from somewhere else? – Are they coming to you from another location? If they are leasing property elsewhere, there may be a chance for you to help the landlord in that other property find a new tenant when the time comes.
- Size and Improvements – With this information it is critical that you drill down into factors such as improvements required, warehouse size and configuration, office size, car parking, hardstand, security, communications, and services. It helps if they are coming to you from another location; you can inspect the existing property and see how they use the improvements and layout.
- Special needs – Some industrial tenants require unique factors of occupation such as loading docks, cool rooms (or the ability to have them), high level storage, hardstand, antennas, and communications networks or fast internet links. Get to the bottom of these facts so that you can match the property correctly.
- Permitted use – The local planning and zoning regulations will place limits on the industrial property tenant and property use. Understand the zoning and exactly what the tenant intends to do in the buildings that they lease; the use of the property must comply with zoning regulations. You may find it necessary to apply restriction clauses in the lease to control what happens in the property.
- Lease details – Most tenants will have a good idea of what they want when it comes to lease term, rental budget, options, outgoings, rent reviews and timing of access. All of these factors should be questioned. There is no point taking a tenant to a property if they cannot afford it or it is not a clear match from a landlord and investment perspective.
Simple factors such as these will help you take the industrial tenant enquiry to the next level. Get all of the facts before you proceed.