large industrial warehouse

Industrial Property Agents – Industrial Property Knowledge is the Key in Listing

In industrial property agency sales and leasing, the prospecting process can be quite specific. Knowledge is the key to property listing success.

There are plenty of businesses in your region that you can approach to see if they want to lease or sell premises. Create a consistent plan of contacting industrial and warehouse-type businesses locally.

In the main, you are connecting with business owners and property investors with a basic asset use and occupancy. They will have property priorities for expansion, change, upgrade, or relocation. You can help with that as an industrial sales or leasing agent.

Industrial Property Facts System

Have a checklist that you can use with your industrial property listings.  The checklist process will allow you to go deeper into the property listing process and ask direct and relevant questions as you prepare to take on the property for marketing for sale or lease. A checklist will help you with that.

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Gather Industrial Property Data

Get to understand industrial property in all its complexity.  Your town or city may have different industrial precincts. Some will be better than others. 

Think about the variables with your property knowledge. Rents and vacancies will change by precinct. The size, quality, and types of warehouses will also vary. On that basis, the quality and sizeable industrial property listings should be your focus of prospecting activity.

Here are some questions to think about. Who are the businesses in occupancy, and who are the investors that you can talk to? Start your research of property knowledge around those questions.

Look at the property from an ‘occupancy’ perspective.  What would you consider necessary if you were a tenant or business owner requiring a warehouse and storage for your business? That is where your industrial property checklist will be helpful.

industrial warehouse complex

Local Industrial Property Information

Knowledge starts at the property boundary. Know the region, the precinct, the street, and the neighbouring properties.  Investigate everything and create your checklist of facts and questions about the property, the precinct, how the property could be used, the size and the function.  

That being said and in considering how to grow your property knowledge, think about things such as:

  1. Development costs for an industrial property will vary from location to location. That will be based on access to land, services and amenities, plus construction materials. There will also be property elements to investigate such as flooding, levels, soil quality, land stability, and environmental threats or risks. Consider what pressures could apply to the use of a property with different types of businesses occupying.
  2. Land costs for industrial development land will be based on the availability, location, suitability for construction, the proximity to transport and ports or highways, and environmental threats such as flooding or subsidence.  Get to know what prices have been doing with industrial property locally over the last few years. Understand what businesses could be looking for now with property expansion or change and what size land would suit as well as the typical property improvements.
  3. Warehouse design for any modern and convenient industrial property use will be specific to the industry and property configuration.  Consider how big a warehouse should be in your town or city, and how it would be positioned on the plot of land. From that you can then inspect a property comprehensively to understand the best target market of warehouse tenants or buyers that may be suitable for the property.
  4. Rents, lease types, lease terms and lease conditions for industrial situations will change between large, medium, and small industrial property. Those rents will be relative to the areas and types of building improvements such as warehouse, office zones, showrooms, and loading or storage. Every zone of the property can be relegated a rental per unit of area. You will need some comparable market rents for that.
  5. Prices and the best methods of sale for industrial property today should be studied and tracked.  The size and the location of the industrial property will likely have factors that should be considered in pricing and the best methods of sale.  Try to answer these questions when you look at a particular industrial property.  What method of sale would best suit the asset in the current market conditions? How would a buyer of industrial property intend to make a purchase, and can you make that process more convenient and direct?
  6. Transport corridors for goods delivery and despatch will be important to the use and occupancy of the property.  That assessment will include ports, seaports, airports, railheads, and highways. Look at how convenient it is for deliveries and product to move to and out of the property. Industrial business owners will be focused on ease of business function and, ultimately, the profit potential of trading or occupancy from the location.
  7. Transport costs for typical deliveries and despatches, plus raw materials supply will be special for particular industries and industrial type businesses. So think about how that can work when you talk to different business owners. Those costs could have a major impact on property decisions and locations for certain business types. Rail-heads, seaports, and airports are all transport corridors to think about.
  8. Services and amenities for a local industrial property should be checked out including the communications capability such as the internet, data, and telephone capabilities.  A lot of industrial property business today is done remotely and industrial tenants or occupants must be able to tap into the client contact system that helps them make more sales and connect with customers.  Ensure that the services and amenities are clearly matched to an industrial business.  They will include power, water, gas, drainage, roads, and communications.
  9. The warehouse height, size, security, safety, lighting, and structure are things to think through. The warehouse should be safe for use and practical for operational issues. That is where you can put on the ‘business owners hat’, and assess all the functional issues of the property across all those categories mentioned.
  10. Raw materials supply and access points for any manufacturing industry will be specific to your area and business type.  The mining industry is a case in point; the same can be said for the timber industry.  Understand what an industrial business needs by way of raw material and just how they will get access to it.
  11. Labour access and public transport proximity will be useful for some industrial businesses. That will be so staff can get to the property easily. That then makes it easier to create and sustain a suitably skilled labour force
  12. Car parking for staff and customers will usually be essential to business function.  The car park could be used 7 days per week and 24 hours per day. Find out what a business or industrial property owner would need with car parking and security. Ask questions to understand on what basis the car park will be accessed (all-day parking, or customer short-term access)
  13. Access and turnaround requirements will vary for goods vehicles in pick up and deliveries. Consider also the modern transport vehicles today. Look at the types and sizes of vehicles that will visit the property, and consider how functional the property would be for vehicles.
  14. The ratios between office and warehouse zones within a building will vary by business type.  Typically, most industrial property occupiers do not want an overly large ‘office component’ compared to the warehouse size.  Functionality is then the priority of balance between the office areas, warehouse zones, and the showroom precincts of a property.
  15. Hardstand zones on the property will be for external storage in industrial situations. The zones will be useful and desireable for some businesses. How functional would any external hardstand area be? Is it safe, secure, and practical for the occupant of the property? 
  16. Loading and unloading strategies will be influenced by warehouse placement and design, so think about that.  This consideration will also involve the circulation of vehicles as well as the time it could take to unload and load any deliveries. Time is money with industrial properties today. Consider how practical a property size and layout would be when it come to ‘functionality’.
  17. Floor loading capability in any warehouse design will be something to think about. Consider the storage methods and movement of goods into and around the warehouse. Also consider the types of vehicles moving goods around the warehouse internally. How many vehicles will be moving goods into and around in the warehouse and what is the size or type of vehicle?
  18. Pallet storage requirements change by business type and size.  Consider the methods of industrial goods handling and how a warehouse should be designed for efficient goods handling, security, and logistics movement.
industrial warehouse

Get a Grasp on Property Facts

All of the factors above will impact an industrial property. As a specialist industrial property agent, it is time to think about the questions and issues raised in the list above.

Industrial property is unique, requiring dedicated and specialist real estate sales and leasing people.  Those special agents and brokers working with it should have the specific industrial property skills, knowledge and education to list, market, and negotiate intelligently; that will be with business owners and landlords. How can you improve with that?

No matter how big the industrial shed or warehouse is, it is your knowledge and intelligence in listing the property that will help you substantially. Then you can focus on converting the property to a listing and a sale or lease transaction.

All of the above factors will be part of the skill mix and knowledge of the industrial property agent.

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