Leasing Timeline in Commercial Real Estate Agency

When it comes to leasing a commercial or retail property it pays to work to a ‘timeline’.  If you like the ‘timeline’ becomes a type of checklist for the process.  It helps keep you on track to get the results for your landlords and tenants.

The property market has changed over the last few years with the pressures of the economy, and in most cases any lease offering or negotiation is biased towards the tenant.  So that is just fine and we should work with that.

The landlords that we serve require tenants.  Those agents with a sizeable database of tenant leads are well ahead of their competitors when it comes to leasing opportunity.  If you are struggling with tenant contacts and leads, now is a good chance to start the required prospecting and networking to find the new business.

So let’s say that you have a property listing or landlord that you serve when it comes to leasing vacant space or renegotiating current leases.  Here is a checklist or timeline of some key issues to help you stay ahead of the leasing needs or the negotiations that you start.

You can modify and add to the checklist based on your location and property type.

  1. Look at all your existing leases to see what lease expiries are coming up in the next 18 months.  It pays to work this far ahead so you don’t get any ‘surprises’.  There is nothing wrong with starting a lease negotiation early.
  2. Check all upcoming rent reviews inside the next 12 months.  Pay particular attention to those rent reviews that are near to lease end or option.  An aggressive rent review might encourage the tenant to look elsewhere for other premises.
  3. If you know you have a vacancy coming up, start marketing the space to potential tenants.  Get the existing tenants approval to the process because you may have to take prospective tenants through the property.
  4. When it comes to any lease negotiation understand what the market rents and incentives are doing locally.
  5. Have a standard lease form ready for use or the basic terms of lease offer to go into the ‘heads of agreement’.
  6. Have the landlord approve a range of rental so you have something to work with in negotiation.
  7. All offers have to be put in writing in the required legal form for your location and property type.  If you don’t know what that is, seek help from those that do know.
  8. Any lease offer and acceptance should be supported by rent payment, deposit, guarantees, signed lease papers, disclosures (if applicable), and any other special conditions or landlords works.  Nothing should happen until the tenant and landlord have agreed and all lease obligations and monies are paid.
  9. Do not give the key to the tenant until the deal is agreed and locked in written form.
  10. Do not let the tenant do any fit out works without landlord and building approvals.

You can add to this list based on your property type and location.  Importantly, every lease situation should be under control and moving in accordance with your clients instructions.  Create your checklist to help you do that.

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