Property inspections will happen frequently in your role as a commercial real estate broker. Inspections will occur for a number of reasons and you will be involved with different people in doing so. Given that every property type will be unique, it pays to have a strategy for the process, and an inspection checklist to use.
Some of us have been in the industry for a long time, and we may know a lot about property types, however the use of a checklist will always help in showing professionalism and relevance as a top agent. The property, the location, and your town or city will impose factors on any property use and function that will need to be investigated.
So what could you have on that ‘checklist’ and how could you use it? Try some of these:
- Property ownership detail of owners and contact information
- Property description including construction and building fabric
- Zoning for the property location and current use
- Boundary and survey issues around the property
- Neighbouring properties and how they may impact the subject title or client
- Title information, rights of way, easements, and encumbrances that relate to the property use and title
- Improvements in and around the building and land
- Floor plates, and special areas such as office space, warehouse, showroom, storage, hard stand, car parking, common areas, and tenant areas
- Plans and drawings that apply to the building and the tenants
- Services and amenities to and within the property
- Tenant profiles and information relating to leases and occupancy
- Tenant mix information including permitted uses, rent reviews, options, and vacancies
- There may be some ‘ownership’ issues with tenant owned items in any fitout
- Market rentals for the property type in your town or city
- Competing properties that could have an impact on any sale or lease
- Passing rentals that apply to the building and each tenancy
- Outgoings calculations, and net incomes achieved from the leases
- Vacancy factors from the area including supply and demand for the type of property locally
- Energy, environmental, and heritage issues are of concern to many people today, so ask questions about each (get all the facts)
- Property marketing information
- Property history of ownership and occupation
So there are many things on the list. The reality is that there are also many more things when you consider specific property types such as retail, office, and industrial. You can ‘drill down’ substantially with some properties given complexity of daily operations and the tenancy mix.
You can create a ‘checklist’ for each property type, and for the situations of sales, leasing, and property management. It is then easy to cover all and any key issues in a property inspection. The process helps you in showing your professionalism as a ‘top agent’.