Commercial Agents – Tips for Inspecting Properties for Sale or Lease

When it comes to inspecting commercial property today, it is critical that you as the agent gather all the information about the property, the precinct, and local property activity. All of these factors can have significant impact on the way in which the subject property is used and or marketed.

In preparation for the property inspection the following information will come in handy:

  1. Get the plans and drawings relating to the improvements as constructed on the property. These plans should give you an idea of the age of the property and the original configuration when first constructed. If the property looks different today, then some alterations have occurred and it is up to you to ensure that the appropriate construction and building approvals were obtained. Marketing a property that is not legally approved for the configuration or usage currently can lead to significant problems in the sale and settlement process. The due diligence process undertaken by a property buyer prior to settlement will usually find any discrepancies in construction approvals. The local building authority or planning approvals board would have given their consent to any legal changes to the property. The property owner may have some knowledge here, but always make your own enquiries at the planning office in addition to what the owner tells you.
  2. The title to the property will give you some idea as to where the boundaries are located. Ask the property owner about the property boundaries and any potential encroachments that may exist. If you have any doubts regards property boundaries, it is best to get a property surveyor to re-peg the boundary points. As part of the process you can also speak to the adjoining property owners to get some feedback on the local area and any relationship problems between properties across the boundaries.
  3. The services and amenities to the property will be important to property purchasers and tenants. In many cases you can identify the services that are supplied to the property quite easily although further detail and information may be required; this is the case with energy capability and supply from the power grid within the street. This is quite relevant to industrial type tenants or building occupiers that need greater levels of energy for manufacturing.
  4. Ask about special factors such as environmental matters, heritage issues, and energy consumption. These three issues provide significant challenges for property owners and occupants today. Matters of compliance or legislation within each category can have impact on the way the property is used or occupied. When in doubt visit the local property authority to understand these things and get written evidence of the issue in question. Written evidence can then be provided to enquiring buyers or tenants as the case may be.

So these are some of the key things to investigate in preparing to inspect a commercial, industrial, or retail property. When you have this accurate information you can inspect the subject property effectively and fully understand matters of compliance and legislation that apply. The end result is a better listing for you to take to the market.

Commercial Agents – Tips to Qualifying Commercial Tenants Today

When it comes to leasing commercial or retail property today, the selection of tenant will be fundamental to the quality of the outcome for the landlord. This says that not all tenants will do or be acceptable when it comes to leasing vacant commercial premises.

So the commercial real estate agent has to qualify and understand the tenant that is enquiring on the vacant property before matters proceed. Some questions need to be asked to get the correct match of property.

When fewer properties are selling, the lease activity tends to be higher. Successful businesses still need to operate from quality commercial or retail premises. This is an opportunity for commercial property agents that specialise in commercial leasing.

So let’s go back to commercial property leasing and the elements that should be considered when qualifying tenants. Here are some key factors to consider before you start:

1. Understand the capabilities of the property when it comes to tenant occupancy. Things to know will include services, amenities, and size of tenancy, improvements, fitout design, and availability, term of lease, options, rental requirements and type, and landlord plans for the property. The permitted use or legal use of the property should be understood as part of this process.

2. Get a full brief from the landlord as to the type of lease that they will do for the premises. A lease can be varied and negotiated, but you have to have the landlord’s base requirements before you start. Ask the landlord about rent levels, lease terms, option periods, preferred tenant, renovation and maintenance plans for the property. These facts should be in parity to the comparable properties in the local area that are also on the market to lease at the moment.

To qualify the tenant you can take the following approach:

  • Find out where the tenant has come from and if they are moving from another property. It is likely that the timing of the move will have impact on your negotiations and inspections.
  • What does the tenant know about rent and properties in the local area? Have they looked at anything else in the area and if so what? It is best to know what you are up against early in the inspection process.
  • Has the tenant been looking at other property with other agents and are negotiations underway elsewhere on any ‘short-listed’ property now? This will have an impact on your discussions and inspections with them.
  • What levels of rent and lease term does the tenant have in mind? Make sure you find out about the extras of lease occupancy such as outgoings payments, and consumables including electricity, gas, water, and communications.
  • Will the tenant require a long lease term and or an option period for a further term? This may not always suit the landlord.
  • The numbers of tenant staff and the type of business will have impact on the improvements and fitout in the property. Ask questions about things such as car parking, loading and deliveries, office configurations, hours of operation, security, access, customers to the property, and quality of fitout.

So you can do a lot with a tenant before you take them to a property. Importantly this information is captured into your database. As a general rule do not give out any property information until the tenant has told you everything that you need first.

If a tenant is also or has been dealing with another agent, be very careful to check that they have not seen any of your listed properties with other agents earlier.

Commercial Agents – The Importance of Prospecting and Cold Calling to Your Business Today

It really does not matter how successful you have been this year in commercial real estate sales and leasing. You still need listings for the future and prospecting is part of that process.

Many agents or salespeople tend to neglect the prospecting process when they get busy. This is counterproductive and frustrates the pipeline of opportunity for your business. In most real estate markets, there is a time lag of about 90 days between prospecting and lifting your conversions to listings. This says that the prospecting of today will turn into opportunity in about three or four months.

Prospecting is therefore one of the most important things you do each and every day. It needs to feature in your diary as a priority one activity. Prospecting will give you a number of outcomes such as the following:

  1. It will get your face and identity into the local business community so that you can be the agent of choice to help them when sales or leasing issues arise. Commercial real estate is built around networking and contacts. Your database is critical to your future sales opportunity and listing conversions.
  2. The people that you talk to in most cases will not need property assistance today, however they will be needing something in the future. You will need of constant contact process to build the right connections with these people. It pays to talk to them every 90 days as part of an ongoing networking and prospecting process. Remarkably you find that many salespeople fail in this regard. This becomes a significant source of opportunity if you build the correct personal system of contact.
  3. Many properties are sold off market. When you know enough people and keep a register of contact in your database, it is easy for you to introduce new and fresh properties directly to the right people at the right time. You can achieve a sale even before the property is advertised and other agents hear of it.
  4. Use the signboards placed on properties by competing agents as reasons to talk to the neighbouring properties. This has proven to be a serious source of opportunity. Most neighbouring properties prefer to choose an agent in competition, and the catalyst of the sale next door tends to motivate the neighbours to sale.
  5. Most of the business owners in the local area know more about the street they are located in than you do. On that basis you can tap into the observations and knowledge that they have of the local area. Asking questions will open the doors to important information that could be a sale or lease opportunity.

If you really want a good future in the property business, do not waste time on any working day. Start prospecting and make it a passionate part of your business process.