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Three Keys To Commercial Leasing

Kyle Crown is the President of Crown Commercial PM. He holds a B.S. in business from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

The term “commercial leasing” applies to a wide variety of spaces. For the purpose of this article, we’ll define it as “the leasing of space in retail, office and industrial buildings.” Leasing professionals should approach each of these spaces in a different way, and with the mindset that no two spaces are the same.

However, there are some universal truths that apply to all forms of commercial leasing — ideas that make as much sense for leasing a downtown warehouse as they do for leasing a strip-mall storefront. I’ll call them the “three keys.”

1. Advertising

It doesn’t take a Master of Business Administration to know that advertising a commercial space is crucial to leasing it. Obviously, the wider the pool of applicants you receive, the better your prospects will be. But if your property manager is merely going through the motions (i.e., not actively seeking innovative outlets for marketing your property), you’re settling for less than the best.

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Make sure you and/or your property manager are taking full advantage of every available resource, both online and with proper physical signage in the local area. That should include good photos, useful floorplans and subscription-based access to advertise on top websites. Your available spaces need to be known to as many prospective tenants as possible in the places they are most likely to see them.

2. Pricing

One of the “three keys” of commercial leasing contains its own three keys. The first essential element of pricing your property is market surveys. You can use these valuable tools to assess the exact rents being charged in the area surrounding your property. The second key is analysis. If you don’t know how to read and interpret those market surveys, what good will they do you?

The third key to pricing your property is local knowledge. Ensure the agent who leases your commercial property has a common-sense knowledge of broad market conditions, as well as a more specific understanding of the rental market in that specific area. This can come from experience renting property there.

3. Relationships

It’s essential for the leasing agent in charge of renting your commercial property to maintain strong professional relationships with other agents and brokers in the particular submarket they’re working in. You don’t want someone who only knows how to lease retail space in Westwood, Los Angeles, trying to rent out your industrial space in Glendale. Ensure your leasing agents’ expertise, experience and network align with the task. There is always plenty of room for listing agents and tenant representatives to collaborate and work creatively together to get deals done.

The world of commercial real estate includes a variety of property types, and each will present its own unique set of challenges on the rental market. My team always says, “No two properties are exactly alike, and neither are any two property owners.” But it helps to find the few rules of thumb that do work for a wide range of types. If you can excel in these three crucial aspects of commercial leasing, you’ll be in a prime position to fetch the highest possible market rents for your clients.

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