Ask any real estate expert about what determines the desirably of business property. You’ll probably hear some variation of the cliché, “location, location, location.” But, is the location the only thing to consider when finding the right space for your business?
Absolutely, location matters, but a property’s geographical coordinates alone don’t tell the whole story. It’s not just the price per square foot that counts. You also have to consider the property’s functionality, its ability to attract the right customers, local competition, zoning and environmental regulations, your long-term growth plans, and more. Unfortunately, many business owners fail to do broad enough due diligence before signing their lease. To find the right space, focus on these 5 critical factors.
1. Space and Location
What does your business need immediately? What are your long-term aspirations? The space must be flexible enough to accommodate your current business and leave room for future growth. It also should be able to handle technological and equipment needs; drive foot traffic, if that’s a key piece of your business model; and fit your budget. Before assessing specific properties, create a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. Use these standards to guide your search and make it as objective as possible.
Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Do competitive intelligence to understand local threats and opportunities. For instance, consider the ratio of residents to the number of providers in your industry in the area. Are there enough available customers in a given area to support your company now and into the near future? Even if there are, do you have the marketing sophistication to drive enough business to justify the location?
Assess the demographics of the neighborhood before signing on the dotted line. If your business provides co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs, don’t move it to an area where the average age is over 65. Similarly, if your clothing boutique caters to older women, don’t locate it in a neighborhood known for its young singles scene. It sounds obvious, but so many entrepreneurs overlook this piece of the puzzle: choose a location where your target audience lives or visits.
4. Curb Appeal
Once you narrow down the general geographic area, consider the curb appeal of potential locations. Will your signage be visible from major intersections or highways? Is there a parking lot easily accessible? What about access to public transportation? How well is the property maintained during inclement weather, and how easy will it be for your customers to access your business during these times? Pay attention to the little details that affect how people access the space. An uninviting walkway can deter foot traffic; an overly-shaded or hidden sign can render a business invisible. However, many accessibility problems can be solved creatively. For instance, that uninviting walkway can be spruced up with inexpensive flowers, and the shaded sign can be replaced with a bigger, brighter one.
5. Tenant Representation
Entrepreneurs succeed in spite of tough odds because they’re resourceful, and they work hard. Sometimes, sweat equity pays off. However, in the world of commercial real estate, even if you have industry experience, you can get in a lot of trouble if you represent yourself in a deal. Without help, you’ll only be able to access a limited portion of available commercial properties. You won’t have access to up-to-date and comprehensive demographic and market data or have a seasoned representative by your side during the lease negotiation process. Even small errors of due diligence can wreak havoc on your company, costing you money and causing stress.
At McBride & Ceballos Commercial Real Estate, we provide attentive, professional tenant representation so you can have a successful commercial leasing experience. Let us facilitate a smooth, hassle-free process that finds the right space for your business and sets your business up for profitability.
Contact McBride & Ceballos Commercial Real Estate today to learn more about our how to sell your retail property or to get started.