Our latest guest blog on the art of leasing commercial property comes from Ron Burg at Barrett Properties.

If you’re looking to lease a commercial property for a new business, expanding franchise, or relocation purposes, you will have to learn to navigate the leasing process as well as finding the perfect unit or building to lease. This can seem daunting but, with a bit of know-how and confidence under your belt, you can find yourself a great deal. With a bit of patience, determination, common sense – and these insightful tips – you’ll not only find the perfect location but enter any leasing discussion with a sure chance of success.

Location, Location, Location

Shopping centre commercial propertyWith commercial property, in particular, location is key, so you need to decide on your ideal location from the start. If you’re already operating a business, you have the perfect opportunity to analyse what’s currently working for you and what seems to continuously fall short.

For current and soon-to-be business owners alike, it’s imperative that you end up in a location that grants you direct access to the bulk of your customer base. Look for a location that not only provides a steady flow of potential customers but which also makes the logistics of your business easier. If you deal with large shipments on a frequent basis, then it may be beneficial to be near a main highway, but if footfall is your main concern, look for a property centrally located within a large shopping district.

Commercial Property Landlords

It’s important to choose the right landlord too as they have the potential to impact on you and your business. Your relationship with this person or company can either be beneficial and easygoing or lead to strife. Put your ear to the ground and start networking with people, asking around about the different individuals and companies that lease commercial property space in your area.

Look for a company, like Barrett Properties, that offers different commercial options, and that has a reputation for personable business relationships as well as helpful and efficient staff. Focus on those who seem genuinely interested in your success – after all, if you’re successful, you’ll provide a steady source of revenue for them.

Take Your Time

Unless you absolutely need to find a place to lease immediately, take your time searching properties and discussing their particulars with the people who own them. You don’t want to end up agreeing to a lease contract simply because you’re in a hurry and let your haste push you into leasing a space that either isn’t right.

Also, when it’s evident that you’re in a hurry to get into a new property, the landlord may realise that you’re more likely to pay a higher price in order to hurry up and get the lease. If you’re taking your time, and clearly aren’t in a hurry to sign a lease, this offers you more of an opportunity to haggle over the price or other particulars of the lease agreement.

Give Yourself Options

What’s available on the market in your area may surprise you. Cast a wide net and check out any and all possibilities, narrowing the net as you work through a clear checklist of what will and will not work for your business. Tour multiple rental spaces and negotiate with multiple leasing companies.

The final decision about whether or not you want to lease from someone resides with you, and until you sign anything, you’re under no obligation whatsoever. You can keep it to yourself that you’re also looking elsewhere, but it’s sometimes a good idea to let the leasing company know that you’re checking out multiple sites. Leasing agencies are more likely to actively seek to close a deal, possibly to your benefit, if they know that you’re exploring multiple opportunities.

Question Everything

If you think you’ve thought of every single possible question you could ask about the property and the lease agreement – think a little more!  You can never ask enough questions in situations like this, as you want to be sure that you know the particulars of everything right from the start. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve signed an agreement without resolving a certain issue, reading the fine print, or receiving permission for something that completely slipped your mind.

This is good for both parties involved, as it gives the landlord a better impression of you and your business, and protects you both from unwanted surprises later down the road. You, too, will have a better sense of security, thus enabling you to go forward focusing on your business’s needs rather than having to worry about the particulars of your lease.

Know Your Costs


Scrutinize your lease agreement carefully in order to ascertain precisely what it is you’ll be required to cover from a financial point of view. Does the lease include maintenance, or will you have to spend extra money for this later on?  Will some of the utilities be covered?  Is there a landscaping fee?  Be sure to discuss the lease with your bank or even a legal representative to make sure everything is as it should be, including that you’ve done everything you’re legally required to do.

This is also the time to ask for anything you might want to, but remember to be reasonable. The landlord is running a business and can’t be expected to spend a great deal of money for a new tenant, especially if you’re a first-time business owner.  Treat them fairly and, more than likely, they’ll return the favour.