A small business owner has little room for error. Your success depends on making smart decisions. Working with a large, experienced commercial real estate (CRE) developer that offers a full-service solution is worth considering. If your business plan is to grow operations, staff and/or locations,
A commercial real estate landlord should offer:
- the flexibility to suit your needs as a tenant
- a team of experts to guide you
- experience, success and reputation
- business relationships and community connections
Flexibility to Suit Your Needs
Businesses may find that a smaller commercial real estate developer or property owner has a ‘one size fits all’ approach to a commercial lease. Limited locations, few in-house services and cookie-cutter leases that do not provide the flexibility a business owner needs. A versatile CRE company can offer customized real estate solutions for their client tenants. These include a large, diversified property portfolio, and in-house services to design and build leased space.
Large full-service commercial real estate developers offer businesses the lease term, space and location options that can accommodate small business growth over time. This is accomplished by allocating future-use space in the existing floor plan, expanding into a nearby vacant suite or relocating to another property in the company’s portfolio. Taking advantage of this flexibility will save a small business owner time, money and frustration for years to come.
Leasing office space can be a complicated and overwhelming process. CRE companies should have on-staff leasing agents. These agents can guide you through the process and take care of the details so you can run your business. Beyond square footage, the landlord firm should include value added services such as space planning and construction management to make the most of your time and budget as a tenant. Experts from the design team can help you maximize the efficiency of your floor plan. An experienced construction manager can provide cost-saving or higher-quality alternatives. Interior designers can help you select furniture and finishes, based on product performance and client satisfaction.
Experience, Success and Reputation
Because market conditions for both real estate and small business are cyclical and fluctuate over time, you will want a company that has successfully weathered the ups and downs of the real estate market. Find a company that has at least 20 years of experience, a history of success, and a stellar reputation in the business community. Talk to the local Chamber of Commerce reps and ask other small business owners about which CRE landlords are most reputable. If you have identified potential locations, call or stop by other businesses who lease space there to inquire about their experience with the landlord and property management.
Before you become a tenant, conduct due diligence including a thorough online search of news regarding the building owners, their Better Business Bureau profile, and comb their websites for leadership profiles, customer testimonials and awards. Once you are satisfied that you have found a CRE partner that can help your business, call their sales and leasing department to get started.
Business Relationships and Community Connections
Commercial developers and landlords with a large portfolio of buildings have many resources in the business community. They have likely cultivated relationships with hundreds of businesses in the region. These may range from ‘mom-and-pops’ to Fortune 500 companies. Access to these relationships is priceless. It can help your business in ways you didn’t imagine, such as forming strategic partnerships or simply expanding your network.
If your business desires to establish or enhance a community relations program or simply adopt a charity, find a CRE that has experience in that domain. Some have dedicated years to volunteering and millions of dollars to causes that help support and benefit the community. Consider doing business with a firm that is dedicated to building a community. One where all businesses can grow and thrive, providing jobs and a better quality of life.
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