Our advice for Business Owners looking for Commercial Property
Unlike with the residential property market, finding commercial property can be a lengthy process, particularly at the moment with the lack of stock of industrial and office properties across many parts of the UK. So, we’ve put together a list of tips for those looking for commercial property, or those who think they may be in the market in the future.
- Do your research – Having a good idea of what type of property you want, the area you want to be in and how much you can expect to pay is important. So, look on search engines, like NovaLoca, to get an idea of the types of properties you like and what price they are advertised at. Then, it can be a good idea to drive around the area you are looking at to get a feel for where you want to be based and keep an eye out for boards advertising properties that are on the market in the area.
- Find agents in the area – Search engines like NovaLoca are useful for finding agents in the area you are looking at. Specific agents may specialise in the type of property you are looking for, so make sure you are talking to the right agent.
- Enquire – If you find a property you like, contact the agent to arrange a viewing.
- Be proactive – Some agents may be reluctant to reply to your email if the property is unavailable or if they do not have a property matching your requirements on their books then and there, so be proactive in contacting them regularly to ensure they keep you in mind if anything new comes on to the market. It is worth phoning them as well as emailing.
- Sign up for alerts –Searching for the right commercial property can take some time, so if you know you may be in the market in the future, keep an eye out for what is being advertised now and sign up to get alerts when a property matching your criteria is added to the system in the future.
- Using a retained agent – You can hire agents to carry out the acquisition process for you, but it will come at a cost. If you do not wish to pay for this service, you will need to put in more leg work to find the right property.
- Negotiate – Once you have found your ideal property, make sure you negotiate to get the best deal. Look at similar properties in the area to get an idea of what the going prices are. Some agents may not be willing to reduce the price per square foot, but there may be other concessions they are willing to make, particularly if you are willing to take out a longer lease, for example a rent free period.
- Be aware of clauses and charges – With a lot of commercial properties, at the end of your lease, you will have to return the property to its original state (dilapidations), which can be a big cost. So keep an eye out for rent review clauses and service charges when you sign the contract, so you are aware of them at the end of your lease.