The ins and outs of searching for a commercial property
Whether you’re a start-up or an expanding business, an investor or a developer, going on the hunt for a new commercial property is an exciting prospect.
Without taking the verve out of your venture, let’s take a look at a sensible approach to commercial property searching.
The right foundations
Before starting your search it’s worth getting your house in order. First of all, work out and secure your budget and then draw up a wish list of needs.
Budget, budget, budget
The commercial property sector moves fast, so to avoid disappointment make sure you set your budget and arrange meetings with your bank or financial organisation to secure the budget you plan.
For small businesses this will involve drawing up business plans and, for investors, looking at your portfolio.
Search wish list
Once you’ve got your budget, let the fun commence! Start writing up your commercial property needs – which will certainly be influenced by your budget – but remember to enjoy the process too; you never know what you might find.
Think about property size, location, facilities and condition.
In the know
The old adage “knowledge is power” really comes into its own when searching for commercial property, as the market can be fairly insular.
Using an expert real estate advisory service such as GVA will give your search powerful knowledge, including access to off-market properties and land registry, which can throw up some real gems that otherwise you wouldn’t know about.
If you’re searching yourself, make sure you know about market trends, forecasts and performance. Speak to experts and keep on top of market news to stay in the know. Also, set alerts with online search agencies once you’ve narrowed your search criteria so you don’t miss out on the latest properties.
Type and size
The type and size of property you search for, whether retail space, offices, warehousing or units, will largely be determined by your business or investment needs.
For small-scale investors, a commercial property with a tenant, rather than unoccupied, is lower risk. Local businesses that you are familiar with are also favourable to new or small-scale investors. Experienced investors want to be guided by occupancy demand and behaviours.
As an occupier looking for a commercial property, don’t forget to consider storage, parking and loading, if necessary, when deciding how much space you need.
Again, knowledge is important here, so if you don’t know the commercial property market, find someone who does! They will be able to inform you of ‘hot’ locations from an investment point of view.
Visit the location if you can to make sure it suits the day-to-day logistics and communication needs of your business or investment. Google Maps Street View is also great for having a preliminary look around.
If you have any further tips on searching for a commercial property, please share them below!