Most people would tell you that real estate is critical to a retailer’s success and that it is all about the location, location, location! I could not agree more, but what is it that makes some retail locations extremely successful while others seem to have constant turnover?
Today we’re going to focus on five key things to consider when looking for commercial property for rent. There are certainly many other factors that can be extremely impactful from a legal and accounting perspective and we always advise you to get support from attorneys and accountants on those points.
Over the years this information has become more readily available. Any good commercial brokerage will pull key demographic information on your behalf within a given radius. Most clients focus on 1, 3, or 5-mile radius reports. The key factors to look at are population, median household income, average household income, daytime population, households, and consumer spending. If you are part of a corporate or franchise organization, be sure to request the demographics for the top three stores to come up with your target demographics.
What good is your location if people cannot see or access your location? Know what kind of business you are in and what your clients want from you. Are you a destination business or do you benefit from traffic? Either way high traffic counts will always help with branding, visibility, and impulse buying. Anything over 30,000 Vehicles Per Day (VPD) is worth paying a little more for the extra marketing and exposure. Be sure to get traffic counts from your broker and think about targeting commercial centers on major thoroughfares.
You’ve found a location with strong demographics and heavy car traffic, but what good will that do if people cannot find you? Be sure to negotiate for the best sign package available and get signs that match the top sign packages within your commercial center. While you are at it you should consider getting pylon or shopping center signage as well. If there is any kind of highway exposure on the back or side of your space, request permission from your landlord to put additional lighted signage in those areas too. When thinking about signage, know that the city has most of the say and most landlords will accommodate your signage based on local jurisdiction.
When your ideal client is driving down the street right in front of your sign, it is important to be sure they can gain easy access to your location. Always look for centers that have multiple access points, from multiple streets and have at least one full signal intersection. If your client has to make a u-turn or take extra effort to get to your door, that will limit the locations viability.
Last, but not least be very careful about your parking requirements. Take note of your neighboring tenants. Are they all dinner restaurants or breakfast restaurants? If your clients have difficulty finding parking than they will likely go someplace else and may never return. When considering parking, be sure to ask the listing agent for the parking ratio which I recommend has no less than five parking spaces per 1,000 square feet.
If you are in the city take note of parking surface lot proximity, street parking availability, and meter times. Always request designated parking for your clients. For example, a pizza restaurant may want a few designated spaces in front for customer pick up. Also keep in mind parking spaces for your employees and make sure it is in a well-lit area.
Obviously, there are other considerations to keep in mind when finding commercial property for rent for your business, so we invite you to contact our commercial agents with further questions you may have.
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Phil Kubat is the Principal & Managing Broker of Transworld Commercial Real Estate, a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Colorado. Phil, a veteran in the Colorado commercial market, brings 15+ years of experience to his work with Transworld Commercial Real Estate (TCRE). TCRE serves as a strategic partner to clients for their commercial acquisition and disposition needs. Phil specializes in Leasing & Listing Sales Representation; Tenant & Buyer Representation; Corporate, Franchise & Franchisee Location Services; Co-Brokering with Franchise & National Firms; and Office, Industrial/Flex & Retail Site Selection.