Finding commercial real estate for lease can be a daunting task. Depending on the state of the market, there may be plenty of real estate space available, but finding a commercial property that checks off every item on your list can be a challenge.
Unfortunately, the best spaces in the most attractive places tend to be on the market for the shortest amount of time. And real estate space isn’t always what it seems—sometimes, what appears to be a great deal might require significant upfront investment.
There is no “right way” to search for retail space—it’s one of those things that’s best learned from experience. But there are best practices, which we’ll outline below, and all of those practices come down to one central theme: It pays to prepare.
Hunting for real estate requires a set of intangible skills and intuition that can be hard to define. However, like any investment, the best way to maximize your ROI is to perform due diligence before signing the dotted line. Whether you’re searching for Iowa storefront properties for lease, Iowa retail space for lease, or Iowa business space for lease, the decisions you make before you purchase a property will shape your experience going forward and greatly impact your ROI.
In no particular order, here are some of the best practices that will help you find the right commercial real estate for lease.
#1: Location, location, location.
When you’re purchasing a home, everyone knows that location is the most important factor to consider. You want a place that’s close to good schools, workplaces, restaurants, etc.
The same general rule is true for commercial real estate. Your location has a big impact on the overall success of your business.
Here’s a good place to start: focus on the factors that are most important to your business operations and employees.
Some things to consider:
Is the property relatively close to your employees’ homes? Are there nearby restaurants, hotels and entertainment attractions where you can court clients?
If you’re in the retail industry, are you in the right location for your customers? How’s the local traffic volume?
If you’re a logistics or warehousing operation, are you near a major transportation infrastructure?
Is the property in a business-friendly community?
Once you have an idea of the location where you want to purchase a property—or at least the characteristics of the location—you’re ready to dive deeper and look for available properties. That’s when it’s time to bring in an expert.
#2: Partner with a pro.
Earlier, we mentioned that the best commercial real-estate investments are often the product of diligent preparation. They’re also usually a team effort.
Searching for commercial real estate requires knowledge in several different domains, which is why we recommend partnering with people who can bring niche expertise to the table. Partner with a real estate agent or broker who has previously worked with your industry; talk to local business owners and elected officials to better understand the business environment; and keep your lawyer up to date throughout the process.
And don’t be shy about your search—tell family, friends and anyone who will listen that you’re in the market for a commercial property. You never know who might make a good connection.
#3: Search conventional & unconventional sources.
Sometimes, you can find great real estate property listed online—but some of the best locations tend to fly under the radar. If you’re having a hard time finding the right property, try simply driving around the neighborhood and looking for empty lots and ‘For Lease’ signs. Physically exploring a place can give you information that you won’t find in an online listing.
That last piece of advice may sound a bit old-school, but, as real-estate brokers know, finding the right commercial property usually comes down to tapping into a wide variety of resources and tactics. While we always recommend doing your due diligence and partnering with experts, it’s important to remember that no two real-estate searches are alike and navigating the market requires creativity and adaptability. Keep an open mind.
Thanks for reading! If you’re in the market for commercial real estate in Iowa, take a look at Altoona. Located just fifteen minutes east of Des Moines, Altoona is a growing community with thriving retail, entertainment, logistics, transportation and manufacturing businesses. Learn more here.