A Proven Blueprint for Assessing Tenant Needs in Commercial Property Leasing

When it comes to taking an inquiry from a tenant in commercial real estate, it pays to have a comprehensive checklist or process to support questioning and to track the requirements of the tenant.

So every property inquiry is likely to be quite unique given that every business and corporate tenant will have special factors of occupancy to take into account; every enquiry should be matched to the required property across a number of criteria.

Here are some ideas to help you determine exactly what the tenant is looking for:

  1. Before you say too much and give away valuable listing information, understand exactly who you’re talking to, get their contact information, and ask plenty of questions to understand how they have reached the point of calling you.  Sometimes you will find that the inquiry is actually being made by another agent or broker within your town or city.  It is questionable in that case whether you would tell them too much about the listing.
  2. If the person approaching you will not share their contact details and property requirements openly and honestly, then it is best to restrict the information that you provide across the telephone.
  3. Find out if they have been inspecting other properties locally with the other brokers and agents.  That fact can frustrate your discussions, negotiations, and property introductions.
  4. If the inquiry appears genuine then it is time to arrange a meeting, and potentially an inspection of the property.  The ‘face to face’ process in our industry is really important.
  5. The tenant may be operating a business in another location.  You can inspect that other property to understand space requirements and fit out design.  You can also understand how they interact between business units.
  6. Ask the tenant about their customer interaction and resource requirements.  Both of those factors are likely to impact property choice, design and location.  They also may create special needs when it comes to car parking, property exposure, and the future need for expansion or contraction.
  7. The services and amenities in any property will be of interest in a lease choice or tenant negotiation.  Find out what the tenant needs when it comes to communications, access, power, water, gas and air conditioning.
  8. The quality of property will impact design and layout.  That will also flow through to environmental efficiency, and building operating costs.  A landlord of a property today should be very careful when it comes to property outgoings.  Excessive outgoings are likely to deter or derail a lease negotiation.
  9. Rental and outgoings budgets should be questioned and understood as part of taking the property inquiry.  Some tenants have unrealistic expectations of just what they can get for the rent to be paid, when it comes to property choices in certain areas or locations.

So there are some specific things that you can question and resolve as part of taking any leasing requirement or inquiry.  Be prepared to drill down on all the right facts before you arrange a site inspection with any tenant.  Qualify the tenant for the listing or the inquiry in a comprehensive way.