Commercial Agents – Property Inspection Tips for Listing a Property Today

As a commercial property agent, you will frequently be asked to inspect properties and pass your opinion relevant to the sales and leasing process that could occur.  In many respects, the clients that ask you to inspect their property will be testing you out, and deciding if you are relevant to their property challenge and need.  Professionalism and confidence are essential ingredients in the property inspection process if you are an agent.

The clients that approach you to inspect their property will have their own view on price and marketing, however you should have your clear perspective on existing market conditions and correct marketing processes.  In many respects, there is no point in listing something that is unrealistically priced; it can waste a lot of your precious time and effort.

Here are some property inspection tips that can help you create a checklist in a property inspection.  This is a process that you could use when moving through the property with the client.

  1. Get details of the property title and the property location before you reach the premises.  That will allow you to understand the correct property ownership structure and the legalities of the title itself.
  2. Check out the zoning of the property relative to the local property development plan.  That will give you a clear perspective of the type of property operations that are allowed in the area.  The zoning of the property will also have relevancy to the permitted use in any lease documentation applying to the tenancy mix.
  3. if the property is occupied as an investment property, you will need to sight and review each of the leases for each of the tenants.  Many leases present issues that need to be resolved prior to any marketing campaign.  Look for things such as upcoming vacancies, expiring leases, missing rent reviews, and outstanding lease options.  Consider the cash flow that each particular lease provides to the owner of the property through the rental escalations.
  4. As you move through the property, look at the tenancy mix and the profiles of the particular tenants.  Do they seem to be trading well, and have they correctly integrated into the configuration and improvements of the property?  Some tenants will disrupt occupancy for other tenants.  Look for these matters of conflict as they can impact future inspections and property negotiations.  Most buyers for a property will interview the existing tenants prior to making an offer.
  5. As a general rule, always take notes when talking to the owners of a particular property.  Those notes will come in handy at a later time when property negotiations are underway or if matters of disagreement occur.  Expect that the current property owners will limit some of the information that they give you.  They may not completely share all of the elements of property operation and title, and perhaps even hide some of the challenges that the property presents.  This is where your professionalism and attention to detail will be very relevant to the listing process.

Develop a comprehensive process to inspecting properties before they are taken to the market.  Ask lots of questions before you form an opinion regards price and marketing strategy.  Take into account all of the prevailing market conditions and the proximity of competing properties.

All of these things will have an impact on your marketing campaign, and on that basis potentially influencing the pricing and promotional structure.  When you review a property comprehensively, you can list it with a view to a positive outcome.

Commercial Property Leasing Handover

When you lease a property, it is not just a matter of finding a tenant and matching them to a property.  There is a lot more to the relationship and the leasing deal itself.  This is where the professional property leasing agent stands well and truly above the other competitors in the market.

So let’s assume you have found a tenant in a property transaction and that you have negotiated a deal that is acceptable to both the tenant and the landlord.  Moving the parties forward to lease finality will be part of your role and focus; if you do not stay with a property transaction to the very end, others can slow or stop the transaction without your knowledge (solicitors are good at that).  Of course that will mean loss of commission and credibility.   Top agents stay with the deal to the very end on behalf of their clients or principal; you should get in a habit of doing the very same.

Here is a leasing checklist that contains some of the main issues in a leasing deal.  You can add to the list subject to your property type and location.

  1. Make sure that the lease that is created by the clients solicitor reflects the facts that have been discussed in your leasing negotiations.
  2. Get the lease signed by all the parties.  It may be that solicitors for both parties do this, however, make sure that it is done in a timely way.  Delays create uncertainty.
  3. As part of getting a lease signed, the rent should be paid together with the required lease deposit as a commitment by the tenant.  Get the money into a trust account so that the cheques are cleared (or get a bank cheque).
  4. All bank guarantees and bonds should be lodged with the right people as part of the signing and the completion of the lease documents.
  5. Double check with all the solicitors (and particularly the solicitor acting for your client), that the correct documentation has been served and signed.  Some leases require secondary supporting documentation such as disclosures and licences.  The whole bundle of documents should be treated as one and all correctly signed.  The completed and signed documents should be in the possession of the client’s solicitor.
  6. If all of the above is in order, it will be time to allow access to the premises, and hence hand over the keys.  This should be done correctly with the receipting of the keys as they are exchanged, and the documenting of the condition of the premises at handover.  These records will be required at the end of the lease when the premises are to be made good.

You can add to these items based on the property type and complexity.  Importantly you can build a great checklist to keep you on track in finalising the lease.  In the end result you will get a good commission and have a happy client.