commercial real estate training

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.

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.