commercial real estate training

Industrial Property Brokers – A Fresh Look at Industrial Warehouse Selection

When you work as a real estate broker in industrial property, there will be plenty of situations where you are helping a business owner or tenant in selecting an industrial property or warehouse.  In sales or leasing situations the criteria for property selection are quite similar in many respects.

To help with the process you can create a checklist of key industrial issues and occupancy factors that apply to your area, town or city.

Here is a list to help you get started in this checklist process:

  1. Ask questions about the business seeking relocation so you can understand the ‘business dynamics’ across issues related to customers, staff, manufacturing, storage, loading, deliveries, office integration, and warehousing needs etc.
  2. Location – there will be reasons for a business seeking a particular area to locate their business.  It may have something to do with raw materials, transport, customer base, access, and regional markets.
  3. Size and Shape – the property should have the size and shape to accommodate business activities and operations.  Some manufacturing businesses have seasonal pressures on output and deliveries.  It may be that a high priority is placed on loading, and hardstand storage for that very reason.  The same can be said for internal warehouse storage.
  4. Permitted use – the property and its intended use should comply with the local property zoning as well as the configuration of the improvements.  You can visit the current premises occupied by a business to see the dynamics of daily operations, staff or department interaction, and customer interaction.
  5. Adaptability – how flexible or adaptable does a property need to be to satisfy the seasonal business pressures as well as expansion and contraction of trade?
  6. Lease terms – the lease terms that a landlord requires should be identified early in the vacancy marketing process so you can make a clear match to industrial tenants and their needs.  How flexible will your landlord client be to tenant demands, levels of rent, incentives, and changes to lease terms?
  7. Traffic and Congestion – some businesses create significant pressure on property function with deliveries, manufacturing, customer access, transport, and extended hours of trade.  If an industrial tenant is likely to put pressure on a property then special lease terms and conditions should be drafted to protect the landlord in case of property damage and high levels of maintenance.
  8. Priority placement – what is the one single ‘must have’ factor of property occupancy that an industrial business requires to be satisfied in property selection?  Identify that early in your property review process.  Target your listings accordingly.

From these simple questions you can move into short listing a property or listing for inspection.  Don’t show the prospect too many properties initially as it is likely to confuse their perspective on property choice.

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.