Looking to Rent or Buy Commercial Property in St. Louis? Here’s How to Start your Search
Over the next several months, members of our team of Commercial Real Estate Pros will be sharing their expertise with people like you — business leaders poised to move to a new office, warehouse, retail, or industrial space.
In this article, our broker, Brendan O’Brien will outline the topics we’ll be discussing and get you oriented as you start your search.
Going from Overwhelmed to “I Can Do This!”
When you’re ready to move your business, the sheer number of opportunities—along with the pitfalls—can be intimidating.
Most business owners only sign a handful of commercial property leases in their lifetime. And those who feel ready to purchase a building are making a substantial investment that could tie up their capital for many years.
There are new terms to learn (or re-learn). Tons of decisions to make. And intricacies to be aware of.
But finding a great new space does not have to be overwhelming. Qualified Commercial Real Estate Brokers can steer you through the process, helping you get what you need while making your life easier.
Commercial Property in St. Louis
Every market has its challenges and opportunities. As of the publication of this article, St. Louis is seeing a growing number of business owners looking for space, but new construction isn’t keeping up.
However, when it comes to commercial real estate, change is constant, and qualified brokers are people who know the history of their area but stay on top of what’s happening now. Residential agents, though they may be able to help you choose a great home, don’t have the same kind of background.
It’s also important to find a broker who works with an organization that has deep resources and broad experience. A company like Hilliker Corporation shines in these respects.
As you get ready to find a new space, here are some topics your agent will want to discuss with you. In the end, the goal of every great agent is to help you make the ideal choice for your business, your employees, and your customers.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Qualified brokers want to help you make a choice based on your businesses’ current and projected needs. To do that, we’ll need a good idea of what your goals are and what your plan is to get there.
We’ll also need to know your budget. Some people are uncomfortable communicating their budget, fearing being taken advantage of. But good Commercial Real Estate Brokers take your budget seriously and look for ways to get you the best possible solution in the current market.
Feel like you’re ready to make a purchase? A commercial property purchase can be a solid investment, and good for businesses that can project their growth with relative certainty.
However, many moves are part of a quick expansion or projections that involve greater speculation.
In those cases, you’ll want to be familiar with the different lease types, how they get quoted, and what each includes. That way, you’ll be able to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison.
What Type of Lease Is Best for You?
There are several different types of leases. Each one outlines what aspects of the building and its maintenance you’ll be responsible for, as well as how you and the landlord will handle the reimbursement of taxes and expenses.
Leases also state what the building owners are responsible for, along with what contribution they’ll make to whatever improvements or changes you’re planning.
In the coming weeks, we’ll delve into the intricacies of leases, but here’s an outline of the primary lease structures:
- Triple Net – the lessee (or the tenant) is responsible for all the costs of the space they’re leasing, including all repairs, insurance, and property tax.
- Double Net – the lessee is responsible for insurance and property tax.
- Gross – the lessee pays a flat rate encompassing the taxes and insurance costs associated with the property.
- Modified Gross – the lease begins with a base year lease rate. Should taxes or insurance increase beyond the base rate, the lessee (that’s you!) will pay the difference based on how many square feet your business occupies.
Depending on your projections for the future, a sub-lease (taking over an existing lease from a company who no longer needs the space) or a lease with an option to expand may serve you best.
Matching your needs to the right lease is where good Commercial Real Estate Agents shine, knowing how to negotiate on your behalf with your best interests at heart.
Where Would You Like Your Commercial Property Located?
There are a few things to consider.
First, where are you currently located? If it’s already working for you, then we’ll want to start looking for a property close to your current space.
If it’s not working or you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to find a place that’s easy for your employees and customers to get to. If the commute to your new site is difficult for everyone involved—or even just for you!—then you’ll regret the move as long as your lease lasts.
You can also ask: Where is the center of my life? Where is the center of my employees’ and clients’ lives? Maybe we can find a place near where you already shop, eat, and live.
We’ll also want to determine how visible your business needs to be. We don’t want to bury you in an office park if customers need to see you from the road. At the same time, many businesses are served best by office parks and industrial areas. Which are you?
What Size and Features Do You Need?
To determine office space, you’ll need to start with the number of staff members you have and how many square feet each person on that staff will need. If you plan on expanding, bring that into consideration as well.
Then, add what you think you’ll need for ancillary spaces like a copy room, a break room, and storage or warehouse spaces.
We’ll also want to discuss what the property needs to look like. You may need to impress clients with high-class finishes and an appealing neighborhood. You may need to keep things simple to serve the nature of your business and clientele.
Anything else you can tell us about how your business operates will help us narrow your search, save you valuable time, and get you where you need to be as quickly as possible.
Ready to Get Started?
When you’re ready to make a move, you need a pro you can rely on to get you the best possible space given the parameters you set and the realities of the market.
A great Commercial Real Estate Agent knows the ins and outs of leases, lease negotiations, and purchases. They want to help you get the most out of a deal while keeping your reputation intact.