If Houston is your desired location to start your small business or expand the existing one – you’re on the right track.
The fourth-largest city in the US, Houston, is foreseen to lead population growth by 2029. Houston is home to over 100.000 small businesses, and the city’s industrial landscape is only thriving, particularly in the energy industry, healthcare, biomedical research, and aerospace.
As of 2011, 23 companies on the Fortune 500 list have headquarters in, or in close proximity to, Houston. In 2012, Forbes ranked Houston the number one city when it comes to paycheck worth, and a year later, in 2013, the city was recognized as America’s top city for job creation.
So – now that you’ve decided to size the amazing business opportunity offered by Houston, it’s time to find the perfect office space for your business. That’s why we’re bringing you five proven tips to rent the right commercial property.
What is a Commercial Property?
In simplest terms, commercial property is real estate used for business activities. Generally, commercial property is considered a building where the business is headquartered, but it can also refer to land, residential rental properties, malls, grocery stores, offices, industrial estates, manufacturing shops, and any other property used to generate profit.
How to Find a Commercial Rental Property
Define Your and Your Business’s Needs
When first setting out to discover the real estate potentials of Houston, beware not to get bedazzled by the massive property opportunities. Houston is considerably expanding, with the city parts destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 being rebuilt.
Your initial task is to research and decide on the location, which is especially important if you’re aiming for office or retail space.
Consider whether the location is accessible to customers and employees, are there other businesses – especially competitors’ – in the area, how safe and popular the location is, and will nearby businesses help generate traffic.
Before falling in love with a property, make sure its rental costs are within the budget, and whether your intended use meets the zoning requirements.
Determine the Condition and the Fitness of the Property
Does the property have the infrastructure your business needs? Before finalizing the lease, plan out your business processes to ensure the building is big enough or is too large for your needs?
Moreover, ask yourself whether the rental property will require substantial alterations in order to fit your business needs and whether making them is financially effective. In case the property is somewhat older, ask a professional to inspect the condition of pipes, walls, roofs, etc.
Write down the bigger problems, determine the level of complexity and the costs of repair. Generally, even in the most ideal situation, the real estate will require some improvements, or at least adaptations in order for the property to fit into the brand of your business.
Partner With A Real Estate Brokerage
Real estate brokerages are experienced in understanding your business’s needs and finding the perfect property, whether it’s an office, retail, or industrial real estate.
Besides, commercial real estate doesn’t have a listing database, so brokers are by far the best source to discover properties available for lease. This is especially true in industry-saturated markets such as Houston’s, which is why you should team up with a Houston real estate brokerage.
Real estate brokerage will provide you with advice during the leasing process through negotiating the lease terms, such as rental rates, build-out allowances, rent abatement periods, and ensuring you get the best deal possible.
Put Yourself in Your Employees’/Customers’ Shoes
The best way to find the rental property that fits your employees’ and/or customers’ needs is to walk in their shoes. What would you need if you were them? Is there anything that would bother you regarding the rental?
Drive and walk the neighborhoods you’ve defined as target markets and see how well does your planned property fit into the appearance of other similar businesses. Houston is very well connected via public transportation, and parking is generally easy to find, especially when you leave Downtown.
Are there elevators, stairways, and enough parking, as expected in the commercial property? Would you say that the property is disability-friendly?
Rely on Your Instinct
You, as a business person, already have a well-developed sixth sense. Use it to your advantage to find the most favorable property.
On the one hand, trust your first impression. If you’re having trouble seeing the future of your business at the location, then it probably isn’t the right one. On the other hand, make sure to see the bigger picture of the property once it is refurbished and designed to suit your brand’s needs.
The appearance of a commercial property is important and will affect how your current and prospective customers perceive your business.
To Sum Up
We hope our tips will help you streamline and ease your process of finding the perfect commercial rental property.
Houston is an astonishing city for business investments with a thriving job market that is booming, a growing population, and low living costs.
Define the needs of your business, your employees, and customers, do thorough research of the property and its neighborhood, and find a reliable and skilled real estate brokerage with experience in the Houston realty market.