Anyone who's owned and leased commercial property for rent knows that finding and vetting tenants is an art in and of itself: A good tenant can be a reliable source of rental income and something of a long-term investment; likewise, a bad tenant can be a major source of frustration.
Finding good tenants typically comes down to advertising your commercial property for rent in the right channels. To that end, we've put together this guide on how you can do just that. We'll cover key aspects of advertising property, including listings, platforms, social media marketing, and viewings.
Let's get started.
The best place to start with property marketing is to create an engaging and accurate property listing. You have some flexibility with the structure, but property listings should always include the following information:
To provide more value in your listings, you can include additional information, like the lease type (e.g., gross or net), rental asking rate, and links to relevant property information.
Be sure to include several pictures from different rooms and angles. Identify the building's key features and amenities, such as parking and proximity to transit options. Descriptions don't need to be long, but they should be dense with unique selling propositions (USPs) about the property in question.
If this is your first time leasing commercial property, we highly recommend working with a real estate broker. A commercial real estate broker can help you advertise your properties and filter/screen tenants. They can also assist you with the dos and don'ts of leasing commercial property and take the lead on lease negotiations.
One of the best places to start searching for tenants is an online listing platform, such as the one we offer right here on MyEListing.com. It's completely free to use, offers advanced search criteria, and provides accurate market intelligence for your local area, such as property comps and traffic counts.
When you're making property listings, ensure you label it with the right descriptors. For example, if you're advertising a retail outlet and your retail listing isn't labeled with the right tags, it may be hard for retail tenants to find your listings.
Another way to boost your listing's visibility is through paid advertising. There are generally two types: CPM and PPC. With CPM advertising, you pay for a set number of impressions, and your listing shows up in users' feeds based on search history and preferences. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you only pay for the clicks that take users to your listing.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that shouldn't be overlooked, and it's especially powerful for property listings. The main advantage of social media marketing over traditional channels is that it permits more organic ways of engaging and connecting with your audience.
About two-thirds of realtors (~63%) say they use social media to market their properties to tenants and buyers. Some of the best platforms for marketing commercial property include:
Social media marketing is also one of the cheapest forms of advertising and usually has a very high ROI relative to costs. So, if you're not currently incorporating social media into your real estate marketing strategy, you should absolutely start.
The type of property you have determines the pool of renters you'll be considering. For example, you wouldn't advertise office space for lease to companies that need retail space for lease, and vice versa.
The better your understanding of your specific demographic, the better your ad targeting will be. Relevant demographic features include age, sex, income level, rental budgets, business niche, and business structure.
Another way to identify tenants is by joining professional organizations and associations. For example, your local Chamber of Commerce may hold networking events where you can meet potential commercial tenants and other business figures.
You can make your commercial lease terms more attractive to potential tenants by offering lease concessions. Concessions, such as tenant improvement allowances or rent abatement programs, can give potential tenants that extra push they need to commit to and proceed with your leasing process.
Whether you're renting an office or renting a garage, you should also schedule viewings with potential tenants. Take some time to think up a tour you can give viewers that takes them by the key features of the property.
Any tour you give should include relevant information about the building, like its age, square footage, neighboring tenants, etc.
Although not required by law, some tenants might hire an inspector to assess the condition of the property. The tenant might ask for floor plans or certificates of occupancy, so make sure you have all relevant documentation at hand.
You could have the best commercial real estate for rent on the market, but it won't matter if the property doesn't get in front of the right people. The last thing you want is to underestimate the utility of good marketing and let your property sit empty for longer than you'd like it to.
In that sense, paying for marketing can lead to fewer vacancies and more rental income in a much shorter period of time.
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