Location, Location, Location

Sterling Savings Bank on Higgins Ave. is just one of the many businesses that chooses to call downtown Missoula its home.

Photo by Nelson Kenter - kenterphotography.com

Commercial Real Estate Tips

If you’re looking for commercial real estate in Missoula, you’ll find a number of options. From leasing in Downtown Missoula, to undertaking new construction, to locating in an industrial park, to converting an older home in a commercially zoned neighborhood, you’ll surely find the perfect solution for your unique business.

If you’re navigating commercial real estate for the first time, use our helpful tips to assist you in finding the perfect commercial solution for your business needs.

1. Consider working with a commercial real estate broker. A qualified broker who has your business’ best interest in mind can be priceless. They can provide you with information about market trends, landlords, demographics that can help you save money and maximize profits. They can also help narrow the list of properties that may be right for you given your budget, needs, and goals.

2. Use a checklist to evaluate options. There’s a lot to consider to make sure that you’re meeting the needs of your business both for the near term and into the future. To help you compare one space to another, use our handy commercial leasing checklist.

3. Choose  the right sized space for your business. Renting the right sized space for your company is essential for success. If it is too small, your success may be restricted. If it is too large, you will likely be paying too much in rent for the space you are utilizing. Regardless, prior consideration of space needs both now and into the future should be mandatory before deciding on a property.

4. Measure the space yourself. If the square footage is even slightly less than what the landlord provides, you should renegotiate rent. You may be paying for more than you are actually receiving.

5. Select the right location. When choosing where you want to open your business, there are several things to consider, like “Is this location easily accessible?” “What demographic is my business targeting?” “Am I near them?” etc. If your location is not appropriate for your business or target market, success will be much harder. For help selecting the right location, check out the City of Missoula’s Site Selector.

6. Consider your business’ future. Although it may be difficult to do, consider your business in five years. You may well be ready to expand or open another location. Considering the possibility of both success and failure can be crucial for helping entrepreneurs stay in the green financially.

7. Don’t sign an unreasonable lease agreement. When negotiating with a landlord, it is imperative that you do not get locked into an unreasonable lease. For example, review the agreement’s cancellation policy, duration, and flexibility.

8. Have a commercial real estate broker review the lease. If you haven’t been working with a commercial real estate broker, at least have one review the lease with your best interests in mind. Doing so may give you insights for negotiating a better lease agreement.

9. Have your insurance carrier review the lease prior to signing. If your insurance carrier will not cover your space, and you have already signed a lease, you could be in quite a predicament. Send your agreement over to the insurance company as soon as you receive a copy.

10.  Hire an attorney to review the lease. Leases are full of legalities that many people don’t fully understand. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and request input from your attorney about any language or conditions that may be cause for concern. If you are not working with a commercial real estate broker, an attorney can also help negotiate lease terms that are in your best interest.

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