The location and quality of your commercial property plays a major role in the success of your business. The environment will impact your customers, your employees, and your bottom line, so it pays to consider the choice of each potential property carefully before making a purchase.
Our commercial real estate attorneys offer a few tips to take the guesswork and frustration out of the shopping process, allowing you to zero in on which properties are best suited to your needs.
Choosing the Right Location for Your Commercial Venture in Florida
The first thing to do is make a list of your must-have requirements for your business property. These are things that the location should have already, including minimum square footage, proper zoning, and so on. If a location you really like is missing one of the key elements on the must-have list, evaluate the cost to bring it up to your standards. If it can't be done quickly or cheaply, the property may be out of the running.
Here's how to refine your commercial real estate selection process.
Ticking all the boxes
You can eliminate a lot of options simply by crunching numbers and gathering data about potential properties. Not only do commercial properties vary in their locations, sizes, and prices, they also need to comply with zoning and environmental regulations. The more information your real estate attorney has—including your budget for the mortgage, utilities, taxes, as well as how the land will be used and the desired layout and location of the property—the better equipped he or she will be to find properties that match your requirements.
Envisioning your day-to-day operations
When considering a potential property, ask the following questions:
- Does it complement the type of business you are?
- Does it allow easy interaction between you and your customers?
- If you are buying a retail location, is there a reasonable opportunity for foot traffic?
- Are there similar businesses nearby that cater to your desired customers?
- Is there easy access to public transit?
- If you rely on a large team of employees, is the location a long drive from their homes? Will parking be convenient and safe?
Thinking critically about location
Retail businesses rely on good locations, and will typically pay a premium for a space in a high-traffic area. However, not all companies need to be located front-and-center in a busy city in order to thrive. If you're a professional who gets most of your business through appointments, it may be cheaper to select a location off the beaten path. Your customers may even appreciate not having to brave busy roads or pay for city parking in order to meet with you. If you're engaged in professional or creative services, you may be able to get more square footage in a pleasant neighborhood rather than a city center.
Considering the costs of modifications
Once you find a suitable structure in a good location, consider how much it will cost and how long it will take to tailor the property to your needs. Your building inspector can determine if there are any defects or upgrades that must be made before any aesthetic changes can take place. If the estimates for repairs outweigh the benefits of the location, you may need to choose another property. Similarly, if the property needs rezoning, renovations that affect a neighboring property, or modifications that affect the historical status of the building, you may have to jump through hoops for weeks before making the change.
Allowing for taxes and infrastructure
Taxes vary widely between neighboring cities, with some municipalities collecting double the taxes on properties only a few miles apart. However, some cities and townships offer preferential tax rates in order to attract businesses. You should factor in the amount of taxes as well as the infrastructure and utilities included at the location, such as garbage pickup, electricity, natural gas, and internet access.
Considering expansion ahead of time
Your current needs may be small, but your site should be able to grow along with your business. For example, if you're a retailer who's seen an increase in orders over the past six months, you may want to ensure extra space to put in truck access and a loading zone in the future. Consider the changes you may need over the next two, five, and ten years, as well as the potential costs of each one.
A Partner in Your Growth
If you're looking to purchase commercial real estate, our attorneys can guide you through the buying and selling process and find a location perfect for your enterprise. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation.