A Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Great Retail Space for Lease

Commercial space for rent

Are you looking for large retail space to rent for the first time? If so, you have come to the right place. Finding commercial space for rent can be an overwhelming and difficult process. There are so many moving pieces that have to fall in place to make it work, and the business space for that rent you end up in has a huge impact on your success. Finding a space that helps your business thrive that your wallet can accommodate is a delicate balance. To help you out, we have put together a guide to looking for the perfect large retail space for rent, without going broke:

  1. Determine Your Budget
    The two most common mistakes retailers make when looking for large retail space for rent is getting into a space that cost more than they can afford, or landing business space for rent that is too small or too big for their needs. Taking an honest reflection of your business and figuring the exact dollar amount you can afford each month for retail space for lease is a great way to make sure you don’t make that first mistake.

    According to is Bizstats.com, the average retailer can estimate their budget allowance for rent to be between 3% and 4% of their gross monthly sales (unless your line of business is clothing and accessories, in which most similar retailers spend about 9.01% of their sales on rent).

    You should also consider additional expenses that you may be subject to pay while looking for large retail space for rent. To ensure that there is no confusion, it is important to make sure these expenses are specifically called out in the lease agreement:

    • Property taxes. Unlike residential rent, mostly commercial renters are expected to pay the property tax on the space. You can usually look up what was paid in past years before getting locked in a deal.
    • Utility bills. This includes electricity, water and sewage, waste removal, heating and cooling, and internet access.
    • General maintenance. Once again, most retail rental agreements require the renter to cover maintenance to the facilities.
    • Property insurance.
  2. Determine Your Needs
    As mentioned, the second most common mistake people make in getting large retail space for rent is getting stuck in the wrong size space. You don’t want to pay for space you don’t use, but you don’t want to be stuck in a space the size of a closet. Having adequate space for sales floor is critical in retail, and you will also want to consider the secondary space: an inventory and storage room, administrative space, restrooms, and dressing rooms.

    Most large retail spaces for rent are priced on the dollar per square foot. Figuring out the approximate square footage you need (within about 250 ft) and the total dollar amount that you can spend will help you determine the approximate price per square foot that you can afford. Keep in mind that there are a variety of factors that influence the cost of commercial property for rent:

    • The location of the space.
    • The proximity to other anchor stores that draw more traffic.
    • The physical condition of the space.
    • The terms of the lease (a longer lease may give you more bargaining leverage to pay less monthly).
    • The demand for the space.

  3. Find a Few Great Options
    Once you know how much you can spend and the type a space you need, you should locate about four or five feasible options for your retail space. If you have your heart set on a single space, you aren’t giving yourself any flexibility. Instead, find a few great spots and compare them objectively. A few ways for digging up large retail space to rent include:

    • Using a local broker who has a great grasp of the area. It’s ideal if your broker has experience working with your exact type of business.
    • Online searches. There are several great websites that let you narrow your search for commercial property down by whatever parameters you need.
    • Hit the pavement. If you see specific area that you know fits your business perfectly, don’t be afraid to contact the property manager directly to get the inside scoop on its availability.
  4. Do you have any other tips for finding great retail space? Please share them in the comment section below.

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