Tip: Location, location, location.
Let me repeat.
Location, location, location.
Tip: Take people with you to look at locations. They will see things differently than you do and be able to give you ideas on design, layout, parking and things you might not be looking at.
When I first started looking at spaces, I was solely focused on parking and the area of town. I wasn't thinking "flow" of the space, where the bathroom was, signage or if there was rear access from the back of the building. Things that were important to how I ran my business. Thankfully I had my husband there to look at things differently, and give me sound advice!
Tip: If they want $2.00 a square foot, you really aren't' going to get much lower.
I read so many articles about negotiating commercial real-estate. They all made it sound like you could negotiate the cost per square foot down. Now let me tell you, that this an happen. HOWEVER, what you want to bring them down to, might not be a reality. I wanted to be around $1.50 a square foot. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. The average in my city was not going to let that happen. Were the willing to negotiate? Yes. But we are talking five cents, maybe 10 cents less....but seriously not much less than that.
Tip: Find a Relator that is working for you!
My first mistake, was that I just requested a showing through a property website. So I got someone who was not looking out for me (and really had bad customer service). It wasn't until we missed out on my dream location, that I realized I needed someone else to be on my team. So I found Brooke at AK Summit Group www.aksummitgroup.com, and she has been amazing! She worked to get me a space and lease I was comfortable with. She worked for me, and that is so important.
Tip: If you find your dream spot, JUMP on it!
When I got the email that the landlord was not going to lease me the location I was so excited about, it was heartbreaking. Even to this day, I think it would have been different had I worked with a different realtor to assist in the negotiations. But, its over and done and I am moving on. But, what I can tell you, is that if you find that spot that you can clearly see yourself in, than move fast and get it. Because, honestly, everything else you look at will be compared to that location.
Tip: Don't rush into anything!
If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. If you don't want to sign a 5 year lease, don't. If you only want 500 square feet, then wait for something to come around. If you want to be in a certain area, then keep an eye on it. Don't settle for something that does not inspire you!