How to Acquire Source of Property Information for Business Premises


Once you have formulated a checklist of property and locational requirements you can begin the actual search. Make sure at the outset that you get a map of the area(s) under consideration. It could save-a lot of time. Many of you will know from experience in hunting for houses just how difficult and dispiriting property searches can be and how great can be the difference between an agent’s glowing description and the reality you encounter on inspection. The search process will therefore probably result in a downward adjustment of your requirements and an increased willingness to make compromises.

Six methods of searching for premises are given below. Those likely to be most useful are given first but much depends on the particular kind of property you require.

Business Premises

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Many local authority planning, employment or estates depart­ments now keep a premises register for small businesses. They tend to concentrate on industrial properties but some also have lists of shop and office accommodation. The local authority acts as a central information bank by compiling lists of avail­able premises both in the public and private sectors. The lists are regularly updated and though they inevitably fall short of being absolutely comprehensive they are often the single best source of information.

ESTATE AGENTS

These are an obvious search channel. Most of the smaller agencies deal exclusively with residential properties and you will need to concentrate on the larger ones and those which specialise in commercial and industrial premises. Many of the larger agencies also operate as business transfer agents. They will sell an existing trading business together with its premises. Some estate agents have a tendency to promote only their most expensive premises; since their commission is based on first year rents this is hardly surprising. Make sure you ask them about cheaper property if this is what you want. Remember that it is normally the vendor not the purchaser who employs and pays for an estate agent. Ideally, you should call in at the agent’s office (you will get better service this way) but if you do enquire in writing just ask for details of vacant premises and do not make any statements which might be construed as com­missioning the agent; otherwise he just might try to charge you for his services. If you live a long way from your area of search it may be more convenient to employ an agent to undertake the search on your behalf.

WALKING OR DRIVING AROUND THE APPROPRIATE AREA(S)

This can sometimes bring to light vacant properties which have not been formally advertised. For some properties, the only advertising undertaken is by billboards outside the premises. Touring the local area and making enquiries may reveal a firm which is contracting and not using part of its building. This could provide you with the space you need and at the same time provide extra (rental) income for the ‘host’ firm.

PERSONAL CONTACTS

Your contacts in the business world can also be useful. By telling as many people as possible of your accommodation needs you can have a large army of ‘spies’ vigilant on your behalf. The members of any local small firms’ organization can be particularly helpful in this respect. It is also useful to discuss your requirements with all your contacts. Their experi­ence may help to highlight items or locations which you have not considered on your checklist. They may also warn you about particular premises which look like bargains but which for various reasons would be detrimental to any business acquiring them. Do not be afraid to ask for other people’s advice as this could prevent you from making expensive mistakes.

Business Premises

LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

The local press usually have property sections which you can use either to scan the premises listed or to advertise your own requirements. Most newspapers have a particular issue during the week which is generally accepted as the ‘industrial/com­mercial property day’, although it may be worth looking at the properties vacant column throughout the week. If you are inserting an advertisement be sure to choose the property day.

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  3. How to Satisfy the Landlord when Choosing a Property
  4. How to Choose Office Premises For Your Business
  5. How to Determine How Much You Can Afford for Business Premises

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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