5 tips for buying commercial real estate

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Purchasing commercial real estate is often the largest and most time consuming transaction a business owner will ever make.

That’s why it’s essential to make sure the purchase is well-researched and planned so it meets the needs of the company while maximizing shareholder wealth.

It’s never too early to start planning. Whether the purchase is six months or 10 years away, today is the best time to start planning as part of your overall business strategy.

Assemble a team of advisors
Business owners should assemble a team of trusted advisors who are experienced in commercial real estate deals. It should include an accountant, a banker and a realtor who specializes in the type of property you’re looking for—commercial, industrial or retail.

These advisors can, in turn, lead you to other experts including lawyers, appraisers, building condition inspectors, contractors and environmental and geotechnical engineers.

Tips to keep in mind
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your purchase.

Find out what kind of a building you need for your operation—Think about what works in your current space and what doesn’t. For example, do you have enough space, enough power, enough parking and enough access to transportation for staff? Is there room to grow? Will a potential new location bring more business or save money?
Do your homework on construction companies—Speak to former clients and drive around to look at the quality of the work on previous projects. Then, obtain several detailed quotes keeping in mind that the cheapest price doesn’t always provide the best value for your money. It’s also important to budget a substantial amount of money for contingencies.
Pinpoint “must-haves” to operate your business efficiently—There will be must-haves and nice-to-haves. You may start out with ambitious plans for your new premises, but you should be ready to scale back if your budget starts to get too tight.
Consider what additional capital purchases will be necessary—Do you need to buy new machinery, equipment or technology in your new location? These items are often overlooked as part of the overall cost of a move to new premises.
Budget for the preparation of your new location—It’s rare that a business can move into a new location and just start operating. Put simply, you are moving into a larger space with all the associated costs, including potential improvements.
Don’t forget to account for time
While it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to budget carefully for the financial demands of their real-estate project, it’s also important to plan for how much of their time and attention it will require.

A long and distracting construction or renovation project, plus a move, can take a heavy toll on a business.

Business owners often have no idea how much time it can consume and take their eyes off the business. That’s why it’s important to plan with the help of seasoned advisors.

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