It’s more important than ever to be cautious as you consider your need for significant commercial space. Demand for large distribution and fulfillment centers is increasing across the country, and the entire supply chain, from warehouse to last mile, has been impacted by developments in technology, security, politics and consumer preferences.
Before you make an investment or sign a lease, thoroughly evaluate space requirements, available amenities, usage options and more. Here are our best recommendations for finding the space that serves your purpose.
Determine what you need.
Do you need a place to make your product, store it, package and ship it, or all of the above? There are three general types of industrial property – warehouse space, manufacturing space and flex space – and each type serves a different purpose. Be sure you evaluate how you’ll use the space and what level of occupancy your business requires before you proceed with a lease.
Warehouse space is mainly used for product storage and distribution, and generally does not involve any type of product manufacturing or assembly. A prime example would be a center that packs and labels products in preparation for shipping. Efficient warehousing requires the right utilization of people, software and machinery, so factor these needs into your commercial property search and evaluation.
If your business involves creating, building or assembling products, you’ll want to focus your search on manufacturing space. Consider properties that provide fabrication space as well as the necessary office space for staff meetings, executive functions and other corporate activities. Keep in mind, this commercial option may require special zoning or types of construction such as reinforced floors, high-volume power sources or ceiling heights that meet strict requirements.
Flex space, also known as mixed-use property, combines the features and functions of warehouse and manufacturing space. This type of property allows you to manage all of your business elements in one location.
Decide how much you need.
While the question may seem basic, the answer can have a significant impact on your business. Securing too much or too little space can interrupt your business, make it difficult to operate and negatively impact your budget.
Factor in any necessary storage space, area for manufacturing equipment, utilization level, dock requirements and office areas. And, if you aren’t sure about the best way to evaluate your needs, talk it through with your Intelica agents. We can assist you as you evaluate your options and negotiate the proper allowances.
Identify where you want to be.
While focusing on a specific metro area is often a given, other locational factors should be considered when choosing industrial property. As you survey potential properties, think about the customers, partners and suppliers that may need to reach your business. Commercial sites near major highways and interstates may offer the best accessibility for these groups, and are preferred over locations tucked into developments.
Outline how much you want to pay.
Setting a monthly rental budget will help narrow your choices as you enter the commercial market. Beyond the lease amount, this figure may also encompass additional costs and expenses related to the facility’s use. Most landlords of industrial and warehouse spaces will require you to pay a base rental rate as well as estimated operating expenses.
As you evaluate properties, be sure to clearly outline which parties will be responsible for specific costs, such as the maintenance of the property, facility repairs and other miscellaneous expenses. Your Intelica agent can help you cover these concerns with a potential landlord to ensure that no budgetary surprises await you after you sign the lease.
CONSIDER THE EXTRAS.
Once you’ve narrowed down the property type, location, footprint and cost that fit your business’ needs, additional features may come into play. For example, do you need large power supplies, significant parking allowances, office modifications, clearance for deliveries, or energy-efficient utility options? Discuss your wish list with your Intelica agent, and use your list of criteria to evaluate the options available in your desired market.
SEE FOR YOURSELF.
Contact your Intelica agent and make appointments to see available commercial properties in person. A walk-through is more telling than simply reviewing an online listing, and can help you highlight key features or identify potential problems. Be sure to gather similar information about each property you visit, such as the square footage, overall cost, lease terms and unique features. This way, you can easily compare and evaluate multiple properties at one time.
It’s usually wise to narrow down your potential properties to three solid options. This gives you an advantage in negotiations, as you’ll be able to leverage one property against another. Compare lease terms and property amenities, and use these evaluations to discern the best moves for your business.
With thorough research and the right commercial real estate partner, you can find and lease the space that helps your business grow. Contact Intelica Commercial Real Estate to get started today.