The transition from an online-only retail boutique to a brick and mortar location is a big deal. Not only is this step a major accomplishment, but it is a move that you have to take while exercising a great deal of due diligence, particularly when it comes to the location you choose. Learn about some of the key elements you should look for in this type of commercial real estate property.
Ensure you have a clear idea of how much you can afford, and not just in terms of a monthly payment. Commercial loans typically come with a required down payment of about 20% of the property value, and the rate of your property taxes is based on the value of the property. For this reason, the long-term cost difference between $200k and a $225k property can be significant.
Do you have an online customer base that will follow you to your store or are you looking to tap into a new market? You want to answer this question so that you know where to look for a property. For example, if you want to attract a younger demographic, a retail location near a college campus would probably be better suited rather than a location in a suburban area. You want to be where your customers will be.
You want to choose a property that will allow you to operate your business as you see fit. Commercial properties, especially those in strip mall environments, sometimes have restrictions on how a business can operate, such as the type of signage they can use or even the hours and days of the week they can be open. Make sure you find out any and all guidelines to see if they coincide with your vision for your store.
Front End vs. Back End Space
Look at both the front area of the retail location as well as the back. With a retail location, you need ample room for your customers to shop in the front of the store, but you also need ample space in the rear of the building for your storage and inventory needs. A location without ample space on the back end can cause all sorts of inconveniences, so ensure there is adequate space throughout the location.
Remember, an agent is more than happy to assist you with every aspect of the process, from choosing the property to finalizing the deal. Do not hesitate to reach out for professional assistance to make the process less stressful and to ensure your interests are protected.