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  • Writer's pictureTom Miller, CCIM

Leasing Industrial Property? Ask your Agent Three Critical Questions

When it comes to the industrial lease process, an agent can bring significant value to your side of the

bargaining table. Or not. It all depends on the kind of agent you choose. Before you even get to the three critical questions any competent agent should be able to answer – and answer well – schedule the meeting at his office. It’s a quick and easy way to glean valuable information. Are the offices professional? Formal? Casual? How is the agent dressed? Partnering with the right agent is critical to the success of your real estate transaction, so follow your gut instinct here. If you feel comfortable with your initial impressions, get down to brass tacks with these three questions.

1. Tell me about the current industrial real estate market.

Here, you’re looking for facts, not generalized opinions. Ask for specifics about overall trends, vacancy, absorption, asking lease rates and concessions. Ask about area submarket trends and how the agent will familiarize you with them. Your agent should not only have great graphic collateral material that will easily explain the local market and submarkets, but he should be prepared to address it all. Any fast scrambling here to provide this data is the first sign that you may be at the wrong location. The goal here is not only to confirm an agent’s competency and experience, but also to identify potential areas within the market that may yield a better lease rate or selection of properties. Above all, the time spent on the answer to this question should benefit you significantly.

2. Tell me about the major market ownership entities and their relative positions.

This question is about the supply side market again but it skews to landlords/ownership. It’s critical to be aware of the ownership players and their overall position in the market. Your agent should be intimately aware of every developer, their staff and all matters of their market presence as well as their tendencies. The agent should also be completely aware of pending or potential market shifts. If your agent is ready to pop you into a property tour without going over these points, you should wonder why.

3. Tell me about previous deals you’ve negotiated in this size and price range.

Ask the agent for a list of comparable transactions in the size range you’re considering. Bonus points if he has it ready to go, but it’s acceptable if support staff can generate it quickly. Any delay with this data can indicate that you’re at an agency without easy access to prior transaction information; which severely restricts their ability to advise and guide your deal. If you receive reports not generated within the agency itself, but through services such as Co-Star or Loopnet, proceed with high caution. Not only is this data highly suspect, likely inaccurate and incomplete, it’s another indication that the agency doesn’t track market comps itself. Be clear – this is critical data that you are relying on your agent to have in order to help you negotiate the best transaction possible. If your agent can’t hit a home run on this point, you should be seriously questioning his ability to assist you at the level you want.

If you’re considering leasing or buying industrial property in northern Nevada, we welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact us at your convenience to schedule a meeting (and don’t forget to ask us the three questions listed above), or use our Quick Answer Form so that we can quickly assemble a listing of properties meeting your specific criteria.

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Miller Industrial Properties, Sparks, Reno, Nevada
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