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  • Writer's pictureTom Miller, CCIM

The Rookie Mistake Everyone Makes on Industrial Property Tours

When it comes to leasing or buying industrial real estate, the property tour is a critical part of the process. It doesn’t matter how perfect a facility looks on paper – a walk-through can make or break a potential property’s chances of making it to the short list. A property tour is routine, yet lessees and buyers make the same rookie mistake again and again – no matter how much experience they have in the industrial leasing or buying process.


That mistake can play out in a number of ways, but they all amount to the same thing – tipping your hand. When you tour a property, expect company. The agent representing the landlord or seller will be on hand, and if he or she has any experience, don’t think it’s just to unlock the door. Savvy agents will ask questions, listen carefully to your answers, observe your reactions to the facility and try in countless other ways to learn everything they can about you and your company. They want to learn about your motivations and needs and constraints and timing and anything else you share, intentionally or otherwise. This is the rookie mistake of tipping your hand, because any information gleaned can and will be used against you when it comes to negotiating the potential transaction – and in the landlord’s favor.

If you understand the value of having an agent on your side of the table – and if you’ve scrolled through the posts on our blog, you certainly do – you have some protection. But even your agent cannot protect you if you undermine his efforts. Let your agent do his job – which is to fulfill your needs at the best possible price – simply by keeping quiet. Speak directly to your agent if you have questions, or better yet, take notes to address with him later. Deflect questions asked by the landlord’s agent to your agent. It may seem like overkill, but remember that you are the only person in the equation who doesn’t sell or lease industrial real estate for a living.

We expand on this topic with a free download. Our Property Tour Guidelines offers specifics of hand-tipping – common scenarios, why they’re problematic for you, and what you can do instead. It’s valuable information, and it’s available to you at no cost.

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Miller Industrial Properties, Sparks, Reno, Nevada
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