A Comprehensive Guide: Finding a Commercial Property for Lease


Are you an aspiring business owner looking to find the perfect space for your venture? The process of finding a commercial property for lease can be overwhelming. From understanding leasing contracts to assessing the total costs associated with renting and evaluating the location, there are several key factors to consider. In this blog, we will delve into the top 5 marketplaces for finding commercial real estate, outline the workings of leasing contracts, shed light on extra costs, unravel the concept of triple net, and present the top 5 important considerations for choosing the right location.

Top 5 Marketplaces to Find Commercial Real Estate:

When it comes to finding a commercial property for lease, there are several online marketplaces where you can search for available spaces specific to your needs. Some of the top marketplaces include:

  1. LoopNet: With a vast database of commercial properties, LoopNet offers a wide range of options catering to various industries and locations.
  2. CoStar: Renowned for its comprehensive real estate database, CoStar provides detailed market insights and listings for commercial properties across the United States.
  3. CommercialMLS: As a platform that aggregates listings from multiple listing services (MLS), CommercialMLS offers a wide range of commercial property options.
  4. Realtor.com: Known for its residential listings, Realtor.com also features a section dedicated to commercial real estate, connecting potential tenants with property owners.
  5. PeerStorage: While PeerStorage primarily focuses on residential properties, their portal also includes commercial listings, making it a valuable resource in the search for a commercial property for lease.

commercial real estate marketplace

How Leasing Contracts Work:

A thorough understanding of leasing contracts is crucial when venturing into the world of commercial real estate. Leasing contracts establish the terms and conditions between the tenant and the landlord/property owner. Key elements to consider in leasing contracts include:

  • Lease Term: This specifies the duration of the lease, which can range from a few months to several years.
  • Rental Rate: The amount of rent per month or year as defined in the contract.
  • Triple Net (NNN): Triple net refers to a lease structure where the tenant is responsible for additional costs such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses, in addition to the base rent. Understanding the concept of triple net is essential to avoid unwelcome financial surprises.
  • Tenant Improvements: Negotiating tenant improvement allowances is crucial to customize the space to fit your business needs. This provision covers expenses related to modifications and upgrades to the property.

To gain further insights into leasing contracts and related considerations, explore the following resources:

leasing contract

Extra Costs to Consider for Local Businesses:

Beyond the base rent, leasing a commercial property involves additional costs that vary depending on the type of lease and agreements negotiated. Some extra costs to consider include:

  • Operating Expenses: In addition to the base rent, tenants may be required to contribute to common area maintenance (CAM), property taxes, insurance, and utilities.
  • Property Maintenance: Depending on the lease terms, tenants may be responsible for maintaining and repairing the property, including performing routine maintenance tasks and covering major repairs.
  • Utilities: Utility costs, such as electricity, water, and gas, may be the tenant’s responsibility. Understanding the utility allocations and potential additional costs is important for budgeting purposes.

For a more comprehensive understanding of extra costs associated with leasing commercial properties, consult the following resource:

Demystifying Triple Net (NNN) Leases:

Triple net leases, also known as NNN leases, are a common lease structure in commercial real estate. In a triple net lease, the tenant not only pays the base rent but also bears additional costs related to property taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses. Understanding the implications of a triple net lease is crucial for tenants preparing their budget. To delve further into the concept of triple net leases, review the following resource:

Top 5 Considerations When Choosing a Location:

The location of your business plays a critical role in its success. Here are the top 5 important factors to consider when choosing a location for your commercial property lease:

  • Target Market: Assess whether the location aligns with your target market’s demographics, preferences, and accessibility.
  • Competition: Research the presence of competitors in the area and evaluate the potential impact on your business’s viability and market share.
  • Foot Traffic and Visibility: Evaluate the pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area, as well as the visibility of the property. High foot traffic can attract potential customers and drive sales.
  • Accessibility and Parking Facilities: Ensure the location offers easy access for customers and sufficient parking space to accommodate their needs.
  • Zoning Laws and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local zoning laws and regulations to ensure the location is suitable for your business type and activities.

For a deeper dive into the factors influencing an ideal location for your business, consult the following resource:


Negotiation Tips for Leasing Contracts:

Negotiating the terms of your lease contract is a critical step in securing a favorable deal. Here are some negotiation tips to consider:

  • Rent and Lease Term: Negotiate the rental rate and lease term to ensure they align with your budget and business plan. Consider longer lease terms for stability and potential rent concessions for favorable market conditions.
  • Tenant Improvement Allowance: Discuss the possibility of obtaining a tenant improvement allowance to cover the costs of customizing the space to meet your specific business needs. This can include renovations, upgrades, or necessary modifications.
  • Rent Escalations: Understand if the lease includes rent escalations, which are periodic increases in rent over the lease term. Negotiate the rate and frequency of these increases to prevent unexpected financial strain.
  • Lease Renewal Options: Discuss including lease renewal options in your contract to provide flexibility for your business’s future needs. Negotiate the renewal terms, including rental rates and the duration of the renewal periods.
  • Exclusive Use and Non-Compete clauses: Explore the possibility of including exclusive use clauses in your lease, which restrict the landlord from leasing space to direct competitors. Non-compete clauses can also protect your business by preventing the landlord from leasing space to similar businesses that could compete for customers.

For more guidance on negotiating leasing contracts, consult the following resource:

Understanding Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Charges:

In addition to the base rent and expenses associated with triple net leases, tenants may be responsible for common area maintenance (CAM) charges. These charges cover the costs of maintaining and servicing shared areas within the property, such as parking lots, hallways, elevators, and common restrooms. Understanding CAM charges is important to accurately budget for additional expenses. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Inclusion in Lease: Verify whether CAM charges are included in the lease agreement and the methodology for calculating these charges.
  • Documentation: Request detailed documentation outlining the expenses covered by CAM charges to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • Audit Rights: Consider negotiating audit rights in your lease to periodically review the CAM calculations and ensure accuracy.

To learn more about common area maintenance charges and how they can impact your lease, refer to the following resource:

common area maintenance

Legal Considerations and Seeking Professional Advice:

Leasing a commercial property involves legal matters that require careful attention. To ensure a smooth and legally sound leasing process, it’s essential to seek professional advice and consider the following legal considerations:

  • Lease Review: Engage a commercial real estate attorney to review the lease agreement thoroughly. They can identify potential pitfalls, ambiguities, and unfavorable terms that may put your business at risk.
  • Compliance: Understand local laws, regulations, and zoning restrictions that may impact your business operations in the chosen location. Ensure your lease adheres to all legal requirements.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Clearly outline the responsibilities and obligations related to maintenance and repairs in the lease agreement. Seek legal advice to ensure these provisions protect your interests effectively.
  • Dispute Resolution: Include a dispute resolution clause in your lease agreement to establish a clear process for resolving conflicts that may arise during the lease term. This can help avoid costly litigation in case of disputes.

Consulting a commercial real estate attorney can provide invaluable guidance throughout the leasing process. They can ensure your lease protects your rights and interests. Consider seeking legal advice to navigate the legal complexities of leasing commercial real estate.

Engaging a Commercial Real Estate Broker:

Working with a commercial real estate broker can make the leasing process smoother and more efficient. Here are some reasons to consider engaging a broker:

  • Market Knowledge and Connections: A broker has access to market insights and a network of property owners, which can help you find the right property quickly.
  • Negotiation Expertise: Brokers are skilled negotiators who can advocate for your interests, potentially resulting in more favorable lease terms and lower costs.
  • Time-Saving: Brokers take on the time-consuming task of searching for suitable properties, visiting sites, and arranging property viewings, allowing you to focus on your business.
  • Lease Agreement Expertise: Brokers have experience reviewing and negotiating lease agreements, ensuring that all crucial details are thoroughly considered.
  • Tenant Representation: By working with a tenant representation broker, you can have someone solely focused on your interests, protecting you from potential conflicts of interest that could arise when dealing directly with landlords and their agents.

When selecting a commercial real estate broker, consider their experience, knowledge of the local market, and track record. Make sure their expertise aligns with your specific needs.

commercial real estate broker

Preparing Your Business and Financial Plan:

Before leasing a commercial property, it’s important to have a well-prepared business and financial plan. Consider the following key steps:

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for your product or service, potential competitors, and your target market’s preferences.
  • Financial Projections: Develop realistic financial projections based on your business model, considering expenses such as rent, utilities, inventory, and marketing.
  • Cash Flow Analysis: Prepare a cash flow analysis to ensure you can sustain the lease payments and other financial obligations throughout the lease term.
  • Financing Options: Explore financing options to support your lease payments, such as small business loans, lines of credit, or grants.
  • Contingency Plans: Develop contingency plans to mitigate risks and uncertainties that may arise during the lease term, such as market fluctuations or unexpected expenses.

By meticulously planning your business and finances, you can confidently enter into a commercial lease agreement and position your business for success.


Finding the right commercial property for lease requires a systematic approach that considers various marketplaces, leasing contracts, additional costs, the concept of triple net leases, and critical location factors. By leveraging the top 5 marketplaces for commercial real estate, understanding the nuances of leasing contracts, and assessing the extra costs and location considerations, you can unlock the perfect space for your business to thrive. By incorporating these additional sections and information, aspiring business owners can further enhance their understanding and approach to finding and leasing the perfect commercial property.

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