Property Biz Canada

ABC’s of leasing: Don’t get caught in a pinch


In an ideal universe, tenants could plan ahead and leave themselves enough time to complete a comprehensive commercial real estate search.

SaskEdge_ViceThey wouldn’t feel pressured to take space that isn’t quite right or doesn’t entirely suit their needs.

But it happens far too often in my world. Why?

Myth: There are a lot of options

While it’s true there is higher vacancy in some of our markets, it’s unrealistic to assume there are a ton of properties that will suit your specific needs.

We as agents whittle down the choices rather meticulously based on your absolute needs vs. wants.

For example, we verify how many parking stalls are the minimum you can live with. We won’t present sites that fall outside of this range.

Another common ask is that we find something with a specific power requirement. Not all industrial properties are created equally and this will narrow down the options.

It’s a waste of our time, and yours, to show you options that will not work fundamentally.

Our knowledge of the market is helpful in narrowing options we can eliminate from the search.

Myth: I can make decisions quickly

We all think we’re capable of making decisions quickly, but when it comes to business dealings it can be difficult.

Tenants are often contracting and committing their businesses to multi-year terms. This might require adjusting existing business plans.

Having to make a decision to “live with something” the way it is, or pricing out renovations, does not come easily.

If you’re waiting on quotes, you’re at the mercy of third parties who may be servicing a number of clients.

It’s not reasonable to expect this is something that can be accomplished in a couple of days.

Myth: The space has been vacant forever, they should want me in quickly

Regardless of how long a space has been vacant, a commercial real estate agent will not grant possession on behalf of a landlord without all i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

The offer process should be laid out by your agent: offer, likely counter offer, and then review of the formal lease document (40 pages of boring!). This can involve an exchange of documents several times between the landlord and tenant.

The process of follow-up communication can be hampered by work schedule constraints and travel plans of either party.

Technology is grand and has sped up the process considerably. That doesn’t, however, mean both sides of the transaction are always moving at the same response speed.

Assume that it will take a day or two to get responses from the landlord in a negotiation. It can take a few days for them to generate the lease.

Utility service providers will need time to process transfers to your business. Your insurer might need time to properly cost the liability insurance.

These time-sucking tasks are all part of the process.

Therefore, do yourself a favour and leave the appropriate amount of time for a search of commercial property.

You want the best options with ample time to consider your choices. Putting yourself under the clock could leave you with disappointment.

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Kelly Macsymic

About the Author ()

I am a gal of all trades and wear a few hats at my current job though nothing quite as esteemed as my 1996 Unity Western Days Rodeo Queen crowned cowboy hat. I spend my time as a sales and leasing agent at ICR Commercial Real Estate (ICR), in addition to my other gig as general sidekick and business manager for Barry Stuart at Stuart Commercial. Inc. I started my journey in the small town of Unity, SK. My grandmother encouraged me to create mock newspapers which I, like any good keener, produced in abundance. My early publication days came to a quick end when I broke the news in one of these homemade papers with word of a surprise birthday party for my grandfather, and proudly presented it to him. Undaunted, I pursued the news bug all the way to Lethbridge College and was gainfully employed for several years in weekly papers in rural Saskatchewan. After a few adventures at the University of Regina and abroad in England, opportunity knocked and I accepted the chance to move to Saskatoon. I landed at Barry’s doorstep and have since been taken under his wing. He’s shown me the ropes at ICR through his most capable hands as one of ICR’s top producers. We are a dynamic team. I relish the challenges (most of the time) he throws at me daily. My other commitments include BPW (Business and Professional Women) Saskatoon in addition to volunteering as president of the Holliston Community Association.

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