Sage commercial real estate advice for entrepreneurs

Business Manager, Stuart Commercial Inc., Sales Associate, ICR Commercial Real Estate
  • May. 23, 2019

As I looked into the eyes of a classroom of entrepreneurs last week, I wondered what wisdom I could impart.

My first thought was, good on you. You’ve found a passion and you want to share it with the world!

My second thought was, awesome, here comes a commercial real estate agent ready to deflate all your hopes and dreams.

I jest. But, I have heard this comment before, so let’s get it out in the open and have a chat about it.

Be prepared

As my old Girl Guide motto goes: Be Prepared.

This means preparing a budget relative to a specific space range that can be shared with your agent to help optimize the search.

You may have a preferred location or neighbourhood in mind; hopefully that aligns with the information shared within the above parameters.

A goal for how soon you want to open is crucial.

If there is any financing to secure to complete the transaction, you’ll want to inform your agent so they can advise on an offer strategy.

Your agent is best equipped to guide you on the search when they have all the relevant details.

Follow the plan

Don’t let someone talk you out of what you’ve planned for.

Sometimes as agents we think we have a handle on where you should be to set up your business. But here’s a little secret . . . even we can be wrong.

My mentor Barry Stuart provided a few examples in a humble post a few years ago.

As a teacher once shared with my parents at a school interview, “Kelly has a lot of opinions and she’s not afraid to share them.”

It’s still true today! But I like to think my opinions are grounded in good advice. That means helping identify pitfalls for first-time tenants and hard truths that no tenant really wants to hear.

If you don’t agree, that’s okay. At the end of the day, you’re signing the lease, not your agent.

Patience is a virtue

The perfect space might not exist today. It’s not the world working against you, sometimes it’s just about timing.

Depending on the immediacy of your business plan, I would counsel entrepreneurs to find the best fit they can, or wait.

Getting into a bad situation (too expensive, too big) will only lessen your opportunity to be successful.

Ultimately, as agents there is no greater sense of pride when we see our tenants and their businesses bloom.


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…

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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…

Read more





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