This article first appeared on Graystone Property's website.
Finding the perfect place for your next business location can be stressful, overwhelming and just flat out confusing. What matters more: street view or anchor tenants? North or south side location? How do I even know where available spaces are? Just know you aren’t alone in this important step. Countless business owners are left baffled on how to find their next spot. Because this is a crucial process for a successful business, we have outlined four things to add to your list before taking the plunge.
Location, Location, Location
Before you take any space available, ask yourself “where do I want to be?” Sure, that retail space you found was unbelievably cheap, but it is all the way across town and in an area you are not familiar with. Find out where your customer base is and find a space there. For example, there’s a quaint pizza place centrally located in Oklahoma City that serves some of the best pizza locally. Although they are based in OKC, a large portion of the Yelp reviews are customers living 25 minutes north in Edmond. A good opportunity for them would be adding a location in Edmond, where they know they’ll instantly have a following on the day they open. Knowing where to find your customers is half the battle.
If you are a small business, anchor tenants may be high on your list. An anchor tenant is a large, usually nationwide company that brings traffic to the area. The idea is an anchor tenant will drive customers to the building and may come into your business after visiting the anchor tenant. At our Summit Pointe Plaza property in Oklahoma City, we are fortunate to have a T-Mobile flagship store, Slim Chickens and Louie’s Grill & Bar. So someone who may see the new iPhone at T-Mobile may stop by 24 Fit Gym to learn about gym memberships, or visit Meraki Hair Studio after lunch at Louie’s.
The Internet of Things
Unlike the days where you had to physically drive all over a city to find a space, today’s technology allows us to find everything we need online. If you haven’t used Loopnet, you absolutely should. You can draw the area you want to be in and available listings will sprout up. Click any listing to find out more information and the contact information for the listing agent. Furthermore, you can take the address and plug it in Google Maps to see satellite and street views without putting on shoes and leaving the house.
If you’re a business that is heavily dependent on traffic, look up the traffic count database for the area, which can be found on a county/city’s website. If you want a place that’s heavy in foot traffic, try Walk Score. Although it’s targeted for apartment hunters, it can give you a general outlook on how accessible an area is by foot.
Drive An Area
Sometimes it is as simple as picking a day and driving around the area you want to be. Although Loopnet is the #1 place to find available spaces online, sometimes the owner or property manager will choose to not post the listing online or it’s so new to the market they haven’t had time. You may get lucky and find the perfect location with absolutely no competition to take the suite because they just put up the “For Lease” sign that day.
Whether it’s a listing broker of a property or a tenant broker, give a few brokers a call. You will want to know all the details before jumping into a lease anyway. You can even tell the broker what are some important things you want in your next location, so he or she can keep an eye out for anything that matches that description. You will be happy because you have someone to take some weight off your shoulders, and the broker will be motivated to find the perfect space as soon as they can so they can get a commission fee from the building owner.
Finding a future location is usually not something you can do in an hour. It may take days, weeks or even months to find the right location for you. Remember to be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you are looking for a retail or office space in Oklahoma, visit our website to see what we currently have available. If you don’t see anything that piques your interest, shoot us an email with the perfect description of your next location. We’ll get in contact with you if we find something that matches your vision.