By Chris Keeley
Phoenix Commercial Brokers

In every business there comes a time when working out of the garage is no longer an option. When that time comes, the process of moving can become quite daunting. The questions alone can be overwhelming. How big of a space do I need? How much can I afford? What location is best for me? Do I need office, warehouse or both? These are some of the basic questions and of course they only lead to so many more.

Maybe you’re already out of the garage and your business has grown or shrunk or changed. At some point most businesses make a move. The first question is where do I start? Where do I get answers? Who do I talk to?

I am not here to tell you that you’ll need a professional. That’s obvious. What I am here to tell you is what you can expect once you’ve made the decision to move… what the process is, and what things you need to know.

The absolute most important fact you’ll need to know before you look at anything else is what your budget is. How much can you spend? That means meeting with your accountant and your banker before anything else. You must know a range of dollars available for this move. Some will be in a position to buy instead of rent but most in their initial move out of their house will be looking to rent. The most important aspect of making this move will be the monthly expense. How much can you afford on a lease while maintaining a profit? As you may or may not be aware, many new businesses do not survive, and I will tell you the main reason is overextending on expenses, including rent.

Once you know your budget, please find a professional to show you the market. One thing that always surprised me in this business is that tenants and sometimes even buyers don’t know that they don’t pay the real estate broker. Landlords and Sellers pay brokers. Only on rare occasions is that not the case and that is usually disclosed up front. A real estate broker can educate you on the market, save you worlds of time and negotiate your best deal.

You’ll need to answer these questions: How much can I spend? What location do I need to be in (i.e.: Deer Valley Airpark)? How big do I need? How much office or warehouse? How many bathrooms? Do you need air conditioning or evaporative coolers? How high do I need the ceilings to be? How much power do I require? Your broker can find all available options for you once he has these answers.

Once your broker knows what your requirement is and you start looking at your options, you’ll need to know what the total costs are. The rent is the easy part. It’s laid out for you in black and white. All the other things you’re responsible to pay for may not be so obvious to you. What kind of lease is it, gross or NNN? I’ve explained this before but they’re very different. Gross includes almost all the expenses but NNN means you pay these on top of the rent and it may be around 20% more. Who pays the electric bill? Who pays for repairs (roof, air conditioner, etc.)? What insurance will you need?

Find a broker that can answer all of these questions for you but also knows the market your interested in. I know the Deer Valley market. If you were looking somewhere else I would most likely send you to a broker that knows that area.

The key for me is for you to succeed, so when it’s time for you to move again please think of me for help. Good luck!