So you want to locate some space - you're sick and tired of having your business located at the kitchen table and the couple of employees you do have working out of the bathroom.
Ahead lies the basics of what you need to know.
Most people tend to start there property search by driving around the city with places they are familiar with and calling off signs. The sometimes problem with this is the amount of time it can chew up and the frustration of not hearing back from broker if you do call on a sign. The pluses on the other hand allow you to get familiar with the area and territory.
Find Property Online
Unlike residential real estate search sites where every agent has some sort of crappy search function on their site, looking for commercial real estate can sometimes be harder to find as brokers hold back on what they put on the web.
Here are some of the main consumer facing sites to start your search:
- Loopnet - This is probably the first site that you will come to if you Google something along the lines of "minneapolis commercial office space for lease". They have an iPhone app and iPad app that works well when out looking for space.
- MNCAR - The Minnesota Commercial Association of REALTORS® has a search as well. This may be your best source given that this is the first place most brokers will turn to when they have a new listing.
- Commercial Source - Is a from National Association of REALTORS®
- ROFO - Is probably one of my favorite sites but it doesn't quite have the traction here in Minneapolis - St. Paul yet because it is a start-up. Watch for them soon because they are working on some really cool features.
- Showcase - Is a site from CoStar, they are a big player when it comes to data and offer solutions for brokers but have a decent consumer facing search portal.
The problem with some of these sites is that they require certain level of registration to gain more access to more information and some even require a monthly membership depending on how deep you to dive.
The Dreaded Broker
Most I'm sure don't bite, but then again I have been wrong before.
Nobody likes initially starting their search off with a broker and for good reason. They don't want to be bothered or inundated with emails or phone calls about getting the search started. Most people like to move at their own pace and I completely agree.
The truth is, they probably are the best place to start being that there is a quite a bit of property that is held off the multiple listing service and many properties trade hands without being on public sites. A good broker will have a strong network that they can call upon on at given time
Although many search sites have popped up over the past few years to locate property, sometimes the best way is still to get out and see for yourself.