How to find renters for commercial retail space?

6 Replies

@James Chung think about what you would like to go into your space. What has it been before. If you are going to try to do this yourself, then think amazing chefs in your area, where you like the food for example and offer them a great deal on a lease. This does a couple of things. It makes your place a destination. If you like their food, then chances are others do too! Soo, suddenly people have a reason to go to your retail space. Then work your way out from there. What little shops would do well with great foot traffic, rinse wash and repeat. Seek folks out!  Or,... get a commercial broker that will do the work. What I mean by that is that often folks want to put a sign in your window and hope for the best. They are advertising off of your back which is what you don't want! Hire a hungry broker willing to put in the grunt work to do what I just said. It is more than loop net. Have someone who is involved in the chamber of commerce and can talk up your space at local meet ups. Bottom line is that if you hire a big company broker, ie are a small fish and your property will be overlooked. Retail spaces need to be pushed so either do the work or hire it but bottom line is the best way to do that is to actively seek out the tenants you want rather than just hope that they drop by or write down a number off the side of your building or Craigslist.         

My dad owned a small mixed use property for 50 years, and always used local commercial brokers to handle rentals. 

These brokers usually already have clients looking for a place to rent, or a place to start a business. I was once looking for laundromats to buy or an empty store to start one, and used a broker. The advantage of using a broker is they know if the location is suitable for a particular business, not because an empty store is available.