When you’ve been in the industry for any length of time, it’s easy to spot inexperience and beginner mistakes. One of the mistakes that lessees and buyers make again and again happens during the property tour, and interestingly, it happens with experienced and inexperienced folks alike. However, once it’s pointed out to you, it’s easy to avoid. Read on, and you’ll never make this mistake on your industrial property tour.
The Property Tour
The property tour is a critical part of the process, regardless if you’re buying or leasing. And no matter how perfectly a facility seems to tick all the boxes, a walk-through is critical and can truly make or break its chances of making it to your final short list. The property tour is a standard part of any transaction, and yet it’s often where lessees and buyers make this mistake – regardless of their personal experience with industrial leasing or buying.
This mistake happens in a number of ways, but the effect is always the same – inadvertently tipping your hand. When you tour a property, you won’t be alone. The agent representing the landlord or seller will most certainly be there, and if he or she has any experience, it will not be to unlock the door. Savvy agents will ask questions, remember your answers, take note of your reactions to the facility, and generally try to learn everything possible about you and your company. They want to discover your motivations, needs, constraints, timing, and anything else you share – intentionally or otherwise. This is the all-too-common mistake of tipping your hand. Be clear that any information gleaned can and will be used against you come negotiation time.
Protecting Your Interests
We hope you recognize the value of having an agent on your side of the table. But understand that even your agent cannot protect you if you undermine his efforts. You have one job during the property tour, and it’s keeping quiet. Simply let your agent do his job, which is to meet your needs at the best possible price. Quietly address your agent directly with any questions you have, or take notes to address with him privately at a later time (a savvier option). When the landlord’s agent asks a questions, direct it to your agent. It may seem like an incredibly conservative approach, but keep in mind you are the only person in this equation who doesn’t sell or lease industrial real estate for a living.
We expand on this topic in a valuable free download. Our Property Tour Guidelines goes into details about tipping your hand, including common scenarios, why they’re problematic, and what you can do instead. It’s valuable information, and it’s available to you at no cost. Download your copy now.