How to Lease an Office, Retail, or Industrial Space

This article will discuss office, retail, and industrial leasing for tenants. There are many ways in which a prospective tenant can locate space for their needs.


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    Get tenant representation from a reputable firm to help you. Their services are free and they have more expertise than you do. The landlord has a representative and so should you. Pure tenant representation firms may eliminate the inherent conflict of interest found at firms that also represent landlords. However, these full-service firms may have more market intelligence.
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    Inform as to the specifics of your need. Think out the specifics of what you're looking for, but realize no space is going to the perfect match.
    • Do you need high traffic?
    • How many people are going to be working with you now, 3 years and 5 years from now?
    • How much do you want to spend?
    • What areas do you want to be in?
    • What kind of amenities are you seeking?

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    Your representative will then seek out sites that meet your criteria, speak to potential providers and sift out the ones that will work for you, and should then provide you the details of each site.
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    Pick a few of the sites that you like the best on paper to do a tour. While on tour, be aware of characteristics, ask questions, and take notes of the property so you have something to refer to later.
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    Once you've picked the site you think will work, it's time to start the negotiating. Ask your agent to submit a Letter of Intent to send to the landlord's representative.
    • The Letter of Intent, otherwise known as a LOI, is a short letter that outlines the basics of terms you want from the landlord and lets them know you are serious about obtaining space.
    • Be sure to outline your expectations respecting Tenant Improvement Allowance dollars, free rent, discounts on asking rate, and lease term. This process is going to save you more money when it comes time to see your lawyer later for lease review. Additionally, once a landlord has your business, they are not as likely to negotiate concessions.
    • Be patient during negotiations; this LOI process may go for awhile until the landlord and you can come to an agreement.

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    Have a real estate lawyer review the final draft of the lease and other pertinent documents.
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    Once all documents are signed, the lease is official and you now have a monthly obligation to your landlord.


  • There may be many other local brokerages in your area, search diligently.
  • Online platform for leasing: TheSquareFoot
  • Tenant Allowance dollars are money the landlord will give you to make improvements to the space beyond what is currently done.
  • Other Brokerages: CB Richard Ellis, Colliers
  • Tenant Representation Firms: Studley


  • The worst thing is when you find a broker that isn't good at what he does. Again, search diligently.

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Categories: Real Estate