Are your Expectations for your Property Realistic?

When you’re not familiar with a situation, it’s easy to have unrealistically high expectations.

It’s understandable. You want your experiences to be good, and usually, your idea of good comes with a set of preconceptions. You may have a set of preconceptions around what a good building looks like, or what rents you should pay for that building, or concessions the landlord should make to get you the deal you think you deserve – all good, but, in combination, maybe more fantastic than realistic.

And if you do have a set of preconceptions, it makes decisions hard. With preconceptions, you’re more likely to wait for what you think is the perfect property – the one that checks off all of the boxes you’ve created in your head. You’re more likely to hold back on making a decision, in the hope that you can find the property that meets every expectation you’ve built up.

The reality, though, is that that’s often impossible – and building up unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment.

Unfortunately, it’s a scenario that plays out often as real estate tenants search for the perfect new space. Like other decisions, the choice of facility often carries a set of preconceived notions as to what will make the new space perfect. Perfect means the best location, tons of space, newly renovated, fully customizable, a flexible lease, the right price and on, and on.

Of course, the reality is that perfect rarely exist without some modifications which means additional cost – or that perfect is out of your desired price range. That realization can lead to disappointment and friction in the decision-making process.

But, with a clearer understanding of what to expect, it doesn’t have to. Because the reality is that, if you’re willing to prioritize your preconceptions and be willing to let go of a few, you can find plenty of great options.

With that in mind, here are three things you can’t always expect when searching to lease commercial real estate space in Frederick.

1. The landlord will make all of the fit-out dreams come true.

One of the more commonly misaligned expectations is the level of customization that will be provided by the landlord in your dream space.

It’s fun to envision what a space could look like, whether it’s currently fit out or not. However, tenants often expect that, if they choose a space, the landlord will easily provide the budget they need to enact their dream customizations. Maybe that means an in-office shower, hardwood floors, walls of built-in cabinets, or modern floor to ceiling glass walls – whatever it entails, most tenants want the landlord to fund these improvements to bring the dream to life. Right?

The reality is that landlords have budgets, too – and, often, it’s simply unrealistic to expect them to include large levels of customization, especially when tenants may only be in a space a few years.

That being said, there is often flexibility to accomplish a fit-out – the tenant may be able to negotiate cost into the lease, or even finance the fit-out with a commercial bank if the landlord approves the work. But it’s unrealistic to expect that the landlord will always pay to make tenants’ fit out dreams a reality.

2. An incredibly flexible lease.

Another common misconception is that the new space will include an incredibly flexible lease.

Again, this is understandable. As a prospective tenant, you’re searching for a space that will fit your expected growth – which could be greater than your current needs in terms of size to account for future needs. The hope is that you’ll grow into the space. The danger is that, if you don’t, you’ll be left paying for unused space, or, worse, struggling to pay rent.

All of that makes short, flexible leases appealing – two years or less, as the risk is much lower for the Tenant if the future goals do not come to fruition or even better the growth is greater than expected and you outgrow the space quickly.

The reality, though, is that the landlord needs to balance risk, as well. Three-to-five-year leases are standard minimums, simply based on the level of investment made by the landlord to customize the space to the tenants desires.

You can’t expect to place all of the risk of a lease on the landlord.

3. All of the building perks.

Finally, you can’t expect to get all of the office perks.

When you’re choosing a new space, you may think of it as your own – but, especially if you’re sharing a space in a multi-tenant location, you’ll need to consider how you’ll fit in.

For example, you may envision prominent signage on the side of your new building, proudly displaying your organization’s name. But, if you’re one of many tenants (or if you’re not occupying a large percentage of the building), prominent building signage may be unrealistic.

Or, you may be eyeing the best parking spots in the lot, hoping that if you sign the lease, you’ll be reserved front parking for as many cars as you’ll need. The reality is that your parking needs will be factored in with the needs of other tenants – and, while that may mean reserved spots, it probably doesn’t mean multiple reservations in the prime locations.

As you consider what makes the perfect space, don’t assume that you’ll be the tenant that receives all of the building’s best perks.

Great Spaces Exist – and You Can Find Them

No, unrealistic expectations won’t help you if you’re searching to lease commercial real estate space. But, if you’re willing to prioritize and waive some expectation of perfection, you can still find a great space. Just remember to start the search soon enough to be able to thoughtfully work through your expectations and options.

We can help.

At Rockpoint Commercial, we have years of commercial real estate experience in Frederick, and proven results in helping building owners and prospective tenants find the common ground of a great space and lease.

If you’re looking to find commercial real estate space in Frederick, get in touch with us today. With realistic expectations, there is plenty to like.