How to Navigate Commercial Real Estate Properties in Maryland

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Navigating commercial real estate properties in Maryland can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing. But finding the right space is critical for the success of your business or real estate investment. You need the right property at the right price, but where do you even start?

Commercial Real Estate Properties Checklist

Below, we’ve outlined a very high level process for navigating the Maryland commercial real estate market. While the actual process is more rigorous and nuanced, following this step-by-step checklist, particularly step 1, will help ensure you are well-positioned to make the right choices.

Step 1) Find a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Before you get too far into the process, it’s important to enlist the help of a specialist that understands the Maryland commercial real estate market – a commercial real estate broker. Also known as a tenant rep, a broker can help you find, negotiate, and lease or buy the commercial space that is right for your business. Typical services include:

Site SelectionLease AnalysisLease Renewals
Lease and Purchase NegotiationsExpansions & RelocationsAdditional Offices
Purchase vs. Lease ComparisonStart-UpsTimeline Management
Negotiation StrategyAnd More!

Tenant rep brokers know how to navigate commercial real estate properties in Maryland. They know the landlords, the properties, the buyers and sellers, and have access to up-to-date market data, databases, and tools that track industry trends, vacancy rates, and comparable properties. Working with an experienced broker can help ensure you not only find the space that is right for you, but also negotiate favorable terms for your business.

When trying to determine which brokerage firm to work with, consider asking the following questions:

  1. What is the size of your firm? In many cases, you’ll have to choose between working with a larger brokerage firm, or a smaller, local firm. While a larger firm may have additional resources at their disposal, a smaller firm may offer more personalized service.
  2. What experience do you have in my industry? Often, brokerage firms specialize in a particular industry. Take United Development Realty, for example. We are a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Maryland specializing in the representation of medical and dental professionals. Of course, we are well-suited to meet the needs of clients in any number of industries, as well.

Best of all, in most cases, hiring a tenant rep won’t cost you anything. Almost every lease deal has a paid commission built into it, funded by rental dollars. So, what do you have to lose?

Step 2) Purchase vs. Lease Assessment

Whether you have an established business or you’re just starting out, you have a very important decision to make right off the bat. Are you looking to lease office space, or do you want to purchase the property? Coming to the right decision takes time, market research, and business planning. Your broker will be able to help you analyze the benefits of leasing or purchasing, but ultimately the final decision is yours.

Step 3) Check Out Some Spaces

Next, your broker will begin to show you spaces. They keep their finger on the pulse of the local Maryland commercial real estate market, have access to real estate databases, current market data, and industry trends that allow them to quickly identify the commercial real estate properties that meet your physical and financial needs. Remember, unlike a landlord rep, your tenant rep is not connected to a specific landlord or property. They are unbiased and working on your behalf.

Step 4) Narrow Your Choices and Do Your Due Diligence

Once you’ve identified your top choices, your tenant rep can help you analyze the pros and cons of each property. Selecting the right location goes beyond the physical address of the building. Your location within the building or retail center is just as important. Is there ample parking for your business needs? Who is beside you, above you, or below you? Are your neighbors noisy? Will their business negatively affect yours? Is the area being redeveloped? How will construction affect the space? Are there any zoning laws that could hinder your business?

While it is impossible to foresee every possible issue, an experienced commercial real estate consultant is a good start to uncovering many of these potential issues.

Step 5) Lease or Contract Analysis and Negotiation

Office lease or contract negotiation can be a complicated process with serious ramifications for your business both now and in the future. Your broker will analyze the terms and help negotiate with the landlord rep to ensure you don’t end up paying above the current real estate market. As we mentioned, your tenant rep has access to up-to-date market data, databases, and tools that track industry trends, vacancy rates, and comparable properties. This industry knowledge is critical when it comes time to negotiate.

United Development Realty Knows the Maryland Commercial Real Estate Market Inside and Out

Whether you’ve got an up-and-coming tech startup looking for its first office, an established business or medical practice looking to expand, or you’re just looking for your next real estate investment opportunity, United Development Realty has you covered. We provide commercial real estate brokerage services throughout Maryland. We begin by listening to your vision, your objectives, and your goals. Then, once we fully understand your business and its unique needs, we can assist you through a tailored package of services. We are able to tap into our extensive network of property owners and developers to not only find the ideal space, but also negotiate terms that make sense for your business both now and in the future.

Please call our office (locations in Bethesda 240-221-1976 and Fells Point 410-522-1632) to get in touch with a licensed tenant rep today.

About Charles Peacock

Over the past 30 years, Charles has been involved in Maryland real estate sales & leasing, property management, real estate investment, and the construction industry. He is a licensed commercial real estate broker, specializing in the representation of both tenants and landlords, as well as medical and dental professionals. Charles has also represented several medical building owners.