Victoria Real Estate Board

Using a Commercial REALTOR® - Leasing or Buying a Commercial Property

Are you looking for new premises for your business? If so, you’ll need the help of an expert in the field. Commercial REALTORS® have the training, knowledge and expertise to meet all your commercial real estate needs.

Your commercial REALTOR® needs to know your requirements as a prospective tenant or purchaser, so firstly consider the following:

  • Size - The rule of thumb for office space is 200-250 square feet per person. Determine your "usable area";
  • Location - Consider the needs for transportation for the public, clients and employees as well as market demographics;
  • Term - Is a three or five year lease enough? Think about your possible expansion needs and whether you would need a renewable lease;
  • Start date - When do you need to move? When does your current lease expire? Early planning will increase your options;
  • Budget - How much do you need or want to spend on an annual basis for your premises?
  • Parking - How much do you really need? Availability may often be limited;
  • Quality - Do your customers visit you? A classy environment will reflect well on your company and may be more attractive to prospective employees or partners;
  • Buy or Lease - Your REALTOR® can advise you on what is available and you will also want to seek the help of your accountant to analyze your best option;
  • Expansion - Are you growing? As a medical specialist your premises could be adequate for the next 20 years; as a manufacturer you could run out of space within three years;
  • Tech - Do you have a large bandwidth requirement, or special air conditioning requirements?

Take a little time to choose a commercial REALTOR®. Ask your colleagues, business associates or your current landlord for a recommendation. Scout the neighbourhood where you want to locate and find out from the signs which REALTORS® who specialize in commercial properties are active in that area. Ask the REALTORS® you talk to about their experience in dealing with the kind of property in which you are interested and whether they have taken any specialized courses. You can find a list of members of the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Commercial Division on the Board’s website on

Let your commercial REALTOR® know if you are at a preliminary stage and just want to get a feel for the market. You will probably receive a very open and helpful response. If you are renegotiating a renewal with your current landlord tell your REALTOR®. Consider paying for a market appraisal, it will be inexpensive relative to the value of your lease and you will get better quality information and a strong negotiating tool.

Usually the landlord pays a fee to the REALTOR® or REALTORS® and consequently the REALTOR®’s first obligation is to the landlord. Consider engaging your commercial REALTOR® on a retainer basis. He or she will work hard for you and can draw upon an enormous wealth of information to help you negotiate an agreement. This practice is becoming more commonly used by sophisticated tenants throughout North America.

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