February 1, 2024

From Concept to Community: The Experts’ Master Guide to Opening Your Ideal Storefront

Authors: Elyse Welch CCIM, John Orr CCIM, Maggie Colbert

Securing your ideal retail space is integral to setting a strong foundation for your business’s success. Our 10-step Expert approach to Tenant Representation is designed to help your business enhance its visibility and community impact by establishing its brick-and-mortar presence. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Executing the Tenant Rep Agreement

We kick things off with signing the Tenant Rep Agreement. This is more than just paperwork; it’s the start of our strategic partnership.

Step 2: Market Research

Once the ink dries, our team hits the ground running. We start calling and exploring the market for sites that would be a perfect match for you, targeting a timeline of two weeks.

Step 3: Smartsheet Creation

Simultaneously, we create a Smartsheet. This is a shared live document listing all of the sites and their relevant information (address, size, rent, availability, etc.). Think of it as your real-time guide to potential locations, covering all the essentials.

Step 4: The Kick-Off Call

About 2.5-3 weeks in, we’ll have a comprehensive kick-off call. Here, we review the Smartsheet, discuss our findings, and, most importantly, hear your thoughts.

Step 5: Site Tours or a Rethink

Depending on your feedback, we either embark on property tours or head back to the drawing board to find that perfect spot.

Step 6: Letter of Intent (LOI)

When a site gets your nod of approval, we swiftly draft and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and lead negotiations with the Landlord’s Team. Each turn of the LOI, we will explain changes from the other side and craft solutions that work for you! Negotiation times here can vary from a few weeks to a few months depending on the parties’ response times and complexity of the deal, so buckle up!

Step 7: Lease Drafting

From there, we begin lease negotiations. We collaborate closely with you and your attorney to negotiate favorable terms and protect you from the “gotcha” lease clauses. This typically takes about 2 months, but it all depends!

Step 8: Signing and Planning the Build-Out

Lease signed! It’s time to plan the transformation. We assist you in coordinating with a full suite of professionals here, depending on your needs. This can include architects, engineers, interior designers, general contractors, and more.

Step 9: The Build-Out Phase

We then move into the build-out phase, to make the space yours. This stage can take about 90-180 days, depending on the scope of work required and municipality.

Step 10: Grand Opening Preparation

Finally, we wrap up construction and set the stage for your grand opening. It’s time to celebrate your new venture!

Embarking on a commercial real estate journey can be a rollercoaster and easy to get overwhelmed, but with the right support and expertise, it’s an exciting and fulfilling experience. Our team is here to make your dream a reality every step of the way. Contact an Expert today!