When is Commercial Real Estate Right for You?

If you have been skirting around the idea of investing in commercial real estate, you may be wondering how you can know when it’s the right time to invest in these properties. The right time for you will be synchronistic; your borrowing and repayment capacity will meet market opportunities to buy low in an area that offers high potential growth. There is certainly some luck involved in this, however, for the most part good preparation meets opportunity to result in long term profitability.

Investing in commercial real estate can be very profitable if you carefully evaluate the market and are cognizant of both the risks and the benefits. Commercial real estate can offer the canny investor the benefits of cash flow, depreciation, appreciation and capital growth. It can provide tax benefits, help you diversify your portfolio and increase your personal wealth.

Profiting from commercial real estate is basically a matter of buying low and selling high. Properties that are under-priced or under-performing in areas with a solid and sustained rate of growth are considered to offer the best profit potential. All these factors are essential aspects to successful commercial real estate investing. However, taking the time to gain needed expertise and experience cannot be underestimated.

Before committing to purchase a commercial real estate property, it is important to understand what you want to achieve from the investment. For example, are you planning to hold onto the property for a long term to benefit from capital gain and are therefore less concerned with annual rental returns, or do you need the cash flow generated by higher returns? In fact, to be successful at investing in commercial real estate you need to acquire the right mindset before you even begin to look at properties. You can rarely make money quickly in commercial real estate, rather the most successful investors are willing to hold onto their properties for the long term. The very nature of commercial real estate investment requires you to take an unemotional approach involving thoughtful analysis, research and extensive due diligence. You need to become a long range thinker, planner and implementer.

It is always a good idea to get expert advice, but remember real estate agents and property management companies are selling their services and will not necessarily tell you the whole truth. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) holds very true for commercial real estate investing. You need to do your research in order to avoid serious pitfalls.

Before purchasing a commercial property, check into the demographic information relating to the area within an easy distance (for example, a five mile radius). Knowing the average age, average household composition, average household income, and ethnicities can be very revealing. If the commercial property you are considering is retail, you will also need to consider the quantity of passing traffic and ease of parking.

An obvious consideration when evaluating commercial real estate as an investment is the vacancy rate as well as the absorption rate over the previous few years. You also need to consider the length of current leases still to run. This is important for two reasons. First, the current rents may be lower than the market value. Alternatively, they may be providing a good return and the longer the lease the better the value of the property because you will not have to fill vacancies.

The aim when purchasing commercial real estate is to get the best return on investment at the lowest possible risk. For example, there is far less risk in purchasing an office building with ten well paying tenants in it who still have a substantial period of their lease to run than it would be to buy one with leases about to expire or only one or two tenants.

Commercial properties are commonly much more expensive than other forms of real estate and significantly more complicated in terms of market considerations. You will need to sort through a lot of information designed to put the property in the best possible light so you will need to have excellent analytical skills to sort through relevant data from the false impressions. Commercial investment needs to be taken slowly. Take whatever time you need to evaluate the suitability of a property for your investment purposes.

Commercial real estate transactions are not for the nervous. They are usually complicated and require you to be conversant with a range of relevant facts, figures and data acquired from a number of relevant sources. Commercial real estate investing must be approached logically and carefully. You cannot afford to fall in love with a property if you wish to make money. It is important to be very selective when it comes to properties under your consideration. If you can meet the criteria for successful commercial real estate investing suggested in this article and are fortunate to find the right property at the right place at the right time you have every chance of doing very well from your property investment decisions.