Commercial properties can be quite valuable assets for a real estate agent. Whether you’re looking for a vacant property as an investor seeking opportunities, in pursuit of an advantageous business location, or with a vision to rebuild on the land, knowing how to find vacant commercial properties is a valuable skill. In this blog, we’ll explore how to go about your search for vacant commercial properties and where you should start looking.
What Exactly Are Vacant Commercial Properties?
A vacant commercial property is a building or space that is currently unused. It doesn’t have any occupants or businesses operating within them. They could be office buildings, retail spaces, or large warehouses, that have been put up for sale or lease. As a real estate agent, coming across one of these properties is an opportunity to improve your portfolio. You can acquire the property yourself for re-selling or renting, or you could become a broker to find the property a new owner.
Why Are Vacant Properties Promising Assets?
- No Restrictions – Vacant properties are like blank canvases that give you the freedom to rebuild, customize, or renovate to suit your specific needs.
- Fairer Terms – The property owners may be more willing to negotiate favorable terms since owning an empty property is only going to cost them money every month.
- Prime Locations – If you’re lucky, you may across vacant properties that are situated in prime locations for business.
- Appreciating Assets – Vacant properties can be purchased at lower prices, but with some renovation and marketing, you could potentially benefit from property appreciation.
How To Find Vacant Commercial Properties
1. Browse Online Listing Platforms
Online listing platforms such as LoopNet and Crexi are great places to begin your search. These platforms have a large number of people both buying and selling properties on a daily basis. This means that new properties are listed daily offering you a large selection pool. These sites often feature dedicated sections for vacant commercial properties. You can also narrow down your search by using the provided filters to fit the right property type, location, and budget. Make sure to check these platforms daily so you don’t miss out on any potential new properties.
2. Local Government Resources
Local government agencies are entitled to maintain public records of properties, including ownership information and the current status of the property. You should consider contacting your local government agencies and property records offices as there are some municipalities that even maintain lists of vacant properties.
3. Take A Drive Around Town
Vacant properties are usually marked by a sign or signboard posted outside the property with the contact information of the property owner. Sometimes, these properties may not even be listed on online platforms. As such, you may have more luck by taking the traditional route and searching for vacant properties by taking a walk or driving around your local neighborhoods. You could frequent commercial districts in your area weekly to check if any properties are up for sale or lease.
4. Make Use Of Connections
Through real estate investing, you’ve likely created a network of peers in the industry. You should make use of the power of this professional network to find leads to vacant commercial properties. Word of mouth and personal connections have a much higher chance of leading to insights into vacant properties that are not yet listed on the market.
5. Contact Property Management Companies
Property management companies are those that manage portfolios of multiple properties within a specified area. As such, they would have access to information about any vacant spaces that are within their portfolio. You could get a list of all the property management companies in your desired area and spend an afternoon calling them to find more information.
6. Keep Track Of The Local News
You can use apps on your phone to stay informed about local news segments. You can set up the app or use Google Alerts to notify you when any news about local businesses closing or relocating is posted online. These alerts will be sent as a notification to your phone as soon as the article is posted on the internet, potentially giving you the chance to get in touch first. You can then contact the business directly to inquire about the status of their properties.
7. Do A Little Internet Sleuthing
Online research using search engines and social media platforms can be time-consuming but fruitful. Property listings are not only posted on listing platforms. You can find them on social media groups, online classifieds sites, local posting sites, and more. Using the power of Google and some keyword searches, you may find more listings that are not posted on popular listing websites.
8. Property Auctions
This method is not the most prosperous on the list, but can still be worthwhile checking out. Property auctions and sheriff sales will list down many properties in the local area that are up for sale. While you may not find many vacant properties here, they can be a treasure trove of other investment opportunities, including distressed properties that could be of use to you.
Finding a vacant commercial property may not come easy. After all, there is high demand for these types of properties and they are usually snatched up quickly when available. However, you shouldn’t give up if your search has not been great so far. Networking and personal connections can be very effective at discovering properties that are unlisted, while unconventional sources like property auctions can yield unexpected results. So you may never know where you may find your next vacant commercial property.