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Several qualities prevent a commercial real estate transaction from being quite as straightforward as one involving a piece of residential property. When you’re trying to find a home for your business, you aren’t necessarily looking to own it. Likewise, location is hugely critical because you’re not just thinking about nearby points of interest but also your ability to garner foot traffic.

But for as “unconventional” as commercial real estate may be at its core, that quality may be the asset you need to succeed. If you want to find the best possible home for your business, there are a few key techniques that are off the beaten path that you should definitely explore.

Collaborate with a Real Estate Wholesaler

One somewhat unconventional way to find the right home for your business involves partnering with a wholesale real estate professional. In a traditional real estate transaction, there are two parties involved – a buyer and a seller. Here, there is a third – the wholesaler.

This is someone who finds a property, negotiates a price with the seller, negotiates a higher price with a buyer, and pockets the difference as a profit. Truly, this can be a game-changer in terms of finding the right place for your business. Remember that because their networks are so vast and they have so many connections, they often specialize in off-market properties. This means that you could not only be getting a great price on a property, but it could literally be something that none of your competitors have access to.

At the very least, you will be able to tour some hidden gems that are not available through more conventional channels. Is wholesale real estate the right situation for everyone? No – but it’s something that is absolutely worth considering.

Investigate Adaptive Reuse Projects

Another unconventional way to find a new home for your business involves getting involved with adaptive reuse projects in your area. This is happening a lot in major metropolitan areas – you’ll see non-traditional spaces like warehouses transformed into unique business locations, for example.

One modern-day example of this would be a brewery. One of the reasons why breweries seem to be cropping up all over the place these days is because there are a lot of industrial spaces currently going unused. The owners of those properties are looking for any way to generate revenue, and the vibe really goes with the experience that breweries are trying to create. Suddenly, you’ve got a situation where everyone wins because both parties are willing to think outside the box.

That’s just one example. Virtually any type of business could benefit from an adaptive reuse project. A unique location again becomes a way to separate yourself from your competitors, too.

Don’t Count Out Crowdfunding

If you are the type of entrepreneur who wants to own the property outright, consider turning to crowdfunding sources to help make it happen. This suggestion may be a bit too “extreme” for old-school business owners – but young people in particular can tell you that not only is crowdfunding common, but it’s also incredibly effective.

You don’t even have to “give up” anything or provide partial ownership for people who donate to your crowdfunding campaign. Some people may want a business like yours in a location so badly that they’re willing to financially support you to make it happen.

The Flexibility of Lease-to-Own Agreements

Lease-to-own agreements are another viable way to find a permanent home for your business without financially over-extending yourself in the short term.

The agreement operates much like a traditional lease, only at the end of it you can buy the property outright from the landlord you’ve been working with. If you decide not to buy because things aren’t a good fit for you, that’s okay – you don’t have to. The lease will terminate at the end of the term, and you’ll be free to look elsewhere and start the process again without worrying about how you will sell the property.

A Partnership May Be In Order

Finally, don’t be afraid to seek out partnerships with other local businesses that might want to share space. This is also becoming increasingly common in recent years for a number of core reasons.

With so much commercial real estate currently available, it may be easy to find vacant spaces, but many might be too big for your current needs. But if you were to partner with a complimentary business to occupy specific portions of a warehouse or the entire floor in an office building, suddenly, you’re dealing with a mutually beneficial situation for all involved. If you run a restaurant that doesn’t have a dessert menu, it would make sense to share a space with a business that only sells pastries or other dessert-based items. Your two businesses would complement one another, and as one of you succeeds, the other would as well.

In many ways, your creativity as a business owner has contributed to a large amount of your success up to this point. You had an idea for a product or service that nobody else did. You found a way to bring that vision into reality and use it to benefit the lives of countless people along the way.

It’s that same creative spirit that business owners must tap into when trying to find a new home for everything they’ve worked so hard to build. Especially given the way the real estate market can be, sometimes a conventional approach just won’t cut it. You may be able to find a property, but it won’t necessarily be the right one.

But if you’re willing to creatively expand your horizons when it comes to securing ideal locations for your ventures, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Creativity is already an invaluable part of your life – all you need to do is extend that into the world of commercial real estate, and there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

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