Leasing a Storefront: How To?

by : Ken Fong

A storefront is a business that has visibility from the street. Storefront properties are generally leased by those selling items to the public. Some storefronts are used for restaurants or even business offices. Leasing a storefront can bring the commercial real estate investor good, steady income.

In many cases, a commercial real estate investor will look for storefronts that need construction improvement. In other cases, old homes in 'downtown' areas of different communities are being made into storefronts. Whether you are improving an existing storefront or turning a or other property into a storefront, it is best to have a qualified renter prior to purchasing the storefront property.

It will be your responsibility, when leasing a storefront, to make sure that the property complies with all local ordinances. This will relate specifically to advertising, lighting and signs. If the storefront is a solitary structure, you will also have to insure that the driveway and parking areas are cleared for customers.

Storefront businesses are popular in all parts of the country, especially in cities. Businesses that sell retail prefer leasing a storefront as it gives them more visibility for the public. Storefront windows can exhibit the goods in the store to their advantage. Storefront windows can also exhibit signs and have lettering on the windows, allowing a business drive by advertising.

One way to get a storefront is to purchase property in part of town that is changing from residential to business zoning. This happens in many areas where they are trying to make an historic area a shopping area in town. Old homes are converted from residential buildings to commercial real estate store fronts. A commercial real estate investor who wants to make a profit leasing a storefront can do well by purchasing such a property and converting.

To convert an old home into a storefront business you will first have to apply for a zoning change. If most of the other property is being zoned for business use, you should have no problem as long as the municipality approves your proposed usage of the property.

Prior to investing in commercial real estate, especially if you are endeavoring to engage in leasing a storefront, get a title search of the property and learn the covenants, restrictions and conditions that pertain to the property. These can range from all stores have to have a green roof to no restaurants that sell tacos. You have to make sure that you know if your business will be prohibited by any existing covenants or restrictions recorded on the property.

Leasing a storefront can be an ideal way to earn a profit when investing in commercial real estate. Because storefronts are usually easy to lease to businesses because of their visibility, they are rarely vacant when in prospering areas. As is the case with all commercial real estate investments, location has everything to do with the success of the business. Make sure your storefront is in a good location and has a steady traffic flow in order to make this commercial real estate investment work for you.