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DRK lease or BuyIt's a big decision: whether to buy or lease a business property. Purchasing a property can save you money in the long run, but leasing can give you important financial and logistic flexibility.

Remember that no two businesses are alike. To properly weight the pros and cons in your individual circumstances, consider:

How much cash you will need to make the purchase. To determine this, you will need to do a cash flow analysis, including:

  1. Financing terms and closing costs
  2. Your income tax rate
  3. Costs associated with ownership but not with leasing
  4. The period of time you expect to use the property
  5. The value of the property now and post-use

Remember, first-year cash flow projections aren't a good indicator of whether you should buy or lease. It's important to consider if a lease will provide you with the following:

  • The ability to stay in the location as long as you want
  • Freedom to make needed changes to the property
  • Tax savings

On the other hand, do you want to be a property owner at this time? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to be responsible for maintenance?
  • How long do you intend to stay at this location?
  • Will you need the cash to grow your business in other ways?
  • Will your credit rating support a mortgage?

Location is always an important consideration, including:

  • Are the property values in the neighborhood on the rise or on the decline?

If you are interested in a property where the owner would consider selling or renting, you'll need to weigh these considerations. Knowing the answers will also benefit you if you are choosing between two different properties, where one is a rental and the other is for sale.

Need more help finding and deciding about a business property? Call DRK at 614-540-2404 for assistance from a full-service commercial realtor in Columbus, Ohio.

How to make a DRK dealLike many real estate dwellings, commercial property success starts with a foolproof blueprint. Follow these 6 tips to strike a hot commercial real estate investment deal:

1. Think like a professional
To be a commercial real estate player, think like an insider. Know that commercial property is priced differently than residential houses. You'll also see a bigger cash return with commercial property. For instance, you'll earn more income on multifamily houses than single-family dwellings. Finally, have plenty of cash in hand –lenders like to see at least 30% down before green-lighting a commercial property loan.

2. Formulate a plan of action
Set realistic parameters to score a commercial real estate investment deal. Ask yourself questions like: How much can I afford to pay? Who are the key players? How much rental space do I need to fill? How much do I expect to net on the deal? And make sure you have a safe exit strategy – the best deals are those you can walk away from.

3. Recognize great deals
The best real estate professionals know a hot investment deal when they see one. How can you do it? Adopt a sharp, landowner's eye – look for damage that needs immediate repair, assess risk, and ensure the property meets your financial needs.

4. Look for motivated sellers
Customers drive any business, including real estate. Find sellers who are eager to sell below market value. A great real estate deal is powered by a motivated seller, so find someone willing to negotiate.

5. Practice neighborhood farming
Evaluate commercial real estate property by studying the neighborhood it's in. Attend open houses, look for vacancies, and talk with the neighbors.

6. Use a "trifecta" approach to evaluate properties
To find great deals, be adaptable. Use the Internet, read the classifieds, and hire agents to find the best investment opportunities.

Grow Your Business DRKWhen it's time to expand your small business, many factors come into play. In addition to looking for the right property, it's also a good time to consider the following recommendations from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These tips that are designed to help you "leverage your experiences and grow the appeal of your brand—without breaking the bank."

You are your business
A personal touch is the hallmark of small businesses. An actively engaged owner—who is known to customers—will improve their experience and keep the business headed in the right direction.

Earn customer loyalty
Reliability is priceless. Making claims and promises you can keep is essential to building a customer base. Value is easier to perceive when false expectations don't get in the way.

Logo and name
Your business name and logo are early and important decisions. Changing them later can be far more expensive. Both should be meaningful, memorable, and on topic.

Branding
Go beyond a logo and window dressing when thinking about branding. Your brand also includes how you do business. It's important that you communicate these essentials in your marketing and social media.

This is your opportunity to make your business stand out from the competition. And sometimes looking at the competition is the best way to analyze what you do better and what you can improve.

Reach out
Do you feel part of your community? Whether you are an established business or moving into a new location, it's important to engage with your community through events and local organizations. You can also reach out online, connecting with a virtual community of shared interests and needs.

Share your passion
Your love of the business and your brand is the best sales pitch. When you share your story and why you chose to sell a product or provide a service, customers will want to share in your enthusiasm.

American admire small business owners and the special contributions they make to our country. Best wishes and bravo!

Columbus Ohio Business StartWhether an entrepreneur is already here or looking to relocate, Columbus, Ohio is a prime location for starting a new business. With a strong base of existing businesses, low unemployment, an affordable cost of living and a well-educated workforce, it creates a better launching pad than "hot spots" like San Francisco and New York City.

Columbus region by the numbers (2015):

  • 2.1 million residents (11-county region)
  • 15 Fortune 1000 company headquarters
  • 10-hour truck drive to 47 percent of the U.S. population
  • $19.32 average asking rent for Class A office space ($52.44 in San Francisco)
  • 90.2 on the U.S. Metropolitan cost of living index (Boston: 137.7)
  • Unemployment rate: 4.1% (U.S.: 5.5%)

The City of Columbus also provides the Small Business Builder online resources to help entrepreneurs plan for a new business or expand an existing business.

Want to learn more about commercial real estate in Columbus? A DRK agent will help you uncover the wide range of opportunities in our metropolitan area.