Franchise Location Guest Post By: Harold Shumacher, version 2
So you’ve finally made the commitment to be a franchisee. At the end of the day the key thing is your franchise location.
When I got started in this business, over 25 years ago, an elder sage told me there are three keys to the retail business; location, location location. Not much has really changed. The right franchise location is key.
You’ve done your homework, and you’re ready to find a franchise location. What’s next?
Sure, you can drive around and look for leasing signs, contact the landlord, negotiate your deal and hope for the best in acquiring your franchise location, or you can work with a real estate specialist who focuses on this area of expertise to help you find the best possible franchise location.
Why Use A Commercial Leasing Specialist?
Ideally, a franchise location specialist can provide you a turn key approach to one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a franchisee, the franchise location. If you ever bought a house through an agent, then you already know how it works.
A tenant rep, another name for someone who works on your behalf to find a franchise location, should be able to provide you current market information, what rental rates and extra charges are involved in the franchise location. Remember, tenants typically pay their share of real estate taxes, property maintenance and insurance in most commercial settings in addition to base rent for a franchise location.
Are there any new projects planned that might provide a suitable franchise location? If so, when will they be completed and how do they compare to those currently available? Perhaps the best information a leasing specialist can provide is what properties could be available or may have a lease expiring soon where the landlord would welcome your franchise location.
How To Find A Franchise Location Specialist
Many franchisors have established relationships with leasing specialists throughout the country. While you can’t be required to utilize a particular agent, this specialist might be your best first stop for helping you secure your franchise location.
If the franchisor doesn’t have such a person, look around the market and ask other business owners you may know for recommendations. In most major metropolitan markets, there are a number of tenant brokers, many with specific niche market specialties (retail, restaurant, auto, industrial etc.), who can help you find your franchise location.
How Much Will A Location Specialist Cost?
Typically the broker, much like your residential agent, represents you but is compensated by the landlord or owner. Most states require clients to sign a form recognizing which party is being represented and the source of compensation. If this is not made clear to you in the beginning, don’t hesitate to ask questions for clarification.
Now, good luck hunting for your franchise location!
Harold Shumacher is the president and managing broker of The Shumacher Group, Inc. an Atlanta, GA based firm that specializes in representing national and regional retail and restaurant companies. Throughout its 25 plus year history, the company has worked with several national franchisors and has helped select hundreds of franchise locations.