Commercial Property Inspection Skills for Agents and Realtors

When you work in commercial real estate, the sale or leasing of a property will involve you inspecting the premises of the properties that you list and market. The way in which you inspect the premises will impact the outcomes that you get.

You inspect premises for two main reasons; firstly with the property owner to understand what the property is all about, and then at some later stage you will inspect the premises with qualified prospects that may want to look at the premises for potential purchase or rent. The inspection of a commercial property is a real skill that can be refined and improved.

Every property is different and on that basis will present you with challenges to inspect and sell to the parties that inspect. It stands to reason that if you can improve your inspection and presentation skills, you can improve your listing conversions to sales contracts and leases. This one single fact and skill is overlooked by so many agents.

The inspection of a commercial or retail property is not an experiment; it is a time to position the deal or negotiation, and pitch for results. You can improve your inspection skills by practice and most particularly in the following ways:

  1. Make a list of the property features that must be shown in the inspection. Create a plan to use in walking around the property that will allow the features to be best displayed and explained to your prospects.
  2. Look for the hurdles and problems of the property at the time of listing so you have answers for the prospective buyers or tenants that you take through the premises.
  3. Get a plan of the premises to give to the parties that inspect the premises. This helps with orientation and helps the prospective buyer or tenant grasp the concept of value and size.
  4. Provide a location plan of the general streets and property in the local area. Your prospect person inspecting the premises may not know about the location of transport, roads and highways, access, services and amenities. If you are showing them a number of properties, this will be even more important to the inspection process.
  5. Take a number of photos of the property at the time of listing that can be printed and given to the prospects as you take them around the property as part of a handout or information brochure.
  6. Location demographics will help the prospect understand the growth and general success of the business community. The local council will have details that can be sourced for that purpose.
  7. Get a list of other large and successful businesses in the area that may support your inspection with tenants and buyers. Ideally you should be able to show the prospect that other successful businesses have made the general area their home for many years.
  8. A site plan may be relevant for buyers that are considering a property purchase. You can get the plan from the property title, but you should also ask the property owner about the boundary locations and whether or not there may be encroachments on the boundaries. If in any doubt get the property owner to seek a survey plan of the property.
  9. Property improvements will be relevant to buyers and tenants in differing ways depending on their business function and requirements. Special zones, improvements, and the capability of each property you inspect should be captured and defined, such as car parking, common areas, entrance foyers, toilets, tea rooms, signage, and floor space.

The simple process of property inspection can be a successful enhancement that will help your sale and lease process. Practice makes perfect they say. If the prospective tenant or property buyer can feel confident of all the facts and figures in the property inspection, it makes your presentation and sales pitch all that easier.

If you want some more tips for commercial real estate agents and salespeople, you can get them at our main website at

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.