Commercial Agents – Industrial Property Inspection Tips

industrial warehouse
Inspecting industrial property is a complex process.

These are some of the general factors and concerns as they apply to industrial property and your inspection as a commercial real estate agent.  You may also identify other issues which can be included in your listing review process with any Landlord or Tenants.  These have been taken from a recent newsletter for our agent friends.

  • Industrial property needs to be well-positioned with due regard for transport routes and transport access.  Look at the road configuration and proximity with due regard to heavy transport access and deliveries to and from the property.
  • Some industrial tenants and properties require access to raw materials and the labour market.  This could involve public transport or ports, rail heads, and airports.  Look at the access issues here.
  • Power supply with industrial tenants is particularly important as they usually have a high load demands and extended hours of electrical load.  Can your tenants access the power they require easily?  It may be necessary for you to talk to the power grid authorities and the tenants in this regard.
  • Can the tenants dispatch their product easily into the transport corridors and transport facilities within the state?  This is particularly the main roads, airports, ports, and shipping facilities.
  • Is the property located in a recognised industrial area surrounded by good and busy industrial tenants?  Talk to some of the other local businesses to see what they think about the local area.
  • Are there any unsold properties or an abundance of vacancies in the industrial precinct and are tenants and properties in high demand?  Look at those vacancies and get details of the asking rent.
  • Does the precinct feature an abundance of investment type property or is there a balance of Owner Occupation in existence?  Could other tenants in the area be looking for properties to purchase and get away from the rental or lease issue?
  • What is the ratio of floor area between the office areas to the warehouse?  Is that ratio too high or too low given the trends of occupancy in the local area?  This will be relevant to the type of property and the customers that they service.
  • What is the height of the warehouse between the slab and the underside of the steel frame supporting the ceiling or roof area?  That dimension can oppose or restrict certain types of storage and/or access by transport vehicles.
  • What is the access to the warehouse area from the main road fronting the property, and how many roller doors service that access?   Are those roller doors motorised, do they allow the entry of modern semitrailer vehicles?  Is there a need for other access doors in the future and can they be easily installed?
  • Is there an abundance of good lighting, or natural lighting in the warehouse area providing good visibility?
  • What is the load tolerance of the warehouse floor for heavy vehicles, what are the dimensions of the floor surface slab and does it provide ease of access for loading vehicles and trolleys?
  • What are the dimensions between the supporting roof columns of the building?  This will dictate the types of storage and pelleting load area which may affect any future tenant occupancy.
  • What fire prevention systems and security systems exist in the premises that will be relevant to occupancy?
  • Is the building fully compliant with health, safety, and fire regulations?  It may be necessary for you to visit the local building authority to check this.
  • What is the external fabric of the building? Is it easily maintained, does it provide a quality appearance?
  • Is the internal warehouse suitably lined and insulated given the property usage that is expected?
  • Is the property flat and suitable for trucks and or loading? • Does the office area provide good quality presentation, services, amenities, and business environment which will support the tenant in their future occupancy?
  • Is there any asbestos in the building, and if so, is it documented and maintained within regulatory and legislative management practices?
  • Ask about environmental risks and threats from the property or from the occupancy.
  • Look at the local maps to see how the property fits into the location and the geography.  Look for things that can impact property usage such as rivers and creeks that could flood.  Look for slippage potential if the block is sloping or near steep areas.
  • What does the zoning of the property allow it to be used for?  Check out the local development plans.
  • Has the block been filled or re-levelled?  Get details of this.  It may be necessary for a soil report to satisfy buyers or tenants as to property suitability for their operations.

So you can add to this list based on your local area and the types of industrial tenants that you deal with.  Formulate a checklist from this and the other things that you can add. As part of the inspection process, take lots of photographs of the improvements and the property itself.  Loading areas and turning areas for trucks will be of real importance to many property owners, as will hardstand space in the property.

You can get more tips for commercial and industrial real estate agents at our website at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Author: John Highman

Commercial Real Estate Broker, Coach, Speaker, Author, Broadcaster.