10 Commercial Real Estate Terms Every Small Business Should Know


Visiting a foreign country without first learning its language can, at best, be adventurous if not outright disastrous. If you’ve ever gone traveling through somewhere far from the English speaking world (harder and harder to believe these days but it still happens) and went looking for the restroom, you know what I mean.

businessman lost in field using a mapLike international travel, a business venture can be much like treading into unknown territory. You may be a restaurateur expertly fluent in the fine arts of saute and filet or a brewmeister who can name and characterize every family of barley and hop from here to Japan. You know your cut of the world and can sleepwalk through it with a sure step. And you know its lingo better than anyone. But what happens when you need to move your business, sit down to meet with your commercial real estate broker and, suddenly, you feel like you can’t “find the restroom?” Or anything else for that matter?

Fortunately you can pre-game your search for a new home for your business. AllBusiness.com has compiled a list of some of the more salient Commercial Real Estate terms you may need to know to safely navigate your meeting with your broker and mitigate the truly humbling experience of being outside of your comfort zone. But certainly don’t stop there! Get on your search engine of choice and read up on common features such as rent increases, built to suit space, tenant improvements and divisibility.

In the end, a few minutes to familiarize yourself with a handful of terms and key concepts makes you better prepared to ask the right questions and to make sure you are acquiring space that is ideal for you and your business needs. And perhaps more importantly, by developing a solid working relationship with your broker based in effective communication, you open up a great deal of potential growth for your business as you will be able to truly tap into their knowledge and expertise effectively elevating them from the role of “order taker” to the preferable “consultant.”

At the very least, you’ll feel much better signing the lease !