Despite the so-called retail “apocalypse,” the asset class is still a viable and lucrative option for many commercial real estate professionals. From investors looking to maximize the brick-and-mortar resurgence, to businesses looking for space to lease, the world of retail has something for everyone. But, how do you find retail properties?
Considering the breadth of the asset class, it can be difficult to find the right retail properties without the right tools. The number of sub-classes that make up retail can be daunting to decipher. When combined with certain building specs and location details, it can be challenging to locate viable retail properties, no matter your end goal.
Below, we explore the two main techniques for finding retail properties (for sale and off-market), as well as how to find retail assets using Reonomy’s leading property intelligence.
Retail Properties On vs. Off-Market
Before you dive in, it’s important to understand the two sourcing methods you can use when looking for retail property, as well as any other assets.
The first is by looking for those actively being promoted as “for sale” on the market. These properties have active sellers and brokers eagerly looking for new buyers.
Contrarily, you can search through listed properties or search for retail properties off-market, or those not actively being listed “for sale.” Off-market consists of listed and unlisted properties and has major benefits for those who turn to that search methodology.
Retail Properties For Sale or Lease
For investors, developers, business owners, and more, it’s easy to find retail properties “for sale” via a listings platform where you can search for properties listed in any market you choose.
What platforms? There are plenty of real estate listing platforms out there, but not all of them list every retail building on the market. Some platforms, like Loopnet and Crexi, make it easy to search different asset classes in different markets. Other, more nuanced listings platforms focus specifically on retail or hone in one particular markets.
Whatever you’re looking for, there’s likely a commercial real estate listing platform to help you find your next retail investment or lease. For more information on relevant listings platforms, read our guide.
Off-Market Retail Properties
Opposite of searching listings platforms is going off-market to find retail properties.
While you may be used to searching for new properties on listings platforms, there are major benefits to sourcing a property off-market. For starters, it opens the pool of potential retail properties you explore. Instead of being limited to just those actively being market as “for sale” or “for lease,” you can examine a market’s entire stock of retail properties to find those perfect for you.
Another benefit of searching off-market is the lack of competition. If the owner hasn’t actively listed their property on the market, they might not be looking to sell—but that’s not always the case. If you find motivated sellers before the competition does and present them with a persuasive sales pitch, you could potentially strike a better deal that eliminates expensive broker or listing fees.
Overall, off-market allows you to skip looking through multiple platforms and flipping through listings to maybe find what you’re looking for. Instead, you can expand your horizons then filter in on the exact types of properties you want to explore. Don’t pigeonhole yourself—find your perfect property by sourcing off-market.
How to Find Retail Properties with Reonomy
The question is: how do you actually find retail properties off-market?
With Reonomy, the leading provider of property intelligence, you can easily navigate a database of over 50 million properties to find the properties and corresponding information that you need most. Let’s see how…
Build Your Search
When looking for retail property off-market, it is important to narrow down your search as much as possible to find the property that’s right for you. Luckily, Reonomy makes it easy to do so.
The platform offers a variety of search filters to help streamline your search experience and tailor it exactly to your liking.
Interested in leasing mixed-use space in St. Louis with over 50,000 square feet of room? You can search for that.
Want to purchase a smaller convenience store in rural Missouri? You can search for that, too.
Regardless of your interests, your role or your market, Reonomy allows you fine-tune your property searches using very specific criteria. In turn, you can find the retail assets that match your exact requirements.
Search by Asset Class
Since retail is such a sprawling asset class, Reonomy makes it easy to hyper-target and search exactly for the asset you’re interested in.
Under Asset Type, you can either select “All Retail”, which will serve up nearly 1.5 million properties across the country, or choose from the various sub-classes the platform offers, like Car Wash, Department Store or Nightclub.
Additionally, you can also search for mixed-use options, which often have retail space built into the property.
Search by Location
Oftentimes, it helps to narrow down your retail property by location. Like we said above, maybe you want to find mixed-use space in St. Louis, or a small convenience store in rural Missouri. With Reonomy’s geographical filters, you can find those retail properties.
To do so, click on the Location tab. Then, select the filters you want to apply. Your search can be as big as a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or as targeted as a street address.
Additionally, you can search via the map tool. Using the Radius and Draw tools, you can customize the geography you want to explore properties directly on the Reonomy map.
Search by Building & Lot Features
Depending on your role in commercial real estate, the size, shape and specs of your retail property can play a big part of your search.
Maybe you’re a small business owner looking to lease a 10,000 square feet of brick-and-mortar space. Or, maybe you’re an investor interested in capitalizing on the “big box” trends taking over e-commerce. Regardless, Reonomy allows you to tailor your search using physical search features.
Under the Building & Lot tab, you’ll find various filters to tailor your search. Choose from year built, lot size, total frontage and even if the asset is located in an Opportunity Zone.
Then, click “Apply” to serve up the results that match your criteria.
Search by Sales and Debt Information
For investors and developers, searching by transactional information can be key. Reonomy allows you to also search for retail properties by filtering for specific sales and debt criteria. In off-market deal-making, especially, this information can be critical in determining if an asset is likely to sell or not.
How? Searching for properties via things like most recent sales date or pre-foreclosure status can help uncover the financial status of a property and, in turn, give you a better idea if an owner might be interested in striking a deal.
For example, you can search for properties that have not sold in the past ten years. This serves up retail properties that have been held for a long time and may point to motivated owners more willing to sell, compared to those who just purchased a property.
Search by Tenant
When searching for retail properties, it can be helpful to search by the occupant. For tenant brokers, retail managers, service providers, and other commercial real estate professionals, searching by tenants can help serve up the exact, or similar, retail spaces you’re interested in.
With Reonomy, searching by tenant name or identification code is easy. Simply select the Tenant tab and either type in the name of your tenant, or search by NAICS or SIC identifier. Combined with other search filters, this will automatically populate with the tenant-related properties you’re looking for.
Search by Owner
Maybe you’ve seen a retail property that has caught your eye and you tracked down the owner’s name, and now you want to do some more research. With Reonomy, you can search using specific ownership information. If you know who owns a retail property you’re interested in, you can find their entire portfolio on the Reonomy platform.
To do so, click the Ownership tab. Here, you can search via owner-specific criteria, like name and mailing address. This will automatically pull up every property the owner or LLC has been associated with.
Search by Tax History
Finally, Reonomy allows you to use tax data to refine your search.
Under the Tax tab, you can search for retail properties based on the year-over-year change in property tax, or current tax rates. So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a property and want to stay within a specific tax range, you can find the properties that meet that criteria.
After you’ve executed your search, Reonomy allows you to explore each property individually to uncover property details. So, if you’re hesitant on pursuing an asset, Reonomy’s property intelligence allows you to uncover in-depth information in a single source to make smarter choices.
By clicking on the retail property that you want to learn more about, you’ll find an associated property card complete with physical, transactional and ownership intel. Similar to the tabs used to filter your search, you can click into each tab on the property card to explore individual property details, records, tenant information (including manager names and contact information), and more. Reonomy is also integrated with Google Earth, so you can view the exterior of a property right from the comfort of your own home.
Ultimately, this granular level of research fuels better informed decision making down the line.
Finding Retail Owner Contact Information
Arguably, ownership information is the most important thing you can uncover at this point in prospecting, as making contact with the owner, or other decision makers, can help you to complete a deal in less time.
To find relevant ownership information, click on the Ownership tab in the property card. This will pull up the reported owner, and direct you to a button title Unlock TrueOwner.
If you click on this button, Reonomy will pull up any and all contact information associated with the owner, including mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.
Even if the retail property is owned by an LLC, Reonomy will “pierce” it to uncover the actual owner’s name and entire portfolio history. Access to this information, combined with the granular insights uncovered in due diligence, is what fuels stronger, smarter deal-making.
Reaching Out to Decision Makers
No matter your role in the industry, reaching out to decision makers is the most important step. With Reonomy, you have everything you need to successfully do so.
After you’ve uncovered the retail buildings you want to pursue, Reonomy makes it easy to label and sort them based whatever criteria you want. Then, you can export and create lead lists to fuel outreach.
While reaching out to owners, property managers, tenants and more will differ from case to case, it’s vital to pad initial pitches with the information unearthed during the research phase.
So, maybe you’re an investor who has found an owner with three “big-box” retail spaces that haven’t been sold in 15 years. You’ve also noticed two of the three are coming to terms on their current mortgages. Using these indicators, as well as the phone numbers and email addresses unlock in the platform, you have everything you need to reach out and strike a deal.
Or, maybe you’re a tenant representative on the hunt for a new deal for a retail client who wants 20,000 square feet of space in free-standing building. Not only can you find these exact buildings, but you can uncover the contact information needed to get in touch and deliver a more persuasive pitch that shows you’ve done your homework.
Simply put, access to leading property intelligence can propel your search for retail property. Not only can you find retail assets faster in whatever market you’re interested in, you can perform the due diligence needed to get in touch with decision makers and move the needle on a new business deal.