coffee seeker

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Sep 3, 2004
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I have purchased two drive thru's that I'm preparing to find spaces for. Have ten locations picked out but I am weak in the area of leasing and the proper way of approaching & dealing with land owners. Anyone have some tips or can direct me to good info concerning this area? Thanks
Don't forget that the realtor will be working for the owner not you. Whatever you say to the realtor will surely be passed on to the potential landlord. You can try to secure a buyer's agent but my experience was that since I was not a large nationaly known name they would prefer to work for the landlord. (That's who pays the realtor's fee on a commercial property listing anyway.)

You might consider assembling a professional looking presentation book to give to potential landlords. I did this and the response to our proposal was much better and opened up more doors. Both with the commercial realtors and individual owners I contacted. You can talk to people on the phone but putting a picture and a written inquiry in someones hands definitely helps.
Things we included in the presentation were: Color photos of the structure, a floor plan and info about the building manufacturer, background info about our company, coffee industry info, general statistics that came from SCAA and a computer generated photo of their property with our structure in place so they can visualize the concept. I do not recommend you put financial statements in.
commercial ground leases are usually priced in a per year $ amount, such as $40,000/year...also many commercial leases are also a "triple net lease" which means you pay the real estate taxes and the property hazard insurance as well.

Just curious about a resonable $$/month on a lease with great traffic counts???/
No matter what you decide to do, I suggest that when you choose a space you have a lawyer take a look at your lease. I had a lawyer named Joe Mattoon from Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP look at my lease. It cost me less than $500 and he caught things I never would have. And he did all of the negoations with my land lord for me. And hes really nice!!! Everything was done via E mail and the phone so it wont matter if you are not in Portland Oregon. the # to their office is 503-241-2300 I chose not to go through any real estate agents. The few I tried gave me nothing but trouble. Just remember to be on the side of the street that the traffic flows on in the morning commute and to be really visable to those commuters!!! Youll be fine!

Real estate agents are in the same line as lawyers, they have a little understanding of how it works emphasis on "little" but it's up to the personality and what motivates them to take care of biz. I'm sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, they are dead weight.

Find the property, contact the "owner" and tell them person to person what you want to do and ask them what they want to see from you to make them happy. By going this route, you are dealing with this on a human level, all they care about is getting their money hassle free every month nothing more.
leases and Lawyers

maybe getting a degree in hospitality and restaurant management has biased my opinion. One of the classes I had to take to get that degree was restaurant law. We discussed leasses at length but when I went to sign mine I still had a lawyer look at it first. They can be dead weight but they are a necessary evil.

The owner of the property wants his/her money every month. Leases are written to benifit the property owner. For example, the lease I just signed had a long list of rules of things that couldnt come out of my store. odors and flashing lights were on the list. I had to negotiate that because I am installing roasters that will make odors but we left the flashing lights so, no twinkle lights at christmass.

Understanding your lease is so important. If the owner decides by next christmas that he doesn't like me and I have twinkle lights on my x mass tree, I just breeched my contract and the owner has the right to kick me out. What if in 2 years he sees how profitable my restaurant is and want to open one in my location instead. So he decides to hasle me within the parameters of my lease so I will leave. Things like that happens. A lawyer will be able to catch those loopholes and negotiate them for you so the lease is fair for both parties.

The entire process should cost less than 500.00 find a lawyer that works with restaurants.