One of the key aspects to business and general and more specifically, leasing retail space is presentation. Too many people that are looking to lease retail space overlook this concept and it is so important. In order to help people get organized and present well, I have listed somethings you can do to really make a great impression on your future landlord:

1) Business Plan: The landlord wants to know that your concept has been well thought out and you are prepared for the responsibility of owning a retail business. Showing that you have looked at your future venture from many angles is a huge plus.

2) Resume: This is not a standard item that people submit to landlords, but I think it really adds value. When someone has worked in a business related to the store being opened, it helps to inspire confidence with the landlord. I recently did a deal with a woman who had never had her own business, but wanted to open a dog grooming clinic. One of the biggest factors in deciding to move ahead with this prospect was her experience working at a veterinary clinic for the past 15 years. That woman knew dogs and that really mattered to the landlord. So, I suggest drafting a resume.

3) Financial Statements: People do not like to do it, but it is really the most important group of documents in the pre-screening process. Landlords want to make sure that you have the resources to build out your store and get started in business. It is rare that a business owner takes home a check in their first few months of business, so having some money in the bank matters or having access to money. ( I plan to do a whole blog series on the topic of financials!)

4) Credit: Having good credit matters to landlords just like banks, mortgage lenders, car dealerships, etc. Make sure you keep your credit scores high.

5) Tenant Application/Landlord Reference Form: Some landlords require prospects to fill out a reference form to get some additional background information. If you have an existing business and can put down your previous landlord, that will help. The retail real estate community is small and people usually know each other.

These are some of the key elements to presenting you and your business the right way to the landlord. I hope to add some tools so that people can actually see what these documents should look like.

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