Brokers, developers, landlords, retailers and banks are all worried about the economy. It seems that many people are on the sidelines not taking the same risks as before and to a certain extent, that is understandable. The economy might be impacting some people, but to a large extent, that is out of my control or anyone else’s. Right now is a great time to lock in a great lease rate. I think retailers have more leverage than they did before. In the past, developers and landlords were making the rules, but I think the confident, brave, and informed operator can make a pretty good deal these days. Of course, this is not the case everywhere, but in many areas I know there are opportunities. Here are the five steps that you can take to come out ahead during an economic slowdown:

  1. Choose good locations with good access, visibility, signage and traffic.
  2. Negotiate to get the best deal. Landlords are going to start needing you more than you need them, so use that to your advantage
  3. Follow the big guys by staying close to grocery stores, big box centers and lifestyle centers. You still want to be where you are “top of mind” for consumers.
  4.  Look at multiple locations, do not just settle on one site as the end all be all. You have choices, so evaluate all of the options and go from there.
  5. Do not read too much into what the media is selling. Fear sells and the media knows this, so do not read too much into what they have to say.