Types of Commercial Real Estate

Serving Santa Barbara, Ventura & San Luis Obispo Counties

April 20, 2018

Benefits of Being a Retail Leasing Specialist 


There are five types of commercial property: retail properties, office properties, industrial properties, multifamily properties and investment properties.  In the business world, brokers usually specialize in one or another of these.  Often smaller communities have their share of local brokers who specialize in everything but limit their territorial scope.

Conventional wisdom says that selecting a brokerage specialist is the best way for an owner to maximize value.  And there are many benefits to doing so.  Retail specialists approach the task holistically, meaning we bring our entire arsenal of creativity, tenant relationships and knowledge, tenant broker knowledge and local jurisdictional experience to bear.  We know which tenants are expanding, and which aren’t.  And we understand the business points in the lease that a retailer will attempt to negotiate.

Commercial brokerage is hard, complicated work.  But we at GPS relish the challenges and enjoy the personal satisfaction of assisting clients to service the public.  Everyone knows we’re at an inflection point: retail is changing.  There are those who are frightened by these changes.  But we at GPS don’t see change as fearful, but as exciting.

The Types of Commercial Real Estate


1.  Retail

  • Can range in size from small neighborhood shopping centers to large regional malls plus free-standing buildings
  • Mix of national and regional and local users in all markets
  • Influenced greatly by the national economy but also local factors like the property location, traffic flow, and population demographics


2. Office

  • Can range from large multi-tenant deals to smaller single-tenant deals
  • Most tend to be Long-term leases due to high cost of improvements so big changes in rental rates and large costs can occur when leases expire
  • Leases have special features that are specialized for the businesses


3. Industrial

  • Involves deals with manufacturing facilities, warehouses, research, development spaces
  • Not as much influenced by local trends but more by large economic trends like global trade growth
  • Normally occupied by one tenant – lack of diversity could become an investment risk
  • Long-term lease that can fall behind the market and lead to large changes in lease rates


4. MultiFamily

  • Deals with properties such as apartment complexes
  • Population demographics, local employment growth, and household formation rates can drive and affect the success of this market
  • Short leases that easily adjust to the market
  • More defensive investment type


5. Investments

  • Can be NNN leased investments
  • Can range from large multi-tenant investments to smaller single-tenant investments
  • Investments can be Retail, Office, Industrial, and Multi-Family transactions


For more information about this topic or any other of our blog posts, please contact:

Pamela Scott | 805.560.0040 | pscott@gpscre.com

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