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How To Find Your Next Business Location

Finding the perfect place for your next business location can be stressful, overwhelming and just flat out confusing. What matters more: street view or anchor tenants? North or south side location? How do I even know where available spaces are? Just know you aren’t alone in this important step. Countless business owners are left baffled on how to find their next spot. Because this is a crucial process for a successful business, we have outlined four things to add to your list before taking the plunge.

Location, Location, Location

Before you take any space available, ask yourself “where do I want to be?” Sure, that retail space you found was unbelievably cheap, but it is all the way across town and in an area you are not familiar with. Find out where your customer base is and find a space there. For example, there’s a quaint pizza place centrally located in Oklahoma City that serves some of the best pizza locally. Although they are based in OKC, a large portion of the Yelp reviews are customers living 25 minutes north in Edmond. A good opportunity for them would be adding a location in Edmond, where they know they’ll instantly have a following on the day they open. Knowing where to find your customers is half the battle.

If you are a small business, anchor tenants may be high on your list. An anchor tenant is a large, usually nationwide company that brings traffic to the area. The idea is an anchor tenant will drive customers to the building and may come into your business after visiting the anchor tenant. At our Summit Pointe Plaza property in Oklahoma City, we are fortunate to have a T-Mobile flagship store, Slim Chickens and Louie’s Grill & Bar. So someone who may see the new iPhone at T-Mobile may stop by 24 Fit Gym to learn about gym memberships, or visit Meraki Hair Studio after lunch at Louie’s.

The Internet of Things

Unlike the days where you had to physically drive all over a city to find a space, today’s technology allows us to find everything we need online. If you haven’t used Loopnet, you absolutely should. You can draw the area you want to be in and available listings will sprout up. Click any listing to find out more information and the contact information for the listing agent. Furthermore, you can take the address and plug it in Google Maps to see satellite and street views without putting on shoes and leaving the house.

If you’re a business that is heavily dependent on traffic, look up the traffic count database for the area, which can be found on a county/city’s website. If you want a place that’s heavy in foot traffic, try Walk Score. Although it’s targeted for apartment hunters, it can give you a general outlook on how accessible an area is by foot.

Drive An Area

Sometimes it is as simple as picking a day and driving around the area you want to be. Although Loopnet is the #1 place to find available spaces online, sometimes the owner or property manager will choose to not post the listing online or it’s so new to the market they haven’t had time. You may get lucky and find the perfect location with absolutely no competition to take the suite because they just put up the “For Lease” sign that day.

Call Brokers

Whether it’s a listing broker of a property or a tenant broker, give a few brokers a call. You will want to know all the details before jumping into a lease anyway. You can even tell the broker what are some important things you want in your next location, so he or she can keep an eye out for anything that matches that description. You will be happy because you have someone to take some weight off your shoulders, and the broker will be motivated to find the perfect space as soon as they can so they can get a commission fee from the building owner.

Finding a future location is usually not something you can do in an hour. It may take days, weeks or even months to find the right location for you. Remember to be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you are looking for a retail or office space in Oklahoma, visit our website to see what we currently have available. If you don’t see anything that piques your interest, shoot us an email with the perfect description of your next location. We’ll get in contact with you if we find something that matches your vision.

Be sure to follow/like us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!

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Commercial Tenant and Property Referral Program

Graystone Properties is always looking to grow, whether that is leasing our current buildings or purchasing new properties. We believe word-of-mouth advertising is still an extremely effective marketing tool for us.

We are happy to announce our new Referral Program. If you refer us a commercial tenant that signs a lease with us, or give us information that leads to the acquisition of an investment property, Graystone Properties will give you a $1,000 reward.

Email us at management@graystoneokc.com with your lead. Once the commercial tenant signs the lease or when we close on the property, we will give you $1,000. It is as simple as that.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

  https://twitter.com/Graystone_OKC

Getting Your Security Deposit Back

 

It is a common belief among renters that the security deposit paid at the beginning of their lease will never be given back, regardless of how hard they clean before leaving. We have all been a renter at one point or another in life, and at Graystone Properties, we try to give security deposits back to our tenants, as long as it doesn’t hurt the quality of our product. After all, goodwill is more valuable in today’s world than a security deposit. Here are a few tips to get your deposit back.

Schedule a Move Out Inspection

Scheduling a move-out inspection sounds like a no-brainer, yet so many renters miss out on this opportunity to talk to the landlord or property manager and discuss the damages to the apartment. Don’t expect to know whether you’ll get a full deposit refund or owe for damages at that very moment, but you’ll at least see what items the manager makes note of. If you can get a copy of the move-out inspection, even better.

Thorough Cleaning

Damages happen in both residential and commercial spaces. Anything can happen, from your child throwing their toy truck down the stairs hitting all the walls, the moving crew bumping furniture into the door frame, or that time you thought fostering a puppy would be fun until he peed on the carpet. You may find some cheap ways to fix the scuffs and light damage and get at least some of your deposit back.

PetsMart has heavy-duty carpet cleaners available to rent on a daily basis. Give your carpet a nice, deep clean to get out any stains. You’ll be amazed at what stains can be lifted up. To cover up small holes, look for Spackle at Home Depot. If you have the owner’s approval, you may be able to apply a small amount of matching paint over the Spackle to make it look good as new. All of this, along with general cleaning supplies, will cost you less than $100, which is far below the amount you gave as your security deposit.

Return All Keys

Sometimes an apartment complex will keep the same lock after you leave, if they believe they have all the keys. Forget to turn in every key and your security deposit will be paying for the locksmith to change locks.

Forwarding Address

You can do every single thing mentioned and still not get your security deposit if you didn’t give a forwarding address or contact information. Make sure a good phone number, email address and forwarding address have all been provided to your apartment manager before you move out.

The security deposit helps pay for the maintenance crew to do necessary repairs or cleaning, so the odds of getting a full deposit are slim, but if you can get two-thirds or even half of your deposit, that’s still a win in our book.

 

Like what we do or want to find out more? Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!

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Who We Are

Who we are as a company has been carved, sculpted and polished over our 20 year existence as Graystone Properties. Our mission is to pursue investments and create management that results in successful business ventures, quality community living environments, and thriving commercial properties. In short, who we are is what we do and how we do it. We are committed to our value-add strategy and creating a management style that best benefits our customers.

Our History & Today

Graystone Properties started out with just one mobile home park and one apartment complex in 1997. Dave Rush, president and founder of Graystone, spent long hours on-site wearing many hats. His CPA and construction background allowed him to act as the founder and president, accountant, leasing agent, maintenance person, customer relations, marketing manager and more. Through his hard work, he transformed rental properties to communities where his residents were proud to call home. Value was added by creating outdoor areas for the customers to gather as well as improving construction quality over time. And it worked! Over the years, the company grew and acquired additional properties, focusing on apartment communities. As the growth evolved, so did Graystone’s focus. So in 2015, Graystone Properties divested the mobile home communities and developed the commercial real estate. Currently, at the start of 2017, we are proud of our portfolio that now includes the commercial side, where we own and manage Lakehurst Plaza, Esperanza, Westbrook Plaza, Summit Pointe Plaza, and Kelley Pointe and the Hartford Apartments representing the residential side. Our property map spans from the southern tip of Oklahoma City limits to Edmond, Oklahoma.

What We Do

We aren’t just a real estate holding company. Sure, we acquire properties, collect rent, and manage those properties with the occasional selling of a property, but we believe we do more. We bring a human element to an industry that can be cold. We take properties that need some work and develop their potential, whether that be exterior or interior design or management of the property. After creating value to our acquired property, we ensure tenant satisfaction by being timely and efficient with maintenance requests. This has improved recently with the addition of a tenant online portal provided by Appfolio, where our tenants can log in to their account and create work orders and attach photos.

Going The Extra Mile

We go even further than just saying we are a value-add investment company. Value-add doesn’t reflect the bonds we make with our customers, the time we put in to quickly fix maintenance issues or the marketing promotions we run that benefit the new and, more importantly, existing customers we have. Our residential and commercial tenants are people, and that’s forgotten by companies looking at their bottom line. Our residential property clients, after a long day of work, come to our apartments and call that “home.” When you know that your customers come to your property and are happy with the value you provide, you can’t beat that feeling. That feeling is what we chase every day. We fully believe in our product and method.

Who we are is what we do and how we do it. We acknowledge the business of real estate investment; our main focus is the people within our properties.

 

Like what we do or want to find out more? Be sure to Follow us on LinkedIn and Like us on Facebook!

 

 

3 Tips To Ditch The Slow Rental Season

Photo taken by John Talbot. Flikr

Photo taken by John Talbot. Flikr

People don’t like moving, especially in the winter. It’s cold, it’s wet, the sun sets before people get home, and the rental economy goes into hibernation in general. If you, a residential property owner or a management company, are at capacity, then the slow rental season is no problem for you. No one wants to move for 3 to 4 months and you’re collecting on a max capacity facility. For those who have a multitude of vacancies or dealing with late fall move outs heading into late November, you are starting to sweat.

But there are ways to avoid the heartache and anxiety of slow season. Through promotions, enhanced marketing, and a fine tuned lease strategy, you can stay high-and-dry while other management companies are left in the cold.

Promotions

You walk into your local grocery store just for some simple groceries. Your list has eggs, milk, lettuce, cheese, deli meat, and cereal. But along the way, something catches your eye…

Buy One, Get One Free!

So your list adapts to eggs, milk, lettuce, cheese, deli meat, cereal, and that promotional offer that you just had to have. People love their special offer promos and rentals are no different. Giving prospective tenants something tangible like a free TV or gift cards will increase leads in low times. Losing the value of a full month’s rent in special offers doesn’t sound ideal, but having a paying tenant for the remainder of that lease is better than a unit sitting vacant for 3 to 4 months without the incentives.

Marketing Efforts

In a time of higher vacancy or slow season, spending more money sounds counter-intuitive, but ramping up your marketing efforts will pay off. Using your standard advertising medium only reaches a certain demographic. By reaching out to new mediums, you are exposing your property to a whole new target audience that may be searching for what you’re offering.

Not too long ago, Graystone Properties was stuck in days long gone. The two advertising mediums used to advertise vacancies were local paper ads and Craigslist. We ditched the paper and have moved on to larger online mediums and are witnessing a significant uptick in prospective tenants compared to past winter seasons.

If the fish are not biting, don’t change the pole, change the bait. In other words, it may not be the property itself that isn’t catching renters’ eyes. It’s your advertisements that need to be adjusted. Sometimes all you need to attract interest is a change in your ad in a way that will captivate the viewer. You’ll limit the spectrum of possible renters if your ads have poorly lit rooms, blurry phone pictures or pictures taken a decade ago. Updating the pictures, freshen up the text, and/or reformatting the unit information can make a world of difference.

Leasing Strategy

You know the winter months are an extremely slow time of year for leasing, so why shoot yourself in the foot? As you create leases, try negotiating the date terms. If a 12 month lease ends at the end of December, see if you can get them locked into a 13 or 14-month lease. If they decide to leave at the end of January or February instead, you’ll have the unit ready to rent as everyone starts their apartment/house search again and you won’t be left with a vacancy for multiple months.

Overall, the slow season is only as sluggish as you make it. Through creative strategies and enhanced marketing, you should have no problem filling up your space.