Five Key Condsiderations for Choosing The Right Commercial Real Estate Broker

Commercial Real Estate investing requires working with the right Commercial Broker to reach your investment goals. The following Five Key considerations will determine if a broker will bring you a stream of quality properties you are looking for and makes your business their priority.

Key consideration number one: Do your due diligence.

Start by doing the same kind of Due Diligence on your Broker Candidates as you would on properties themselves. This will increase the probability that the broker you choose will be the right broker. Make sure you create a guideline containing your specific goals and needs to qualify your broker candidates. I research the agents that I will potentially be working with. I read their brochures, promotional literature, websites, past closings, etc so I can cross reference credentials and history with other brokers in the marketplace. Remember, choosing the right Commercial Real Estate broker can potentially net you millions of dollars worth of time and money.

Key consideration number two: How long has the broker been in the business?

There are many brokers who cross over from Residential Real Estate into Commercial Real Estate in an effort to “make big money”. What they fail to realize is that Commercial Real Estate is more than just selling or buying real estate. It requires an ability to understand and interpret profit and loss statements, rent rolls, third party contracts, and many more specific documents that are involved with each transaction. It’s more than just writing up a contract. If your potential broker can not figure out the Net Operating Income of a building or can not tell you what the debt service coverage ratio is, then you need to keep looking.

Key consideration number three: Have they kept current with changes in their profession along with market changes?

Ask the commercial real estate broker about his or her credentials, certification and education in terms of selling commercial properties. Your Commercial Real Estate broker may have years of experience but they also need to be able to adjust to new selling or buying methods. If your broker is not in the loop about the newest trends of investors buying pools or how new technology is affecting the market trends, you may potentially lose out on a property. I never deal with brokers who have some commercial experience, it is important to know who you are working with in terms of their familiarity with the type of investment you are considering.

Key consideration number four: Make it a point to get to know the broker’s staff.

It is important to ascertain the competency of their staff to see if your deal will be handled with professionalism and efficiency. The right broker will have key employees that have a wealth of knowledge about an area and the ability to make a transaction smooth. Things to consider are: Who do they know that will help me build my team? What type of relationships do they have in the industry? Do they maintain broad relationships that can assist me in developing market contacts?

Key consideration number five: Most of all, make sure the broker is loyal to your needs as an investor and is not in a conflict of interest.

A broker with a fiduciary interest in a property is incapable of putting my needs first. I am very careful to deal with business ambiguity up front in all contractual relationships and will work with someone based on their their loyalty to me being their first priority. Pay particular attention to how fast they return telephone calls after meeting. This may sound insignificant, but it says something about their professionalism and the way they do business. First, a broker will have information about the market that you will not, especially if they have worked in the area for an extended period of time. I have worked with brokers that have sold the exact same properties a number of times. They were able to give me history about building conditions and ownership that I was unable to get from other sources.

Interview as many brokers as needed to make sure they are a good match to do business. The right broker will find commercial properties that meet your investment and business criteria. In the long run this is a business relationship that grows over time, so make it a point to nurture this relationship. Clarity about your investment criteria will help reduce problems finding the right broker. Some resources that can help you begin your process would be The National Association of Realtors, recommendations from other investors, checking professional periodicals online and off, investment associations, and word of mouth from trusted allies.

SUMMARY:

-Choose your Broker carefully – do your due diligence here too

-Make sure they have specific Commercial education and experience

-Know the way they work and the times needed from contract to close

-Be clear on the properties you are looking for

-Make sure the Broker is always working in your best interest

-Evaluate their staff in the same way you do the Broker

-Close when you say you will – so they get paid

-Take good care of your relationship – it will get more and more valuable over time

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Real Estate Agents and the Internet – How to Buy and Sell Real Estate Today

Then and Now

Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have started in the office of a local real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property until you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and you still might not be able to find all of the information you needed to get really comfortable with a fair market value.

Today, most property searches start on the Internet. A quick keyword search on Google by location will likely get you thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a real estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even take a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to get an idea of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the property, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and even check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your house!

While the resources on the Internet are convenient and helpful, using them properly can be a challenge because of the volume of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. At the time of writing, a search of “Denver real estate” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can easily return thousands of Web sites. With so many resources online how does an investor effectively use them without getting bogged down or winding up with incomplete or bad information? Believe it or not, understanding how the business of real estate works offline makes it easier to understand online real estate information and strategies.

The Business of Real Estate

Real estate is typically bought and sold either through a licensed real estate agent or directly by the owner. The vast majority is bought and sold through real estate brokers. (We use “agent” and “broker” to refer to the same professional.) This is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive access to a database of active properties for sale. Access to this database of property listings provided the most efficient way to search for properties.

The MLS (and CIE)

The database of residential, land, and smaller income producing properties (including some commercial properties) is commonly referred to as a multiple listing service (MLS). In most cases, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be added to an MLS. The primary purpose of an MLS is to enable the member real estate agents to make offers of compensation to other member agents if they find a buyer for a property.

This purposes did not include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the public over the Internet in many different forms.

Commercial property listings are also displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a commercial information exchange (CIE). A CIE is similar to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database are not required to offer any specific type of compensation to the other members. Compensation is negotiated outside the CIE.

In most cases, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly added to an MLS and CIE, which are typically maintained by REALTOR associations. The lack of a managed centralized database can make these properties more difficult to locate. Traditionally, these properties are found by driving around or looking for ads in the local newspaper’s real estate listings. A more efficient way to locate for-sale-by-owner properties is to search for a for-sale-by-owner Web site in the geographic area.

What is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms real estate agent and REALTOR are used interchangeably; however, they are not the same. A REALTOR is a licensed real estate agent who is also a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. REALTORS are required to comply with a strict code of ethics and conduct.

MLS and CIE property listing information was historically only available in hard copy, and as we mentioned, only directly available to real estate agents members of an MLS or CIE. About ten years ago, this valuable property information started to trickle out to the Internet. This trickle is now a flood!

One reason is that most of the 1 million or so REALTORS have Web sites, and most of those Web sites have varying amounts of the local MLS or CIE property information displayed on them. Another reason is that there are many non-real estate agent Web sites that also offer real estate information, including, for-sale-by-owner sites, foreclosure sites, regional and international listing sites, County assessor sites, and valuation and market information sites. The flood of real estate information to the Internet definitely makes the information more accessible but also more confusing and subject to misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

Despite the flood of real estate information on the Internet, most properties are still sold directly through real estate agents listing properties in the local MLS or CIE. However, those property listings do not stay local anymore. By its nature, the Internet is a global marketplace and local MLS and CIE listings are normally disseminated for display on many different Web sites. For example, many go to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Web site, http://www.realtor.com, and to the local real estate agent’s Web site. In addition, the listing may be displayed on the Web site of a local newspaper. In essence, the Internet is just another form of marketing offered by today’s real estate agent, but it has a much broader reach than the old print advertising.

In addition to Internet marketing, listing agents may also help the seller establish a price, hold open houses, keep the seller informed of interested buyers and offers, negotiate the contract and help with closing. When an agent provides all of these services it is referred to as being a full service listing arrangement. While full service listing arrangements are the most common type of listing arrangement, they are not the only option anymore.

Changes in the technology behind the real estate business have caused many agents to change the way they do business. In large part, this is due to the instant access most consumers now have to property listings and other real estate information. In addition, the Internet and other technologies have automated much of the marketing and initial searching process for real estate. For example, consumers can view properties online and make inquires via email. Brokers can use automated programs to send listings to consumers that match their property criteria. So, some agents now limit the services they offer and change their fees accordingly. An agent may offer to advertise the property in the MLS but only provide limited additional services. In the future, some real estate agents may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the volume of real estate information on the Internet, when people hire a real estate agent today they should look at the particular services offered by the agent and the depth of their experience and knowledge in the relevant property sector. It is no longer just about access to property listing information. Buyers and sellers historically found agents by referrals from friends and family. The Internet now provides ways to directly find qualified agents or to research the biography of an agent referred to you offline. One such site, AgentWorld.com, is quickly becoming the LinkedIn or Facebook for real estate agents. On this site an agent can personalize their profile, start a blog, post photos and videos and even create a link to their web site for free. Once unique content is added to their profile page the search engines notice!

Some have argued that the Internet makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this will be false in the long run. It may change the role of the agent but will make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever. In fact, the number of real estate agents has risen significantly in recent years. No wonder, the Internet has made local real estate a global business. Besides, Internet or not, the simple fact remains that the purchase of real property is the largest single purchase most people make in their life (or, for many investors, the largest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want expert help. As for the MLS, it remains the most reliable source of real estate listing and sold information available and continues to enable efficient marketing of properties. So, what is the function of all the online real estate information?

Online real estate information is a great research tool for buyers and sellers and a marketing tool for sellers. When used properly, buyers can save time by quickly researching properties and, ultimately, make better investment decisions. Sellers can efficiently research the market and make informed decisions about hiring an agent and marketing their properties online. The next step is to know where to look online for some of the best resources.
Internet Strategies

In the sections that follow, we provide strategies and tips on how to use the Internet to locate properties for sale and research information relevant to your decision to purchase the property. There are many real estate Web sites from which to choose and although we do not mean to endorse any particular Web site, we have found the ones listed here to be good resources in most cases or to be so popular that they need mention. One way to test a Web site’s accuracy is to search for information about a property you already own.

Finding Real Estate for Sale

Despite the widely available access to real estate listings, many believe that MLS databases continue to offer the most complete and accurate source of real estate information. Most MLSs now distribute content to other Web sites (primarily operated by real estate agents). An excellent starting point for MLS originated content is the national NAR Web site, realtor.com, which is also the most popular web site for searching real estate listings. Virtually all local and regional MLSs have an agreement with realtor.com to display much of their active listing inventory.

Some local and regional MLS systems also have a publicly accessible Web site. However, to get complete information you will most likely still need to find a qualified local REALTOR. Many local real estate agents will also provide their customers (via email) new listings that are input into the MLS that match their predefined criteria. This can be very helpful to a busy buyer.

There are also many Web sites that display both real estate agent listed and for-sale-by-owner properties. Some of the more popular Web sites include zillow.com and trulia.com. These sites offer other services too. For example, zillow.com is best known for its instantaneous property valuation function and trulia.com for providing historical information. Another source of properties for sale is the state, regional, and local Web sites associated with brokerage companies; for example, remax.com or prudential.com. Search engines like yahoo.com and classified advertising sites like craigslist.com also have a large number of active real estate listings.

One key difference between these sites is how much information you can access anonymously. For example, at trulia.com you can shop anonymously up to a point but then you will need to click through to the agent’s Web site for more information. Many new real estate search engines allow you to sift through listings without having to fill out a form. The best strategy is to browse a few of the sites listed above to find geographic areas or price ranges that are interesting. Once you get serious about a property, then that is the time to find a qualified REALTOR of your choice to conduct a complete search in the local MLS.

It also never hurts to search the old-fashioned way by driving through the neighborhoods that interest you. There is no substitute for physically, not virtually, walking the block when you are making a serious investment decision. In this sense, real estate is still a very local business and standing in front of the property can lead to a much different decision than viewing a Web page printout.

Valuing Real Estate

As we mentioned, one of the most popular real estate tools is zillow.com’s instant property valuation. Just type in an address and in and you get a property value. It even charts the price ups and downs, and shows the last date sold (including price) and the property taxes. There are other sites that provide similar tools such as housevalues.com and homegain.com. Unfortunately, many people use these estimated values alone to justify sales prices, offers and counteroffers. However, these are only rough estimates based on a formula that incorporates the local county sales information. These estimates can swing wildly over a short period of time and do not appear to always track actual market changes, which are normally more gradual. In addition, these estimates do not automatically take into account property remodels or renovations or other property specific or local changes. This is not to say these sites are not useful. In fact, they are great starting points and can provide a good ball-park value in many cases.

When it comes to getting a more accurate value for a particular property, there are other strategies that are more trustworthy. One is to go directly to your county’s Web site. More often than not the county assessor’s area of the Web site provides sales and tax information for all properties in the county. If you want to research a particular property or compare sales prices of comparable properties, the local assessor’s sites are really helpful. When you visit a county’s Web site you are getting information straight from the source. Most counties today publish property information on their Web sites. Many times you cannot only see the price a previous owner paid, but the assessed value, property taxes, and maps. Some county assessors are now adding a market and property valuation tools too.

Given the importance of valuation to investing, we are also going to remind you of the two most important (non-Internet) valuation methods: real estate agents and appraisers. Working with a local REALTOR is an accurate and efficient way to get value information for a property. While one of the primary purposes of the MLS is to market the active property listings of its members, the system also collects sales information for those listings. REALTOR members can pull this sales information and produce comparable market analyses (sometimes called CMAs) that provide an excellent snapshot of a particular property’s value for the market in a particular area.

Finally, the most accurate way to value a property is by having a certified appraiser produce an appraisal. An appraiser will typically review both the sold information in the MLS system as well as county information and then analyze the information to produce a valuation for the property based on one or more approved methods of valuation. These methods of valuation can include a comparison of similar properties adjusted for differences between the properties, determine the cost to replace the property, or, with an income producing property, determine a value based on the income generated from the property.

The Neighborhood

There are many ways the Internet can help you get the scoop on a particular neighborhood. For example, census data can be found at census.gov. You can also check out the neighborhood scoop at sites like outside.in or review local blogs. A blog is a Web site where people discuss topics by posting and responding to messages. Start by looking at placeblogger.com and kcnn.org/citymediasites.com for a directory of blogs. Trulia.com has a “Heat Map” that shows how hot or cold each neighborhood is based on prices, sales, or popularity among the sites users.

Schools

When it comes to selling residential property or rental properties that cater to families, the quality of the area school district makes a huge difference. There are many Web sites devoted to school information. Check out greatschools.net or schoolmatters.com. Most local school districts also have their own Web site. These sites contain a variety of information about the public schools and the school district, including its district demographics, test scores, and parent reviews.

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

A recent addition to the Internet boom in real estate information is Web sites that let real estate agents market their expertise and local knowledge by displaying their professional profiles and socially networking with blogs. You can search to find an agent with a particular expertise, geographic area of specialization, or an agent offering specific services. The web site AgentWorld.com lets users quickly and easily find an agent with the right expertise using keyword searches and clean and simple agent profiles. AgentWorld.com also enables agents to post personalized blogs, photos and videos to help consumers find the best agent for their needs. Plus, many agent profiles include a direct link to the agent’s web site where you will likely find the local MLS listings.

Maps and Other Tools

The Internet has made mapping and locating properties much easier. To get an aerial view or satellite image of a property or neighborhood, go to maps.live.com or maps.google.com or visit walkscore.com to see how walk-able a particular property is. These sites can give you an idea of the neighborhood characteristics and the types of entertainment, restaurants, and other facilities that are within walking distance of the property. Maps.Live.com provides a view at an angle so you can see the sides of houses and Maps.Google even gives you a 360 degree street-level view for certain neighborhoods. If you have not tried one of these satellite map Web sites, you really should if only for amusement.

Final Thoughts on Internet Strategies

The Internet is a very effective research and marketing tool for real estate investors but is not a replacement for a knowledgeable experienced real estate professional. The Internet can save you time and money by enabling quick and easy property research and marketing options. Sites like AgentWorld.com also help you efficiently find a REALTOR who fits your buying or selling needs.

Always remember, when it comes to Internet strategies for real estate: More knowledge is better. You need to use the Internet to build your knowledge base on a target property or to find a real estate agent with expertise you need. However, the big caution here is that the Internet should not replace human judgment and perspective, expert advice or physical due diligence-keys to successful investing.

SBA Loans Can Help Alpharetta Commercial Real Estate Buyers

Low interest rates and falling property values, not to mention lots of available space, make now a great time for Alpharetta businesses that want to purchase commercial real estate or build new facilities. Unfortunately, many companies have a hard time coming up with the 20-25 percent down payment that’s typically required for commercial real estate.

Well, there’s lots of good news right now for commercial real estate buyers in Alpharetta. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several different types of SBA loan programs designed specifically to help small businesses obtain financing to buy, build or renovate commercial real estate.

And thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Act) passed earlier this year, many fees associated with these SBA loans have been waived for the remainder of this year.

Karen Cross, the chief credit officer and senior lender with Community Business Bank in Forsyth County, says there are two main SBA loan programs that can help companies purchase commercial real estate: the SBA 7a program and the SBA 504 program. “These work especially well for new and startup businesses where the bank may be hesitant because the business doesn’t have a proven track record yet,” she says.

The SBA reduces the bank’s risk of lending to newer and less-established businesses by guaranteeing a portion of the loan, thus encouraging banks to lend to small businesses. The SBA typically guarantees 75-85 percent of 7a loans, but this was raised to 90 percent by the Stimulus Act for the rest of 2009. In addition, the guarantee fees of 2 to 3.5 percent of the guaranteed portion of the SBA loan are also being waived through the end of the year.

The typical structure of an SBA 504 loan is a 10 percent down payment by the borrower, 50 percent financing by the bank and 40 percent financing by the SBA. Borrowers must normally pay fees of 2 percent on 504 loans, but this fee is being waived this year for as long as the program’s funds remain available (only about 40 percent of the funds had been used as of July). This would result in a savings of $20,000 on a $1 million loan. Owners can put this money to good use, perhaps on commercial real estate property improvements, for example.

“These SBA programs are especially helpful for businesses that have the cash flow to repay loans but don’t have the normal down payment,” says Cross. “They allow them to buy commercial real estate with as little as 10 percent down.”

She adds that the interest rate on the SBA portion of 504 loans is typically between 100-150 basis points lower than the rate on the bank-financed portion. SBA loans can be amortized for up to 20 years with no calls or balloon payments. “SBA loans allow banks to take on a little more risk with new and start-up businesses than they normally would,” says Cross.

As with any loan, a bank will consider a borrower’s ability to repay the debt and whether the borrower can pledge sufficient collateral to secure the SBA loan. Borrowers will generally have to provide the bank with tax returns, financial statements, financial projections and other documentation just like they would if applying for a traditional small business or commercial real estate loan.

Finding the Best Deals in Commercial Real Estate

If you want to be successful and profitable in the commercial real estate market, it will depend heavily on your ability to find the best deals on the commercial real estate market. You can lower your burden and maximize your net income if you only invest in commercial real estate transactions that have great potential. As an investor, it is important that you find a good offer to make money, but you must remember that it takes some work on your part as an investor to find the best offer. Here are some tips that can help you find the best deals in commercial real estate so you can make a profit and get success as an investor.

Tip # 1 – Know the Area and Market – The most important thing you need to know if you want to find the best deals in commercial real estate is the area and the market. You must be very familiar with the area that you plan to invest and you also need to be informed about the market in that specific area. If you are not familiar with the area you plan to invest, then you have to make it your business to learn about market areas and trends. You cannot determine whether an investment opportunity is a big thing unless you have a good understanding of the commercial real estate market in that specific area. Take the time to find out the area and market in the area, and you will definitely get the best commercial real estate offers.

Tip # 2 – Utilizing a Pocket List – Another tip that can help you find the best deals in commercial real estate is to use the pocket list you might have access to. This listing can help you find and track extraordinary investment opportunities. Often you can get this list from brokers to help you pursue excellent real estate investment opportunities. Pocket lists are commercial real estate opportunities that have not yet entered the market. So, you basically get a jump on property before someone else does it. If you want to find many things, don’t forget to use your pocket list.

Tip # 3 – Use Online Resources – Many real estate investors today really utilize their online resources when searching for the best commercial real estate offers. Using online resources can save a lot of time; however, you still need to make sure that you take the time to do the investigation that you need to do. There are many online websites that are directed to investors in the commercial real estate market. Quite a number of investors are using online resources to find the best deals, and you can use this easy access resource to help find great deals too.

Tip # 4 – Use Business Contacts to Find Deals – If you have great business contacts in the commercial real estate market, you can use them. This business contact can help you find some great commercial real estate offers. It is important that you take the time to build good relationships with these business contacts so that you are the person they tell when they hear about a great commercial real estate deal. Fostering business contacts can take several jobs; However, it is very valuable if you can get a great business deal from him.

Tip # 5 – Get to know your Financial Capacity and Strategy – Know your financial capacities and strategies are also important if you want to find the best deals in commercial real estate. You will never want to push yourself too financially, so you need to know your financial capacity. It is also important that you have a good strategy for investing as well as for success by looking for great deals on the commercial real estate market.

Tip # 6 – Make Sure to Practice Due Diligence – It is very important that you carry out due diligence if you want to find the best commercial real estate offers. Due diligence is one of the most important steps in finding many things. Some things you need to consider when practicing due diligence are the condition of the existing property, the actual property value, how much you can generate from the property, title issues, zoning issues, and many other important aspects. Make sure that you take the time to do an adequate due diligence to ensure that you really get the most commercial real estate that you plan to invest.

Using all these tips together can help you find great commercial real estate offers. If you want to be on the road to success, great deals are important, and these tips will allow you to find the best deals in commercial real estate that

Commercial Real Estate – A Complex Purchase Done Correctly

Purchasing commercial real estate is a much more complex process more so than purchasing a home or just purchasing land. But, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. One of the best decisions that you can make is to higher a real estate agent that specializes in commercial real estate sales.

This individual should have experience in working with the type of property that you are interested in buying or selling. There is more to take into consideration, after all, than just the value of the building and the land.

A commercial real estate agentwill help you to purchase real estate for a business or for rental property by doing his homework. It is essential for him to determine if the area is worth the cost that is being asked for it.

If the value of the land and building are not going to benefit you, he or she needs to determine this through a series of reports and then present it for you. One of the key elements of his job is to find the prime location for you to put down your business that will make it as successful as possible.

If you are looking to sell your commercial property, the right commercial real estate lender will help you to get the best price for it. In addition to helping you to determine the value now and into the future, the real estate agent must also determine if the best way to market your property.

It is unlikely for a buyer to just drive by and bid on the property. Investors need to come from far and wide and for that a specific and skilled agent is required to provide the right marketing potential.

Interview the commercial real estate agents that are available today. Find out what they propose to help you with and the cost of it. Most importantly, determine if what they have to offer you is what you really want. Find out more about their experience and their success.

Finally, determine if they are the right person by developing a plan of action with them to insure that this commercial real estate transaction goes as smooth as possible.

Building Commercially for the Disabled

You’re a commercial real estate developer in Minnesota, and you’ve selected your site. You’ve also chosen a general contracting company to handle all the construction details, from permitting to ensuring that your building will in compliance with Minnesota real estate building codes. But there may be one factor you may not have considered: accessibility to the building by visitors with disabilities. You will want to be sure that you don’t isolate an entire segment of the population because of problems accessing the new facilities.

Where to begin?

Although your licensed Minnesota construction company will help you in the process of providing people with disabilities, you need to be familiar with a few prominent modifications that most buildings need these days. The starting point is the parking area–make sure that you have adequate spaces and signage based on the total spaces you have. Not providing a place for customers with disabilities to park almost guarantees that you won’t get their business. Remember that in addition to signs, the parking spaces need to be painted with highly visible blue and white paint that stands out against all other parking spaces.

Once your customers have parked, you need to be sure that there are no barriers to entering or exiting your building. An experienced Minnesota general contracting company will assist you in determining what you’ll need, but in general, you want to have low thresholds that allow easy wheelchair access, doors that can be opened easily–or automatically, continuous railings on stairwells and ramps, and again, prominent signage that helps your customers easily identify paths for them to enter your building.

Inside the building

You can’t know everything that you need to do inside your facility (again, this is why working with a Minnesota real estate company that has experience in these issues is key), but there are some obvious issues to address. If your building has aisles or walkways, make sure they’re at least three feet wide. You can do this by walking around with a simple yardstick.

Make sure that there are no protruding objects that could impede a visually impaired visitor, or if there are, that they have protective barriers around them.

If you offer table seating, make sure that at least 5% of it is accessible to persons with disabilities.Always make sure that any facilities for disabled customers have adequate signage. This can’t be stressed enough. Even if you have made the necessary modifications, you need to let your customers know where they are.In restrooms, you need to take into account the width of doors, height of sinks and soap/towel dispensers, and Braille signage.

You don’t have to assume that incorporating these improvements into your construction plan will be overwhelming. By working closely with a Minnesota real estate construction company with extensive general contracting experience, you can ensure that you’ve made your facilities accessible to people with disabilities. And these measures will help you avoid isolating a significant segment of the population.