Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How to Find Office Space to Rent in Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi

Office Building for Rent in Gulfport, Mississippi

How do you find office space to rent in the Gulfport/Biloxi area in Mississippi?

As landlords for commercial real estate, it is our business to know how to find office space.

After all, we need to make sure that our office space is everywhere people would potentially look for office space.

So, where can you find space?

First, there are the listing websites: LoopNet, CoStar and the MLS (multiple listing service).

LoopNet, CoStar and the MLS are the “go-to” commercial real estate websites that most commercial real estate professionals will first do a search on.

However, LoopNet and CoStar typically only contain broker listings and/or commercial real estate landlords who have more than 1 property.  The downfall to some of these sites is the brokers/landlords have to pay to have a “premium” listing on the site.

What this means is if you do not have a search subscription on a website like LoopNet, you will only be able to see the premium listings and will miss out on all the free listings.  Most office building owners who only own one building cannot afford to put a premium listing on LoopNet because the pricing model does not make sense.  (Please note that this is only the case for the Gulfport/Biloxi market - in a city like New Orleans where someone owns a high rise office building, this building will likely have a premium subscription on a website like LoopNet.)

Besides the major listing websites, there are several other websites that have commercial office space listings.

There’s OfficeSpace.com, Cityfeet.com and Rofo.com.  Cityfeet requires a paid subscription to list as does Rofo.  One unique aspect of Rofo is it allows you to post a space need and allow the landlord/listing broker to contact you direct.  Our personal favorite is OfficeSpace, as it allows the owner to publish a listing with no strings attached.  In our experience, these websites have much of the same listings because if a commercial real estate professional knows to put their listing on one of these websites, they will put them on all of these websites.

You can also find office space on Craigslist.  Craigslist has a wide range of properties and will often let you contact the listing owner directly.  (As opposed to a website like LoopNet where you will most likely be contacting a listing broker.)

We are often surprised by how many of our leads for office space come from people finding space the old fashioned way – driving around!

The Gulfport/Biloxi market is a fairly small market for commercial real estate.  Because of this, if you have an idea of where you think you want your office space to be, you can probably just drive around and write down phone numbers from signs for a couple hours.

First figure out a convenient place for your customers (like locations just off or on major roads like Cowan/Lorraine, Highway 49, Pass Road) and drive around.  Easy enough, right?

These days, we find more and more people are just typing in “office space for rent” on Google and Bing to start their commercial office search.

Going to Google will bring up most of the websites mentioned above, in addition to websites like ours (www.seawaybusinesspark.com!) who are independent landlords offering office space.

If you are having trouble finding exactly what you are looking for, you can always contact one of the local commercial brokers, who can aid in your search for commercial office space.

Some of the more popular commercial brokers in the area, whose signs you will likely see scattered around the city, include Coldwell Banker, Southeast Commercial and NAI Global.

Of course, our preference would be to just give Seaway Business Park a call, and we will fix you up with one of our own office spaces!

That’s the comprehensive list of where to find office space in the Gulfport/Biloxi area.  We hope it helps!

Please feel free to leave questions and/or comments.  We read all of them.  Feel free to email us at leasing@seawaybusinesspark.com.  We provide office space for rent and warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi.  If you need commercial real estate space in our area, please give us a call at (228) 575-7731 or visit our website at www.seawaybusinesspark.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Give Everyone 5 Minutes of Your Time

A local businessperson, we’ll call him Business Bob, once told us over lunch that he will give anyone 5 minutes.

Five minutes for what?

Five minutes for anything.

Business Bob said if someone wanted to come to him for an investment opportunity, a business plan/idea, an interview, whatever, he would make the time to either talk on the phone or sit down with that person.

Business Bob has had great success over the several decades his company has been in business and continues to thrive and expand.

A great deal of Business Bob's success is attributable to this mindset.

So, how can we apply this to commercial real estate?

As commercial real estate professionals, we are always searching the next deal.

We try to keep our pipeline full through prospecting and networking but oftentimes, our next big project is just a phone call (or these days, an email) away.

Our company has made a habit of always talking to any prospective tenant who calls for office space or warehouse space.

Sometimes, we know the call is highly unlikely, maybe even impossible, to lead anywhere like the following:

We were recently notified about a prospect who wanted to open a food processing plant within our business park.  Their needs were several thousand square feet of heated and cooled warehouse space and some very specific electrical requirements for the commercial food processing equipment.

Did we have anything even close to this requirement that would work?


Did we take the call anyways?


Was it a waste of time?

No way.

How can that be?

We took the time to listen to this prospect’s needs and get an idea of their business plan/model moving forward in our region.  We figured that at some point, this prospect might have a different requirement.  Maybe at that time, the prospect could utilize one of our spaces.  Plus, this business might be a potential referral source.

If we had just said no from the start, we would be closing the door on any future business and/or referrals.

Have we gotten any future business from that client or any referrals?

Again, no.

So how can it be that it was not a waste of time?

Take the following example that did pay off:

A number of years ago, we got a call from a national credit tenant (Fortune 100) who needed some space.

Their requirements were 25,000 square feet of warehouse space with a couple of private offices.  The kicker was the company only needed space for 1-2 months.  We were told that they were renovating their existing location and needed space while the construction was completed.

Our company typically shies away from leasing space temporarily because we may pass up a long term deal.  Plus, we didn’t have even half of that amount of space vacant.

Did we still take the call?


Did it lead to future business?

At first, no.

We took the local people on a tour of what we did have available, and they felt like they could make it work if absolutely necessary.

The next day, we received a call from the company’s regional office and corporate office.

We told the regional manager that we were flattered to receive the call but just did not think we could make the deal work.

Our company had minimal space left to lease.  We had a few prospects for the remaining vacant spaces and did not want to pass up those opportunities.  Plus, we did not think it was a good fit for the company either.

The regional manager said he understood.

So where’s the part about the big payoff?

The regional manager’s next question: Can you do a build-to-suit?

Our answer: Of course!

The corporate office was calling to ask the same question.

Apparently, the local office was having some issues at its current location and was deciding to either fix it or relocate.  The building was old and was not the typical layout of their other locations around the country.

They made the decision to either find an existing building to retrofit (they couldn't find one) or do a build-to-suit.

Had we not taken the initial call, we might not have ever been presented with this opportunity.

And before you ask the question, yes, we did perform a build to suit and they are still a tenant.

Not a bad return on investment for a 5 minute phone call, right?

Please feel free to leave comments.  We promise to read them all.  You can also email us with any questions/comments at leasing@seawaybusinesspark.com.  As a reminder, we provide office space for rent and office/warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi.  For more information, visit our website at www.seawaybusinesspark.com or call us at (228) 575-7731.