Johanna Sicat Altman Shares What You Need To Know Before Investing In Commercial Properties

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By Jacob Maslow

Investing in commercial properties can be an exciting and potentially lucrative venture. However, it’s essential to approach this type of investment with careful consideration and a thorough understanding of the market. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a novice looking to diversify your portfolio, Johanna Sicat Altman discusses some key things you need to know before diving into commercial property investment.

Define Your Investment Objectives

Before investing in any commercial property, defining your investment objectives is crucial. Ask yourself why you want to invest in commercial real estate. Are you looking for a steady stream of rental income, long-term capital appreciation, or both? Understanding your goals will help you make informed decisions throughout the investment process.

Conduct Market Research

Market research is vital in any investment endeavor, and commercial real estate is no exception. Familiarize yourself with the local market conditions, including vacancy rates, rental prices, and the demand for commercial properties in the area. This information will help you assess the potential profitability of your investment and make strategic decisions.

Understand Different Property Types

Commercial properties encompass various types, such as office buildings, retail spaces, industrial warehouses, and multifamily apartment complexes. Each type has its unique characteristics and considerations. Understanding the specific nuances and demands of the property type you’re interested in is crucial before making any investment decisions.

Evaluate Location

The location of a commercial property plays a significant role in its success. Factors such as proximity to transportation hubs, population density, and neighboring businesses can significantly impact the property’s desirability and potential for attracting tenants. Ensure you thoroughly evaluate the location and consider its long-term growth potential before investing.

Assess Risk and Return

Like any investment, commercial properties come with risks. Evaluating the potential return on investment (ROI) and the associated risks is essential. Consider factors such as market volatility, potential vacancies, maintenance costs, and interest rates. A thorough risk assessment will help determine if the potential returns justify the risks.

Financing Options

Commercial property investments often require substantial capital. Understanding your financing options is critical. Research various sources of financing, such as bank loans, private investors, or partnerships, and assess the terms, interest rates, and repayment schedules. Ensure you have a solid financial plan before proceeding with the investment.

Due Diligence And Property Inspection

Before finalizing any commercial property purchase, conduct thorough due diligence and property inspections. This process involves reviewing the property’s financial statements, legal documents, and leases and conducting physical inspections to identify potential issues or necessary repairs. Engaging professional inspectors and legal advisors is highly recommended to ensure a comprehensive assessment.

Consider Property Management

Managing a commercial property can be demanding, especially if you’re an inexperienced investor or lack the time and resources required for effective management. Consider hiring a reputable property management company to handle day-to-day operations, tenant relations, and property maintenance. This can help ensure the property runs smoothly and maximizes its potential for returns.

Create A Long-Term Investment Plan

Investing in commercial properties is typically a long-term commitment. Creating a comprehensive investment plan that outlines your short-term and long-term goals and the strategies you’ll employ to achieve them is vital. This plan should also consider potential exit strategies, such as selling the property or refinancing.

Seek Professional Advice

Seeking professional advice is highly recommended when venturing into commercial property investment. Real estate agents, brokers, property managers, and financial advisors can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process. Their expertise can help you navigate potential pitfalls and make informed decisions that align with your investment objectives.

Analyze Cash Flow And Expenses

One of the primary factors to evaluate when investing in commercial properties is the cash flow potential. Analyze the property’s projected income and expenses to determine if it can generate positive cash flow. Consider rental rates, operating expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities), and potential vacancies. A property with strong cash flow will provide stability and potentially increase your return on investment.

Understand Lease Agreements

Lease agreements play a crucial role in commercial property investments. Take the time to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of existing leases, including rental rates, lease duration, renewal options, and tenant responsibilities. Evaluate the creditworthiness of existing tenants and consider the potential impact of lease expirations or vacancies on your investment. Understanding lease agreements will help you make informed decisions about the property’s income potential and long-term stability.

Consider Economic And Market Trends

Economic and market trends influence commercial property investments. Stay updated on local and global economic indicators, such as interest rates, inflation rates, and employment trends. Monitor the commercial real estate market for any emerging trends, such as shifts in demand, new developments, or changing consumer preferences. Awareness of these factors will enable you to adapt your investment strategy and make informed decisions based on current market conditions.


Johanna Sicat Altman says investing in commercial properties can offer substantial rewards but requires careful planning, research, and risk assessment. By defining your investment objectives, conducting thorough market research, evaluating property types and locations, and seeking professional advice, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and maximize the potential returns on your commercial property investment. Patience and a long-term perspective are crucial to success in this field.


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