Even when you hear talk that it’s a “tenant’s market,” don’t think you’re going to encounter a desperate commercial landlord ready to rent their space to the first interested tenant. Most landlords have certain criteria that must be met. Variables like background checks, references, credit reports, tax returns, or even your personality are factored in. In order to make the absolute best first impression possible, we’ve compiled 5 things most commercial landlords want in an ideal tenant.

Demonstratable Financial Strength and a Good Reputation

A commercial landlord will naturally want reassurance that you’ll be able to meet your financial obligations to them. When submitting an application, your credit history and other financial statements will typically be requested. References will be cross checked. A background check may be completed. This is all done to confirm your business is on solid financial footing – even if you’re just starting out – and your reputation is good.

A Well-Defined Business Plan, Goals & Objectives

A good commercial landlord should have a sincere interest in your business type, model, or plan. If you aren’t yet established, presenting a good business plan will prove you’ve done your homework, have a well thought out concept, and won’t be a here today/gone tomorrow type tenant. If your business is already established, and you’re expanding or relocating, sharing your business growth or market objectives/goals can really improve your chances.

A Good Fit With Other Tenants

If you’re moving into a building or complex with existing tenants and established businesses, you need to fit in. So the landlord will certainly need to take into account the co-tenancy of the building or complex. How well your business compliments other existing tenants matters. While a vacant space hurts their bottom line, and in many cases the bottom line of other businesses surrounding it, a business that may cause problems with other tenants might not be the solution.

A Proven Track Record

In addition to strong financials and a good business plan, commercial landlords love to see a history of successful business operations. A proven track record will demonstrate you have the experience and skills necessary to put your business plan into action.

An Accomodating & Cooperative Personality

A commercial landlord needs some reassurance that you’ll play nice with others. Your personality, demeanor, candidness, and friendliness in interactions is important. Never lose sight of the fact that you’re selling yourself just as much as your business. Think of the landlord or owner’s rep as a prospective business partner or client. Make them like you. Show them you’ll be an advocate for the building or complex. They need to get a feel that you won’t become a problem for property management or other tenants.

Keep these things in mind the next time you’re looking to lease a commercial office or retail space. They will only increase your chances of qualifying for the best deal and lease terms possible.