Finding the right Tennessee commercial real estate space for your needs can be a daunting task, if you don’t know where to begin. The best way to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions that will lead you to an educated decision based on facts rather than emotion.

Here are six questions you should ask yourself to help narrow down the best possible Tennessee commercial real estate space for your particular situation.

1. How is the space currently being used?

Learning how the space you are considering is currently being used could help determine whether your type of business might have the same success, or not. If you have a thrift store and that space is currently being used by an upscale boutique in a high-end part of town, your store might not fare as well. Whereas, if you have a restaurant and the surrounding stores are non-competing restaurants, your store could expect to do extremely well in this type of scenario.

2. How can and can’t the space be used?

Knowing exactly how the space can and can’t be used is extremely important, which means you should thoroughly read ALL the fine print, as well as any policies and regulations that are in place locally. The last thing you want is to sign a long-term lease for your fab new restaurant only to learn later there are regulations in place that would prevent you from serving specialty alcoholic drinks. Especially if those drinks would have been your restaurants biggest source of income.

3. Why is the current owner selling the space?

Learning why the current owner is selling the space could potentially help you dodge a bullet. If he/she is selling because of issues that are not readily visible, you need to know what those issues are so you can determine whether those same issues would affect your business as well. If they wouldn’t, you can proceed. However, if they would—move on to another space. It’s not worth taking a chance.

4. Are there any major changes coming to the area?

Always check with your real estate agent and the city planning board before signing a lease. The last thing you want is to sign a lease only to have a major road construction project begin a month later at the main entrance of your business. Especially if that project is going to last for years while redirecting traffic and deterring people from coming to the area.

5. How much income does the current owner generate for that space?

Learning the answer to this question will give you an idea of whether your business could do the same. If the current owner isn’t making much money, or their income is declining, and there isn’t any visible reason for it—there might be a location or demographic problem. Your Tennessee real estate agent will be able to help you research the specifics you need to make a decision based on the current owner’s unique situation as it relates to yours…or not.

6. How much drive-by traffic does the space receive?

How much drive-by/foot traffic the space receives is particularly important. This type of traffic is like free advertising; therefore, the more drive-by/foot traffic a space receives, the more visibility your business will have. And the more visibility your business has, the better the chances are you will succeed if all other facets of your business are properly aligned.  Additionally, drive-by traffic also helps with brand recognition, because the more people repeatedly see your brand, the more readily they will be able to recognize and recall your brand when needed.