For many commercial tenants, negotiating a good lease or lease renewal against an experienced agent or landlord can be a challenge. While an entrepreneur focuses on marketing and managing his own business, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.

Tenants may go through the leasing process only two or three times in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. Negotiating appropriate leasing terms is vital for a commercial tenant as the amount of rent he pays will directly affect the entrepreneur’s financial bottom line.

Whether you are leasing a new location for the first time or negotiating a lease renewal for your business, here are some tips:

Negotiate for free perks

If your company will require storage on a temporary or permanent basis, you can often negotiate to receive this for free. Securing extra parking stalls, being allowed more space on the pylon sign, and having the caretaker change your lightbulbs or make minor repairs are small perks that can often be had for the asking.

Some property managers will clean your carpets or even wash your windows for a token charge or even for free. If you need small favors, try asking the caretaker directly and give him a generous gratitude gift when he does these extras.

Free fixturing period

The weeks or months that precede the commencement date are called the fixturing period. Negotiate for at least for minimum free rent (and operating costs free, too) during this build-out stage. The longer the fixturing period, the better.