Commercial Real Estate Terms

Commercial Real Estate Terms: Understanding terms like agreement leases and triple net expenses is essential for any investor hoping to capitalize on commercial real estate opportunities. First, there’s the “Cap Rate,” or Capitalization Rate, a calculation used by investors to measure potential return on investments over time. Next, “Triple Net Expenses” (also known as “NNN Leases”) refer to operating costs associated with leasing the property, such as taxes and insurance premiums that tenants must pay. Finally, “NOI,” or Net Operating Income.

No matter how experienced you may be in commercial real estate investing, having a firm grasp on each of these key terms will put you in an excellent position to make informed decisions about your next venture into this exciting industry. So here is an overview of some of the most important commercial real estate terms you need to know!

Types of Commercial Real Estate Terms

Commercial real estate covers a wide range of property types, each with its own set of characteristics. For example, office buildings are typically designed for long-term occupancy and house businesses such as professional services firms or corporate headquarters. Industrial sites come in various sizes and provide space for the manufacturing, storing, and distributing of products. 

Retail properties include malls, strip centers, single-tenant stores, and even outdoor kiosks that offer goods to consumers. Multi-family dwellings comprise apartment complexes or condominiums that hold multiple housing units under one roof. 
Mixed-use developments combine residential with commercial components into an integrated development program. All these different forms of commercial real estate have unique features and considerations when developing them for business use.

Lease Agreements

A commercial lease agreement is an essential document for any landlord-tenant relationship. It outlines the rent terms and renewal clauses between the two parties.

commercial real estate finance terms

The first step in a successful negotiation is understanding each party’s needs and objectives. The tenant should ensure they are getting a competitive rate on rent while having flexibility with growth potential. The landlord wants to ensure their property will be taken care of and receive payments in full, on time.

Once both sides have agreed upon the major points outlined in the real estate lease, draft a contract and review it thoroughly before signing anything. Make sure all items discussed during negotiations are included in writing. This includes specifics such as how long the term is, who pays for maintenance costs, acceptable uses for the space, etc.

Financing Options

Many commercial real estate loans are available for businesses and investors. A commercial loan is typically secured by one or more pieces of real estate, with lenders often requiring additional collateral in exchange for funds. This can be anything from stocks and bonds to cash reserves from a business’s operating account. 

Real estate loans allow borrowers to purchase properties without having to come up with the full amount upfront. Mortgages are another form of financing, allowing buyers to leverage their equity in the property while paying back principal plus interest over a fixed term. Equity financing involves raising capital against existing assets, such as shares or buildings owned by an entity, rather than borrowing money outright.

When considering which option best suits your needs, it’s important to research all potential funding sources before making any decisions about the transaction. Be sure to review not only traditional mortgage options but also newer types of digital lending platforms that offer fast access to capital at competitive rates.

Tax Implications

Tax implications are an important consideration for commercial real estate investors. Knowing the ins and outs of property tax, capital gains taxes, real estate taxes, depreciation deductions, and other potential tax incentives can put you in a better position to maximize returns.

commercial real estate tax implications infographics
Tax ImplicationDefinitionExample
Property TaxA local tax on real estate is typically assessed annually at a fixed rate by the state or locality where the property is located.The city charges $1 per square foot for residential properties as its property tax rate.
Capital Gains TaxTaxes are paid on profits from selling assets such as stocks or homes. They are usually higher than ordinary income taxes.An investor sells their rental home for a profit of $100,000 after three years of ownership; they will be subject to a capital gains tax on the profits earned. 
Real Estate TaxA levy imposed by municipalities on the value of real estate owned within their boundaries is generally based upon assessments made every two to four years by local government assessors.This serves as one of the primary sources of revenue for municipal governments. | Commercial buildings valued over 1 million dollars pay an additional .2% (two-tenths) in real estate taxes each year due to an ordinance passed by the city council last year. 
Depreciation DeductionsDeductions are taken against taxable income related to wear-and-tear expenses associated with owning and operating businesses and investment properties over time. It allows owners to spread out cost recovery over several years instead of taking all costs at once upfront.Businesses can depreciate equipment purchases over five years rather than paying the full price upfront, allowing them to take advantage of more favorable deductions when filing their annual taxes.

Investors must understand these concepts before making decisions about purchasing commercial real estate investments so they don’t get caught off guard when it comes time to file their taxes – especially if those investments have appreciated significantly since the purchase date!

Risk Management Strategies

Commercial real estate investors should be aware that many types of risks are involved when investing in a project, such as market fluctuations, legal issues, and environmental hazards. Effective risk-management techniques are the best way to protect against these potential problems. This includes conducting thorough due diligence on the property before purchase or lease; obtaining professional advice from qualified professionals; diversifying investments across different markets and sectors; implementing rigorous financial controls; establishing proper insurance policies; and having a clear exit strategy if necessary.

These measures can help minimize the possibility of loss and provide peace of mind that you have done all you can to safeguard your investment. Risk mitigation strategies should be tailored according to each transaction, considering its unique characteristics and goals.


It’s important to understand the different types of commercial real estate terms, including leases, appraisals, financing options, and tax implications associated with owning or investing. It’s beneficial for owners and investors to develop risk management strategies to protect their investments over time. Working with experienced professionals specializing in commercial real estate, investors can make more informed decisions regarding their investments and better protect themselves from potential risks. Contact us today.