Smart lease negotiation involves understanding your landlord’s motives

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A company doesn’t need to be as big as Amazon to get a good deal on real estate.

Whether a small business wants to buy or rent, it may have leverage with landlords or local governments to get breaks on rent or taxes. It’s especially doable if a company can be a drawing card that helps boost local commerce or has significant job creation plans. The key is often to look for real estate in an area that needs an economic boost.

Even the smallest and newest businesses may be able to negotiate, says Seth Kaplowitz, who teaches real estate courses at San Diego State University. For example, a young doctor or dentist willing to start a practice in an area that needs more medical or dental services may be able to get financial help in buying and/or setting up an office.

Small businesses can also band together and negotiate as a bloc, Kaplowitz says.

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