Jon Mott, Development Director of Papa John's UK...
Not all franchisees have enough properties in their prime market to find anything more permanent than a lease. If a specific location is a major component for your success, your chances of finding a retail space available for purchasing are likely to drop. However, you must still consider all of the challenges of owning your own property before making a major investment if something becomes available.
It is best to go through a complete site selection practice with your franchiser to find all of your options before choosing either the leasing or purchasing route. You may find that the very best choice for your business is an outright buy when you were preparing to sign a lease. Keep your options open throughout the process so you can find something within your price range and matching your franchise's requirements.
You should stay patient and prepared when looking for a sale. Many new business owners assume that their long-term lease with a property management company will eventually turn into a purchase arrangement. However, this is actually quite rare. Industry figures show that about 98% of retail and commercial space available at any time is only available for leasing. Most landlords prefer the steady and regular income of renting rather than the one time payment of a sale.
When you do manage to discover an enticing sales opportunity, consider these important advantages and disadvantages of owning your own buildings.