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The Load Factor—Commercial Real Estate Terminology

When you get involved with purchasing or leasing commercial real estate, you will begin hearing about a "load factor." It’s a term that is integral to commercial real estate investing, and one that you must know if you want to be a successful investor. So what exactly is it?

The load factor, simply put, is the difference—usually expressed in a percentage—between the usable and the rentable square footage in a building. That is, how much of the space accounts for common areas such as restrooms, mechanical rooms, hallways, stairwells, and the like, versus how much is actually rentable to tenants.

Here is how to calculate the load factor for a commercial real estate property:

1. You will need the total rentable square footage of the building.

2. You will need the total usable square footage of the property.

3. Now, subtract the usable square footage (this is always the smaller number) from the rentable square footage.

4. Take that total and divide it by the usable square footage.

5. The resulting number is the load factor.

Here is an example: These are the numbers on a building in Gainesville, Florida, that we recently looked at. The total rentable square footage was 35,938. The total usable square footage was 29,461. So the equation looks like this: 35,938–29,461 = 6,477. Then take 6,477 ÷ 29,461 (usable sq. ft.) = .219 or nearly 22%.

What does this mean? It means that the property owner is adding almost 22 cents to every dollar he charges his tenants per usable square foot. The higher the load factor, the more the tenant will be paying for space he or she can't use.

Buildings with a high load factor may indicate inefficient design, and if, as a tenant, you are negotiating to sign a lease for a commercial space, you will definitely want to know the load factor.

If you are an investor considering the purchase of a commercial property, check comparable properties in the area to help you determine the average load factor. If your potential property is above the average load factor, you may have difficulty attracting the interest of tenants because they will be paying for per square feet than they would in other properties near yours.

I hope this quick tutorial has been useful in helping you understand the importance of knowing the load factor for a commercial real estate property.

Want to hear some case studies from over $500,000,000 in deals completed? Rick Melero invites you to explore the hugely profitable world of commercial real estate, where even one deal can provide for your family for a lifetime! Attend the next free commercial real estate webinar with some of the nation's leading real estate experts: Real Deal Commercial Webinar.

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LIONEL TRAINS  6 19323 DETROIT  MACKINAC ORE CAR WITH LOAD 1992
LIONEL TRAINS 6 19323 DETROIT MACKINAC ORE CAR WITH LOAD 1992
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LIONEL TRAINS NO 12929 ANIMATED TRUCK LOADING DOCK VERY NICE
LIONEL TRAINS NO 12929 ANIMATED TRUCK LOADING DOCK VERY NICE
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Lionel 6 16421 Western Maryland Hopper With Simulated Coal Load
Lionel 6 16421 Western Maryland Hopper With Simulated Coal Load
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Lionel 6 16420 Western Maryland Hopper W Simulated Coal Load
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MTH NORTH WESTERN ALL HEAVY METAL FLATCAR W PIPE LOAD O SCALE
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Lionel Trains 6 84370 Polar Express Silver Load Hopper Car O Gauge Brand New
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MTH Premier CSX 4 bay Hopper with simulated load O gauge New with Original Box
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LIONEL Nickel Plate Road Gondola w Scrap Load o gauge freight 6 17407 NIB NR alt
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Consolidated Rail Corp flat car w Crate Load 2004 safety Conrail 33 7613 NEW
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Consolidated Rail Corp Conrail Classic Hopper w load 3rd safety K621 9012 NEW
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LIONEL PRR 40 Flatcar with Lumber Load o gauge train car 6 82854 NIB NR alt
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LIONEL MPC 12929 ANIMATED TRUCK LOADING DOCK ACCESSORY 0 027 NEW S16
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MTH Chesapeake Ohio CO FLATCAR W 2 20 TRAILER Load 20 90015B O gauge NIB
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MTH Rail King Chesapeake Ohio CO Hopper w Coal Load 6 Car Set NIB
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LIONEL 6 81045 CNJ FLATCAR WITH WHEEL LOAD flat car o gauge train NEW
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MTH Premier Buffalo Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742B NIB NR
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MTH 20 97506 DMIR ORE CARS 6 CAR SET WITH ORE LOADS NIB
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MTH Premier Buffalo  Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742F NIB NR
MTH Premier Buffalo Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742F NIB NR
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MTH Premier Buffalo Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742E NIB NR
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MTH Premier Buffalo Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742C NIB NR
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MTH Premier Buffalo Pittsburgh 4 Bay Hopper Car w Coal Load 20 90742D NIB NR
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MTH Trains Pennsylvania Bulkhead Flat Car 469808 Lumber Load Item 20 98131 MIB
MTH Trains Pennsylvania Bulkhead Flat Car 469808 Lumber Load Item 20 98131 MIB
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MTH Trains Seaboard Gondola with Junk Load Item 20 98006 MIB
MTH Trains Seaboard Gondola with Junk Load Item 20 98006 MIB
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Denver diecast US Army tank use with o scale lionel mth atlas flatcar load
Denver diecast US Army tank use with o scale lionel mth atlas flatcar load
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Rail King  33 7202 Rugged Rails Milwaukee Road Gondola with I Beam Load New
Rail King 33 7202 Rugged Rails Milwaukee Road Gondola with I Beam Load New
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Lionel O gauge hopper car 4 bays W coal load NIB mint  19325 made 1997
Lionel O gauge hopper car 4 bays W coal load NIB mint 19325 made 1997
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Willams O gauge Quad hopper W cover  coal load  HC11 NIB Road Pennsylvania
Willams O gauge Quad hopper W cover coal load HC11 NIB Road Pennsylvania
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MTH O scale gondola w junk load  20 98006 NIB road Seaboard  6950
MTH O scale gondola w junk load 20 98006 NIB road Seaboard 6950
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Lionel O gauge flat car with lumber load  16386 NIB Mint Made 1994 SP
Lionel O gauge flat car with lumber load 16386 NIB Mint Made 1994 SP
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Lionel O gauge bulk head car with wood load 16951 Road name Southern
Lionel O gauge bulk head car with wood load 16951 Road name Southern
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Lionel bulk head car with wood load 16951 Road name Southern New in box mint
Lionel bulk head car with wood load 16951 Road name Southern New in box mint
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Lionel O gauge 3 hopper cars 4 bays W coal load NIB  19326327328 N
Lionel O gauge 3 hopper cars 4 bays W coal load NIB 19326327328 N
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MTH O Gauge 4 bay hopper car with coal load  20 90001b New road Reading Lines
MTH O Gauge 4 bay hopper car with coal load 20 90001b New road Reading Lines
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LIONEL TRAINS NO 6209 NEW YORK CENTRAL STANDARD O GONDOLA WITH COAL LOAD NICE
LIONEL TRAINS NO 6209 NEW YORK CENTRAL STANDARD O GONDOLA WITH COAL LOAD NICE
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2004 Lionel 6 52360 25th Anniversary Ore Car w Silver Load New In Box NIB NR
2004 Lionel 6 52360 25th Anniversary Ore Car w Silver Load New In Box NIB NR
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O GAUGE CHICAGO NORTH WESTERN CNW HOPPER CAR W LOAD LIONEL MTH MENARDS
O GAUGE CHICAGO NORTH WESTERN CNW HOPPER CAR W LOAD LIONEL MTH MENARDS
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K Line O Scale Ballast Hopper Load
K Line O Scale Ballast Hopper Load
$2.95
O GAUGE U S ARMY FLATCAR W ARMY TARP COVERED LOAD LIONEL MTH MENARDS
O GAUGE U S ARMY FLATCAR W ARMY TARP COVERED LOAD LIONEL MTH MENARDS
$27.95
O Scale Hopper Ballast Load By K Line K623 03 01 Plastic w Free ship
O Scale Hopper Ballast Load By K Line K623 03 01 Plastic w Free ship
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