View Full Version : Getting your property.

10-19-2011, 10:15 AM
Me and my business partner seem to be having some trouble getting our property all lined up.

The first couple of real estate agents we have talked to said their ownership did not want a haunted house opened up in their location.

I'm just wondering if this is a common thing, and if it has happened to anyone else? Is there anything more I should do for this?

Thanks, guys!

10-19-2011, 10:30 AM
Yup I'm there too. They think you're seasonal and only wanna be there 2mths outta there the year when they could have a permanent tenant. Or the element you bring is unfavorable, or the building is going to erupt into flames. Mainly they want a permanent tenant who isn't gonna damage the building.

10-19-2011, 11:15 AM
It makes perfect sense from the landlord side. As stated, haunted houses bring a few disadvantages as a tenant:

1) They are seasonal. They'd rather have a long term tenant instead of short term.
2) They have a lot of traffic in a short time, and it brings in demographics likely to break things.
3) The temporary structures can do damage with builds/takedown.
4) Haunts have a shaky history with safety/fire codes. Scaring people in tight spaces can mean people getting hurt. The landlord doesn't want to be included in any lawsuits.
5) Newer haunts with no reputation and limited assets leave little for the landlord to come after if there is a problem. Gypsy haunts can be difficult to deal with when it comes to having a traceable entity to deal with.

Ways to get over this:
1) Make sure you are well insured. Make sure they know it (and are probably included as additionally insured.)
2) Make it worth their while. They are taking extra risks (see above) by letting a haunt in. The might need extra compensation for that risk.
3) Educate them on emergency plans, safety, security, and other precautions you will be taking that helps to ensure both your and their investments will be safe.

10-19-2011, 12:36 PM
In this economy landlords are lucky to have a tenant.

if you just show them your not some flyby night pyromanic you show be fine. Hopefully you have a business plan an such already, and most business haunts aren't seasonal. It's just open seasonal but work continues around the clock. You could try getting a vacant building for sale and see if the owner will let you lease with intent to buy.

10-19-2011, 01:40 PM
In this economy landlords are lucky to have a tenant.

if you just show them your not some flyby night pyromanic you show be fine. Hopefully you have a business plan an such already, and most business haunts aren't seasonal. It's just open seasonal but work continues around the clock. You could try getting a vacant building for sale and see if the owner will let you lease with intent to buy.

That isn't necessarily true. If I have a choice of renting it to someone for a couple months who might damage the building for more cost than what I'll make in rent vs. leaving it empty as a tax rightoff, the rightoff might be the better economic decision.

10-22-2011, 01:22 PM
Another thing you can tell the owner IF the building is in mall or shopping center is how much more business it would bring to his others renters. That would bring more money to the renters who would beable to pay the rent easlier..Good Luck

10-27-2011, 02:32 PM
So far its been "contact the real estate agent" and i talk to them and get turned down by their "management" lol. Do i just plead my case the agent?

Also, gonna get in contact with the local chamber of commerce, and try to rub some elbows and get a good vibe around our names. Still trying to figure out exactly what we need to tell them exactly.

10-27-2011, 02:47 PM
I ran into one remote realtor who was in IN and I'm in CT. He said the space was already leased and I should look at type "C" retail space. 6mths later that space is still vacant and the guy is marked down as an A$$hole in my book. I think maybe people think we're all fly by night and bring some criminal element to the area. We actually keep kids off the street and cowering in the corners at home =)

10-28-2011, 12:16 PM
As a "Realtor" by day and "Haunter" by night might I make a suggestion.....If you are not getting anywhere with the Realtors you might want to contact the broker of record and talk with them. You do need to let them know this isn't some "fly by night" operation. If you have rented elsewhere previously that is a good point to make. If you get no where, then you have the right as a consumer to talk with the owner. Look them up at the courthouse and call them directly. If they are referring you back to the agent, chances are they told them "No way" in the first place and that is why you are getting brushed off so to speak.

My second suggestion is that you call them, request an appointment to see the property in person. Get out there and then start talking with them, not over the phone about your intensions. Most Realtors will meet a customer for the first time at the site. You might run into issues about "pre approvals" on your financing, but that is something you will have to overcome immediately with a bank statement, etc.

Say little at first, get the hook in them, then reel them in. They need educated as well. Hope this is helpful.

10-29-2011, 01:36 PM
Once they ask my intend I seem to hit a brick wall. In my area many warehouses are corporate holdings so it's like trying to talk someone with a brain at the bank.

11-01-2011, 12:40 AM
Im sure I have posted this before as have others but if not . . .

To start with, you are trying to conduct a business in a business environment. All the big players got where they are by not losing site of the fact that this is a business first. So you need to play the part. If you donít have a few grey hairs or wrinkles, all the more reason to have your shit together when pursuing a broker or property owner. Nobody cares about how cool a haunt you are creating; in fact, the whole concept probably worries then. It is an abusive environment that has numerous liability risks and the potential to upset neighbors or other tenants. If you do not take care of the property and are gone in November, they are left chasing the wind. It is your job to convince them you are worth taking the risk so they receive the appropriate reward.
You need to present yourself as a professional. They donít know this business and really donít care. They want to know they will get their money and their property will be taken care of and their assets protected. You need to learn to look, talk and act like a professional. If you have a history you can prove, be ready to do it. Be ready with professional references, past rental references, etc. They will want to know where this money is coming from. If you are properly funded, there should be a bank account with money in it to show you have the funds. If you can pay upfront that will say a lot or even offering to pay an excessive damage deposit. Past liability certificates will prove you are a real business. How about a business license, cards, a cover letter, etc?
Falling short in these areas, you need to convince them that this is a worthwhile risk. Is there a community benefit or charity that is involved or at least something worthy that they can hang there hat on?
If you donít have a big check book or a good history to refer to then you have some selling to do. Try using a creative descriptor to get your foot in the door. Haunted house has some baggage attached but community event, or seasonal entertainment company, or artists cooperative all sound much more user friendly.

A few last thoughts, realtors and property management companies will always be difficult. Use the tax roles, find the land owner, contact direct. Developers, especially in these times, can have land and buildings banked for a future project that may allow a window for a short term tenant. Local jurisdictions, city or county, often have unused property on the roles that they are open to making a short term deal on.

There is quite a bit of advice on these boards from talkers not doers, but in this case all that stuff worked for me. The best deal I made was not renting a place: I got someone to give me a decent size building on a busy street for 2 years for free! It is possible but you need to be prepared and work for it. All the great success stories in this business come from very creative people who passionately work their ass off to position themselves to take advantage of that lucky break. A creative mind will find solutions in unexpected ways, that is what this biz is about.

Jim Warfield
11-04-2011, 08:28 AM
If you are unable to do these suggestions.... well then maybe it just will not be happening for you?
Look into viable alternate haunting opportunitys like working for someone else for a season or two if you have not already done this.
Working a charity haunt.
Look into giving haunted walk-through grave yard tours (possibly just historical in nature) through a real grave yard, with needed permission of course (think charity fund-raiser opp.)
The haunted woods has no roof but will , or should be at least much more inexpensive to fund.
I know of a man who got permission to haunt just the basement of a very large , old expensive house as the owners were still living upstairs.
If your brain is stuck trying to do something finances won't cover , try something else, who says you HAVE to do things the way so many others have done things?
It took me either 14 or 2 yrs. to get backing to buy my house. I wanted to buy it for 14 years but it wasn't for sale yet.
I talked to a ton of people, pitching my concepts to derisive looks, comments and laughter from those I was laying my future out before. This would leave me very pist, going to bed saying to Hell with it! It will never happen!
Then the next morning, the sun would he shinning, I would say, "I'll just give it One More Day!"
(I found a great many "One More Days" ahead of me before I connected with the right person to help me.)
This is what it took for me to get just the opportunity to try to succeed.
Non-stop real physical labor needed to happen next.. for the next 25 years.