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In commercial real estate, smart owners exploit every available opportunity to maximize their net operating income (NOI) and create new, leverageable equity. Over time, small changes can generate millions of dollars in cash flow and added value, which will be critically beneficial as you grow your CRE portfolio.

Since transacting my first deal at age 18, I’ve built an 18-year track record of success as a professional CRE investor with the help and guidance of mentors who are legends in our business. Here are some of my favorite and most effective insider tips to help boost your numbers.


1. ATMs

Nearly every type of property has an area of 24 square feet that can be carved out with minor modifications. If you own property that has any commercial frontage or is located in a heavily trafficked pedestrian area, consider creating space for an ATM.

In most markets in the U.S., average ATM space will typically lease for $500-$1,400 per month (as of the date of this publication) and requires an area of approximately 4’x6′. That is at least $6,000 in annual income for 24 square feet (or $250 per square foot).

In areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, an ATM lease could bring $1,200-$1,400 per month, translating to an equity increase of up to $420,000. Talk to your local bank about placing an ATM in your location. Property owners may also choose to install an ATM machine of their own and collect fees on cash withdrawals, but such an operation requires hands-on management.

2. Vending machines

While the cash flow may seem negligible, vending machines can add a surprising equity boost to a property’s bottom line. Newer, more automated machines with card readers are more desirable. It’s easier to track income and profit with credit-debit purchases than with cash.