As a new commercial real estate broker or property owner, it's crucial to understand the various lease types and their implications for your investments. One of the most common lease types you'll encounter in commercial real estate is the NNN or triple net lease. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of NNN leases, their significance, and implications for brokers and property owners. By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge necessary to navigate the world of commercial real estate leasing confidently.

What is an NNN Lease?

A triple net lease (NNN) is a lease agreement in which the tenant is responsible for paying three major types of property expenses, in addition to the base rent. These expenses include:

  1. Property taxes
  2. Building insurance
  3. Maintenance and common area expenses

This type of lease is common in commercial real estate, particularly for retail, office, and industrial properties. In an NNN lease, the property owner can enjoy a more predictable cash flow, as they're not directly responsible for the variable costs associated with property ownership. The tenant, on the other hand, benefits from greater control over the property and potential cost savings if they can efficiently manage the property expenses.

Significance of NNN Leases for Brokers and Property Owners

For brokers:

  1. Attracting creditworthy tenants: NNN leases are attractive to creditworthy and established tenants because they often come with lower base rents, and these tenants are more likely to have the financial stability to handle the additional responsibilities.
  2. Marketing strategy: Understanding NNN leases and their benefits is crucial when marketing properties to prospective tenants. Highlighting the advantages of an NNN lease can help you secure tenants more quickly.
  3. Negotiation skills: A solid understanding of NNN leases will enable you to negotiate the best possible terms for your clients, whether you're representing the landlord or the tenant.

For property owners:

  1. Predictable cash flow: By shifting the responsibility of property taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses to the tenant, property owners can enjoy a more predictable and stable cash flow.
  2. Reduced management responsibilities: With an NNN lease, property owners don't have to be as involved in the day-to-day management of the property, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their investment.
  3. Asset value preservation: Tenants in NNN leases often have a vested interest in maintaining the property, as they're responsible for its upkeep. This can result in a higher property value over time.

Key Considerations

While NNN leases offer several benefits, they're not without potential drawbacks. Here are some key considerations for brokers and property owners:

  1. Tenant financial stability: It's essential to conduct thorough credit checks and financial analyses of prospective tenants to ensure they can handle the financial responsibilities of an NNN lease.
  2. Lease terms: Ensure that the lease terms, including rent escalation clauses and renewal options, are clearly defined and favorable for both parties.
  3. Operating expense reconciliation: Be sure to establish a clear process for reconciling operating expenses, as disputes can arise over the allocation of costs.


NNN leases are a popular choice in commercial real estate, offering benefits for both brokers and property owners. As a beginner in this industry, developing a comprehensive understanding of NNN leases is crucial to your success. By considering the significance and implications of these leases, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the commercial real estate landscape and make informed decisions for your clients or your property investments.