The surface structure of oxide materials may be the limiting factor in controlling switching properties at interfaces. Here we investigate and correlate the surface structure and electronic properties of BaTiO3 substrates. By using low energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy we are able to identify surface reconstructions based on annealing treatments. We then investigate the effect of contact size on the transport properties on oxide surfaces utilizing atomic force microscopy. Our results show the critical importance of controlling surface structure to optimize electronic properties at oxide interfaces.