Author: Brian McKernan
If you’ve ever searched for commercial space for your firm you know how time consuming the search can be. I’m often contacted by tenants that have been randomly searching for space online, driving around writing down phone numbers and making calls to find out if space is available. Whether the tenant is a medical professional, attorney, an accountant or a sales & marketing professional they have a business to run and a tenant rep broker will allow you to focus on your business rather than search for space.
It’s not just about saving time though. Tenant representation is about finding the right space for your firm for the next period of time, getting you the best deal on your lease and finally saving you time in your search for space.
A good tenant rep broker is a professional that should know market, should listen to your space requirements’ and should drive a deal that works best for you the tenant. A broker should give you market guidance and be your advocate by representing you in an agency capacity.
In terms of the process and what you should expect, keep the following in mind.
Your broker should have access to all of the available space in the market through several commercial property databases and be able to leverage their relationships in the brokerage community with requirements email blasts to other listing brokers. Although much information exists in online databases, your broker still needs to make calls to gather information on availability, pricing and brochures. Your broker will handle all communication & negotiations and act as a 3rd party buffer between you and the landlord or landlord’s broker.
If your broker is doing their job well, you should be going on a 2-3 hour tour of 4-6 spaces that are a good match for your space requirements. This is your chance to evaluate and compare spaces as a fit for your business needs for your next period of occupancy. Projecting space needs for growth and contraction for the next 3-5 years is always challenging but getting into and actually seeing spaces will help in making that projection.
After seeing spaces on tour, you’ll hopefully be able to short list a couple of spaces that best meet you’re your business needs. Your broker will prepare an offer and negotiate the terms that will help you achieve the best pricing, tenant improvement allowance and concessions. Broker should have insight and experience into market and know what market will bear in terms of the best market pricing, the best terms and most advantageous concessions like free rent and tenant improvement allowances.
Upon mutual agreement of price and terms, your broker can assist with a review of the lease. Although not a legal expert, your broker can do high level reviews of leases to determine if all negotiated pricing and terms have made it into the lease. You should have been informed early in the process that your broker is NOT an attorney and the lease you will be signing is a legal document so you should seek a legal opinion of the language within the lease.
Your search for your next space is an important decision that can have a big impact on your business and employees. Finding the right space can be achieved if you are working with the right tenant rep broker that is listening to your needs and finding the best space for your firm that meets those needs. Tenant rep is the best deal going for tenants, not only will you receive professional representation and service, but 90% of the time, the landlord pays the bill for your tenant rep broker’s commission.