If you’re just starting the journey of exploring new office space options for your business, you may be tempted to independently start browsing online or stop in a few locations that are advertising space for lease. What’s the harm in getting a head start?
A phone call to inquire about the details of a vacancy may lead to an appointment to view the space. While these may seem like innocent, even advantageous, actions, you’ve already made a critical error that could cost you your ability to represent your best interests as the tenant.
In most instances, once you have seen a property with the listing agent, prior to engaging your tenant rep or buyer’s agent, who serves to represent your interests, you lose the ability to do so for that deal. Now you’re left alone to navigate the often challenging and one-sided process of outlining the terms of the lease.
For this reason, it is critical to carefully think about your first move when looking for new office space. The first real estate professional you should speak to is your tenant representative or buyer’s agent. In addition to securing them to represent you for any and all real estate deals, you also gain their valuable expertise to make the process as painless as possible.
Here are just a few key benefits of working with a real estate professional who exclusively represents tenants and buyers and why it should be the first call you make when leasing commercial space.
Someone Looking Out for Your Best Interests
Be sure to qualify your tenant representative. You want someone who only serves the interests of their clients – who are all tenants/buyers. This ensures that the properties they show you are properties they believe will be a good fit for your needs, not because they are also the leasing agent for that property. Additionally, your tenant rep is there to aggressively represent you in negotiations. They have the tools and knowledge to understand fair market value, and will ensure you receive this or better.
Master of Their Trade
When working with a tenant representative, you receive the benefit of specialization. Representing tenants and buyers is what they do all day, every day. They are always thinking like the tenant, and so they are skilled and efficient at brokering deals in your favor. Rather than working with a broker who “dabbles” in both sides of the deal, you gain the peace of mind of working with someone who exclusive represents tenants and buyers.
No Cost to You
Most notably, tenant representatives are not paid for by the tenant; instead, the broker is paid commission by the landlord/owner (99.9% of the time). The commission fee is negotiated before the property is marketed, and that fee is usually paid regardless of whether or not you have a tenant representative/buyer agent (i.e. bigger commission for the leasing agent). Keep this in mind when you ask yourself whether you need a tenant representative. It comes as no cost to you personally and the commission is money that is paid out regardless. There is no downside to having a tenant representative on your side!
No matter where you are in your search for new office space, it’s always worth a phone call to a trusted tenant representative. Even if they cannot represent you for that particular deal, they are often still willing to offer advice to ensure you are getting a sound deal.