Why should a broker represent you? The advent of tools like Costar, LoopNet and other listing sites appear to have leveled the playing field for corporate real estate. Given that you could go online and find thousands of spaces to rent, you might be tempted to go it alone. However, savvy corporations not only use tenant representation brokers to find space, but utilize their services for many other reasons. Here's why:
1. Zero Cost
When a tenant representative works for you, the landlord usually pays him. Typically, when spaces are available for lease, the landlord’s broker offers the commission, so you don’t have to pay your tenant representative. If you work directly with other brokers, you usually won't be legally represented, but the broker will still keep both sides of the fee.
2. Save Time
A good corporate real estate tenant representative saves you time. He can help define where you need to be. He does the research to identify which spaces to consider. Many tenant representatives schedule your tours, book your hotels and even pick you up at the airport. Once you've completed your tours, your representative will talk with other agents, submit letters of intent and offers, and keep you informed. He frees you of all of the administrative work of getting a lease signed or a property bought.
Your tenant representative is truly your partner. When a space isn't suitable for your needs, regardless if it looks good on paper or in a tour, your tenant representative will tell you. An agent who represents the landlord is not seeking your best interest. Corporate real estate can be an adversarial business, and having a loyal partner can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
4. Market and Competitive Intelligence
Corporate real estate tenant representatives are market experts that can give you a broader range of choices. They know which spaces are available, including those that you aren’t yet visible to the market. Tenant representatives track rent levels, concessions and other market indicators in order to help you quickly identify which offers are worth considering and which aren't. A tenant rep also knows the local community. He can help you decide which submarkets are right for your company and its future.
Typically, tenant representatives know the back-story on buildings. They can identify which sites may have maintenance, parking or traffic issues, or have any other condition that might not be visible to you as an outsider.
5. Negotiation Skills and Lease Knowledge
A tenant rep also knows how the negotiating process works and which lease terms are customary. For instance, in Los Angeles, landlords frequently include covered outside corridors in the rentable areas of their building. Some parts of the country have admin fees on CAM charges included in triple net leases and some don't. Local variations can make meaningful differences in your cost of occupancy. You need a corporate real estate expert that can help you stay on the right side of them.
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