“Knowledge is power, and power is $”. This adage used by most businesses is the quintessential equation for the commercial real estate industry.
The commercial real estate arena peeked my interest over twenty-five years ago. I say arena because I equate the lease transaction process to battle by gladiators in Roman times like Maximus, Russell Crowe, in the movie Gladiators. When Maximus entered the arena, he fought for every win. Well, I don’t fight for my life, but as a Commercial Real Estate Tenant Representative I do fight for the best deal for every client on each transaction.
Each commercial real estate transaction is different. For the broker, it’s exhilarating and a steep learning curve; for the laymen it’s a maze of acronyms, industry language and mathematical equations.
It’s not uncommon, even for the experienced professional like myself, with $220 million in real estate transactions, to view this transaction maze as daunting. I can only imagine what a novice goes through when the hunt for commercial space commences. Some business owners believe an online search for office space will reveal the perfect suite with the right terms. It’s quite the opposite. Without professional representation, initiated with the search process, followed by lease negotiations and signing, the novice may as well hand a prospective Landlord the password to their banking account.
Coming to Scottsdale from the Big Apple, I enthusiastically accepted a job from a large mixed-use commercial developer, WAM Development Group. I was in for a shock. My New York years trained me well as a culinary aficionado and a skilled actor; not a commercial real estate expert. The learning curve to appreciate the depth of the commercial real estate industry inspired me daily and two point five decades later, I own a commercial brokerage firm. Over the past quarter of a century, a proven 11-step formula unfolded for my clients seeking office space which is shared in this guidebook.
Knowledge is power, and power is $
The primary reason for writing this book is to empower YOU, the novice, when embarking on the search for commercial office space. This11-step process is a proven, straightforward lease methodology when shopping for office space, derived from years of hands-on experience. The process evolved while negotiating over four million square feet of properties and closing over one and a half million square feet.
Now you can follow these 11 simple steps to secure office space.
Think of leasing office space as a game; a game where the Landlord knows the rules and the Tenant, the rookie, is playing for the first or second time. Not very good odds for the Tenant, is it? It takes experience, analytics and market knowledge to stay on the same playing field as the Landlord. When the Tenant tours the suite, the Landlord, from experience, anticipates the Tenants next moves. Landlords know in advance what concessions will be yielded to the Tenant. Their side of the mathematical equation is calculated long before you arrived.
Not to fear, prospective Tenants can, indeed, be on the same footing as the Landlord with qualified representative. This qualified representative knows the rules on behalf of the Tenant and assists in negotiating a fair deal with the Landlord. They help the Tenant detail their desired office space in advance and strategize an approach to negotiate optimum lease terms.
The Best Defense – Hire a Commercial Real Estate Tenant Representative
My second reason for writing this book is to remove the mystery of office leasing. Any business owner or professional after reading this book, will quickly deduce the need to hire a qualified professional to assist with the intricate lease process and think twice about online leasing especially without knowledgeable representation.
The qualified professional I am referring to isn’t an attorney paid $350.00 per hour. An attorney seldom helps with the lease until the rental agreement, lease contract, is in-hand for review.
- $$$ Tip: An attorney doesn’t save you money on the overall lease transaction because he/she isn’t the market specialist needed for a favorable market deal.
The best Tenant defense: strong Tenant Representation by a qualified professional. In the rent game, the Tenant needs to be on equal footing with the Landlord or they will be sacked before the lease gets signed. In other words, the Tenant will probably pay a premium for the office space with few concessions from the Landlord.
The market specialist needed to protect your best interest in a lease deal is a commercial real estate Tenant Representative or a “Tenant Rep”. An experienced Tenant Rep can rattle off current market conditions, lease rates, Landlord incentives, and provide lease suggestions at the initial meeting, after they’ve asked you a slew of qualifying questions. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
- Industry Lingo: Tenant Rep is a commercial real estate Tenant Representative who represents the business owner’s interest (Tenant) in a commercial lease transaction. AKA commercial broker, commercial consultant, broker, agent, consultant
- $$$ Tip: Your Tenant Rep doesn’t cost a dime. However, after a smokin’ deal is signed, you may want to buy them a nice lunch.