Even the most confident or experienced among us find commercial real estate to be a tricky world to navigate. That’s the bad news. The good news: You don’t have to go it alone. Tenant brokers are veterans of the domain, whose sole job is to help companies find the best space at the best price. Here’s a quick rundown of when you want one by your side—and how to maximize the collaboration.
Use a tenant broker if you want a seasoned professional…
….to bounce things off—for free! A tenant broker has intimate knowledge of market prices and lease signing procedures. Even better, their fees are covered by the landlord. In fact, look elsewhere if a tenant broker expects compensation from you.
….on your side. A listing agent represents the interests of the landlord—and the landlord’s wallet—during the leasing process. Unfortunately, they also often bank on tenants’ lack of knowledge to attain the best results for their client. A tenant broker, on the other hand, is duty bound to you—and to your best interests—alone.
….to do the legwork. Once you’ve laid out space requirements, price point, and desired location, the tenant broker will canvas through potential listings before presenting you with the most promising options. He or she can also arrange tours so you can scope out potential spaces.
…to help down the line. A broker who becomes familiar with your unique needs and challenges can function as an ongoing advisor for your company. So if business quickens—or weakens—he or she can help you monetize your space or find a more fitting one.
And if you want to make the most of your tenant broker’s services…
…find a reputable commercial real estate company. There are a lot of tenant brokers out there, and it can be hard to know if you found a good one. Instead, consider working with a company, which will mean you are not simply dependent on an individual but rather have the backing of an organization that knows your business requirements.
…think twice before committing. Some brokers will ask you to sign an exclusive agreement, which can be limiting. What if you ultimately find that the broker is not meeting your needs and you want to look elsewhere? That said, it is helpful to know that employing multiple brokers doesn’t necessarily mean you see more inventory. All brokers have access to available properties on the market.
….avoid brokers who represent tenants and landlords. For the simple reason that some will be unable to resist the temptation to double dip, collecting an agent’s commission (from the landlord) and tenant broker’s commission (also from the landlord) in one real estate transaction. This might motivate the broker to point you toward a listing in their portfolio, even if it’s not the best fit for your business. Plus, if that broker has another client with similar space requirements, he or she might then try to instigate a bidding war between the two of you.