The Many Hats of the Tenant Rep Broker

by CoyDavidson on May 18, 2010

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The Roles of the Tenant Representative

The logic behind tenant representation is that in order to reach an equitable solution to a particular need (leasing  space), the corporate tenant needs access to market information, transaction expertise and negotiation skills equal to that of the landlord who utilizes professional representation.

An effective tenant representative takes on several key roles in the process of finding and securing office space for his client, these include:

Market Expert: In order to be successful in the discipline of tenant representation it is required first and foremost to have intimate market knowledge of the space inventory of a particular product type, whether it is the office, industrial or retail property. They know the buildings and the good bad and ugly of each particular property, as well as the availability and timing of vacant space. They understand market trends and provide a realistic assessment of the market.

Professional Negotiator: Negotiation is an art more than a science, all though there are proven negotiation techniques that can be learned. The art is how to apply those techniques in the client’s particular situation. The best lease negotiators understand how to create as much leverage as possible based on market conditions and the characteristics of the tenant/client as well as the goals and characteristics of particular building owners.

They also have a solid reputation and professional relationships with building owners and their leasing teams. Timing and competition are critical factors in addition to negotiation skill. The best deals are positioned properly, making effective negotiations possible.

Process Manager: The days of just knowing the market and matching your client’s requirements to the available inventory, then negotiating the best deal possible are long gone. The best tenant representative are not only market experts and effective negotiators, but also are adept at managing the whole leasing process and possess knowledge across multiple disciplines including:

  • Architecture / Space Planning
  • Financial Analysis
  • Demographic Studies
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Furniture Systems
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Real Estate Law

Several other professionals are typically utilized in the leasing process (Architect, Lawyer, Engineer, Construction Manager, General Contractor, I.T Vendor, Furniture Vendor, etc); the best tenant representatives have knowledge in these areas and stay on top of the latest trends in these disciplines related to leasing and use of the office premises.

They also possess the skills to assemble, coordinate and manage, the diversified team of professionals involved in the leasing process. The office leasing process is complex and through-out the process, many decisions have to be made with the help of third party consultants regarding a company’s office space.

Think about some of the major decision points and the professionals required to assist in those decisions:

  1. Selecting the right location and building
  2. Analyzing and negotiating the best financial terms
  3. Designing the space that compliments your operations
  4. Selecting the right furniture, equipment and information technology systems
  5. Maintaining quality and cost control in the design and construction process
  6. Negotiating an equitable and flexible lease contract

The one professional that should be engaged in managing the team of consultants utilized in the process, is the tenant representative.

More than a broker

The best tenant representatives should already know, or take the time to intimately understand your goals and objectives, your industry / competitors, how you utilize your office space and facilities, as well as how real estate fits into your overall business strategy.

Real Estate and office space transactions are long-term decisions that can affect the operational and financial performance of your enterprise. Today, you need more than a broker to identify vacant space and negotiate lease terms. You need a consultant who recognizes the difference between sound business management and real estate sales.

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  • Weekly I run into businesses who have ended up with a nightmare because they made their retail or office space transactions without getting help at the start of their real estate decision. In today’s market a full service representative can help a business clearly define its objectives in its real estate transaction and then help them find the best solution.

  • Great article — two other traits of the successful tenant rep broker are creativity and flexbility of a tenant rep broker. Keep up the good work!

  • Great information thanks Again Coy. Could you share the best techniques to gain more clients as a tenant rep?

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