Tenant representation is one of the most valuable corporate real estate services that your company can invest in. In many cases, it doesn't even cost anything. However, just because it's free doesn't mean that you shouldn't maximize the value that you get from your representative. When you choose a skilled tenant representative, you might be amazed at what he can do for you.
1. Be Loyal
Your tenant rep works for you from the understanding that you'll work with him. It's completely reasonable to interview representatives until you find the right one, but once you do, work with him exclusively. This can save you time and eliminate the risk of having too many brokers in the deal.
2. Let Your Tenant Rep Analyze Your Needs
While you probably have your own space planning team and internal space metrics, your tenant rep has seen countless tenants and has gotten a sense of how they've used their spaces. He may be able to recommend a better approach than what you're considering.
3. Have Your Tenant Rep Source Options for You
One of the benefits of tenant representation is that you have a local expert that can beat the bushes and find every available space for you. If he knows what you want, he'll find it if it exists. He can even arrange tours and travel arrangements if you need to fly in.
4. Let Your Tenant Rep Create a Negotiating Strategy
He knows how a given market does business and understands the leasing climate. Furthermore, he's experienced in negotiating with landlords and other real estate brokers. His strategy will be targeted to your needs and your market. One example of this is asking you to bid on multiple buildings even if you only want one space - this strategy makes landlords compete for you.
5. Run Your Negotiations Through Your Tenant Rep
Once he's set up a strategy, let him implement it. Don't turn the negotiation over to attorneys. Commercial real estate agents who are skilled in tenant representation know how to negotiate business points and move deals forward so that you can finalize your lease terms, then have your attorney fix the language. Doing this doesn't just make the negotiation easier. It can also reduce your legal fees.
6. Take Your Tenant Rep's Advice on Lease Language:
While your attorney is an expert on the legalities of the contract, a tenant representation expert knows what business terms are acceptable in your market. He can help you get the best possible TI allowance, the most favorable option terms and the best commencement dates.
7. Keep Your Tenant Rep Involved Through Build-out and Move-in
Your agent is an expert in managing the real estate aspects of the entire process. He can also serve as a negotiating buffer between you and your landlord during the construction process.
8. Involve Your Tenant Rep in Any Ongoing Issues
While the hope is that nothing will go wrong during your tenancy, if something does, your rep will be there for you. He can help you understand your options under your lease and help you reach a settlement with your landlord.
9. Get Regular Market Updates
Even if you aren't at a point where you can do anything with your lease, your agent still collects market information that he uses in his tenant representation practice. The market intelligence he offers can helps you build your long-term strategy.
As your lease nears renewal, sit down with your tenant representation team to decide what you should do. He can help you with negotiating an option or with moving to new space.
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