Jul 15th, 2019, By

What is Tenant Representation?

Relocating to a suitable office space for many businesses is a critical decision. Sadly only a handful of tenants in a commercial property have the experience to save time and also negotiate for the best deals. With a tenant representative in the picture, tenants can concentrate on the business of the day and worry less about getting an office space that suits their purpose.


Who is a Tenant Representative?

A tenant representative, or tenant rep for short, is a commercial real estate expert who works exclusively for the tenant. Before you go ahead and appoint a tenant rep, it would suffice to have a basic understanding of what one does. An essential function of a tenant rep is to analyze your location – would you stay or leave? You may continue to stay put or weigh your options to ascertain if your business is ready to move to another location. Both options need to be considered and assessed financially and logistically, for an informed decision to be made.


Why Hire a Tenant Rep

A tenant rep broker solely has the corporate tenants' best interest in mind throughout any commercial real estate project they do. They will provide market knowledge, help tenants' avoid mistakes, assist with negotiations and much more.


When you want to hire a tenant representative, opt for a firm and broker that represent tenants only, and has a perfect understanding of the industry. Somebody you feel you’re comfortable with and you can trust. A tenant rep will be available even after signing the lease in case you have any question or issues.


You can consider the tenant rep as another arm of your internal staff. If your company requires help much later, the existing relationship will prove wise, whether the you’re expanding or downsizing.


What is Tenant Representation (Video)

Returned Calls

If you have taken up the task to find office space on your own, you'll understand how hard it can be for a landlord or landlord broker to return your calls. 


Landlords are always very busy and do not have time to return every call they receive. A landlord may also hire their own landlord broker, who is probably used to working with other brokers than with individuals.


When you hire an experienced tenant rep, it solves this problem in several ways:


  • A tenant rep has the reputation of the company they work for, which gives them more authority when they call landlords.

  • The leasing broker has probably had a relationship with the tenant rep before now --they may even have another deal in the pipeline-- and therefore, there's high chance to return their call. These business relationships are essential, which makes it possible for the landlord to consider offer on their space.


Certain Properties Do Not Go on Listing

When searching through listing sites, it can be challenging to have an idea of what's available on your own.


While you spend time clicking through some listing sites, searching for a suitable space can be an excellent option to get a feel for the market. However, many brokerage firms fail to update their listings on some of these sites, making it impossible to succeed with your search.


A tenant rep has so many resources to solve these problems and find the best inclusive list of location options present on the market.


  • Complete Listings: Tenant rep brokers can access the most comprehensive listing databases.

  • Industry Relationships: Tenant representatives initiate quality relationships with both landlords and leasing brokers, allowing them to get updated information on what's available.

  • Off-Market Options: Using their industry connections, tenant rep brokers get access to information on spaces that may not be on the market yet.


Not only do tenant reps have the resources to find you all the options available, they will also take the time to cull through the list and present to you the options that best suit your needs.


The Available Space Might Not Necessarily Be What You Need

It is essential to begin the site selection process via a need assessment. Is your vision in tandem with what you need? A tenant rep will make inquires and run the preliminary analysis to help you determine what is required in your new space, while considering your budget, and many other factors that go into finding the right space for you.


Most times, companies are searching for new space when their current one has outlived its usefulness.


  • Is your company growing at a fast pace---or downsizing?

  • What is the projected growth of comfort?

  • How does your company make use of space? Does it operate on private offices? Or the company is looking out for open, collaborative space?


All of these questions will be sorted out with a tenant representative. The ideal profession will ensure that all issues are put into perspective for a good result.


Parking Space for Employees

Having parking spaces for employees is critical for most office tenants, but securing enough space is a challenge. Parking is usually limited--especially in crowded locations--and can be expensive.


Your tenant representative can offer expertise in negotiating an ideal parking arrangement in your lease by:

  • Researching other transportation means for employees

  • Negotiating lower monthly parking fees

  • Estimating the right number of parking spots needed 

  • Providing creative parking solutions


If you feel that parking is essential when searching for new space, hiring a tenant rep comes handy to avoid overpaying and making sure you get all the right parking terms in your lease.


The Location That Fits the Bill

The decision on where you want your office to be located is of prime importance. No two submarkets are the same, so while you may have a specific location in mind, it may not be an ideal fit for your needs.


A tenant rep broker will help finding you the right space in all the submarkets and will provide an answer to all your questions as regards to the pros and cons of a specific area.

  • Can clients locate the office easily?

  • Are rental rates within your budget range?

  • Can the building be accessed from significant thoroughfares?

  • Where do your employees live and how far is the commute?

  • Will you get the right signage?


These questions and several more will be resolved with a tenant rep even before you accept a location.


Facilities Needs

The truth is, leasing office space with an access to a food court, a gym, and outdoor spaces seem more like a dream come true. The building comes with several facilities, but how do you know the ones with the most bang for your buck?


If amenities are essential to your office search, a tenant rep can offer you an idea of:

  • The amenities in the building and in the surrounding neighborhood

  • What the CAM costs are

  • Will this location attract the right potential employees


Negotiating the Tenant’s Deal Term

Jumping into the negotiation process without experience can be pretty daunting. A landlord can quote any number or terms, and you have no inkling whether they're standard for the market unless you do an in-depth research beforehand.


Things like renewal options, tenant improvement allowances, and exclusivity use terms are just a few items for negotiation, and it can be hard to know how to negotiate these if you do not have experience in the real estate industry.


Searching for an office is hard enough, jumping into it without knowledge could spell doom right off the bat—and no CEO wants that. To give yourself the best chance of reaching the best deals, the experience and expertise of tenant rep suffices to help you weather the storm and make the process as seamlessly as possible.


Let your company have the best chance of finding that perfect space with the best lease terms for your needs; it is essential to have a tenant rep for your search. By so doing, you push aside all the headaches and trouble that comes with the process. Navigate the process with the experience of those that understand the industry and can give you leverage from start to finish.


iOptimize Realty's Tenant Rep Services Has Been Helping Corporate Clients For Over Three Decades. Learn How We Can Help You!


Here are a few other articles we know you'll enjoy:

How Much Does a Tenant Rep Cost?

5 Tips to Consider When Designing an Office Layout

What is a Gross Lease in Commercial Real Estate?

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