How To Lease Office Space and Get the Best Deal? Use a Tenant Representative
If you intend to lease office space as you start a business, your goal should be to make the best deal in the best location so that you get cost effective office space that you are happy with and that will serve your new business well. This, of course, is easier said than done but with a few key tips furnished here, you will be on your way to finding great space.
Hire a Tenant Representative
Unless you are commercial real estate savvy and have negotiated office leases in the past, your first and best step in the process of finding new office space is to hire a tenant representative broker to assist you in getting the best deal. Tenant reps cost money but as you will see later in this article, the amount of money they would charge would be minor in comparison what you would be charged if you make the wrong deal.
What is the definition of a tenant representative? In the world of real estate most brokers that we all deal with in the purchase of a home, for example, or to lease retail, industrial or office space, is working for the owner, period, end of story! While this is generally accepted in residential real estate sales, in the area of commercial real estate leasing, you really need someone on your side because it is a different animal. You will be dealing with people—the owner (landlord) and his or her broker. Both are usually well experienced in commercial and industrial real estate lease deals. You may be a smart business person but are you experienced in evaluating commercial space? Are you savvy about commercial leases? If not, then you need someone who is as experienced and evaluating space and leasing space working for you as the landlord and his broker. There are a lot of “gotchas” that may not be noticeable at first in the lease but down the road you could rue the day you ever signed it.
Tenant reps are available in your local market for the most part and you may be able to find them by Googling "tenant representative" and your local market. You can also look in the Yellow Pages directory. There is also a professional brokers group called ITRA Global, the International Tenant Representative Alliance. As it states on its website: "ITRA will work as your advocate to find the most suitable space, assisting you in negotiating the best possible lease for your business. We are a global organization providing representation for companies like yours -- businesses that need knowledgeable advice from local office leasing professionals. We do not work for landlords or real estate management companies so there is no conflict. ITRA works for you." They can put you in touch with a local affiliate who may be able to help you. Remember that in business, it doesn’t cost anything to talk to someone and possibly get their opinions. Whether or not you decide to go with a tenant rep, it doesn’t cost anything to contact one and see what he or she can do for you. At the very lease, you will come away from the meeting more knowledgeable about leasing commercial space.