Finding the right space is not like going to Nordstrom’s

So you think finding the right space is easy? Most all commercial brokers would like you to think that. A vast majority of commercial brokers are employed by firms that specialize in marketing properties for landlords. Their job is to convince potential tenants or buyers that “their” property is the best and that your firm absolutely needs to move in to that space…immediately. Some of those “listing” firms have divisions they refer to as “Corporate Services” or “Tenant Rep Group” but the goal is the same…convince you to relocate. Are they listing agents or tenants’ agents? What’s the old saying about looking and sounding like a duck?? 

Pure tenant brokers will typically spend a lot more time looking at your present needs and helping you to determine exactly what will be best for your firm…even if it means remaining in your existing space Now the fun begins.

If your requirement is 10K-20K+ you may have a bit more flexibility both in the layout of potential spaces but also in the flexibility landlords will have in providing tenant improvement allowances.  Not so for smaller tenants particularly if you are looking at something less than a five year lease.

If you engage a broker and he tells you he will pick you up the next day to go out and look at space…find another broker.

The process at a minimum should take a week or two…did I say minimum? You should start by outlining for your broker EXACTLY what your parameters are…location, number of people you plan to house and standardizing their work area size for each job function. Finally, look at common areas such as kitchens and conference rooms then add both internal circulation (usually 20%-30%) and an average of 15% to cover common areas in the building.With that information, your broker should contact every building that has space in that size range, contact the listing broker to get ACTUAL floor
plans then chose the ones that appear to work for you. Your broker should then preview each of the spaces to confirm the layout…amazing how many of the plans are wrong or out of scale.After discussing the options with your broker you should narrow the choices down to the top 5-6 to tour…tour more spaces and your head will be spinning not to mention wasting a full day looking at space that will never work. After you tour you may want to revisit the top four followed by a decision on which the top four properties are…the best three to get proposals.

Be patient and start early. Too often the brokers’ agendas are not in line with yours. It’s your business and you need to make sure your broker is your trusted adviser and not using you for a payday.


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