Now more than ever, if you are looking to lease commercial real estate, you need a tenant rep on your side. All of the services they provide, which include negotiations, market expertise, coordination, and strategic advice, have not changed. However, given the complexity of the during- and post-COVID economy and all of the changes that keep coming, such services have become more valuable than ever. Here are six reasons why working with a commercial real estate professional who exclusively represents is more important now than ever before.
- Your use of space has changed.
This spring, when basically all non-essentially businesses were forced to temporarily close or work remotely, how people used commercial spaces changed drastically. Even after people were able to slowly get back to business and reopen, there was a drastic shift in how much space was needed to accommodate needs. Some businesses decided to remain virtual and thus needed to get out of their commercial space entirely. Others needed more space or reconfiguration of space to accommodate for social distancing. Others still had to consider how they would replace communal spaces like conference rooms and kitchens.
Having a tenant rep on your side to help navigate all these changes is a huge benefit. First, they can help with lease negotiations if you need to break or change the terms of your lease. Next, they can also help you secure more or different space, if needed. Doing this on your own is a big undertaking and you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s where a tenant rep can step in to take this off your plate so you can focus on running your business.
- And the market has changed.
COVID turned everything on its head, which includes the commercial real estate market. It’s a new world out there, and the person who can best help you understand the changes and how they could be used to your benefit is a commercial tenant rep. It’s their job to monitor the market and help their clients adjust accordingly. With a tenant rep to guide you, the many unknowns of this market can start to make a little more sense.
- Getting to know a new market is challenging.
If your business needed to find a new space during the pandemic, particularly in a different city, this is where a tenant rep can really help you out. With travel restricted in so many ways, it’s virtually impossible to get to know a new market without living there or having visited it. It’s like real estate shopping with a blindfold. But when you can call upon a tenant rep who lives in your new desired market, you will benefit from all of their knowledge and expertise about that market. They can help you identify the right options for your commercial space, allow you to virtually tour it, and work on your behalf to negotiate a favorable lease.
- Not everything is represented online.
Another important consideration is what you see online isn’t the full picture. Many commercial properties cannot be found through an online listing. And with so many places to look, how can you be sure you didn’t overlook something. A tenant rep who knows the market knows what spaces are available, even if they’re newly listed and not represented online. They may even know of space that will soon be opening up and is not publicly known. All of this will work to your advantage to help you see your blind spots, and without having to take on the headache of this alone.
- Negotiation is at an all-time high.
Thanks to COVID, nothing is immune to change. This includes lease agreements. Many, many negotiations are taking place between tenants and landlords to adjust lease agreements because of the sudden change in how tenants are using (or not using) their space. A tenant rep is skilled in such negotiations and can step in on your behalf to arrive at a reasonable and favorable outcome for your lease agreement with the landlord. It also helps that they know the market and what other commercial spaces are charging per square foot and any COVID clauses that might exist.
- You need to protect yourself in lease agreements.
And finally, a tenant rep will be sure you are protected in your lease agreement for any future changes that might take place with your business. For example, does it make more sense for you to have a long-term or short-term contract? What should happen is you need to break the lease agreement? And what options are available to you should you need more or different space from the landlord? All of these unknowns should be addressed before you put your signature on anything and a tenant rep will be sure that all ground is covered.
Have you previously worked with a tenant rep to lease or purchase commercial real estate? If you have, what has been your experience? Do you agree that the role they play is more valuable than ever? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.