So you’ve done your research. You know what a tenant representation broker is and the value they provide in helping you with your commercial real estate needs (from finding new space to negotiating favorable economic terms to helping review a lease document).
But did you know they can help you do more than just locate new space? At AQUILA, we want you to get the full value out of your relationship with your tenant representation broker, so we’ve put together a list of other value-add services you can request.
In this article, we will explain eight common problems you may run into that a tenant representative can assist you in solving. Click the links below to jump to specific sections.
- Finding more parking
- What you should do if you have a new landlord
- How to expand into more space or adjust for growth
- Subleasing your space
- Gaining leverage with renewals
- Negotiating with your landlord
- Deciding whether you should buy or lease space
- Finding reputable vendors for furniture, build-outs and more
How Do I Find More Parking for My Employees?
Parking is a hot commodity in Austin, particularly in the CBD and surrounding areas. Whether you need to negotiate for additional parking during your lease negotiations, or you’re in an existing space but have found that the available parking no longer suits your needs, a tenant rep broker can help you think outside the box to find a solution that will work for you.
For example, if your company has atypical operating hours, often times a tenant rep broker can help you negotiate more parking spaces for after-hours parking at your building.
For companies with more traditional hours, options may include negotiating to lease additional parking spaces at an adjacent surface lot or parking garage, or even working out an agreement with a nearby church or restaurant to use their parking during alternate hours.
For more on how a tenant representation broker can help you solve your parking woes, read our article: 5 Creative Parking Solutions for Firms in Downtown Austin
What Happens if I Get a New Landlord?
Should the property you occupy change hands, it’s your tenant rep’s responsibility to determine how this might impact you from a day-to-day perspective as well as long term.
For example, does the new owner have plans to renovate or make improvements to the building? If so, will there be disruptions to the specific space or parking areas? What impact will this have on property taxes and operating expenses? Will property management change?
Contact your tenant rep as soon as you know about a change in ownership so they can help you understand what exactly it will mean for your company.
To learn more about how a change in property ownership can impact you, My Office Building Just Sold: What Does That Mean for Me?
What if I Need More Space?
If you are part way through your lease term and find you’ve outgrown your current space but don’t have any expansion options (or have already utilized them), a tenant rep broker can help you find the right solution.
Depending on your landlord and the availability in your current building, a tenant rep broker can help you evaluate three potential solutions:
- If there is available space in your current building, your tenant rep can leverage your growth and help you negotiate an expansion within your current building.
- If there is not enough space to accommodate your required growth within the building and you’re open to a remote office, your tenant rep can help you locate a satellite office and discuss the pros and cons of having multiple offices.
- Finally, if there’s no room for expansion in your current building and you need to keep all of your employees under one roof, your tenant rep can help you evaluate the idea of subleasing your existing space and relocating to a new, larger space.
How Do I Sublease My Space?
The need to sublease your space can arise for a number of reasons. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your current space and are relocating to a larger location. Or maybe you’ve downsized within your suite and want to sublease the additional space.
Whatever the reason, subleasing your space can be a valuable decision that prevents you from paying thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars on vacant or unused space.
Your tenant rep broker can help you analyze your lease to ensure that your sublease language allows you the most flexibility. Knowing who you can sublease to as well as if the landlord has the right to recapture your space are all very important factors in determining how to best market the space.
Additionally, your tenant rep broker can help you market your space to the brokerage community as well as tenants who occupy the same building. Your broker will help you negotiate with prospective sublessees to ensure you get the most favorable terms.
How Do I Create Renewal Leverage Early?
Did you know that even if you still have a number of years left on your lease, it may already be time to begin planning for your renewal?
By engaging a tenant rep broker well before your renewal notice period, you will have the time to thoroughly analyze the market and see what options are available.
Even if you think you want to just stay in place, it is important to go through the entire site selection process.
By knowing exactly what is available on the market, you can generate leverage in your negotiations with the landlord. Creating this leverage will allow you and your broker to negotiate for better rental rates and potentially even additional concessions that are uncommon in renewals such as a tenant improvement allowance. Knowledge is power and knowing what other options could fit your company is extremely important in a competitive real estate environment.
To learn more about the advantages of renewing your lease early, read our article Renewing Your Commercial Lease: 3 Reasons to Renew Early (and 3 Reasons to Not).
How Do I Prepare for Negotiations With My Landlord?
While rare, it is possible that you and your landlord will reach a disagreement during the life of your lease. It may arise from different interpretations of renewal or expansion market rental rate language. These lease provisions typically outline how the rental rate is calculated if you decide to renew or expand. Lease comparables are an important part of this discussion. Your tenant rep should be able to provide you with the most recent lease comparables to help you in determining the market rental rate.
Should this situation arise, your tenant representative will be by your side throughout the entire process.
Should I Lease or Buy Office Space?
Purchasing your own building can be a valuable investment for your company. However, it comes with additional risk and a number of new responsibilities and expenses, including hefty upfront costs, maintenance and repairs.
A tenant rep will perform a thorough lease versus buy analysis, that will look at the pros and cons for your company. Company growth, cash on hand and the availability of resources within the company to help manage a building will all be part of the analysis.
To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of both leasing and owning property, read our article Buying vs. Leasing a Commercial Property (Pros & Cons).
Who Are Reputable Vendors?
Whether you just signed a lease and are looking for a trusted project manager to lead your office build-out, or you are midway through and are looking for a reputable office furniture company to update your office layout, your tenant rep broker will be ready with a recommendation.
Rather than sourcing vendors on your own, it can save you time and heartache to turn to your tenant rep broker for real estate vendors of all sorts.
Because your brokers spend all day, every day in the commercial real estate world, they’ve typically worked with a number of vendors of category. And not only have they worked with them, they know exactly who they trust, and who they don’t.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the range of services a tenant rep can help you with. Just because your lease expiration isn’t around the corner, it’s never too early to engage a tenant rep to help you analyze your current real estate situation and evaluate your needs.
To learn more about the benefits and process of hiring a tenant representation broker, check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Tenant Representation Broker.