4 May 2020/ rent_commercial_property_guide

Questions to Ask When Looking for a Tenant Rep

A tenant representative broker, or tenant rep, is a real estate professional that will work with your business to make sure you get the right space for the right price. Trying to find the perfect office or retail space for your business can be a complicated and time-consuming process, and a tenant rep can be an invaluable source of insight and experience.

There are a lot of qualified tenant reps to choose from, so you need to make sure you find the right one. If you work in a specialist industry or have specific requirements, it is particularly important to find a tenant rep that understands exactly what you need.

Here are the questions you should be asking when searching for a suitable tenant rep:

1. Does the broker only represent commercial companies?

Some tenant reps are affiliated with particular landlords, so make sure that this is not the case beforehand. This will not only help reduce potential conflicts of interest but will ensure your options are not limited.

2. Do they know your sector?

Your requirements will vary based on the industry you operate in, your size and the way you run your business. Your potential tenant rep needs to have an understanding of property features that will add value to your operations. They should be able to give you an overview of the current market for the property type you are after and highlight any issues that you may not have considered.

This market knowledge is one of the biggest benefits of hiring a tenant rep, so make sure they have it right at the outset. Again, this is where specialists are important. If you need a large-scale office, make sure your tenant rep specialises in office leasing for companies your size rather than start-ups.

3. What experience do they have?

This question is tied to the one before, but it is worth taking the time to find out exactly how long potential tenant reps have been involved in the market. Ask them what companies they have worked within your sector, as well as the kinds of properties similar to the type you want that they have leased in the area recently. It is also common to request they provide samples of similar projects they have worked on in the last five years.

4. What firm do they work for?

Even if an individual tenant rep is saying all of the right things, it is important to research the firm they represent. This is not just about reputation, although that is certainly a crucial factor, but resources as well. You need to ensure that any potential tenant reps can handle your project properly.

Larger firms may utilise market research software systems that give them access to full commercial listings and market intelligence. These systems may allow these firms to help you identify potential locations and properties that smaller firms may not be able to find. Smaller firms may have greater specialist expertise, however, so size is not the only factor to consider. Some firms may also be able to offer you market research and mapping services. Mapping involves taking the addresses of all of your employees and finding the best office locations based on factors like average commuting times.

5. Does the firm offer any additional services?

Finding the perfect office isn’t the end of the process for your business. You still have to agree on the tenancy, furnish the space and move from your current space. Your tenant rep could be able to help you with this process, as many firms offer a range of additional services.

Among the most common services provided by brokers are recommending consultants and contractors to help you personalise your new space, fit out the IT infrastructure and furnish the office. Most firms will not charge you any extra for these services, so make the most of this resource while you can.

Some firms will have dedicated space planners or project management services to make sure any build-out processes run smoothly. This can be especially valuable as you are likely to be organising all the other aspects of your move whilst the build-out and furnishings are taking place.

6. Getting the right help

Finding a tenant rep that understands your business and market can make the whole process of finding a new office much smoother. If you prioritise finding the perfect match 6-12 months before your current lease expires, you will make sure that you have plenty of time to find exactly the right space.

Want more guidance and advice on how to get the best results as a commercial tenant. Read our other investor and tenant guides here.1. 1