Representing you: What it really means

“I am going to represent you.”

Lately I have wondered what a client seeking office or industrial space thinks when we say that. “Represent” can mean different things to different people; inevitably a client’s expectation is colored by his or her past experiences. Has the person been represented in a commercial real estate transaction before? What services did the agent provide? How was the relationship with the agent? How smooth was the process? In the end, how did he or she feel?

Real estate agents approach the process of securing a new lease or renewing an existing lease with various mindsets. Their differing priorities and goals affect the amount of time and the level of service they invest in their relationships with clients.

That leaves tenants with an unclear understanding of what they should expect from a commercial real estate broker who says, “I am going to represent you.”

At Tenant Realty Advisors, the promise of representation is a promise we take to heart. When we take on a client, we take on his or her insecurities and challenges in creating the best space for his or her business to thrive. We make it our business to help that client have confidence and succeed.

Some might hear the term “represent” and imagine an agent taking over the decision making process.

At Tenant Realty Advisors we don’t make decisions for our clients; our function is to educate them with market information and our insights about the players so they are comfortable making the decisions they must make.

We understand the challenges our clients — who often become friends — face in planning and anticipating their long term facility needs for successfully operating their businesses. We don’t speak for them; instead we partner with them. And because we dig deeper and spend more time with our clients, we don’t rush them to decide.

In the representation process, Tenant Realty Advisors clients can expect:

  • Initial meetings to understand goals, needs, and targets
  • A complete, unbiased explanation of the market
  • Written reports on available properties
  • Physical tours of the most attractive properties
  • Meetings with the properties’ representatives to better understand the buildings
  • Preparation of Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which solicit the same information from all properties to facilitate comparison
  • Advice on the best negotiation strategies
  • Submittal of Letter of Intent to the chosen property
  • Communication with the landlord as we negotiate the final lease terms
  • Frequent consultation between agent and client
  • Evaluation of the lease
  • Recommendations on the professionals to connect with and the steps to take to get the property ready for occupancy

The overall process is meant to help clients understand where they fit within the larger real estate market, what trends and constraints are affecting prices and terms, and what factors might impact how motivated potential landlords are to make a deal. We guide our clients through the process, advising them on their timetable and action items along the way. Armed with a plan and strategy, we can present a united front at the negotiation table and come away with a tenant friendly lease. From there we help source vendors, such as architects, movers, data/phone suppliers, interior designers, etc.

We go further and dig deeper than an agent who is “showing space.” For us it’s not just about making a deal: Our promise to represent a client is a commitment to build a relationship.

Leave a Comment