Written by: Ben Debayle, a tenant rep broker with The Finial Group specializing in greater Houston.
“Yes, this is Randomly Cold-Called Company. How may I help you?”
“Hi, my name is Ben Debayle and I was wondering if I can offer you the best deal in the world?”
“I would like to help you find the perfect office space in Houston for your company’s needs, save you a ton of time, get you the best price the market can offer, protect you from those evil landlords that try to sneak harmful clauses in leases, and do all of that for FREE.”
“WAIT ONE SE….” click
Coming into the commercial real estate industry as a young guy, I thought a pitch like that would be as good as gold. That sounds like the best deal in the world. I work for you for free and help in more ways than you can really count. Turns out, it still can be a struggle to convince companies to let you work on their behalf. To clarify, I should say smaller companies (>5,000 SF). Most large companies are represented on lease transactions. Why? Because they are educated on the value a broker can provide and understand the process. Well, with the help of TheSquareFoot blog, hopefully that will change.
In this post, I’d like to help answer just one good question—though there are many to hopefully answer in future posts—that companies have when considering their next space options.
That question is: How soon should I start Looking?
Good question. I typically suggest to my client that we start the process no later than six months before their current office lease expires. This gives the broker the most leverage to negotiate the best deal for you. The toughest situation to be in when trying to negotiate for a client is to be so close to their current expiration that you have no negotiation power. In that scenario, both your current landlord (for a renewal) and your prospective landlord (for a move) know that you have to make a decision quickly and have limited options. It’s then that they don’t budge on their rate and won’t give any concessions.
The process can take longer than a tenant realizes. The best thing a tenant can do is to get a head start.
Don’t wait ‘til the last minute, or you’ll be the losing tenant!