You can try…but why? How many leases have you signed recently? Do you know the market rent for commercial space in each individual neighborhood or building in Houston? How large of a tenant improvement build-out package should you ask for? How about some free rent? Is this landlord known as being easy to work with or will he find clauses to squeeze you on in 6 months because he is having financial trouble?
Where do you plan on starting to look? Have you tried driving around looking at signs recently? What is the first thing you think to do when you see a sign of a property you like? Call? This is actually the worst mistake you can make, good thing we can trust our instincts...
What about looking at listings online? Ever seen an apartment or a house online that wasn't what you expected? Ever wasted time on a listing you loved, but it turned out to be rented (good ole bait and switch)? What about the exclusive listings which only the best brokers know about? These are only a few reasons why online listings can fail you.
Seems like a lot to try to learn by yourself. If you think you are up for the task, perhaps you should try getting your license and getting into the tenant broker business (and we will happy to show you some very good ones to emulate)! Otherwise, engage the services of one of TheSquareFoot approved brokers today and you can go back to concentrating on what you do best…your business!
Still not convinced - check out the example below -
Let's say that you are looking at a 3 year, 5,000 square foot deal at $40 per sq ft per year to rent space in downtown Houston. In this case, the landlord would save approximately $24,000 in commissions by not having a tenant broker involved. Let's assume that you know this, and you can convince the landlord to pass this savings on to you (which never happens, but lets fantasize). In real terms, this equates to a savings of $1.60 per sq ft per year.
So, now the question is, can a broker save you $1.60 cents or more per year? Let's play with a couple of deal terms (of the hundres) to find out.
Landlord tells you that the going rate is $3.50 per sf for electricity. Broker negotiates metered electricity to $2.70 instead - savings of $.80 per sf.
Landlord tells you that a standard TI package is $20,000. Broker negotiates $32,500 - average savings per year = $83.
These are just two of the many elements of a deal, and the broker has already justified his/her commission.
The fact of the matter is that a tenant is simply not aware of the market driven standards for the countless elements of a complicated commercial lease. Even if you could find the right space with a good landlord in a good location and could determine what the correct rent should be (all highly unlikely), there are so many elements at play that significantly impact your total expenses. A qualified broker in Houston is a no brainer.