After discussing our vision with someone who has had a painful experience looking for commercial space in Houston, the apt analogy was -
"Would you would walk into a courtroom without a lawyer, especially knowing the other side has one and who does this on a daily basis?"
This really resonated with me and I think helps put the process in perspective. The issue is that since there is not a lot of literature on the topic, tenants may walk in blind and learn the lesson the hard way. This does not just mean entering into a bad lease, but it can mean waisting time until you realize lease negotiation is not your expertise. It is the expertise of office space broker or agent in Houston, who are well versed in the myriad of issues encountered from the initial search. This question was posted on Quroa and the answers are spot on -
"I have already located a property to lease and am directly speaking with the owner's real estate agent regarding terms. Even if I do enough research on lease terms and prices, is there any reason I shouldn't proceed on my own?"
There were multiple answers, but this one hit the nail on the head -
The fact of the matter is, that a tenant simply is 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 commercial realtor is a no brainer.
There are multiple reasons why a tenant broker makes sense and the main reason is it is a free service to prospective tenants in Houston. There are so many other reasons (like areas of expertise differ) it makes sense to hire a commercial realtor in Houston, we will leave as a post for another day.
When would you not want to use a commercial realtor in Houston? Very short term, turnkey scenarios, like Houston executive suites. Think about it in terms of going to small claims court... a post for another day.