One of the continuing needs of businesses large, small and everything in-between is finding and maintaining a hold on the right kind of office spaces – for only as long as the next wave of marketplace changes dictate new workspace configurations and needs.
One way to stay on top of the moving jigsaw puzzle that is office space leasing is to consider hiring en expert to help provide advice as well as potential location targets that work for your company, you budget and your clients. Just because the space is right doesn’t always mean that it will work, particularly if locating within a certain neighborhood or geographical area is key to your bottom line.
Before picking up the phone and giving a few brokers a call, take a few minutes to consider how brokers work and what motivates them to suggest, pursue and close the right deal for you.
As much as brokers are in the customer service business, they are also in business for themselves. While the most professional brokers will always endeavor to keep your concerns at the top of their list of priorities, it’s important to remember that brokers often make their living by being paid a percentage of the overall value of any lease.
And going from “Yes, this is exactly what we’re looking for in an office!” to “Yes, the lease is negotiated, revised, signed, sealed and delivered!” can amount to much more work than typically meets the eye. The process can be as much work for a broker whether the total square footage covered by the lease is in the hundreds or thousands. Many brokers could be unwilling to help if you are downsizing to, say, a 500-s.f. space – if only because the time and costs involved make their involvement unwise.
On the other hand, no one stays abreast of business landlords like brokers do. By knowing that landscape thoroughly, a broker can help you navigate the waters to focus on those landlords whose business styles best complement your needs. This is probably one area where you don’t want to go it alone!
Brokers can also offer a creative approach to forging a favorable deal, operating on current knowledge and proven tactics to customize a lease. They could, for instance, attempt to structure any rent increases over timeframes that naturally work with your product cycle launches. And if your space needs dramatically change in a short period of time, a broker may be able to work with the landlord to get the space you want without having to explore expensive external options.
Rather than eye a broker’s commission as the sole metric for hiring one, consider what your specific needs might be, and proceed accordingly.