WHY USE LESTER AND LESTER AS A TENANT REPRESENTATION BROKER?
How much time does it take?
When companies face the question of relocating, they have to make a multitude of complicated decisions. Whether the relocation involves 2,500 square feet or 250,000 square feet, evaluating alternative space options remains the same – a complicated, painstaking, and time-consuming process.
Allowing plenty of time is a basic but essential element in the process; users occupying less than 20,000 square feet should allow at least six months from the space survey until the move-in date; users who need more than 20,000 square feet should plan for a lead time of approximately nine to 18 months or longer.
- We help with a defined timeline for your decision-making process.
Who does Lester and Lester Represent?
Thirty-five years ago when I first started in this business, the broker’s fiduciary responsibility was to the Landlord. Over the last twenty years, the rules have changed. Even though we are still paid by the Landlord, our fiduciary responsibility is to the Tenant. We can now help you with information about any particular Landlord’s building that we could not tell before. Indeed, because we exclusively represent Tenants and not Landlords, we can supply you with all the relevant factors that we know about to help you execute a successful transaction and renew or move.
Brokers who represent you and the landlord walk a thin line and – because of the risk of a lawsuit – are much more cautious about telling all. If your representation brokerage firm has a sign on a building in your market survey, beware.
- We represent Tenants and their needs only.
What About the Tenant Broker’s Fee?
It is estimated that more than 75% of Fortune 500 corporations use brokerage services. I have seen directly negotiated deals wherein the Landlord has taken severe advantage of the Tenant. Above-market rental rates with little or no concessions, slanted terminology, clauses which do not represent intent, options either not included or poorly written – all common in non-represented (and under-represented) deals due to the tenant’s (or inferior tenant rep agent’s) lack of market experience. There is a reason estate developers ride in chauffeur-driven limousines and fly in corporate jets, and it’s not because of their generosity toward you – the Tenant.
- We will help you level the playing field.
Should I stay or Should I go?
Sometimes, a company decides that its present building is adequate and chooses not to move. This decision warrants careful thought and planning by the tenant. With most DFW office rental rates drastically decreasing in recent years, what originally seemed to be an attractive renewal rate offered in a contract signed three to five years ago may not be as tenant friendly in today’s market.
If the present building works and the economics are competitive, usually both the tenant and the landlord gain by staying. The tenant representative’s job is to ensure that both sides are well represented in the deal.
Part of being well represented is being well informed. When landlords know that relocation alternatives are abundant and tempting, they are likely to give more concessions. After all, landlords are competitive only when they must be.
A tenant’s Request for Proposal (RFP) can also be very valuable in the negotiating process. It sets forth the tenant’s “wish list” for rent, terms, conditions, improvements, expansion, and a number of other crucial items. However, the proposal should be properly prepared and presented to get appropriate landlord response. Asking for the moon may terminate negotiations with some developers; sensitivity in this regard is critical to the ultimate success of negotiations.
- We will present to your current and prospective Landlord(s) the real facts as you, the Tenant, see them.
Non-Legal Lease Evaluations
Although office and warehouse leasing brokers are not lawyers and should not attempt to carry out legal consultation, we can evaluate the lease document’s business point function in normal and customary market situations. Most leases are biased in favor of the landlords, and the most unfavorable clauses will often be modified if brokers challenge them during negotiations. Even though the new landlord may be a nice person, tenants must live with lease contracts for years; if the building is sold, the document is the tenant’s main recourse to ensure fair play.
- We will help prepare the business points of lease documents for your attorney’s review.
Who Has the Time?
Most office decision-makers do not have the luxury of devoting substantial portions of their time to bring about a successful office relocation. This is another way that we can help. We can do most information gathering, while decision-makers do just that–make decisions. Through our relationships with companies who specialize in moving or renewing such as architects, engineers, movers, and attorneys, we can help select the firms who have been most successful to help you in your decision.
- We will make sure your actual move comes off with the least unexpected occurrences.
How Important is Experience?
Tenants usually relocate within a specific market once every five or ten years. Obviously, they cannot compete with the in-depth market knowledge of the office-leasing specialist who is involved with the marketplace on a daily basis. Through select online databases, we know not only what is available but also what specific landlords are willing to do in terms of rent, terms, concessions, and a host of other factors. Brokers who know details of prior transactions have invaluable resources for negotiations that are not available by simply asking landlords what they are willing to do.
For example, if a tenant’s broker knows that a landlord offered a more attractive incentive package to a prior tenant than what is on the table, this is invaluable. Or if the broker suspects that a landlord is having financial difficulties or is always behind on time commitments for tenant build-outs, this information can help clients make much better transactions than if they were unaware.
Furthermore, developers and landlords know that tenants with experienced tenant representation are aware of competing buildings and can switch properties if transactions do not proceed smoothly. This alone can save tenants substantial amounts of time and money.
Office and warehouse space leasing is many times more complex than in the past. Office and warehouse building alternatives are everywhere, and lease contracts that used to be a few pages long now commonly number 20 or more pages (Although not commonplace, I have helped negotiate leases exceeding one hundred pages.) The bottom-line effects of an improperly negotiated lease contract can have long-term devastating effects on the tenant. Experienced tenant representatives understand the needs and requirements of tenants and landlords, and they are able to serve both parties fully.
- We do this everyday. We will help in more ways than you could expect.