Didn't You Forget to
Mention What We Talked About?
Like you've never heard that question before. In a previous chapter we suggested how we hated it when we presented thirty-six point proposals to brokers and got nine point responses back. You know, the kind of response that deals with basic issues such as:
Length of term
Size of space
All the amenities surrounding the property
How wonderful the landlord is
Although it might take some computer knowledge and a little bit of your time, we've come up with a simple way to keep track of the deal.
Ready? OK, here we go. Let's start with a secret document.
So you don't want to have to write memos to the other broker every time you say something? Well, you shouldn't. Of course, we’re assuming your broker is the "you" part, and you are not serving as a principle. After all, that's why he's supposed to be earning that commission.
Oh, is that the way it’s supposed to work? Here's a simple method of keeping track of the deal and making sure all your proposal points are addressed. It will also save you a lot of time in haggling back and forth, as you should be more focused.
First, get a scanner. For under $1000.00 you can get a color scanner (black and whites are $300-$500). We have an old HP 3-C with the latest version of Omni-Page but also use our networked Sharp copier/printer.
Why a scanner?
When we get that nine-point response back from the broker, we immediately scan it and save it as a Word for Windows document—now we've got them.
Now it's time to do the basic cut and paste. Take that original 36 pointer you sent to the landlord’s agent and insert the landlord's (or most likely his broker's) response in bold letters under your original comments.
Now, type in your response below the bold type in standard type. If they didn't respond to a requested point, you have a choice. You can either cut and re-paste your initial request or, in big, bold letters state no response received—assumed our offer accepted unless otherwise noted. Boy, does that get their attention.
Here is an example:
(Your offer noted in proposal)
17. Signage: Tenant shall have the right to place his name on any monument sign in the front of the building which may now or in the future be constructed or at the eyebrow level if such is available, the Lobby Directory and on the wall next to the suite. The cost on such signage if not already in place shall be included in the tenant improvement allowance.
Landlord at his sole cost and expense shall provide tenant with the following signs providing they are not already in place: lobby directory and on the wall next to the suite.
(Landlord’s final response)
Clean and simple: Your request, landlord's response. Your acceptance, landlord's acceptance. Everybody agrees to agree. Of course, if you don't agree on the second or third go around, the alternating bold/standard format or no response/request format continues until the deal is completed. Always, demand a response to your issues.
Don't leave loose ends. We continue to mention what you should be expecting from your broker. Well, here's a big one. Tracking the deal this way will be a huge savings in both time and money for you and the landlord. Disagreements "after the fact" often end up costing unnecessary legal fees and delaying the deal. Landlords especially don't want to spend more money or cause delays that will prevent income.
Landlords should really appreciate your broker for this. Then again, landlords do have a real love/hate relationship with brokers. Seems they can't live without them and can't live with them.