“Look at all the signs out there. There’s a ton a space available,” said my new client.
How many times have I heard that one from new clients? Thus, the development of Neitlich’s First Rule of Real Estate which emphatically states that, “If there is a sign in front of a building, there’s no space available.”
This event seems to play out over and over almost daily. While a building may or may not have space available, it probably has a marketing sign in front but most likely does not ha
ve space available that will work for your company. There may be 10,000 SF available but you only need 3,000 SF. Would the landlord cut off 3,000 SF just to accommodate you? And the reverse can be true where you need 10,000 SF and while the building has only 10,000 SF available it is on three different floors but combines to equal your 10,000 SF.
Certainly, one never knows what is going through the landlords’ minds. Maybe there is a 10,000 SF space and the tenant next door needs to expand by 7,000 SF but the landlord is hesitant to break up the larger space until he has a tenant for the other portion.
In today’s technological world there are few secrets. Most commercial brokers subscribe to proprietary databases such as Co-Star, Xceligent (through the AIR based in Los Angeles) or a full version of LoopNet (rather than to consumer free and limited version) so they can easily pull up specific data on the properties.
I tell my clients that it shouldn’t preclude them from identifying a property if they happen to pass it while driving home. Years ago, a client’s administrator was reading in the Living Section of the local paper and came across an article about an historical residential property that was being rezoned and developed into commercial offices. The property fit perfectly for the image of this advertising agency. I few phone calls later we tracked down the new listing broker and shortly after the agency moved in.
There are a lot of ways to find a space but finding the right space and negotiating terms that meet your business’ needs is what an experienced broker will do for you. Just today I received a call from a client with a list of 3 properties he drove by. None were on the list of options I sent him the other day. I few strokes of the keyboard and it was clear that none of the properties he inquired about had a space that even closely met his requirements.
Remember, the number one marketing tool for the listing broker is a sign in front of a building. If a tenant calls about that property they may get a response such as,
“I don’t have that space that meets your needs in that building but I have 7 other buildings I can show you.” Yes, he may have other buildings to show you but understand, he works for the landlord. A professional tenant broker will take away the pain of searching around wildly as well as negotiate on your behalf.
Remember Neitlich’s First Rule of Real Estate next time you’re roaming around looking at building signs.