Saving My Clients from Themselves


Sometimes I have to save my clients from themselves.  What does that mean?  It means that while they are very smart and great to work with, sometimes they get ahead of themselves and can cause a lease transaction to suddenly shift out from under them.

I know that commercial real estate brokers have a bad reputation at times of only being concerned with doing the deal in order to get paid.  Yes, there are brokers like that out there.  But the good ones, like me and my team, strive to do what’s best for the client.  My philosophy is that when you represent your client to the best of your ability and the client understands your role, the money always follows.

So how do I save clients from themselves?  By telling them the truth whether they want tolifeguard hear it or not.  Sometimes clients (both landlords and tenants) have to feel like they have won, even kicked butt on a negotiation – that’s just the way they are wired.  My role is to manage that aggressiveness with a cold dose of reality.   Occasionally it doesn’t make me the most popular person in the room, but I’m OK with that.

Here’s an example.  Perhaps I am representing a tenant who feels justified in demanding an aggressively low rental rate coupled with a heavy free rent period and a high construction allowance, but over the past 60 days, this particular landlord has gained some momentum and can now tighten the concessions.  We can also flip the example the other way – a creditworthy tenant is approaching me, as the leasing agent, with a mildly aggressive counter that is still within acceptable market terms, but I have had some good leasing activity and now the landlord wants to up the ante.

As I begin discussing the terms, the client is pushing back hard on their position – which has some validity, but it won’t result in a lease transaction.  Here’s my value in the deal – I stand my ground and engage in a meaningful discussion/debate with my client.  Sometimes we go at it (some clients simply enjoy a rousing debate) or sometimes it’s outlined in an email – it depends on my client’s communication style.  Trust me – I get my point across (albeit in a professional manner).  Once I am sure they have understood and thought about my recommendation rationally, then I step back and let them make their own decision.  That’s part of my value proposition, “Helping my clients make informed real estate decisions.”

During the course of my 20 years as a commercial real estate broker, I have done over 600 lease transactions.  If you need help in making an informed decision about your office lease, give me a call.  You’ll be happy with the results.


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