The Power of ONE (Broker)

We see it every day. Clients come through our system, browse for availabilities that match their space criteria, inquire on these spaces and then once we chat with them, it becomes apparent that they have spoken with several different brokers and in many cases, have toured with more than one.

It’s a problem. Although more often than not, it was completely innocent. They didn’t fully understand the different players involved in commercial real estate, they went to craigslist and called a bunch of numbers, or they walked around calling different ads for tenant brokers — these business owners or employees just wanted to find space the easiest way possible without any regard for who was actually helping them. When they thought they were talking to someone representing a building, they were actually speaking with a tenant broker. When they were speaking with a property listing agent and the property didn’t sound like a good fit, they tried engaging the listing agent to help them look at other properties. Then, they found TheSquareFoot, started looking around, and asked for our help. Their previous efforts had left them more confused than before they started, and still with no new office to show for their time. We make sure to educate the client about the pitfalls of using multiple brokers and 9 times out of 10, they end up using our service and being very satisfied.

There are also several clients, however misguided, who WANT to have multiple brokers working with them and competing for their business — showering them with attention from several angles. They don’t care which broker ends up getting credit for helping the client find space, they just want to put as many feelers out there as possible and go with the one that brings them the most attractive option. This is a bad idea for several reasons and in the end, everyone typically loses.

Let’s explore why:

  1. The client doesn’t get the proper attention because each broker has to spend time competing against one another (duplicating efforts), rather than focusing on getting the best deal for the client’s specific needs. It becomes a race, and the process of discovering and securing real estate shouldn’t be about how fast it’s done, but about the quality of work produced. Renting space is a massive commitment to any business and the right amount of time should be dedicated to studying the market, adequately touring the best options, and making sure the right deal gets done and all requirements are met.
  2. Landlords and landlord brokers HATE it, because they have multiple tenant brokers inquiring about and bringing them the same prospective tenant, not to mention having to work out which broker gets credit if a deal is made. It’s a huge mess for them.
  3. Each tenant broker has to spend time and energy working for a client they may not even get credit for. If they screen a space that one of the other brokers has already inspected, they have to answer questions from the landlord about why multiple parties are representing the same tenant and they usually won’t get the attention they need in order to fully vett the space (or any spaces covered by that landlord broker). The landlord may also have a problem agreeing to pay a commission to a broker that begins negotiating on behalf of a client that other brokers have engaged that landlord on.

Finding space isn’t easy. Due to the way the commercial real estate industry is currently set up, enlisting the help of a tenant broker is usually the most efficient and cost effective method for most prospective tenants to secure space. Finding a good tenant broker and sticking with them can be tough too, because unless they come highly recommended by someone you trust and specialize in the kind of space your company needs, you often won’t discover their flaws until you’ve already invested numerous hours and a lot of energy viewing spaces with them.

A good tenant broker is worth their weight in gold.

They typically take their work home with them, are in constant communication with you managing expectations through each phase of the process, and of course — have the market knowledge necessary to secure their client the best deal possible. Engaging multiple brokers simultaneously just ends up being a dog fight where everyone comes out blood stained, and often times without a new office to show for it.

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