As part of a program called the Counseling Corps that is sponsored by the Counselors of Real Estate (“CRE”), we periodically volunteer for nonprofits and municipalities, or other religious, educational, and government clients who need help with a complex real estate problem. A handful of counselors travel to the client for a week of fact-finding; at the end of their visit, they make a presentation; and within 45 days, they submit a report with recommendations.
When an entity is in search of a new space for its operations, there are some key players who make the deal happen.
I happen to be a licensed attorney in New York State, but in my role as a tenant representative, I am limited in the legal advice I can offer to my clients. I can't act as both a broker and an attorney because it is considered unethical by the bar association; a broker’s incentive is to close the deal and an attorney’s incentive is to protect his client. These roles can be in conflict.
If a new building department regulation goes into effect subsequent to the signing of a lease, either the tenant or the landlord has to comply with that regulation. In most cases, the landlord stipulates that the tenant is fully responsible for complying with all laws and regulations. However, it is usually possible to prevent the tenant from being fully responsible for capital improvements. An excellent example of this is retrofitting a space for a sprinkler-based fire prevention system.
Technology has improved the way warehouses and delivery trucks deliver.
Recently I met with some clients who were in the market for a warehouse space. Normally, when discussing a space, the client’s greatest concerns include the square footage, IT connectivity, and usable space—but in the world of warehousing, technology has reset the paradigm, and vertical space has become even more prized than the two-dimensional area of usable space.
The driving force behind this sea change is superior engineering and technology, which allows warehouses to adopt sophisticated order fulfillment systems.
Last year I had the pleasure of representing a foreign client who wanted to find a retail space. One of the storefronts we were considering was adjacent to a large corner unit that was leased to an accessory unit of a world famous brand. Recently, I found out that the tenant, who had only been in the space for less than a year, decided to close the store and sublet the unit for the remainder of the lease—even though the tenant had invested millions of dollars into the construction and design of the space.
Recently, I attended a networking event that brought up the topic of how our clients perceive us. They framed the discussion around three questions:
After Winter Storm Jonas (more popularly known as Snowmageddon 2016), New York City had 2.5 to 3 feet of snow in places. It was hard not to notice that some patches of sidewalk were shoveled while others weren’t, requiring pedestrians to navigate alternative routes. Sometimes, this means walking out in the street, which can be dangerous. I experienced this first-hand in front of a local H&R Block store.
Many financial advisors tell their clients that past performance does not guarantee future results.
Prospective tenants are often resistant to hiring an “exclusive” broker. They feel that if they hire just one company, they're not going to get to see the breadth of the market and that by dealing with multiple brokers, they will get to see more properties and wind up with a better selection. The reality is quite different — there are valuable benefits to going with just one broker. Some of the main reasons you should consider an exclusive broker:
“Don’t let a crisis go to waste.” This proverb from Winston Churchill, made famous again in 2008 by Rahm Emanuel, is applicable to many things in life, including the expiration of a commercial lease.