The Term is ‘Tenant’ Advisor!

If you are a professional, high-quality commercial landlord, the text below is not for you.  You recognize the roles of various players in commercial real estate transactions and understand how to create balanced transactions while treating all parties fairly.  Because of this, among other factors, you are likely incredibly successful, your tenants and their advisors enjoy solid business relationships with you, you are profitable, and you are happy!  To you I say “Thank you!” 

To those commercial landlords who completely misunderstand my role as advisor, advocate, and representative only for tenants and other corporate occupants,  to those landlords who dislike the fact that my sole objective is to protect the interests of my clients, to those landlords who complain about paying our commission and those who don’t get that I don’t work for them…listen up!  The term is “Tenant” Advisor, Tenant Rep, or Corporate Advisor, not landlord broker! 

The situation is simple and clear…MY FIRM DOES NOT REPRESENT YOU AND WILL NOT BE SWAYED BY YOU!  You cannot get us to back down from you or negotiate less aggressively on our clients’ behalf by offering us commission bonuses, opportunities to represent your properties, relationship opportunities with you, or by threats of delayed payment schedules or reduced compensation.  We’re not interested nor affected by any of that!  While those tactics may have worked on some of your weaker local cronies in the past, it won’t work with us! 

Our job is to advise our clients and secure terms that favor them…PERIOD!  In fact, we are contractually obligated to do just that!  Unfortunately, that may mean that you will either have to find a middle ground that is acceptable to you and our client, complete a transaction on terms that you may not prefer, or pass on the deal altogether.  No matter which alternative you select, we won’t take it personally, we’re just doing our job.  And, please remember that if you do complete a transaction with our client, you will likely derive substantial benefits.   If you won’t benefit by the deal, then don’t do it.   That’s ok, you and our client will both find other transaction opportunities, and our feelings won’t be hurt. 

And, for those landlords who tell us they don’t like paying our commission when we represent tenants,  you should know that we also don’t like being paid by our transactional opponents.  But, we didn’t create the common practices that exist in most markets.  Until the commercial real estate market does a complete “about-face”, when tenants elect to pay their own real estate advisors, neither you nor we really have a choice.  You should also be mindful that our compensation is not a margin that is available to either make or break any deal…it is a transaction cost.   

You should know that before we first spoke with you, we advised our client of our compensation requirements and the games certain landlords play.  And, in the interest of disclosure, we keep them apprised of all conversations we have with landlords that might affect them, including issues concerning our compensation.  Many tenants take a highly negative view of landlords who don’t treat tenant advisors in a manner that those tenants find acceptable.  Many tenants believe that a landlord will treat them in a manner similar to how that landlord treats the tenant’s advisor.   In more than a few instances, such actions by landlords have swayed tenants toward, what they believed were, more professional and fair-minded landlords.  

Consider the fact that our client went to a great deal of effort to select and engage us, and has put its faith in us to advise and represent them, and to protect their interests.  As such, we understand what they need to achieve and can guide you as to how you can secure their tenancy.  Please know that while we can disagree with your approach and your perspectives on our role, we can still respect how you wish to conduct your business.  Accordingly, please respect how our client and we elect to do business, too.

So, please save all of the rhetoric (we’ve heard it too many times before), spare me all of the emotional outbursts, put on your big boy pants, get over yourself, talk to some of your more professional landlord competitors who get what this business is really about, and let’s get on with the most important part of the transaction…the reason we are involved together in the first place…making a deal between you and our client! 

Follow me at http://www.Twitter.com/RealStrat 

Visit Real Estate Strategies Corporation at www.RealStrat.com 

Check out the Executive’s Guide to Understanding Corporate Real Estate Transactions at www.TheExecutivesGuides.com 

Where is Andrew Zezas?

Copyright Real Estate Strategies Corporation 2010:  All Rights Reserved. 

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4 Responses to “The Term is ‘Tenant’ Advisor!”


  1. 1 Aaron Weiner, CPM, CCIM, LEED AP July 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Feel better now, Andrew?

    Ha ha! Very well said, actually. As a tenant rep broker myself, I word my objective a little differently: I negotiate terms that support the clients business objectives. It’s a little less “in your face” than negotiating terms “favorable” to them. It’s a subtle difference, but meaningful for me.

    Keep up the good fight!

  2. 3 officetenantadvocate July 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    This is just beautiful Andy. I can only imagine the conversation (and 14 cups of coffee?) that preceded your writing of this post. I am consistently enlightened and entertained by your blog. Thanks ~Mike

    • 4 RealStrat July 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      Mike:

      Coming from someone with your blogging and real estate background, I really appreciate your comments. And, yeah! I needed a drink after that one. I actually have fun with those conversations. Keep on blogging!


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THIS WORK IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE PRACTICAL AND USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT MATTER COVERED AND REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE AUTHOR. HOWEVER, IT IS PROVIDED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO THE READER. IF LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE SOUGHT. THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY THAT MAY BE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTAINED IN THIS WORK.

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