Advocacy Advantages
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The need for tenant representation services has become more evident in current economic conditions characterized by mergers & acquisitions, restructuring, expansion & contraction, influx of foreign investment, and the increasing awareness of the cost of real estate as an expense item. The office lease is typically the second or third biggest expense for most companies. As such, corporate facility executives must carefully qualify, quantify, and analyze space options prior to making lease decisions, which are in some cases valued in millions of dollars.

It is often true that a 'legally acceptable' lease can change a great space into a bad business deal. Most companies lease space every 5-10 years and can not accomplish what an office leasing specialist with in-depth market knowledge and who is involved with the marketplace on a daily basis can. A Tenant Representative's concentrated market expertise and guidance can protect a company from very costly, inadvertent errors and also can secure the best business terms and conditions for the life of the lease and beyond. An advocate that is knowledgeable of and proficient in dealing with local corporate facility options can be vital in guiding and managing a successful office leasing process. As such, the corporate contact for facilities decisions should expect the following from the professional Tenant Representative:

· Calculate and strategize space needs. Landlord has no interest in helping Tenants economize when they have vacant space to fill.

· Obtain market data and organize and evaluate the information so as to conserve the client's valuable time and resources. Decision makers should do just that - make decisions - while leasing experts get them all the information they need to make clear and informed decisions and allow them to concentrate on running their company.

· Document, analyze, and present all costs affecting the transaction so that senior management, based on financial comparisons, can approve the final facility decisions.

· Carefully track and know the details of prior lease transactions and have the invaluable resources for negotiations that are not available by simply asking landlords what they are willing to do.

· Know and use what specific landlords have done historically and will do in terms of rent abatement, improvements, and other concessions.

· Spot and neutralize potential pitfalls or "standard terms" in the 20-50 page "standard lease agreements" which are written by landlords to protect their interests. These "standard leases" are loaded with hidden business terms that are easy for tenants to overlook without expert professional Tenant Representatives. The lease document will govern in disputes. Favorable, or at least even-handed, lease provisions are the best medium for recourse. Lawyers don't provide complete protection. They are not trained to analyze business issues responsible for many hidden and excessive leasing costs. Lawyers are not experts in building operating systems. Oftentimes, they have never visited the negotiated premises and miss many problems because they didn't know that the lease did not address certain key factors that must be seen to be appreciated and avoided.

· Achieve lower total occupancy costs, more concessions, improved lease flexibility, and minimized hidden costs because of Tenant Representative's negotiating skills and familiarity with important building and market conditions. The landlord's business is leasing space and maximizing the value of their assets, specifically your building. This is accomplished by extracting the highest price per square foot and incorporating into the lease the most conservative business and legal provisions possible. A good real estate lawyer can help protect your legal interests, but often isn't equipped to advise on business points. A good Tenant Representative will improve your immediate and future business terms, which complement a good commercial real estate attorney's legal protections.

· Be familiar with competing buildings. Developers and landlords know that tenants with experienced Tenant Representatives can shift negotiations if they do not proceed smoothly. This alone can save tenants substantial amounts of time and money.

· Have extensive knowledge of product and the process. This in-depth market knowledge of specific buildings and prior deals puts the client on equal ground with professional full-time landlords and their contracted agents.

· Establish an exclusive relationship to secure a fiduciary obligation whereby a trusted and skilled professional is accountable to you for a results-oriented performance.

· Create credibility through professionalism with landlords to minimize complications in a transaction.

· Be entirely objective with no conflict of interest and never promote a specific product.
· Never convey any professional costs to client.

· Provide full, unrestricted access to the entire market regardless of the agencies representing individual buildings.

· Create a competitive bidding environment among candidate buildings (preferably between 2 or more).

· Create the groundwork for a pleasant, harmonious relationship between landlord and tenant. Tenant Representatives act as buffers throughout the negotiations so that tenants can preserve the goodwill needed later.

· Maintain confidentiality so that employees do not become alarmed in the event of an impending relocation.

· Refer a professional team of vendors to support the relocation process.

· Provide quality at all levels of the lease project and add quantifiable value to each transaction.

· Assure direction, momentum and communications to all participants.

· Provide information and guidance in rapidly changing markets.

· Apply a flexibility test - cancellation, contraction, relocation and sublet rights.

· Leverage the value of the tenant when in negotiations with the landlord - stress that tenancy will improve the value of the building.

· Identify property that is not an obvious choice to meet client's needs.

· Help clients avoid disasters by guarding them against signing something by accident.

· Settle disputes that arise even after the lease is signed.

· Remain involved in expansions, contractions, and renewals that occur so as to prevent uninformed decisions that can lead to lost opportunities.

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