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Moving into your first office? What you'll need to know!

14 August 2015

SELECTING THE RIGHT COMMERCIAL BROKER

Gilbert Daly, Executive Vice President, Brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield offers advice on taking the first step.

What should tenants keep foremost in mind when selecting a commercial real estate broker? How do they make the right selection?

Putting myself from the client’s perspective if I were looking to hire a broker, I would focus on relevant experience and proven results. For me the key questions would be: “who is the most active in the market(s) I am focused on; and who can demonstrate they have consistently achieved the best results for their clients?”

What do you wish tenants knew about working with a commercial real estate broker?

A broker’s job is to create leverage by providing superior information. Tenants should expect more than a broker who regurgitates statistics and ushers them around to available office space. Tenants should expect a broker to be able to tell them where the best opportunities are for their business, what makes it a good opportunity, and how to provide a clear strategy to get the most advantageous leasing terms.

What are a few less obvious things that tenants should keep in mind when deciding what buildings to shortlist? Can I create the environment in this location and specific space that supports the company’s culture?

Aside from economics, does the space provide the right amenities for employees, access to public transportation, parking, or within walking distance; as well as flexibility and efficiency of the office space as the company grows? Also, is this a landlord I am willing to get into a long-term relationship with? Are they a long- or short-term holder of the building, and what implications does this have on me as a tenant?

What key factors should a tenant consider when deciding between urban vs. suburban location? (i.e. growth strategy, attracting millennials, etc.)?

The value of human capital continues to be higher than the cost of real estate. Recruitment and retention – will they be able to attract and keep the workforce necessary to accomplish our corporate goals. The millennial workforce relies heavily on public transportation and they thrive in a live/work/play environment. This is where there have been a significant number of tenants relocating into the city from suburban locations.

What questions should a tenant ask (or know) about hiring the right architect and interior designer?

Have they taken the time to really understand our culture and what is important to our firm to make this move a success or is this just a “cookiecutter” response to our needs? Do they have the relevant experience with our industry? And most importantly, are they familiar with the buildings we are considering.

NEXT UP: "What’s a fitplan and why is it so important?"

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