Facts about finding the best office lease

Common Questions asked when choosing the right Tenant Representative:

The process of finding the right office space, obligating yourself contractually, determining how to expand or contract, or relocate, can feel overwhelming and should be handled by a close and trusted advisor..and friend.

Likewise, selecting your tenant representative is as important a decision as selecting your lawyer, therapist, or wedding planner. It is a process we respect and appreciate as much as you do and we encourage you to select the tenant representative with whom you feel most comfortable. So trust your instincts. Please make sure to contemplate these questions as you make your decision:

  • Is it acceptable for my broker to represent me and the building Landlord? What if the broker represent the building owner at another location?

This is simple: The Genau Group works for tenants. While others in our industry choose to maximize revenue by working for both sides, we are only loyal, devoted, and committed to the Tenant. We only represent tenants.

  • Should I work with a very large commercial real estate company or should I work with a local expert?

There is no right answer to this question. If your company is a multinational enterprise (MNE) that wants to put all your eggs in one basket and rely entirely on one global real estate organization, then yes, you should work with one of the big 5. Likewise, if you care about vanity and want to tell your friends that you work with the “largest real estate company on Earth,” then by all means, work with that conglomerate. We encourage you to recognize; the larger the shop, the greater the likelihood that the broker is doing business with your Landlord somewhere else…and therefore will have a conflict of interest when it comes time to fight for you.

  • How 
  • Does this broker have my best interests in mind?

The Genau Group is committed to excellence in tenant representation so you never have to wonder whose interests are foremost in our thinking. Because the average commercial lease has a term of 5 10 years, we spend time with each client helping them to clearly define their goals and objectives. We want to do more than help you with your current commercial real estate needs; we want to be your real estate partners far into the future.

  • What is this broker’s track record?

The Genau Group has many testimonials from small companies and larger organizations. In every case, our clients have recognized the Genau Group as a business partner who puts the client’s interests first. Our clients recognize that we are as concerned about their budget as they are. And that we fully understand the business need to reduce and better manager rent expense as a line item on the balance sheet.

The Genau Group has a long list of satisfied clients throughout the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia marketplace. We pride ourselves on our reputation of being tactful, diplomatic, and respectful representatives. We represent our group as well as our clients and we do it with a level of class and sophistication. If our clients have anything to say about us, it is that we are professional in our approach and we get the job done.

  •  The person who called me for the meeting was different than the person who showed up at my door. And I’m afraid the person who ultimately negotiates my deal will be yet another strange face. What does this mean and how can I ensure I have the right team in place to get me the deal I want?

Be mindful that the person who calls you for your business is seldom the person who shows up to sell you as your new broker. And your “new broker” is seldom the person who actually performs your office searches, lease abstracts, pass-through audits, or lease renewal negotiations. Ultimately, like so many service oriented business, the real work is passed down to the lowest man on the totem pole. This is systematic amongst the larger brokerage houses. Most large commercial real estate companies have the same team structure: Cold caller nags you constantly for a meeting, He then sends his broker. His broker gives you the pitch and sale. And when it comes time to do the work, you end up with the college intern…Don’t be surprised when your broker and their support staff spend 80% of their time developing new business and 20% of their time servicing your needs.

At The Genau Group, we have a saying, “we eat what we kill.” Each of our brokers is responsible for their clients. We spend 80% of our time working on our clients, and 20% of our time developing new clients. We believe this is a better approach to client service and long term client retention.

  • Who else works on the project…should my broker make recommendations for other critical contracts?

Unless your transaction is a simple lease renewal, there will be several complicated moving parts. And even if you just want to renew your lease, a good broker will get you some free rent and some new paint and carpet and there will ultimately be several other people involved.

More often than not, your broker will need to act much like a “general contractor” organizing and orchestrating all these moving parts to include architects, space planners, lawyers, building engineers, relocation companies, and maybe even permits and appraisal specialists. Remember: a good broker will take care of all of these moving parts. A good broker “makes it look easy.”

The Genau Group executive team has been in Washington for their entire lives. The Genau Group has over 50 combined years of experience and we have worked hard to develop a comprehensive rolodex of the most reliable contacts to assist with every stage of the process. We are, of course, happy to work with referrals from our clients, but also happy to offer our network of contacts as needed to create the best team for your project.

  • What happens after move-in?

We hope to be your trusted advisor for life. Once we’ve found your new office, brokered, the deal, monitored the build out, and helped you move in, our ongoing “lease management” efforts begin. Remember, your broker only gets paid when they broker a lease, so the time between leases should be spent keeping your business and fostering the long term relationship.

Between lease renewals/relocations, we will monitor your lease, provide regular updates and check-ups with you, review and audit the buildings charges (pass-throughs and real estate taxes), and provide market updates showing you rent and vacancy trends in your building and submarket.

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