Meet the Landlords: Cave Man, Business Man, and Super Man
They are all commercial real estate landlords. If you don’t learn anything about them before you lease space, you might be making a leasing mistake.
Why do you need a commercial agent? Let me share a few things about the kinds of landlords I’ve met during my career.
Just like in the TV series Dragnet, all of the following stories are real, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Landlords come in every size, shape, and color; some are good and some are very bad. Based upon the lineup below, which one would you like to lease from?
Meet Cave Man
Cave Man leases the least expensive buildings anyone can find. If you visit them, you will find they are filthy and have lots of repair issues. In fact, the roof might even fall down while you are visiting due to lack of maintenance. The landlord might claim the space will be cleaned up upon possession; however, his idea and your idea of clean probably differ. Every time you think you have agreed upon deal, the deal changes. Your head is spinning. Cave Man is known for not paying his contractors. Sometimes things like the heating and cooling systems break, and he doesn’t have enough money to fix them. The adage “you get what you pay for” is a good way to think when dealing with this guy. If you just need an address and will only visit to pick up your mail, it might be a good match.
Meet Business Man,
Business Man owns a business and has bought the building with room to grow his business. Business Man believes that his building is very special. He hopes that you think so too. He may or may not have taken the time to learn the correct way to charge for rent and related expenses. This could work to your advantage if he doesn’t charge for electric and increases in operating costs. He may not know the difference between rentable and useable space and may only charge you for the square footage in your suite. He could be offering you a great deal. On the other hand, he may not realize or believe that the landlord down the street will give you one month of rent free for each year of the lease signed. It may take a little bit of extra work on your part to get this transaction set up, but once you do, you will be set for the term of the lease. If his business expands like he expects it will, expect to move at the end of your lease term. After all, he bought the building to grow his business, not yours.
And then there is Super Man,
Super Man is also a Superman. His buildings are clean, his staff amazing, and his listing agents fair and easy to work with. I love showing my clients his space, because I know my clients will be taken care of over the term of the lease. I also know he will pay me my commission when it is due. With this deal, there are no tricks, no ponies, just great space, a fair rent, and great service.
If you are wondering why I have introduced you to this cast of characters, it is so you can see just one facet of the decisions I make when helping my clients. If I have a client with a very limited budget, we may look at one of Cave Man’s buildings. In this instance, however, we will negotiate terms that will protect our client. If our client wants to lease from Business Man, perhaps we can get some additional options to expand their space and some renewal options that the landlord can’t break. If my client wants to lease from Super Man, I probably will just make sure my client understands all the terms of the agreement. Super Man does make my job easier. If all the landlords out there were Super Men, perhaps Super Agents like me wouldn’t have super careers in helping tenants!