My Extendable Ears Were Ringing

My Extendable Ears Were Ringing

While sitting at Boston Market in Troy enjoying a chicken pot pie and a newspaper I had this uncomfortable feeling I was one of the only people in the place.  How could this be?  The food is good and healthy. The service is better than most family diners.  Yet crowds aren’t as plump as the wings.

What would a retail real estate broker say about the poultry crowd? Is it a lunch phenomenon? Retail brokers often get a crowd count of drivers passing by the restaurant in the morning versus evening. They know how many people will turn left or right to visit the establishment.  I can’t counsel the franchise owner. I only hope he can stay in business with the dinner crowd for support.

Whether I speculate or whether I know how to assess the factors that generate crowds is the difference between having opinions and having facts and figures along with expertise in this domain.  Some companies claim they can do everything. Others work to know a lot about a specific discipline.

At Compass Commercial ITRA Global, we focus exclusively on representing tenants for office/commercial/industrial space. Not retail. We could expand our offerings, but we’ve learned from experience that attaining mastery in one skill set is better than spreading those skills everywhere and hoping to guess write.

At lunch today in the same Boston Market, I overheard two women talking about their troubles relocating their office. I thought about acquiring the extendable ears that Harry Potter used in several of his movies. Their voices were loud enough to suffice.

They brainstormed about questions that cropped up after the lease was signed.  They fumed about all the uncertainty with new buildings and questioned how this place would accommodate them over time.  I was just about to rise up and walk over when they stood to leave. They were in such an emotional flurry I sat down and concentrated on my newspaper.

As a professional with over two decades experience it infuriates me to hear about agents who don’t supply the potential tenants with financial summaries of the building and floor plans.  There are agents that leave more questions unresolved than a night watching Jeopardy reruns.

I  worked out my frustration over the cornbread. Delicious cornbread. Had these women consulted with a tenant representative prior to signing a consent to lease document they wouldn’t have all these unanswered questions.  They would step into their new building with eyes wide open.

Good tenant representatives are worth their weight in gold. Or Amish chicken. They know the right questions to ask and they work closely with company owners to assure all their questions are answered before signing legal documents. Who knows, if a retail tenant representative had evaluated the Boston Market location, he or she might have said the lunch crowd congeals at an intersection just two miles away and business would flourish there and struggle here.

Hire a professional. If you don’t feel confident with the first broker, keep shopping.  Satisfaction is truly something to cluck about.

About the Author

Lynn Drake’s status is well known in the industry: She’s the commercial realtor focused on maintaining “true north” for her corporate clients. It’s a reputation built on 35 years of commercial real estate experience. Lynn became a commercial realtor in 2001 after 15 years in corporate real estate. Thus far in her career, Lynn has successfully completed over 1,500 real estate transactions ranging from small business tenant leases to the sale and purchase of industrial complexes.