The Best Negotiations Come from a Complete Commercial Real Estate Team

Commercial Real estate agent and customers shaking hands together celebrating finished contract after about home insurance and investment loan, handshake and successful deal. 5 Reasons to Work with a TAG Broker

Negotiating the terms of a commercial real estate lease is difficult, as it is fraught with jargon, clauses and paperwork, and even the slightest misstep can have dire consequences for a business’s bottom line. Hiring the right real estate broker and attorney team to handle this delicate process is the best way to guarantee the most favorable terms while saving you time and money.

They Understand the Industry

Too often, a business owner will request help in negotiating lease terms from an attorney friend or a neighborhood real estate agent. However, these professionals may not be familiar with the industry-specific ins and outs of a commercial real estate lease. A dedicated real estate attorney/commercial broker team will review the terms of the lease with expert eyes, navigating the provisions and clauses to establish the final document.

They Can Ask for More

Real estate is a hyper-local specialty, meaning an experienced commercial real estate attorney/broker team is going to have market knowledge regarding tenant improvement allowance and rent abatement. The team will understand where to push back and what is fair for the market. This will result in a far less contentious negotiation, establishing a good rapport with the landlord from the beginning.

They Can Strategize

There are many ways to “get more” out of your lease, and only professionals working in the industry would even know to ask. For example, the lease renewal clause is a point of concession that can greatly benefit your lease terms down the line. A commercial real estate attorney/broker team will work together to create a plan that will include more than simply lower rental costs.

When working with Tenant Advisory Group, we have access to a deep bench of quality connections, including top-tier real estate attorneys to help achieve the best results possible.

Subtle Differences Between a Residential and Commercial Real Estate Broker

Real estate is a complex industry with many different disciplines. The innate structure of the industry demonstrates just how quickly it can become complicated. Even within the commercial space there is a tremendous difference between industrial, retail, and office specialties. The types of properties, client use and lease terms will vary greatly depending on the commercial domain. Between commercial and residential real estate, the disparity is massive, which makes finding the right broker for the job crucial to efficiently and smoothly closing a deal on the right space.

Running the Certification Gauntlet

While residential and commercial real estate may overlap in some areas and begin with the same initial licensing, they are vastly different. An exceptional broker who specializes in one area will often receive additional training via courses and professional development workshops. Certified brokers can choose to become accredited in different areas such as the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), or earn additional designations such as Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) or Certified Short Sale Negotiator (CSSN). Becoming a successful broker requires time and dedication, but the most invaluable asset is on-the-job experience.

Discerning Between the Similarities

There are many differences between commercial and residential real estate, but upon closer inspection, they can also be quite similar. Commercial revolves around the purchase, sale or leasing of a property for business objectives. This is typically thought to rely on investment-centric numbers, whereas residential, focusing on the needs of a family, will involve more intangible qualities such as emotion about the property. Of course, anyone who has grown a business from the ground up will understand how much emotion can be involved. In turn, someone making a residential sale or purchase for the sake of an investment will be able to make decisions with a lot less sentiment. Therefore, it’s always important for a broker to understand each client’s innate set of circumstances in order to best guide them through the transaction process.

Staying Current with Trends and Establishing Relevant Connections

Throughout the course of a real estate agent’s career, they will obtain a deep understanding of the current trends within their market sector. For example, knowledge of the commercial market allows a commercial real estate broker to leverage more business terms during a lease negotiation. Another key factor that sets the different disciplines apart are the types of connections built over a career. Relationships that are made in the residential real estate world will be different than those established in the commercial realm. For example, the process of a family moving into a new home will involve outside assistance from appraisers, inspectors, mortgage lenders, residential attorneys and an array of subcontractors. This differs vastly from a company moving into a new office space who will need to be connected with architects, commercial attorneys and contractors, furniture vendors, IT consultants and phone & data brokers. Working with an experienced real estate broker who has built relevant connections in that field can make a big difference in the quality of each process.

Regardless of the classification of the property you’re interested in pursuing, it is important to find a quality broker that knows how to negotiate terms depending on the type of contract that is being written. Real estate is a complex industry and a specialized broker will best suit your needs.

Infographic: How a Commercial Real Estate Broker Will Save You Time

The 7 Habits of Successful New Real Estate Agents

7 Habits of successful real estate agents - Tag - Blog Header

You have a shiny new license in hand and are ready to conquer the real estate landscape! The median age in real estate is now 57 years old, which may cause young agents to have a difficult time getting clients or referrals – or being taken seriously by peers. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a couple of years into the profession, these are the seven habits you’ll want to adopt in order to be perceived as a driven professional with longevity.

1. Always, always, always take notes
Learning should be your top focus, and a great way to be successful at this is to take notes – on everything. Jot down bullet points on how to process vital client paperwork. Mark down the steps on invoicing. Keep a list of your clients’ favorite restaurants. Write down the steps on how to work the office coffee maker. Also, if you’re talking to someone you should be taking notes. It doesn’t matter if it’s Google Docs, Evernote, your iPad or a trusty pen and paper – find a way to write stuff down.

2. Choose your brokerage firm wisely
Spend some time looking into a brokerage firm that’s right for you. Get a sense of the overall culture – talk to as many other agents in each firm you’re evaluating as you can. Keep in mind that a big named company might not always be the answer. Ask yourself – is the firm focused on growth? Or are they content with what works now? Likewise, make sure you are assigned the right mentor. In the end, align yourself with an organization and mentor that will support your success and goals.

3. This isn’t the “Devil Wears Prada”…
But this isn’t a Sandals vacation either. Appearances do matter. Sure, that C-level exec may march around the office in a salmon-colored polo shirt and cargo shorts, but that doesn’t mean you should. Fair or not, your clothes, your hair – it all makes a difference. As a junior-level employee it really matters. Not just for how others see you, but how you see yourself. You only get one chance to make a first impression. You’ll take yourself and your job more seriously when you dress better than your current job requires.

4. Stay curious and be motivated
If you aren’t motivated to do your best, you’re wasting your organization (and your clients’) time as well as your own. Ignored phone calls, deals that fall-through, losing out at the negotiation table – these are all things that can happen almost on a daily basis. It’s easy to beat yourself up and fall into the dark hole of apathy. Remember – don’t be too hard on yourself. Approach each experience with an open mind and see it as an opportunity to learn.

5. Talk less, listen more
When you’re in the company of others, listen more. As the Greek philosopher Epictetus once wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Be present and in the moment, whether you’re out with your boss or with a client. Keep your ears open – opportunities and ideas can often time spring out of nowhere.

6. Network
This is an incredibly powerful tool. Pick 2-3 times each month (or a week if you’re really a go-getter!) to attend a networking event in your city. While you’re there, keep your elevator pitch handy; however, just speak to people as you normally would. Let the conversation flow naturally. When you feel like an interaction has reached its end, don’t be afraid to politely excuse yourself. There’s nothing wrong with telling the other person “I’ve really enjoyed chatting and I’m short on time, so I’m going to make my way around the room before I go. Let’ grab coffee next week, so we can dive deeper into how your grandmother’ property is driving her bonkers.”

7. At the end of the day, just be patient
You can hold yourself in a confident manner. You can be organized and dressed professionally. You can be an expert at communicating with clients. You can have the right mentor at the right firm. However, at the same time, you’re still young. There may be times where you’re overlooked for a promotion or a new client. It’s not fair but it’ll happen. You can’t control how you’re perceived but you can control your reaction. Wear a smile, put in the work, be gracious and opportunities can – and will – fly your way.

Three Reasons Why You Need an Informed Broker


The commercial real estate market, as with all industries, is constantly evolving and shaping itself to stay current with the advancement of new technology available for business owners to gather information. This newfound wealth of public knowledge can be helpful, however attempting to charter these waters alone can prove costly. For a variety of reasons, commercial real estate brokers still hold the keys to finding the right space at the right price for companies in the market for a new home.

Here are three essential areas where a broker will bring serious value to your company’s next real estate search.

Finding a Fair Deal

The most important aspect of real estate that both buyers and sellers can agree on, is finding a fair deal. Because “fair” is subjective based on whether you are buying or selling, the lessee or the lessor, a broker is used to find intermediate pricing to help both parties.

Brokers commonly use average rental market rates as a tool that shows average pricing per square foot based on neighborhoods, accessibility, building conditions and a variety of other factors. However, people are unaware that brokers go much more in-depth with their research. They also include tenant improvement allowances, securitization and rights to terminate, and free rent. In many cases, these factors make brokers more specialized than attorneys who may know the legal aspect of real estate terms, yet are unfamiliar with the fair business terms.

Off Market Opportunities

In both commercial and residential real estate, tools like Zillow, Craigslist and have helped buyers see current activity. While this has been able to help with more transparency, on many occasions, not all opportunities are listed on these sites.

If you have an informed broker who is up-to-date on the market, they will be able to offer you off market opportunities. Active brokers should be in constant communication with leasing agents and owners to see any upcoming spaces that have yet to hit the market. Because so many cities are incredibly competitive in real estate, off market opportunities are able to increase your odds of finding a place by lowering the number of potential bidders.

Closing Speed

Brokers bring a necessary closing speed to transactions. Due to the increasingly rapid pace with which today’ market is operating, quality spaces do not sit on the real estate market very long. There are certain relationships that must be formed in order for the finalized deal to be made between landlord and tenant.

Listing agents are that first point of contact in the cycle and experienced brokers will have an ingrained trust with these men and women. This serves to help you get the first rights to a space. The other major player in the process is the landlord. Having a broker by your side will ensure that he/she does not play games or try to sneak anything through a contract that can cause delays or headaches down the line. Because brokers know how to navigate smoothly through the entire transaction process, they will be far more efficient at doing so than a tenant who chooses to go it alone.

Tenant Qualification


As a tenant broker we are the proverbial parent and our clients, the tenants, are our children. We want to ensure that they’re safe, warm, and well protected with a strong roof over their heads and an even stronger lease. Just like a student applying to a college that will check their credentials and qualifications, we must qualify our clients as well.
This allows us to get to know them better and to better understand their financial situation. The most important thing in qualifying a new client will be the financials.

Very simply, a landlord should be viewed similarly to a bank. The landlord is going to invest significant funds into a transaction. Like a bank, the landlord wants to know that they are lending (in the form of tenant improvement dollars, free rent and leasing commissions) to a financially stable company able to pay the rent. Many people are under the impression that leasing commercial space is like leasing an apartment- as long as they have good credit they will be in good shape. The main difference is that that rent for an apartment is typically far less expensive than the rent for office space. The landlord cares far more about whether they have growing revenue streams, a strong balance sheet, or have been a stable business for a long time. Having good credit provides no guarantee to a landlord that the tenant can pay the rent every month and on time.

Landlords, like banks, want to see income, profitability, cash flow, or at a minimum, financial backing. Without an operating history, without positive cash flow and/or a strong balance sheet, or without a large cash balance in a bank account, a landlord will be reluctant to enter into a lease with that business.

Another important qualification question is: does the potential client have an accountant, an attorney and an existing banking relationship? Having these relationships signifies a robust company where others have invested their time.

For more information on client qualification, contact Bill Himmelstein by email at