What Makes a Good Tenant Rep?

by | 11 October 2016

Tenant representation brokers have the unique charge of holistically managing your commercial real estate needs. This includes not only market knowledge, site selection, store design and delivery, but also business strategy: new market penetration, brand realignment, and portfolio management. Additionally, a deep understanding and use of data analytics gives them a distinct advantage to ensure your success.

The challenge with the rapidly evolving real estate landscape is: “How do tenant reps stay one step ahead of the curve to anticipate changes to best meet my needs before I even understand what those needs are?” The short answer: Your broker should stay in close communication and have their finger on the pulse of the shifting paradigm that is commercial real estate. When done correctly, tenant representation isn’t a one-and-done transaction. Building strong relationships and understanding the big picture creates a bond between you and your tenant rep; and when a tenant rep understands your brand and direction, they become a valuable long-term advisor.

Because each market is as different as each client, there is no cookie-cutter approach to tenant representation. Tenant reps need to have consistency in their approach, in how they share information with you, and how they refer you to other real estate experts. To be successful, they need a single repository of information so they know all the details and can easily track who is working with whom. The bottom line is that tenant representation is rooted in constant communication and relationship building—both internally and externally. When this is achieved, there are no limits to how tenant reps can grow your business.

They Understand that Relationship Building Is Key

Because the nature of tenant representation is based on advising you on franchises, and growing brands, relationship building is key. A good tenant rep will reinforce existing industry relationships, foster new potential relationships, and discuss your “pain points.”

They Know Their Clients, Inside and Out

Webster’s dictionary defines the word client as a customer. Tenant representation brokers have two customers: tenants (external) and their fellow brokers (internal). Tenants and brokers both want the same thing—to make their jobs easier. Finding a broker who treats both types of clients with the same importance is key.

They Make Your Job Easier

You want a trusted advisor, so a good tenant rep should ask: “How can I help?” What is it that your previous advisors have missed that they can fulfill and exceed? What are your pain points? As you begin to travel back through all of your previous challenges and past triumphs, you and your broker can decide collaboratively how your brand can be helped. Your broker should get to know your company’s decision makers and understand how they can make everyone’s job easier.

They Work as a Team

A good tenant rep will also have strong relationships with their fellow brokers. Internal communication and teamwork go a long way. Brokers work hard to win and serve their clients, so they shouldn’t feel comfortable passing them on to someone who might not work with the same energy and focus. If your broker develops and maintains strong relationships with other brokers through consistency and open communication, referrals are less anxiety inducing. Open communication also allows everyone to work smarter. If all parties have the information needed to make smarter decisions faster, tenant reps can strategically assist you with your business now and for years to come.

Your broker should be a master of building solid relationships and communicating clearly and openly to foster success both now and in the future. Together, you can collaborate and conquer!

Jawara Partee is the National Tenant Representation Director at Colliers International. Based in Los Angeles, he has 15 years of strategic, national retailer roll-out, brokerage, and development experience. His focus is on advising retailers on multi-market expansion strategies within the U.S, and new business development initiatives for Colliers national retail platform.

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