Should I use a Real Estate Agent for a Commercial Lease?

Rock City Commercial works primarily representing small businesses looking for a put their business. Small businesses, by and large, are what make up most of the the property leases across the state. Because of that, the question often comes up about using a real estate agency to help find a place the lease.

The answer, of course, is you should absolutely utilize a commercial real estate agent to find you a spot, especially a group that focuses on the buyer side of the sale (or lesse). Not only can it help you get better lease terms, it helps protect you and your business, it increases the chance of finding the right space, and it is typically free for you to utilize.

Better Lease Terms
Commercial agents make a living out of looking over tons of contracts both to buy and to lease. One of the things we make sure to do with every lease is to do competitive analysis based on other leases we have worked on, other terms businesses have in the area, and what we know the going rate in the market is for various types of spots. So when we have a client leasing a property we can look over the terms and provide intelligent analysis to the quality of the terms, and help negotiate for better terms if needed. We also maintain a strong relationship with other real estate firms on the selling side so that we can be sure we get their best offer in exchange for a quality business moving into their property.

Protection for Your Business
If you have bought a house before, you know there are usually two agents. A buyer and a seller’s agent. The reason is both agents owe legal responsibility to their client. Often times in commercial real estate, especially when it comes to leases, you only have one agent which is listing the property (selling or leasing). So when you take your small business needs to them looking at a property you saw, it is their legal duty to represent the property owner first.

As a buyer side agent, our legal responsibility is to you, the small business owner. So when we are looking at properties we are looking for details that might not work out, we are digging into what is happening to the surrounding area, we are checking with past tenants if we can to see if there were any issues.

The big difference between buying and leasing a building is the lack of overall consumer protection. While a commercial buying agent cannot increase this protection, we can look for red flags through trained eyes that are in and out of buildings constantly, and work in lease terms that make sure any issues are addressed.

Increase the Chance of Finding the Right Space
The big different in commercial vs residential property is the lack of centralization and standards when it comes to listing properties. If you want to find out about a house, it is easy. There is one centralized listing service (CARMLS in Central Arkansas) that every agent throws their listings into to help sell. In commercial we track across 4 listing services and we still find twice as many properties not listed as those 4 services combined.

The reason is, back to the previous point, most commercial operates through seller agents. They want you to buy or lease their listed property because they have an obligation to the owner to represent it.

As a buyer agent not only am I checking the databases several times a week, I am driving around target areas, calling property owners, and visiting with other commercial agents on the selling side to see what they have coming or isn’t listed. As a buyer agent I have a better idea of what is available around town and often know of properties that show no outward sign of being available.

Even more, since I represent buyers and my responsibility is to you, I am getting to know your business and looking over any business plans to make sure where I put you matches your needs. I am also looking at upcoming changes to areas to see if there is some hidden potential based on changes coming soon.

Free to Utilize
The way money is made for agents in real estate transactions, both commercial and residential, is on the sale or the lease of a property. Nearly every listing agreement has a buyer and seller agent commission split defined. So when you work with a buyer side commercial agent you typically (except in rare instances) are not paying your agent any sort of fee for helping you. They are getting paid from the property owner as a small percentage of the overall lease that you will pay during your term.

Since these rates are already pre-defined before listing, it doesn’t impact your lease price at all. So it is in your benefit to utilize your own agent who has your interests in mind when finding a spot.

Bonus – Extra Resources when using Rock City Commercial
Finally, we throw in an extra non-standard bonus when working with us to find your property. Leveraging our sister brand Rock City Interactive, we give complimentary access to our Start Strong Program for all commercial clients. Our start strong program is based on the essential elements we have seen that help a new business get open and reach profitability quickly based on our experience of helping hundreds of small businesses get open.

It includes things like announcements, press releases, opening event, basic marketing assets, and more along with deep discounts on our marketing services like website design, menu design, and consulting. It is a $3,500 value that we throw in free regardless of your lease price just for working with us.