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WRA’s 10 Steps of the Leasing Process Part 1

Leasing a new space, whether a company is looking to leave or stay, can be long and complicated. The average, unrepresented executive spends 10 hours a week solely on the leasing process. WRA has a 10-step leasing procedure that reduces the executive’s weekly time expenditure to 1 hour or less. Larger firms are concerned with satisfying their board, executives, and shareholders. Once the deal is finalized, their involvement is concluded. At WRA, we won’t disappear after the lease is signed—we know our job is far from over. We will be there to help with your move, any buildouts, communications with attorneys and vendors, etc.

Keep in Mind That Four Key Factors Drive Every Real Estate Deal

1.) The amount of money the landlord is putting into the deal

2.) The Length of Term

3.) The Credit of Tenant from the Landlord’s Point of View

4.) Market Conditions

After understanding these factors, it’s time to start the real estate process.

Below are steps 1-5 which focus more on the start of the process.

Step 1: Hiring a Tenant Representation Broker

WRA works with clients, both large and small, to navigate the challenging process of finding and negotiating a new lease. One of the most common questions we are asked is, “Why should I hire WRA as our tenant representation broker?” The answer? WRA limits the time burden on employees in the following ways:

❖ WRA is exclusively a tenant representation firm, we don’t have any conflicts of interest. Our fiduciary responsibility is exactly where it should be - with you.

❖ We don’t have any corporate red tape, we don’t answer to board members, shareholders, etc. The only people we answer to is our clients.

❖ We eliminate surprises and provide complete transparency.

❖ We position our clients to get the most competitive market deal.

❖ A dedicated, single point of contact is available to our clients 24/7.

❖ After the deal is done, we will be there with you through every step for the lifecycle of your tenancy.

Real estate is a complicated industry—market intricacies, industry-specific terms, legal language and details, paperwork exchanged during negotiations, deal flow analyses, assessment of the landlord’s break-even point. The list is endless. Any company undertaking the leasing process unrepresented will be obliged to invest significant time and money—time and money that will no doubt affect the company’s productivity. At WRA, we serve as your free, in-house real estate team, a team dedicated to meeting each of your specific needs. If landlords rely on brokers to help negotiate deal terms, shouldn’t you too?

Step 2: Due Diligence Period (30 days, depending on size requirements): From day one, we will take the time to understand exactly what you’re looking for, so we can create a plan customized to your specific business, financial, and operational objectives. Our due diligence period is thorough—we will get to know your company, identify the pain points within your existing space, and set up key date timelines. We will learn your company culture, and provide employee retention analyses, location parameters, space programming, etc... And we will ensure that this process flows seamlessly. Below are key aspects to be considered during the leasing process:

  • Establish a budget and project timeline

  • Provide an abstract of existing lease

  • Determine the most efficient layout of space

  • Provide short and long-term growth projections

  • Define ideal location parameters

  • Understand any company culture that needs to be reflected in the workplace

  • Deal with all special requirements (i.e. power, HVAC needs, amenities, etc.)

  • Thoroughly understand Client expectations

Below is a simple leasing timeline that demonstrates how square footage can affect the length of this process:

*KEEP IN MIND: a number of factors can hold up negotiations and/or prolong the process—holidays, build-outs, permitting,response times from other brokers/landlords, counter- proposals, lease negotiations, space plans and architectural drawings, quoting out vendors for construction, etc.…

Step 3: Market Analysis: After completing the due diligence phase, we go to market. Whether you are renewing a lease or relocating, we do all the legwork, letting you devote your valuable time to your business. Our extensive market evaluations will identify every possible option, whether currently available or coming to the market. WRA leaves no stone unturned, and our attention to detail helps eliminate unpleasant surprises. Some of the aspects we consider:

  • The full breakdown of the market

  • Deal comps in the area

  • Available amenity packages

  • Special requirements (HVAC, floor load capacity, etc.)

  • Landlord reputation

  • Available concession packages

  • Space Utilization Analyses

  • Lease abstracts & KPIs

Step 4: Presenting Options & Creating Leverage: We use the information gathered during due diligence to narrow down the properties within your location parameters. We will not waste your time by throwing a book of 20 properties at you. In addition, if remaining in your existing space is a possibility, we will notify your existing landlord that you are exploring other options. This leverage can lead to a significantly better offer from your current landlord. Finally, each transaction is different, and, when needed, we will be creative with the structural components of your deal.

Step 5: The Tour: By now, we have explored the best available options in the market and narrowed your search down to 3-5 properties. While touring these properties, we will work on your behalf to secure construction estimates. The typical landlord pays an architect to lay out 1 or 2 drafts of a fit plan. Taking the time with WRA to thoughtfully lay out your space and get accurate pricing will give you the full picture of your cost layouts. This information is then used to negotiate proposed tenant improvement allowances. Even if a tenant is looking to renew, this step will create leverage in negotiations, putting all landlords on an equal footing. Should you sign a renewal without taking the time to go through the leasing process, you will be missing out on valuable incentives. The existing landlord of a WRA client will know there is a compelling reason for that client to relocate the business. This will result in a more attractive landlord concession package, and deal parameters.

Thanks for reading! Excited to read more? Well, stay tuned for part 2 of our blog where we will discuss steps 6-10 which focus more on the end of the leasing process.

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