A modest request for leasing agents

Leasing agents, your time is valuable.  My time is also valuable.  More valuable than either of those is my client’s time.  When a leasing broker or I take a bit longer to get something done, it simply delays when we get paid our commission, but when our client is needlessly drawn away from their business or organization, it directly impacts their productivity. Today I learned a valuable lesson about communication and time management.

I have been on the road all day today and will be out tomorrow as we inspect several sites for a client as part of the market survey process.  For the last two months prior to this stage, I have been communicating with dozens of leasing brokers in these particular markets, paring down the suitable options via phone interviews and email exchanges.  This client has very explicit requirements, which I have clearly communicated to each leasing agent at least twice.  As a result, I was both astonished and embarrassed when three of the seven sites that we visited today did not meet the basic requirements of the client.  What took us approximately four hours could have been accomplished in two, had the leasing agents not second-guessed my requests.  Don’t get me wrong – clients typically have some requirements that are flexible, but in this case, I shared with leasing agents a one-page document called Summary of Requirements.  The brokers should not have been shocked when we reacted negatively to being shown space that was:

  • Split on two floors – the list stated that space had to be contiguous on one floor
  • Located on the second floor with no elevator access – ADA compliance was a specific requirement for this client (and should be for most clients these days)
  • Had neither loading dock nor double doors for pallet delivery – again, this was a high-level req’t due to periodic deliveries
  • Built out as industrial space in ‘C’ class condition – the first req’t communicated to brokers was “XXXX SF of office space

The goal of this post is not to single out any specific brokers; I appreciate the attention we were given as we viewed spaces.  The agents are also conditioned to be optimistic, expecting that potential tenants will request more stringent requirements than they are actually seeking.  At the end of the day, they just want to get quality tenants into their space.  However, as I mentioned before, both my client and I could have saved time today if those brokers had been more honest about their spaces having a limited ability to meet my client’s needs or had asked more clarifying questions about which requirements were rigid and which were flexible.

I have learned from this experience as well.  To do the right thing on behalf of my clients, I have to be more explicit in gathering and disseminating my clients’ requirements when I go to market on their behalf.  This lesson has served me well and for that, I thank those brokers.


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