Chris Carmen  /   June 9, 2017

If you’re looking for new office space in Indianapolis, you probably have a checklist list in your head (or maybe even on paper) to make sure the lease gets done right. You want to pay as little rent as possible while getting the most bang, and of course, you want to avoid rookie mistakes or hidden clauses in your lease that can cost you later.

Do you really think you can afford to not have a commercial broker who specializes in leasing office space on your side?

It’s hard enough to find the right office space for your business, and this often takes up the bulk of your time in the beginning phases of the search. But what about the commercial real estate agent who you’ve chosen to represent you and your business as an expert in leasing office space? Have you been as thorough in your research about your broker as you have with other considerations?

You need to protect your business from making uninformed decisions and simple, but costly oversights. That means you’ll need to ask the person you hire to represent you some important questions to make sure you choose a broker that is focused on you and your business’ best interest.

1. Are you free of any conflicts of interest if we work together?

The brokerage firm that handles the listing for a landlord has a legal obligation to get the best deal for the landlord –not the tenant. If the agent you’re vetting represents the landlord, or if the firm the agent works for represents the landlord, you have unfortunately entered into a relationship with a commercial real estate broker that has a clear conflict of interest. Don’t worry, you don’t have to accept this. But it’s important to ask right away so you can make other arrangements.

2. Are you primarily a tenant advocate (tenant representative) or a listing agent?

Understanding the role brokers most often fill in the commercial real estate world is vital. If the agent you’re working is NOT a tenant representative means they will not be well-versed in how to advocate for your best interests and may have a greater interest in helping the landlords they have ongoing relationships. A true tenant rep. will work like a partnership during the engagement and act as an advisor every step of the office leasing process, including after the lease is completed.

3. Do you have time to work on this project?

It’s a lot of work to find the right properties that meet your criteria, working with the listing agents, dealing with landlords, negotiating the lease, and managing your office lease after you’re in the new space and throughout the lease term. Most business owners and managers have enough on their plate as it is and cannot afford to add the time-consuming tasks associated with being the point-person on an office lease transaction, which can take months to do properly.

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