If you’re a tenant, you need a commercial real estate broker representing just you for several reasons. First, a landlord is more than likely going to have their own commercial real estate broker representing them, or they’re going to have significant experience negotiating commercial deals. If you don’t have a broker on your side, it’s not a level playing field and you’re at a significant disadvantage.
Second, when you hire a broker, you get the benefit of that broker’s market knowledge and experience. They can tell you which are good buildings, which are good landlords to work with, what’s a reasonable rate, where you should be when you come in with an offer, where you should settle, and will point out things that you may not think of because you don’t have the experience negotiating commercial contracts or commercial leases.
Third, the landlords have relationships with good brokers who are out in the market every day. They want to continue working with those brokers. They want to keep those brokers happy, so if you come in with a good broker, the landlord will likely want to do a good deal with them for their clients to keep them coming back with other clients.
Finally, you need to respect your own time. Unless you have the time to sit and learn the entire market and understand who’s going into foreclosure, who’s not, what the proper rates are, which buildings are functioning properly, which aren’t, things that I’ve spent time every day doing since 1999, you’re not going to be able to understand the market and negotiate as good a deal as an experienced commercial real estate broker.