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What is a Tenant Rep?

By Adam Hill
Updated May 16, 2024
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For many businesses, finding or relocating to a suitable office space is a matter of great importance. However, not many tenants of commercial property are experienced in how to save time and still negotiate to get the best deal. A tenant representative, or “tenant rep,” can perform a valuable service to tenants of commercial property. The tenant rep is often a professional real estate broker who works exclusively for the tenant.

Before a commercial tenant hires a tenant rep, he should have a basic understanding of what a one does. One important function of a tenant rep is location analysis. If a business owner’s revenues are suffering because of the business being located poorly, a rep can analyze the business and location and recommend either moving or changing how the space is used. Analysis of the condition of a building is another essential element of the job. Safety concerns may be allayed by a tenant rep, or he may recommend certain repairs or relocation.

In the case that a relocation is the best option for a commercial tenant, the tenant rep can act as the advocate for the business owner in negotiations with the landlord of the new office space. An ideal representative will have expert negotiation skills, which will encourage a favorable outcome. The very fact of having representation can give a tenant leverage in negotiation, which he likely would not have otherwise. It is also possible that an experienced tenant rep will be familiar with the landlord, further adding to the potential benefit of representation

Leasing documents can often be complicated, especially for a tenant without a knowledge of contract language and therefore the exact nature of the documents themselves. A tenant representative will have a thorough knowledge of which documents are required, how to customize them, and what should and should not be agreed to.

For all the benefits of working with a tenant rep, there are a few precautions to take when selecting one to represent you. He must first be free of any conflicts of interest when working with a tenant. Second, a tenant must understand how the rep expects to be paid, and by whom. The rep must also to be able to prove that he is knowledgeable about current market conditions, and has a good reputation among his peers in the same industry. If a tenant takes these steps before working with someone closely, costly mistakes will likely be avoided.

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Discussion Comments
By live2shop — On Sep 10, 2011

If a business is retail, and they wanted to relocate to an area where they would get more customers, I would think that they would need to do more than hire a tenant rep.

Wouldn't the company need to hire a company or individual to do some market research in different areas to determine a place where they could get more business. They would need to have some demographic data about who shops in the area.

Then after they have narrowed the choice down to a few large areas, the tenant rep could come in and start the search for a new location.

By B707 — On Sep 09, 2011

When businesses are considering a move, it's a smart idea to hire a tenant rep, as long as you choose one who is ethical, knowledgeable, and responsible. A company is putting a lot of trust in this individual to help them make the right move.

I know of one family who set up their small business by themselves in an area that was marginal as far as neighbors and clientele.Some of their employees quit due to safety issues. The owners wanted to save money since they were just starting. It kind of backfired.

They had problems such as violent crime, shoplifting, and littering. They will be moving soon and will hire a tenant rep this time, who will analyze their situation and find a safer location.

By starrynight — On Sep 09, 2011

@KaBoom - Your location sounds like it leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe your boss should consider hiring a tenant rep and moving? Or perhaps hiring a tenant rep to negotiate with the landlord to make some repairs?

I actually have a friend that runs a small business, and he had a lot of success hiring a tenant rep. He ended up in a great location and he pays less than the other tenants around him! His tenant rep was able to find the best location for his business and deal with the landlord. All my friend had to do was sign on the dotted line!

If anyone is considering going into business for themselves, I would heartily recommend hiring a tenant rep!

By KaBoom — On Sep 08, 2011

I had no idea such a thing exists, but this sounds awesome. Everyone knows that "location, location, location" is crucial to the success of a business. I feel like when people go into business for themselves, sometimes they don't know how to find or negotiate for the right location. A tenant rep could be really helpful for this.

And just to give an example, my boss could really have used a tenant rep when he chose our location. Our customers pretty much hate the little shopping center we are in. You can see it from the road, and it looks nice from afar, but that's where the good ends.

The building and the parking lot have a bunch of small things wrong with them. There are several potholes in the parking lot and two parking spaces that always flood when it rains. Our office is on the second floor and you can only reach it using a set of slippery old stairs. So of course, a large part of our customer base is older!

Maybe if my boss had used a tenant rep he would have gotten a better location!

By anon72294 — On Mar 22, 2010

what if you are afraid for your safety?

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