Take Advantage of Vacancies Soon to Renew Lease

July 30, 2009
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The economic downturn doesn’t have to be all bad, especially if you are a tenant with a looming lease renewal decision to make. In fact, you can benefit from the increase in vacant commercial property space. But, don’t fall into the trap of renewing your lease simply because you are on good terms with your owner or don’t want to go through the hassle of moving—and definitely don’t renegotiate your lease by yourself.

Generally, renewing tenants do not get the same good treatment or perks as they did the first time around. Hiring a tenant broker who never represents landlords—and has no conflicts of interest with yours—will give you more leverage. It is your broker’s job to know market statistics and bargaining tools that you might not, and hiring a broker shows your owner that you are serious about getting what you want and need from the renewed lease.

Although commercial property vacancies currently are high, no one can say with certainty how long that will last. Making the market work to your advantage now requires using a market-based strategy developed with your broker. Remember, it is your broker’s job to understand the market and to advocate for your needs as a tenant, and he most likely can do it more effectively.