The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is interesting –they both need each other, and they both serve the needs of one another as well. So when does the relationship favor one, the other or neither? That’s directly related to the lease terms and market conditions, and it can fluctuate as market conditions change. Whether you realize it or not, your relationship with your landlord – or better put, the value your lease brings to your landlord – is a constantly moving target. Consider these three tips in your dealings with your landlord.
In many instances, locations have a property manager group responsible for things like collecting rent, recapturing NNN costs, paying bills and generally managing the property. Generally, a property manager is a tenant’s go-to contact for everything involving occupancy of the property. As familiarity begins to develop, tenants naturally tend to become friendly with their property manager contacts. But be clear – this is where problems can begin. Familiarity breeds intimacy, and that can be troublesome down the line. As conversation freely flows, references to a tenant’s business plans may come up. Common topics in even casual conversation might include:
• How the business is doing
• Contracts that have been lost or won
• Layoffs and new hiring
• The addition of new products/services and the loss of others
This is all information most valuable to your landlord, and chances are high that it’s all going to come back to him. And the more your landlord knows about you and your business, the better for him – not you. The attorney says to his client before entering court: “Don’t say anything.” The same rules should apply to your staff. Be aware that the property manager is in the business of managing real estate for large, sophisticated ownership groups. What they know about your business helps them negotiate the best transaction for the owner, and at your expense.
Tip number one: take advantage of your familiarity with the project manager to learn more about your landlord, but avoid oversharing about your own business. If it’s possible to casually inquire about which spaces are going vacant in the building or whether any deals are being offered to new or renewing tenants, then proceed. But it’s always wise to stay silent on what’s going on with your company.
The best time to renew your lease is not always the most obvious time or when you have historically done so. Stay in touch with your real estate professional. They should have understand the local market intimately and be able to guide you with insightful market data that relates to your lease and your business.
Tip number two: stay in touch with your agent for important guidance about your lease that best serves your interests.
If you feel like your agent has nothing to offer you, understand that you are being under-served. Spend some time online reviewing websites for a professional in your area that not only specializes in your type of real estate, but offers useful information and a clear track record of success. You deserve nothing but the best.
Tip number three: don’t settle for an agent who isn’t doing his very best for you before, during and after a transaction.