Tenant Rep Horror Stories

Alexfpa's picture
Rank: Baboon | 105

Calling all brokers... I know we've all dealt with headache tenants at some point. From tenants that can't perform to ones that don't seem to have the mental capacity to tie their shoes to the ones that are downright disloyal. What are some situations you've found yourself in and how did you handle it and go about avoiding similar outcomes in the future? Feel free to discuss all tenant levels from start-ups to established players.

I've had one tenant rep client recently that literally wanted more power in his space than what was dedicated to an entire block. Yeah... No joke. I wrote one LOI for the guy on something that didn't go anywhere. Then he went off and got something that was a completely different requirement. Big take away for me is to run the other way when tenants don't have a minimum sophistication level.

Comments (18)

Feb 28, 2018

bump

Feb 28, 2018

I did a lease for a VC firm that was winding down. They had 3 years left before they were closing the doors and were about 2,000 SF. They thought they were in the leverage position the whole time and it was the most comical thing ever. They wanted below market rent and above market TI, free rent, and flexibility on the top floor of literally the most iconic tower in the city. The woman who I interfaced with was an absolute nitwit/trapper keep girl who made my life miserable throughout the entire process - she over complicated everything. You would've thought we were negotiating a settlement that could put the firm into bankruptcy with personal guarantees on the line, not a 2000 SF lease that I'd hardly make a dime on.

Moral of the story: hunt whales in brokerage because the little guys are just as big (or bigger) of a pain in the ass.

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Feb 28, 2018

"You spend just as much time with the little ones as you do with the big ones." A tenant rep broker told me this once, and I always thought that was pretty solid advice, if you'd even call it that.

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Mar 8, 2018

From my limited experience, the bigger ones are usually more seasoned with leases and don't require handholding.

Feb 28, 2018

The little guys with the egos are some of the worst. Or the guys who want to submit a "last & final" and it's below market still... remedial.

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Feb 28, 2018

Bump

Mar 7, 2018

You guys have it so easy compared to investment sales brokers. We have to pitch the deal (40-80+ pages), create an offering memorandum (30-100+ pages), complete countless iterations of the pro forma model, and work with 10-30+ investors answering questions on anything from other income detail in historical financials to easements affecting the property before the deal closes.

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Mar 8, 2018

Yeah seems like it. I have a mutual friend that does tenant rep and he kills it. I'm looking to get into IS but tenant rep paydays are insane and seems like it's a lot less stressful and technical

Mar 7, 2018

IS will allow you to move to the principal/development side - much better exit opps. Tenant rep is probably a better fit for pure sales/marketing people who don't enjoy analytical work but have no problem cold calling daily.

Feb 28, 2018

@InVinoVeritas I'm an IS guy that eventually got into tenant rep. I can agree with you on many fronts. Having been on both sides I don't know which I would say is "easier". I know it sounds cliche but I guess for me it all depends on your market and asset class. Both tough IMO.

Mar 7, 2018

Do you have to handle legal review/drafting or do the attorneys take care of it all?

Mar 9, 2018

Representing a tenant, scheduling a tour only to have them no show/no call. Then after a long discussion about their etiquette, you scheduled a multi-stop tour knowing that you had this discussion and were on board and then they no show again.

Feb 28, 2018

Tell me about it.

Even though those situations are an inconvenience on the front end I've come to see them as blessings in disguise because those guys will probably be hell to work with in a deal.

Jun 4, 2019

Having a client no show is the worst. It's bad enough to waste my time as their rep, but the reputation ding you receive from the list broker for wasting their time is even worse. Luckily, a lot of list brokers know the score and won't hold it against you as it's just part of the business, especially in the under 5K SF range.

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Jun 5, 2019
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