FORT WORTH—Multi-tenant office buildings and industrial parks generally need to get leased and stay leased. While those spaces are often different sizes with unique amenities, office and industrial leases are often more time-consuming, complex, strategic and targeted than most asset classes, according to Cody Payne, senior vice president of Colliers International in Fort Worth.
“We deal with a lot of cross asset buyers that own multifamily, self-storage or even retail that look to buy office or industrial,” Payne tells GlobeSt.com. “Whether it’s a one-off project a private investor owns or even institutional asset managers that run several office buildings in DFW, the number one question we get asked is ‘how do I get my vacancies leased?’ This question becomes more important than ever when the economy is down like our current market or in the crash 12 years ago.”
As leasing has evolved in the past five to 15 years, mostly due to technology and business operations, this has provided agents a better understanding of the market, competing buildings, tenant square footage and how to capture the largest audience of tenants. Specifically, technology has given agents the ability to find out when tenants leases expire, current square footage and tenant contact information with a couple of clicks.
“Having this information is key and targeting the right sized tenants in the area for the vacancies you are trying to lease is one of the most optimal way of having success,” Payne tells GlobeSt.com. “Also, for a landlord, tailoring their vacancies to what the market commands and average tenant size, whether it’s having spaces under 3,000 square feet for smaller tenants or larger open concept spaces over 10,000 square feet, making sure your spaces match the niche area of tenant sizes is also important.”
As Payne points out, certain markets require smaller-sized tenants.
“Having a large vacancy can mean waiting for a tenant that isn’t out there,” Payne tells GlobeSt.com. “Owners can often demise spaces to smaller suites to meet the demand of a market. Other ways of meeting demand include having move-in-ready spaces or a spec suites ready for tenants to tour.”
Identifying the Appropriate Leasing Agent for the Area and Space
- In general, leasing agents cannot be effective if they are leasing many buildings that are too geographically distanced. This is not only impractical but it doesn’t allow the agent to be an area specialist. Knowing the market along with the size and types of tenants that operate in some of the niche markets and submarkets are some of the most powerful factors when looking for the right agent and firm, Payne says.
- When it comes to leasing smaller office spaces, agents and firms who specialize in the smaller office market are able to tailor to the local and regional tenants. For leasing larger, higher-end office/industrial, sometimes utilizing a larger firm that has the ability and contacts to access larger companies and business transferring to the area, along with having a strong tenant rep division, can also help bring in tenants.
- When meeting with a new agent/firm about potentially leasing a building, it’s important to have a game plan set up, outline expectations and establish a timeline for achieving projected results.
“At the end of the day, even though the economy is down, there are leases expiring, tenants needing to downsize or even expand, so figuring out the best course of action now is more important than ever and working to capture that audience is key to representation,” Payne tells GlobeSt.com.