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PORTLAND-New reduced rental rate…No Rent Escalations for five years…Full 5% fee for successful referral…Significant tenant improvement dollars available…Free rent…Owner will provide free trip to Jamaica. These are the goodies to be had for brokers and tenants who can make a deal happen in these dog days.

Of course, the odds of having a client need the space for which the carrots are being dangled are slim to none, which always has people questioning the tradition. Still, things like free rent and big tenant improvement dollars sound better to owners than advertising rental rates not in line with the lender’s expectations.

Tom Becic, a broker with Melvin Mark Cos. is marketing the Banfield Plaza office building at 80th and Northeast Halsey Street. The owner is putting up an extra 2.5% commission in hopes that a full 5% fee might attract more brokers to the site. “The goal is to generate activity,” says Becic, who in times like these doesn’t shy away from too many potential opportunities. “When times are slow, it’s a nice filler and relationship builder.”

“We kind of do anything we can,” adds Brett Irons, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Vancouver, WA. “Retail has held pretty well up here,” says Irons, “but there is considerable vacancy in the office market.” On behalf of the owner, Irons is marketing high tech class A office space adjacent the Royal Oaks Country Club at $16 per sf, triple net, but the carrot is no rent escalations for five years.

Dick Shafer of Shafer Realty may have the best carrot out there at the moment; however, as the owner of a warehouse building on Southeast Ankeny Street he’s marketing is offering a trip for two to Jamaica. “He’s in an industry where trips are available to him as promotions,” says Shafer, “and something needs to be done to perk things up.”

Surprisingly, Shafer says he got no responses, which means things are extra slow. “Nobody has anything to put in it or they would have already,” says Shafer. “The perk is just a timing-based bonus.”

The real perk, however, is the one nobody wants to talk about. It’s the months of free rent being offered. It’s the lease rate not marketed but offered with a non-disclosure clause because it’s so low and the owner is so in need. They’re out there, and they’re in the best Downtown buildings, even. But nobody will say it out loud, and it’s certainly not being advertised.

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