What does tenant-focused really mean?

As a firm, we represent tenants, buyers, and users of commercial space. Whitebox Real Estate is a tenant-focused real estate advisory and development firm specializing in offering a custom approach to commercial real estate clients.  We are very proud of our focus and expertise in tenant representation.

In our blog piece, “Why Hire Whitebox for a Renewal Lease?” we discussed the need to hire a tenant representative to help with a renewal lease, but what about representation on a lease in general? What about a building purchase?

In March 2016, The University of Leeds School of Law published a report called, “Commercial Property Agents and Conflicts of Interest” (we know you’re busy, so see a shorter version here).  The study found that the property sector is at risk of serious reputational damage if it does not put in place more robust rules to curtail “double-dipping.” It is one of the first deep dives into the topic surrounding, “conflicts of interest” and the “clear risks” associated with the “Chinese walls” that firms employ to separate the two sides of the house (leasing and tenant representation). Adam Baker of the University of Leeds commented that it was, “very difficult for clients to spot a suboptimal deal.”

At the beginning of 2017, the United Kingdom’s governing body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), officially took steps to eliminate the practice on Jan. 1, 2018, (see “Global CRE Group Bans Dual Agency in UK, Unifying Standards in US May Prove More Elusive”).

In a recent news article by Costar, it highlights what the Leeds article found is that potential conflicts of interest and lack of transparency in UK property transactions could potentially harm tenants, especially small and medium-sized businesses, that lack the resources and awareness of the potential financial impacts of double-dipping.

To be fair, it is less challenging to implement these changes in a country the size of Alabama than it is in the U.S. where each state is allowed to pass its own real estate laws and regulations. As such, it would be difficult for a similar law to be adopted in the U.S., but it does bring up a good point:  small and medium-sized businesses make up over 99% of all firms.  This means the vast majority of companies are not engaging firms and advisors with solely their best interest in mind.

There is not a “Chinese Wall” at Whitebox as we are focused on the tenant.  There is not a landlord piece of business to separate. We are here to provide our clients with the resources and the awareness so that they can make informed decisions at financially optimal terms with flexible lease options – a lease that both “inhales and exhales.”

At Whitebox:

  • Real estate is our core business.
  • We cost you nothing.
  • We know the market and are extremely active in it.
  • We have a fiduciary solely to our clients.
  • We have depth of market knowledge and can leverage the best possible deal.
  • We understand the supply and demand in the market and use it to our advantage.
  • We understand a lease and negotiate renewal leases.
  • We have insight regarding the landlord’s business philosophy.
  • We save you time.
  • We cost you nothing.
  • We take emotion out of the transaction.
  • We have a fiduciary to show you all properties in the marketplace.

Our tenant-focused mentality lets us find effective solutions for you and your business. Call us to get started, we’re eager to hear from you.