Advice and Opinion

The benefits to outsourcing the procurement of a commercial tenant

The present day notion that access to technology and the internet can help you tackle any problem or task without needing expert assistance may be true in many situations, but there are definitely some that are better left to the professionals.

Many commercial property owners deem it necessary to handle the letting of their rental properties themselves, and this might work for some but it is certainly not the answer for all. It may be practical if that is all you have to do all day or if you have experienced staff who can deal with the business on your behalf, but if your commercial properties are not your sole interest and you have other businesses to run, being your own rental agent may be a burden rather than a saving in both time and money.

The decision to not rent out a property yourself, and instead to entrust this time consuming task to a brokerage, may have far reaching implications. You may feel the service is not cheap but it may in the end prove to be a great saving. And so this poses the question: “Is your time worth more in rand-value than the procurement fee you would pay a brokerage or property agent?”

Time saving assistance

Jason Gregoriades, a member of the Rawson Property Group’s Commercial Business Development Team in the Western Cape, offers his insights into this moot subject. “Brokerages,” says Gregoriades, “will have an existing database of potential tenants which they have compiled over time. The brokers will have access to a great deal of information regarding all their potential tenants, including their specific needs. One of these potential tenants may be perfectly suited to the respective property. This would be a great time saver to landlords and property owners, meaning they can leverage off the hard work which the brokerage has already done. This potential saving of time will also be of benefit to the property owner, in that their property may not stand vacant for another month.”

The brokerage will also have insider knowledge as to which areas of advertising will bring the greatest success in finding good potential tenants. It stands to reason that the landlord who manages his own property rental, besides running another business, will be unable to devote the same amount of time to advertising, interviewing potential tenants and doing the necessary credit and reference checks as will a broker. After all, that is what the broker does best; it is his chosen area of expertise and he has the added incentive of the commission he will earn.

Lowering stress levels

Once a satisfactory tenant has been found, the next step will be the negotiation of the lease agreement. “Brokerages,” says Gregoriades, “will negotiate and finalise the lease agreement. This is of great benefit to landlords and property owners who don’t want to deal face-to-face with numbers of possible tenants and endure the potentially difficult negotiation process.”

“On occasion,” Gregoriades continues, “a tenant may attempt to haggle and play hardball with regard to the rental, a situation which could prove unpleasant for the property owner as it can become an emotional and unpleasant confrontation; instead the broker, being the agent and not the owner, may more easily remain objective and professional towards the deal and the prospective tenant”.

Once the rental contract is signed, the broker will provide both the landlord and tenant with a copy of the agreement and handle any problems or queries with regard to the deal until the transaction is concluded. Thereafter it is up to the owner or landlord to continue with the tenant.

Do-It-Yourself is not always best

Thus, despite the modern trend to do everything yourself, you cannot ignore the fact that appointing someone to take over the day-to-day duties and irritations which accompany the search for the right tenant can and will save you precious time, reduce your stress levels and ultimately save money as well.