Why is this still an issue?
In the last couple of weeks, I have been on the road. Chicago, Austin, San Antonio, San Francisco, Denver and back to Chicago again. All of those cities top almost every list of places that cradle, cuddle, and help startups thrive.
Ironically, when I am in those cities, I am talking to startup companies. Commercial Real Estate Startup companies. They exist to do one thing. Solve commercial real estate “problems.” You would think that they of all people would understand space. As in space to lease for their companies. For the most part, some do and do you know why? Most have a Broker as part of the founding team. A broker who has leased sold or developed space. That broker also brings with them a network. You know what I am talking about. That same one you have. Your contact database of GO TO PEOPLE. Contractors engineers architects communications and legal people. YOUR NETWORK to get the deal done. Seems pretty simple.
Then why do I get emails like the three below? I received one each of the emails in the last two weeks.
Now, before we dig in I purposely eliminated the names of the people who sent them. I do appreciate any and (some not so much) all questions and comments that I receive.
Also, this is not in any way trying to disparage that type of interaction or by any means “call out” the kind and professional people who do reach out. This is my way of trying to help. I said, “help” push commercial real estate forward.
Hope all is well. I lease [_______] in Downtown Dallas and signed 3 new tech tenants totaling 300,000 SF a year ago and then we built out a 15,0000 SF coworking lounge to try and obtain smaller tech and VC companies but we have been striking out.
Let me know if you can catch up over the phone this week or next, so I can get your thoughts and opinions on why we are struggling.
Some questions I have are:
What are the major concerns brokers have when engaging in these smaller transaction? Is it typically that it is not worth their own valuable time to bring a client through all the steps of leasing a space if the commission will be very small?
Or, is the primary concern that the information about these smaller spaces is less organized and less comprehensive than some of the larger spaces which makes doing smaller deals that much more difficult?
A lot of brokers don’t even give tenants looking for really small spaces the time of day or answer their phone calls. What does this do to prospective tenants looking for smaller sqft spaces? Does it discourage them or make their process that much harder to find a space?
In your view is this an area of CRE worth looking at for improvement in the process?
How are some of the ways you can see a startup having a better experience finding a small initial space?