Every day I talk to commercial real estate brokers who have missed out on deals. “Yeah,” they tell me, “that one never materialized. The client just didn’t follow through.” What is it that causes these deals to fall apart? The buyer has a need and the broker is eager to help. So why doesn’t it work out?
While money, shifting priorities, and other business factors can explain why some projects go astray, others are less obvious. The most successful brokers — the ones that close the most and the biggest deals — know they have to go beyond simply matching client wants with site specs. They have to be a guide for their clients, helping them find workspaces that will truly help their business to thrive — and then shepherding the deal through to close.
One way to ensure that more deals come out on the right side is to involve an architect early in the deal process. Why? Because the best commercial architects will help you lead your clients through the site selection process to ensure the deal gets done.
If your clients are struggling to move forward with even the best available spaces, a commercial architect can help jump-start the deal in several specific ways:
1. Help Clients Envision the Space
While you and I work with commercial real estate every day, most end users have a hard time visualizing how a space can really meet their needs. That’s where commercial architects and designers come in. As experts in designing office, industrial, and retail workspaces, we see how a space can be transformed to work for your clients. With samples, sketches, and a truly visual vocabulary, we help clients see the potential in a space. Then they can feel confident that the space will really work for their business.
2. Compare Apples-to-Apples
When looking at multiple locations, you want the same architect providing fit plans for each space. That way you know each option is being planned using the same business requirements. If your client relies on multiple architects — a separate one from each building — they’re likely to get fit plans that don’t accurately compare to each other. That causes confusion and means more back-and-forth work to bring the plans into alignment. And that slows the deal down or can even kill it outright.
3. Identify Deal Breakers
If location is king in commercial real estate, then surely buildings are queen. And let’s face it, not all buildings are created equal. Commercial architects, with our years of technical training and experience, can quickly spot potential deal breakers, before a transaction gets too far down the tracks. From zoning conflicts to knowing where a building’s skeletons are buried, an architect on your team can keep you from wasting valuable time and resources pursuing a building that will never work for your client.
Few commercial real estate deals are a sure thing. Finding the right site and negotiating the best deal for your client is where you earn your commission. But if you’re waiting until after the lease is signed to bring in an architect — or waiting for the selected landlord to choose an architect for your client — you’re adding unnecessary risk to the fate of your deal.
With more than 30 years in business providing unique design solutions for commercial real estate, we’ve seen firsthand how involving an architect early in the process can help ensure your deals stay on track. Contact PlanForce today to see how we can help you get ink on paper and the doors open.