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Be Represented. Not Brokered

If you are looking for a new location for your business, or if you are investing in commercial real estate, it’s important to understand the distinction between Tenant Representative firms and the typical Listing Brokerage firms.

Typical Listing Brokerage Firms
In a typical commercial brokerage firm, the primary focus is on acquiring listings. Once they have acquired a listing, the seller is their client, who they work hard for.

When you walk in the door as a buyer, that firm is biased in favor of the seller. While most firms endeavor to be honest, there is inherent conflict of interest when they have a pre-existing relationship with the seller.

Observe two examples:
Case 1. A broker from the Typical Brokerage Firm, LLC lists a property. The broker is contacted by a buyer (you) that has a need that can fit into and be satisfied with several properties on the market.

The Typical Broker is aware of a property listed with another brokerage that is an excellent fit for you. However, the Typical Broker does not put the property on the potential property list and does not show it to you, instead influencing and guiding you to his own listing.

Even if the Typical Broker does not wish to be unethical, the system is structured so that an inherent conflict of interest exists.

There is a big difference between working for the best interest of the client, and working for the best interest of the broker.

Case 2. There are two brokers from Common Brokerage Incorporated that both have active listings. You approach Common Broker One about a property. There are a variety of properties on the market that will suite your needs.

Common Broker 1 puts the property listed by Common Broker 2 on the top of the list, and does more due diligence in order to make that property shine, while minimizing or excluding the other properties on the potential property list.

There is a big difference between working for the best interest of the client, and working for the best interest of the brokerage firm.

Tenant Representative Firms
Pure tenant representative brokers do not list property or represent landlords. They exclusively represent buyers, investors, and end users. This means they are working for their client, and exclusively represent the interests of the tenant or buyer.

Buyer representatives have access to the same information sources, the same networks, and the same information as the listing brokerage. The difference is that they exclusively represent the interests of the buyer, rather than the seller.

At ITRA Global, one of the largest and most successful commercial real estate cooperatives in the world, we exclusively represent tenants and buyers. Wayne Timura and JD Gunter represent ITRA Global in Colorado Springs and would be honored to represent you as an exclusive tenant representative firm.

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Tenant Tip: The Pitfalls of “As-Is” Lease Clauses

Tenants and buyers who acquire a property in “as is” condition put themselves at great risk. Even when the space looks fine and has been previously occupied, it’s quite possible that building and zoning codes have changed, or the infrastructure may be inadequate or may need to be repaired or replaced. The implications of leasing space in a multi-tenant building with a gross lease vs. in a building with triple net expense responsibility should also be considered.

While code compliance for occupying the property without making changes might be grandfathered, tenants must consider that renovations to the premises for the same use, or even a change of ownership, will most likely trigger code compliance issues. For example, fire suppression and fire alarm systems, emergency exits, ADA compliant restrooms and ADA access to the building might need to be modified or added.

If interior demolition is required in an older building for a renovation, for a new layout or for new infrastructure, and then subsequently asbestos is discovered, it will need to be abated. Asbestos abatement may also be needed if there are roof repairs, replacement of, or additions to roof top equipment. Abatement of environmental hazards may also be required.

If the use of the premises changes and/or the occupancy load increases, then heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, fire suppression and voice/data infrastructure systems may not be adequate. City zoning and codes may require, for example, a greater number of restrooms, parking spaces and adequate provision for bicycle parking. Electric car charging stations and other amenities may also be required. Change of use could also trigger requirements for additional water, sewer and power from city utilities, and data from service providers.


  • Don’t assume and don’t rely only on landlord or seller information about the property.
  • Do adequate due diligence and engage professional support for inspections and evaluations including maintenance records. Review infrastructure condition with the building service technicians.
  • When purchasing, definitely do an Environmental Site Assessment Phase I.
  • If “as is” is a condition precedent, then at least include written assurances in the lease or purchase agreement about the infrastructure operating conditions and code compliance as of the lease commencement or closing date.
  • An infrastructure guarantee until a date certain, e.g. 90 to 180+ days, from lease commencement would be helpful to reduce risk, especially in a triple net lease.
  • In a triple net lease, understand the capital replacement clause and depreciation expenses of the replaced asset. Latent defects should be excluded from tenant responsibilities.If the landlord performs renovation, be sure that the lease commencement date and rent payments are contingent on receiving a certificate of occupancy, so as a tenant you’re not responsible for construction delays.
  • Contact your ITRA Global representative who can help you avoid “as is” provisions, and other risks of leasing or purchasing property – to protect your company and improve your bottom line.
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