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Evolution of the Tenant Rep Broker

Written by Tony Colvin, Principal/Senior Vice President

Gone are the days of showing a retailer a site with a site plan, aerial and three page demographic report and expecting a quick "yes" to the opportunity being presented. Gone are the days of driving around in the fancy sedan pointing at sites. In are the days of providing retailers vast market intel including market information, trade area sales information and competitor expansion and sales information.

Retailers are continually relying on their tenant rep broker to be a clearinghouse of sorts to help them understand their markets and, ultimately, make sound real estate decisions. A tenant rep broker is often asked to provide broad market knowledge on retailers including expansion plans, store performance, lease expiration dates and rent figures. All of this is above and beyond the requisite site specific information. A good tenant rep broker gladly accepts an increased burden of providing more performance and market data in exchange for the opportunity to represent the retailer. 

We are often asked by clients to provide market comps and sales performances when retailers are contemplating a renewal or relocation. Unfortunately, sometimes those decisions are made by retailers without a tenant rep's input. Often, these critical decisions are made by facilities or property management who may be dealing directly with a landlord, unbeknownst to the tenant rep broker.  Sharp retailers realize the value a tenant rep broker can provide in many circumstances and keep the broker engaged in all facets of the deal making process.  Occasionally, a broker may even participate and be compensated for renewal work - a validation of sorts for providing quality, factual and current market information.

 It is true that more information than ever is required from a tenant rep broker when presenting expansion opportunities, but the trade-off is the opportunity to be involved in more aspects of the retailer’s decision-making process. A good tenant rep broker should be an advisor that is an invaluable component to a retailer’s real estate strategy and team.  As the demands of the tenant rep broker have grown and evolved so has our ability to be a broader participant in the retailer's real estate process.  As retailers continue their expansion plans and seek as much information as possible to make calculated real estate decisions, the tenant rep's role continues to evolve and change. 

Tony Colvin | Principal/Senior Vice President
Mid-America Real Estate – Wisconsin, L.L.C.
648 N. Plankinton Avenue | Milwaukee, WI 53203
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