The Leasing Process: A Roadmap
Whether you are looking to lease space for the first time or you are already in a lease and want to renew, the time to hire an advisor and get started is almost always sooner than you think. The primary reasons for this are also likely not what you think…
If this is your “first rodeo”, you’re probably thinking that your search process will be the hardest part of your journey. In actuality, a qualified advisor should help you narrow down your choices to your “best and final” comparatively quickly. 99.9% of tenants underestimate what happens after the search process. The average tenant should comfortably expect to move in no sooner than seven months, and more realistically nine months, after they’ve selected a space and cut a deal with their new landlord. If you don’t believe us, check out the Illustrative Leasing Timeline at the end of this chapter. While you may be able to expedite your negotiations (which we wouldn’t advise) or your transition and move-in, much of the remaining process (architectural design, permitting and build out) is simply out of your control.
If you’re already in a lease, you’re probably thinking that you’re happy with your space and, save for a couple minor improvements, you aren’t going to need architectural design, permitting, build out, or a transition period. Those steps alone account for seven of the projected nine months for which a new tenant would need to budget (the rest being for negotiations), so what’s the rush? While all that may be true, your current landlord knows how long it will take you to find new space, so if you don’t start negotiations early, you will have given up all of your leverage on the renewal… which more often than not translates into higher rent!
LEASE NEGOTIATION PANIC METER
The table below summarizes some good rules of thumb for when you should start thinking about starting your process depending on what size lease you are looking at.