Use a broker to negotiate your lease renewal

Many people seem to think that brokers only work on leasing new space.  In reality they are just as valuable when you are looking at renewing an existing lease and are an essential source of information, knowledge and expertise.

You can tap into a real estate broker’s fund of market knowledge and craft a real world proposal to deliver to your landlord.  The broker's commission will come out of the commission that would otherwise be payable to the landlord's broker so it won't cost you anything. Don't be concerned about the landlord being upset that you are using a broker - never forget that this is a business transaction and the landlord's business relies on being cordial with tenants.

My personal rule of thumb is that the more personally involved I am in the outcome of a negotiation, the less I should be involved in the negotiation itself.  Real estate clearly fits into this general definition, because I am personally involved in that I am going to inhabit, or continue to inhabit, the space and a variety of different considerations make me a poor negotiator in those circumstances.

Moreover, I have no knowledge about the current real estate market or the trends affecting it;  even if I think I do, more importantly I have no idea of recent “deals” that have been done in the market place.  I had a client who was very smug about the lease renewal negotiation he had just done and then learned that somebody else in the building had negotiated a rent reduction that amounted to 10% less then he was paying when that person negotiated their lease.

The moral of the story is when you start a negotiation, you start from the level of knowledge you have yourself.  In the case of a lease, that knowledge is what you are currently paying, perhaps tempered somewhat by what you believe to be market conditions.  What you do not know is what the person in the next suite has just negotiated, and a broker may well be privy to this information.

It won't cost you anything and will only annoy the landlord if he was trying to take advantage of you in the first place!