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  • hughjwade


Tenant Rep Tales

Let me paint you a picture. A very, very small business announces they are moving locations in Anchorage. This new location is on a major arterial in a desirable part of town. They will get plenty of eyeballs from robust traffic that drives by every day. Also, the business now has the correct zoning, signage, and property features the business desired (multiple overhead doors, a yard, and attractive lease terms). The world sees a happy landlord and happy new tenant, right? What they don’t see is the tenant’s commercial real estate broker walking away with nothing. 

This is a true story. Right or wrong, it is a reality of our business.

In this case, I had worked with this client for over a year. There were showings, I produced letters of intent to both lease & purchase multiple properties, and plenty of phone calls along the way. I remember calling another broker on behalf of this client while in Europe traveling on business for an out-of-state client; I remember having more correspondence during the Thanksgiving holiday on a different listing; I remember getting us a showing as soon a listing came onto the market, in a snow storm, after business hours.

Listen, a quick aside. I’m not digging ditches, fighting in a war, or finding a cure for cancer. I am aware there are bigger fish to fry, and I could have it a lot worse. I’m very blessed to do what I do, live the life I live, and enjoy the freedoms I have. This is what I signed up for. 

At the same time, this is my livelihood. This is how I pay my bills and put food on my table. People either don’t realize that, or they don’t care.

In the end, the scenario I first described above was probably the best outcome for my client; they found what they were looking for, and the landlord was probably unwilling to pay a commission anyway. These personality types are used to doing handshake deals and doing things themselves, to the good and the bad. Anyone else be damned!

The last I heard from this client prior to seeing on Facebook (of all places) that they had a new location was, and I quote, “Thanks for all you do, bro. We will get a place eventually.” 

From my perspective, when people choose to handle situations like this, it demonstrates they don’t respect me, they don’t value our relationship, and they can’t be trusted.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me in my five years in this job. It isn’t the first time something like this has happened to Hugh. It isn’t the first time this situation has happened to my colleagues in the industry. It will happen again!

The best I can think to do is look at myself in the mirror, point thumbs instead of fingers, and figure out what I can do better; frankly, I can just do more volume. The more clients I have, the more listings I have, the less this one stings. Don’t get me wrong, when a situation like this arises, it will always sting. But the more irons in the fire, the less it hurts when one doesn’t pan out. Call it the venture capital method.

Will I work with this person in the future? I’m not sure; it’s still fresh. I tell you what, though, this is a small town and, despite its size, an even smaller state. I’m sure we’ll run across each other again in the future.

Maybe in the next newsletter, I'll show the other side of the coin and talk about success stories, haha.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk/therapy session/view from my perspective.

Keep your stick on the ice.



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