Why having an agent can help your law firm find space

Law Firm Office SpaceAttorneys are naturally predisposed to want to handle legal matter themselves.  Why have representation and delegate something important to somebody else when they hold a law degree?  Most lawyers would prefer to micro-manage the matter on their own instead of trusting somebody else.  That’s the thought process of many lawyers, anyway.

If you are looking to find office space for your law firm, you might have the same temptation to handle it yourself.  Why put a middle man or woman into the equation by hiring an agent?   Won’t this just slow things down and cost money?  Won’t an agent muck things up and make it more complicated?  Why not just handle it yourself?  In many respects, self-professed gurus can make matters worse.

But while this is true in many instances, this is one area where this is not the case.  The reality is most lawyers — while very skilled in their field — may not know very much about the commercial real estate market.  Maybe if the lease is relatively inexpensive and for a short duration, it might be more practical to go it alone.  In some instances, it might even be hard to find an agent to assist if the deal is a relatively small one, although there are generally plenty of agents looking to make a buck.  However, if a knowledgeable agent is willing, most law firms are better to enlist an agent to help them find office space for their law firm no matter the size or duration of the lease.

The reality is that a tenant’s agent is normally not paid any up-front money for their services.  Instead, they simply take a cut of the listing agent’s commission.  Generally, this equates to the listing agent receiving about 4% to 6% of the lease’s value, which is then split in half with the tenant’s agent.  That means that the law firm gets representation without having to pay a dime.

This allows the law firm to get back to work on another important matters, like doing legal work, retaining cases and managing the firm versus allocating valuable firm resources toward finding office space.  The agent for the law firm can then be in the middle of the negotiation by making sure the law firm find the rights space, is getting a fair deal, that the rent is not too high and helping ensure that necessary improvements and renovations are made to the space.

What’s not to like about this?  Why would a law firm ever want to spend the time and energy finding office space themselves if they can find somebody knowledgeable to do it at no cost to the law firm?

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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