Like many of the city’s seasoned commercial real estate brokers, Michael Church has lost track of the number of offices in Ottawa he has visited with tenants over the years.
In a city home to thousands of commercial properties, it’s inevitable that many will share similar features and amenities.
But one variable can have a major impact on what space brokers like Church recommend to their tenants: the landlord and the quality of their service.
âWhen you rent from an owner, you get married for 60 to 120 months,â says Church, a 30-year veteran of the Ottawa commercial real estate industry and a broker, director and general manager of Avison Young. “If both sides of the equation don’t feel like you’ve won something, that’s a bad way to start.”
Transparency & trust
When brokers are looking for the perfect space, the first step is knowing the tenant, their business, and the best way to operate their commercial space.
Once they understand a tenant’s needs, brokers should write a short list of spaces to consider. Among the many things they take into consideration is the owner. After all, if the relationship between a tenant and their landlord deteriorates, it reflects badly on the broker who connected them.
âThe quality of the owner, or the openness of the owner to enter into a mutually beneficial transaction, is a very important factor when developing a shortlist to pursue,â says Alan Doak, partner and co-founder of Proveras Commercial Realty, an Ottawa-based Commercial Real Estate Brokerage.
Keeping lines of communication open, as well as providing detailed and up-to-date information on various spaces is essential.
âWe communicate regularly with members of the brokerage community, so that they know who we are and that they feel comfortable calling us,â said Kevin Rougeau, Managing Partner at Merkburn Holdings, a commercial real estate company. local with a portfolio of dozens of office and industrial spaces across Ottawa.
Merkburn prides itself on providing complete and transparent information to brokers and potential tenants. This includes the details of a given space, such as its size and amenities, but also a full breakdown of the costs associated with moving in.
âTenants don’t like surprises,â says Rougeau.
âTenants don’t like surprises.
While there is the cost of rent and, in some cases, utilities, moving into a new commercial space often also requires a layout, where the space is redeveloped to meet the needs of a new tenant. As Rougeau explains, Merkburn is transparent with all upfront costs to make the signing and move-in process easier for tenants.
The company also provides other key information, such as the number of parking spaces available to a tenant based on the size of their space.
Transparency and efficiency are among the reasons many Ottawa real estate brokers enjoy working with Merkburn when looking for the best space for their tenants.
âThey take great pride in the work they do,â Church says.
A company of people
Once a tenant has chosen a space, it’s time to negotiate the lease, complete their layout, and move in. In many cases, this process needs to happen quickly, as a tenant’s current lease may end or have grown too large for their current accommodation. space.
The speed at which this can happen is often influenced by how quickly an owner can approve various parts of the project.
âOne of the main reasons we love doing business with Merkburn is that the decision makers are local,â says Doak, whose company is also based in the city.
This means that approvals happen quickly and questions are answered quickly. This translates into better service for tenants and brokers, both during negotiations, fit-out and after move-in. In contrast, many large commercial real estate companies are based in Toronto, but own and manage properties in Ottawa and other cities. This can slow down the process and even lead to problems if something goes wrong in a building after hours.
âIt’s about people and Merkburn is well aware of it,â Church says. âEverything revolves around people. “
Are you looking for commercial space in Ottawa? Head toward Merkburn.com for current vacancies.