Most residential agents get to know their clients fairly well during a transaction – where they work, what their hobbies are, the names of their kids and what sports they play, etc.  This information can be useful in earning additional income.  I’m not talking about selling your customer’s name to a telemarketer.  I’m talking about arranging for an additional service for your clients that they need anyway.

Corporate Real Estate Services.  Companies hire Corporate Real Estate Advisors or Tenant Reps to represent them when they lease or buy commercial space for the company to occupy.  Office buildings, warehouses, retail stores, medical office condos, etc.

A commercial real estate agent who specializes in providing real estate services to companies is an expert at searching for space and negotiating with commercial landlords and sellers.  An office lease, for example, can easily be 50 to 100 pages or more and contain language that most people have never heard of.  Corporate Real Estate Advisors deal with this all the time and understand the process, the language, the differences from one product type to another, and can guide companies through the maze.

Realtors often feel intimidated by the complexity of corporate real estate and don’t ever even think about it.  But they are leaving money on the table.

So how do you make money from corporate real estate?  Referrals.  Your referral to a Corporate Real Estate Advisor could result in a 20% referral fee.  You introduce your client who works for a small, local company to your Corporate Real Estate Advisor referral partner.  The client introduces the Corporate Real Estate Advisor to the company owner or manager and gets hired.  Let’s assume the company occupies 6,000 square feet of office space and after researching the market and negotiating with their landlord, they renew their lease for 5 years at an average rental rate of $18.75.  The total lease value is then $562,500 – 6,000 SF X $18.75 X 5 years.  Let’s assume the Corporate Real Estate Advisor negotiated a 4.5% cashout commission making the total commission $25,312.  You get 20% for a simple introduction and you get a check for $5,062.50.

Sweet.  And the best part is that you have provided your client with an additional service that they really needed.  Guess who the hero is?  The $5,000 is just an example.  The actual number could be smaller or higher depending on the size of the deal, the rental rate or sales price, the number of years on the lease, etc.  I’ve seen referral fee checks as small as $500 and as large as $250,000.

As you have probably guessed by now, we are Corporate Real Estate Advisors and we want to be your referral partner.  Our clients are all kinds of companies in every industry type you can think of – doctors, lawyers, high tech, insurance, distribution, manufacturing, financial services, even residential real estate.  We only represent the corporate users.  We don’t have any landlord listings so we can be totally objective in the recommendations we make to our clients.

I used to be a landlord guy for the first 20 years of my career.  I understand how landlords think, what motivates them and what they will typically agree to in a lease.  I was the guy who signed the leases for the landlord on over 6 million square feet of deals throughout Texas and the Southwest in my last company.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate (also known as a tenant rep) with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas, and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies that lease or buy office and warehouse properties.