Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Why You Should Always Take Notes for CRE

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Remember in college when you were required to scribble (or type) as many notes as possible in a lecture?

You took notes so that you could prepare for an upcoming test or final.

In commercial real estate (or any business for that matter), you must still take notes religiously.

After all, isn’t it just as important to ace your next commercial real estate deal as it was to pass the exam you were preparing for in college?

Commercial real estate transactions are inherently complex.

It is virtually impossible to remember every aspect of a negotiation, whether for lease or purchase.

That is why it is absolutely crucial to take notes.  This is true for both tenants and landlords and buyers and sellers.

How detailed should you make your notes?

As detailed as possible.


As landlords, we deal with prospective tenants all the time.  It would be nice if a prospect called and was ready to sign a lease on the first call.

It would be nice but it would also be imaginary.  This never happens.

You need to take notes because you won’t remember a conversation/negotiation that took place 2 months ago (much less several months).  Sure, you will remember the most important pieces, like pricing and lease term.

But will you remember the actual back and forth negotiations that happened to arrive at a price?  Or term?

Probably not.

Plus, not every transaction moves fluidly.  Sometimes, sales/leases are delayed by months or even years.

You never know what tidbits that you write down today will be important in the future.


Recently, our company negotiated a warehouse space with a new tenant.

A price was agreed upon and a lease was drafted.

When the owner came to our office to execute the lease agreement, he told us that the price listed in the contract was incorrect.

Of course, this was a touchy situation.

Here we have a prospect, ready to sign on the dotted line, and at the eleventh hour, he says he won’t sign our lease because he claims the pricing is different than discussed the previous week.

Now, we were not going to quibble over a few hundred dollars/month because the deal was too lucrative.

However, we knew that our pricing was correct.

How were we so sure?

We take detailed notes.

The prospect welcomed us to do what we had to do but he was not signing at the listed price.

So we opened our notes on the computer.  (Side note: We typically jot notes in short form while meeting with a client or on the phone and immediately take detailed notes after on the computer.)

We arrived at the section where pricing was discussed and explained what we had in our notes.

“I’m so sorry.”

That’s what the prospect told us.  He had looked at so many properties that he confused ours with another.

“You are right.  I’ll sign it.”

For a long term lease, this saved several thousand dollars.

All from jotting down a few notes.

Not a bad return on investment, huh?

Please feel free to leave comments.  We promise to read them all.  You can also email us with any questions/comments at leasing@seawaybusinesspark.com.  As a reminder, we provide office space for rent and office/warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi.  For more information, visit our website at www.seawaybusinesspark.com or call us at (228) 575-7731.