The team of property experts at BRM Real Estate is proud to have as its leader Peter Northwood, a commercial, industrial and retail property specialist with over 40 years of experience. We sat down with Peter last week to gain some insight into the world of commercial leasing and the importance of staying informed and protected as a tenant.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in commercial real estate.
I am a licensed Real Estate Agent and a Qualified Valuer. I am a Fellow of both the Real Estate Institute of Australia and the Australian Property Institute. I have been involved in all aspects of Commercial, Industrial and Retail property over a career spanning many decades and I have experienced boom times and very tough times in the Market.
During my career I have been the Officer in Effective Control of both privately owned and publicly listed entities.
I have been the General Manager of major city building such as Nauru House, 80 Collins Street, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street and 120 Collins Street. These appointments have exposed me to major leasing negotiations at a very high level.
I currently have the privilege of teaching property management at Melbourne University where I am an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Architecture, building and Planning.
What are the most important things to look for in a commercial lease?
Commercial leases are comprised of many parts, each having a purpose. Most tenants are not aware of the meaning of words in leases, but each clause has a specific purpose. Whilst Solicitors are good at interpreting the legal bits, the really important commercial bits often get overlooked. This is where years of diverse experience can save a tenant serious problems in the future.
Tenants should ask the question, does the lease reflect the agreement I think I have reached with the Landlord/Agent. If not, why?
What are the benefits of using a licensed real estate agent for lease negotiations?
Using a consultant to assist with negotiation is drawing on knowledge and experience gained over many years and many and varying circumstances. An agent acting for a tenant has "inside knowledge" that tenants just don't have. Most tenants are experts in their own field but fall short when it comes to the practicalities of leasing.
How important is it to protect rights as tenants?
A bad lease can tie a tenant into years of distraction from its core business, where a good lease that benefits both parties is a partnership. A lease is a long term relationship that should benefit both parties. A consultant will ensure that there is a fruitful partnership between tenant and landlord.
As someone who's been in the industry for so long and bringing the next generation through, what do you see as the key steps to a successful real estate deal?
A good real estate transaction is a win, win for both parties. The old saying "always leave something on the table" is never truer that in Property transactions. If the parties at the end of a term can walk away satisfied, then that's a good deal.
Landlords need to understand the real value of a good tenant and should move mountains to retain that relationship.
Are you a commercial tenant seeking guidance?
Call (03) 9521 1007 to speak to one of our property advisors.
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