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Before you lease a commercial space, with Paul Remson

Before you lease a commercial space, with Paul Remson

In this episode, we have Paul Remson from Strategic Realty Advisors. Paul is a commercial real estate tenant broker who helps businesses find new office space, renegotiate commercial leases, or move their offices. If you have ever considered leasing office, commercial, or warehouse space you’ll definitely want to listen to this podcast before you take your next steps.

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Adam Lowe:                       Paul is a tenant broker for commercial real estate. Paul, can you tell me a little bit about what you do and how you help people?

Paul Remson:                    Well, basically Adam, what we do is take commercial tenants and that would be an office tenant, a warehouse tenant or retail tenant. Uh, we basically get them in the car and we take them out and show them commercial space similar to what a residential real estate agent would do if you were looking for a home, that residential agent will put you in a car and drive you around neighborhoods and you’d go in and look at homes. We do that with commercial tenants. We basically help and leases only, um, the process can take anywhere from three months to a year depending on the size of the tenant, but we work specifically for them and are legally obligated to represent their interests, just like a residential buyers broker. Okay. So

Adam Lowe:                       for, for people who haven’t leased space before, um, you know, it’s, it’s pretty easy to go online and you can do some searches and start calling up landlords and everything. Um, why would somebody want to use a tenant broker as opposed to just working directly with, with the landlord?

Paul Remson:                    Okay, cool. A couple of reasons. First of all, if a tenant was dealing directly with the landlord broker, that landlord broker is legally obligated to represent his clients’ interests. His client is the owner of the building. It would be almost like if you were in a lawsuit and you were dealing directly with the other side’s attorney, what you want is an attorney working with you and that would be in this case at tenant broker. So not only do I work with them directly and represent their interests, but one of the best things about my business is that my fees are paid by the landlord’s broker. That’s an industry standard across the country. So that’s, that’s the great thing about it. The tenant avail themselves of my expertise and time and they don’t have to pay me

Adam Lowe:                       very much like a, uh, like a residential burglary. Residents of Brooklyn where a buyer’s broker that

Paul Remson:                    present, somebody buying a house, their fees are paid by the listing agent on the house. The owner signs a listing agreement with that agent and they pay a fee and it’s split between the buyer’s broker

Adam Lowe:                       occur and the landlord agent. Okay. So for people who haven’t, for people that are just looking to get into their first property and they haven’t been through this process before, can you just tell me a little bit about what it’s like, um, you know, from the first time someone calls you and says, Hey Paul, I want to move into a space, um, you know, all the way through signing the deal, right?

Paul Remson:                    Well, the first thing I think that the key issue is all we’ll use. How much space do you need? How many dollars per month you have? Because when I searched for space, I basically searched for a location, size and price dollars per month. That’s the biggest issue. Want to make sure that the client has a figure that they think they’re comfortable with, and then we find the space that fits the dollars per month. Now, depending on the space, it could be higher rent per square foot. It just depends. That’s the big thing. Time. Here’s another key issue, you want to make sure that you have enough time to get into the space of time to negotiate the deal, uh, to look at the properties, to negotiate the deal with any work that might need to be done to the space before they actually take possession. That’s important. If you don’t have enough time, you’re kind of restricted on how you can negotiate more. Time is better. Okay. That’s, that’s the biggest thing.

Adam Lowe:                       So you’ve been talking about negotiation. What are some of the, what are some of the things that people can negotiate with landlords? The rental rate somewhat. You can negotiate with the biggest. The big thing you can negotiate is

Paul Remson:                    how the space is configured to meet your needs. Especially office tenants. The landlord is willing to spend his own money to fit up the space, tear down walls, redo new carpet, new paint in the kitchen if the kitchen isn’t there, things like that. The landlords willing to do that. The other thing that that’s been really prevalent in the market over the last 10 years or so is free rent. You can get some free rent upfront, which helps mitigate some of the expenses that you have when you’re moving in the space, moving costs, setup cost for your phones and all those other things, uh, but free rent of something that landlords are willing to throw into the deal to help help the tenant and that depending on the deal, you can get free rent sometimes almost a year, a month per year of the lease. You a five year lease, you can get five months free rent to a seven-year lease. She gets seven months free rent. That’s been kind of a market depending on the specific area

Adam Lowe:                       where you’re going. Okay. So I come to you and say, Hey Paul, I’m looking for, for new office space, um, I have x amount of money to spend and I’d love for it to be in whatever location, what, uh, what do you do? So how do you run with that?

Paul Remson:                    Okay. So once we defined the parameters, all the parameters I have, like most all commercial real estate brokers, brokers, we subscribe to a database of buildings and I put in the parameters, the location, the size, the dollars per month, uh, other specific things and the program, a bunch of buildings come up. Um, I may get 15 or 20 buildings that come up. I will kind of go through each building, narrow it down to a manageable number, say eight to 10. Um, it’s a pdf file, save it as a pdf file. It has nice pictures, location, naps. Basically Save it as a pdf file, send it to my client and ask them to pick out of that. Probably eight to 10 if we have eight to 10, a four, maybe four buildings, and then we set up a building tour. Uh, basically we made it. The first building takes about half an hour to go through it, then go to the next building.

Paul Remson:                    Next building, you want to limit it to around four. So it doesn’t get too confusing. Sometimes a survey won’t have 10 buildings. Sometimes the survey only have two buildings. It just depends. But we do the survey, I sent it to the client, we pick ones willing to go look, and then we go look at him very against, similar to if you were buying a house and once you actually go into the buildings and you look at them, then you can get, get an idea of what you want. Maybe after that first tour that we do, looking at the four buildings, the tenant says I liked the first building, we looked at, let’s see if we can negotiate a deal and then we start the paperwork trail of the landlord submitting a proposal to us to lease the space. And then that the negotiation goes on from there.

Adam Lowe:                       Okay. Tell me a little bit about that. Um, that proposal process and, and all the paperwork process, all the things that you need to get together, uh, to be able to make the deal. Right?

Paul Remson:                    So the proposal that we get from the land or would differ, would define the term of the lease, the rent per square foot and work that’s being done in the space. And then other information particularly about about the building, what the tenant needs to do to provide the landlord is financial information on their business because the main thing landlords are concerned with is that the tenant be able to pay their rent so the landlord needs to see who the tenant is in a financial sense and that’s basically depending on how long the tenant’s been in business a, it is a profit and loss statements. We try to avoid tax returns, business tax returns, we want profit and loss statements, and then if they’ve been in business for awhile and they already have a space they’ve been paying rent to their landlord long since been current on that, that helps them with their credibility, financial credibility with a new landlord. If it’s a brand new business, it’s a little bit different. What the landlord would want to see is that the tenant has a business plan in place. They have a business banking relationship with a bank a and we want to send that information. Not necessarily what you have in your bank account, but the fact that you have a business banking relationship, say with cne, Sprint Bank, or Bank of America, uh, it’s important that we show the landlord that we have the financial wherewithal to pay the rent. That’s the biggest issue. Land on warrants to now.

Adam Lowe:                       And I’m guessing that, you know, a new leasing space with the first hire would need to put in a personal guarantee of some sort of potentially. Yeah.

Paul Remson:                    Personal guarantee. If we can get away with not having one, that would be better for us if the landlord insists on a personal guarantee. There’s ways to make it the, uh, the timeframe of the personal guarantee, not to guarantee the whole lease guarantee a portion of it. And then also have a decline declining balance on it. So it basically goes away. The idea of being. My logical argument that I would make with the landlord would be my tenant is a better credit risk 13 months into the least. And he is right in the beginning and then 24 months into the lease and 36 months and then it becomes a better credit risk. So as he goes through that, we want that personal guarantee to fade away and go away. Okay. So then I understand

Adam Lowe:                       that you also help people renegotiate their existing leases. So after that five or the three or five or seven years, whatever comes up, they either need to move someplace else or they need to renegotiate their lease. How, how do you play a part in that?

Paul Remson:                    Okay. So, uh, a typical lease is five years. Okay. Some are shorter, some are longer, just depends. But in general, they’re five years long. Most of the time the landlord will approach the tenant about four years into a five year lease. Basically wanting them to figure out whether or not they want to stay. Do they want to stay in the space and just renew their lease. What I do with my clients is I will stay in touch with them from the very get go every three months or so. I’ll be in touch with the client to figure out how they’re doing, whether they need any help or they have any problems with their landlord or property management people, but if we’re going to renew our lease, even if the landlord hasn’t approached us, I would approach the landlord on behalf of my client and put forth terms and conditions to renew their lease. Even if it’s a year ahead of time.

Paul Remson:                    The way commercial leases work is any commercial lease is going to have escalators in it. There’s fixed increases every year which are typically three percent, and then there’s other charges that the landlord quote passes through to the tenant additional charges. So if you’re paying $20 a foot year one and year two, you’re probably going to be paying 21, your 3:20 to 25 and so on and so on. So the commercial lease rates go up for the tenant because they signed a five year lease, but the market could. The initial rent was 20 bucks the market in four years and in that five year lease, but market could be $22. It could be $18, could be $25. So when we do this renewal, the key is that we should be renewing at a market rent regardless of what we’re paying. Sometimes I have clients that are paying 25 bucks a foot in year four and the market is 19, sometimes they’re paying 25 bucks a foot in year four and the market’s $27.

Paul Remson:                    It depends on what the market is and basically where their buildings located. Um, however, the reason they should be using me to help them in this renewal is they don’t know what the market is. Okay. And the landlord, if you’re a $25 a year for regardless of what the market is, the landlord’s going to want you to renew at at least that rate. When I would make the argument that my clients would be renewing at a market rate because if I was bringing another new tenant to the building, my tenant would get a market rate. So why should my client renew their lease at an above market rate? Especially since it’s going to cost them money to acquire new client. Exactly. And any landlord, most, most landlords are very cognizant of the fact that it costs more money to get a new tenant than it does to keep an existing tenant.

Paul Remson:                    Okay. So that’s the logical argument and nine times out of 10, that’s the way it works. But the tenant that’s renewing needs to have somebody, a professional like me making this logical argument to the landlord about what their rent should be. I just have a tenant who the landlord wanted to renew. It’s a small office tenant wanting to renew at basically a three percent increase over their year, five rent when and that was about $27 when the market rent in the building was $24. So we made this argument to the landlord that we should be renewing it and above market rents simply because we’re in, been in the building. Um, and as it turns out, but my mom did agree to the market rent because they wanted to keep my tenant in the building. Why should you get penalized for being a good tenant? Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Paul Remson:                    So all commercial leases have increased, so they’re always going to go up. The market is what the market is. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. Different areas of in the metropolitan area. For instance, downtown Bethesda market rents have gone up over the five years. Uh, I had a tenant in Bethesda that I moved to Rockville where the rents have basically gone down. So they saw savings there. Okay. So then, um, tenants that are coming up when their lease and find a new space process is pretty much the same as it would be to get new space from scratch. You know, when, when the old lease has over, you pack up and move out. Right? Exactly. The key to that really to think about when you’re terminating, whether it’s the timing, again, depending on the size of the tenant, a tenant, an office tenant that has 50 employees once they’ve given themselves that should be out looking at space a year before their lease expires.

Paul Remson:                    I’m a smaller tenant. They might have five employees. You could probably do it in six months, which you want to have enough time to make an informed decision and give you a chance to, to have some leverage to negotiate. Sometimes leverage in negotiating is, is having time to do it, is putting forth an offer and not calling back in three days to find out what the answer is. If you don’t get it, you don’t want to seem too anxious. If, and I have had clients who’ve called me and said, I have to. For instance, you know, today’s the middle of June. Um, if people say I need to be in the space by August one, if they need to be in a space by August one, they need to be looking at space tomorrow. Right? Okay. Because you have to find space that’s available. Why then that all the work can be done.

Paul Remson:                    Uh, and you don’t have a lot of leverage in negotiating because she has to find a place to go. The other thing that tenants need to do that no, they’re going to be moving is um, making sure that their existing landlord, that everything is up to par on their lease, they’ve paid everything. Just want to make sure the landlord knows if you’re going to move, you need to let the landlord know you’re going to move a, they have the right to market the space before the tenant moves out. So it’s a communication thing and that’s something that, that I, all of this stuff I do, I’m in contact with all the new landlord or potentially Atlanta brokers, the existing property management company for any questions that are going on. It’s all service I provide for them.

Adam Lowe:                       Gotcha. So what were some of the big gotchas that you see, um, when people are either moving into a space or, or renegotiating the lease? Well,

Paul Remson:                    I would say the biggest thing is that they don’t know what the market is. They don’t know that in a multitenant office building in a, say a 150,000 square foot office building, there might be 30 tenants in the building. How does a tenant know what the tenant down the hall paid? Okay. Or what the new tenant on the first for paid or what the renewal rate might be for tenant that’s been in the building for 10 for 10 years. How do they know? They only know what the landlord’s not going to tell them. Okay, well we have our broker the property near and people aren’t going to tell them. That’s why they need a tenant broker like me. I have access to all this information and because I’m a professional and a professional on the other side, in theory we all know where we need to be to get the deal done.

Paul Remson:                    Okay. But the landlord broker of a building and the property manager for building is legally obligated to represent his client’s interest and he’s not going to tell a tenant that all the new tenants in the building are paying 25 bucks a when you’re paying 29 slash 50. Okay. Can’t do that. Right? Okay. You’re representing your side. You’re supposed to get the best deal for your side, so you have to have somebody that knows what the market is. That’s the biggest thing and it’s, it’s information and we subscribe to this database that has all this information in it and that’s how we help our tenants get better deals. It’s getting what we want as a market deal. And the other thing that we do that we help the tenants, we administrate all this so he doesn’t have to do it himself. Most small business owners are working a lot more than 40 hours a week. They have other issues they don’t want to deal with. I can provide the service to them that takes this time off their hands, uh, and helps them, helps them get what they need. Those tenants, regardless of what kind of talent you are, your biggest expense is your employees. Your next biggest expense is your space. So it’s a huge expense and we want to make sure that they’re, they’re getting a market deal.

Adam Lowe:                       And I imagine most business owners have no idea how to even go through the process, you know, what kind of paperwork to submit or they getting screwed by the landlord. So, and a lot of ways you can also just help call bs, right? So

Paul Remson:                    I would say the vast majority of landlords, they’re good guys, they want to keep good tenants, they want good paying tenants. That’s what they want. They’re not trying to intentionally screw their tenants to get them to pay above market rents. Okay? Um, but it’s a negotiation. I mean, it’s why pay more, right? If you can pay less, okay. And it’s not, we’re trying to get a market deal for our tenants. And if you make a logical argument about why, why it is a market deal, landlords want to make deals, especially in renewals, when you have a good paying tenant, they want to make deals on if you have a tenant that’s been in business for awhile and they’re just moving to another building because they want to change locations or the existing building they were in, couldn’t provide them additional space they needed. That’s, that’s better to that. Landlords want good pain tents. That’s the most important thing landlords want, is to know that the tenant has the ability to pay the rent.

Speaker 3:                           So imagine that a,

Adam Lowe:                       you’ve got relationships with most of the landlords in the area. Um, and, and that there’s some value that comes along with that as well.

Paul Remson:                    Yeah. So I have almost 30 years experience. So the answer that question is yes, I’m in the process of this deal when I’m working with my client, once we have identified a building that we want to go to, the negotiation process could take, you know, a month, a couple months depending on how things work. So I’m in contact with the landlord broker basically every day, either by phone or email on the paperwork, going back and forth in the negotiating process and making sure that it’s moving forward. I pretty much on my deals want to, I need to be doing something everyday to move the deal towards its conclusion, uh, and depending on what happens on this day and we might go in a different direction the next day. Um, so yes, I have life experience and I’ve done numerous deals with the same brokers. Again, we’ve talked to each other for everyday, for a couple months and then I might not see them again for two years because I don’t have a deal in their particular building. Right? Yes. Having an experience helps. So what are some of the, um,

Adam Lowe:                       I’m sure you’ve got some horror stories of, of people that have tried to do deals on their own or even people that have done deals with brokers. What are some horror stories that you can, that you might be able to tell to the people who are looking to get into new space? Know to avoid certain things or know to look out for certain things.

Paul Remson:                    Okay. Well, the first thing I would say is tenants have the right to have a broker. Okay. If the landlord is telling them, we don’t deal with brokers, we don’t want you to have a broker that’s the legal right to have a broker. They want to have a broker. They should have a broker. If the landlord is telling them that they don’t want to deal with a broker. Um, I would say maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe they shouldn’t be dealing with that particular landlord. Most office buildings or unbind institutional investors. Uh, and they hire a third party brokerage firm to manage and lease the building. And so everything is all above board. It’s pretty much the investors, basically we want to make sure everything is done the right way. Um, and they’re not necessarily interested in nickels dimes. Okay. They’re interested in good quality tenants that pay their rent.

Paul Remson:                    The horror stories I would say would be where you have a mom and pop kind of landlord that, uh, doesn’t really think the way an institutional landlord would think and more or less would tell the tenant it’s take it or leave it. Okay. Doesn’t mean I haven’t done a lot of deals with mom and pop landlords, but, uh, you, you have to make sure that you’re being treated fairly and as a tenant you want to make sure that the landlord delivers on his end that the space is in good condition. The property is managed well. You know, the sidewalks, the lobbies, everything’s taken care of. The property management people are responsible. That’s a big issue. Not all landlords are the same. Okay. Um, so I’d say horror stories more deal with the inability of the existing landlord to do what they’re supposed to do. For whatever reason they’re mom and pop.

Paul Remson:                    It might not have the money like an institutional landlord would have, and then sometimes the other thing is sometimes tenants don’t get the response from the landlord. They want timewise. They have an issue. They call the landlord, they don’t get a response, they email the landlord, they don’t get a response. Sometimes I can intercede on that and, and in theory because I’m a professional and their professional, it’s easier to get it done. Okay. There’s ways to get people moving along, so. Okay. Anything else that you think people should know before they try to look for space or. Well, I think I think that, uh, again, with being online, I mean you can look for all kinds of stuff online and you can get a lot of information that way, but the nitty gritty part of the deals, I’m having an X. having somebody that’s experienced and knows what to do it, it lessens the time it takes to do things and it’s easier done.

Paul Remson:                    A lot of times. I’ve had clients who’ve come to me and said, I’m looking at a particular building. I talked to somebody there and they told me this, this and this. Um, and uh, I call them up and I get a little bit of a different story from the landlord broker. Remember, brokers may say different things directly to a perspective new tenant than they would say to me. Mostly I just get the facts. I call them up. What’s the rent? What are you looking for? How we’re conditioned spaces? How much money would you put into the space to help move walls and things for my client, they might say something different to us. Perspective tenant that doesn’t have professional representation. Got It. I’m not saying that it’s nefarious in any way. It’s just different. Okay. It’s a negotiation, right? So when, when you helped me find my space, um, you know, I, I called up a couple, uh, a couple of landlords to look at places and one of the things you advised me was, you know, right off the bat, say I’m being represented by a, by a tenant broker and there was an issue where

Adam Lowe:                       one of the landlord brokers, because I met with him first without you there. Um, got a little bit up in arms about wanting to let you in on the deal. What’s, what’s up with that?

Paul Remson:                    Well, but most of the time it’s not an issue if a tenant goes to look at a space without a tenant broker and then they want a tenant broker to be brought into the deal, nine times out of 10 it’s not. Sometimes it is. Um, I, I think the fees that were paid for most landlords, they’re inconsequential, but depending on the broker or they may be looking at the fact that their fee, if there’s not a tenant broker, they’re making more money than the theory. As a tenant broker, what I would say to the tenant is that the tenant should have professional representation. Okay. Whether it’s me or anybody else, it’s best for them. It’s, it’s, you’re assuming everybody’s trying to be a good businessperson. Um, things like that have happened. There’s ways that you can get around that. And I think that I usually can have a logical conversation with the landlord, brooker showing why I should be in the deal and why they should pay me.

Adam Lowe:                       So how does somebody, you know, of course, if you’re in the DC metro area, you should reach out to Paul Remsen, but if you’re not in the DC metro area, how does somebody go about finding a good tenant broker and how can you tell a good one from a, from an outside good one?

Paul Remson:                    Well, I think, uh, you know, not that younger guys with no experience don’t know what they’re doing, but in our business, uh, just like in the residential sales business, uh, you’re, you’re a commission, you’re commissioned and if you don’t do deals, you don’t make money so you’re motivated and if you know what you’re doing, you make deals and you, you managed to stay and stay employed. So I think somebody that has experience that would be the first thing, a professional credentials, you know, all everybody’s licensed but a professional credentials would probably help. And then also if a particular tenant is looking in a particular area, you may want somebody who has a lot of experience in that area. Okay. And how, how can somebody find someone like that? Well, I think online on almost all commercial real estate brokers on their websites, they have bios of the people about what they’ve done.

Paul Remson:                    I think another way, uh, a personal referral is probably a good way. If there’s a um, you know, maybe attendance, there’s a particular building the tenant really wants to be in a walking in and talking to the other tenants about who they might have used to help them find space would be away personal referrals. Probably the best way. That’s the way I get 99 percent of my business is all personal referrals from people that know me, a previous clients. That’s the best way. Previous clients is the way. If you have a happy client, they’re going to tell people.

Adam Lowe:                       So are you seeing anything, um, anything coming up in the next couple of years? Anything really changing in the uh, and in the commercial real estate space?

Paul Remson:                    Yeah, well, I think the biggest thing we’ve seen over over the last probably five to seven years, his office tenants especially don’t necessarily want to be in suburban office parks. They want to be in town center areas where it’s what we call monetized, where there’s an office building and they could walk out of the office building and go to restaurants, other places to shop. A lot of places in, for instance, in the Rockford area, Pike, the Pike and rose development. There’s a number of office buildings there along with apartments and condos and all kinds of retail space and tenants in this market are willing to pay more to be in a place like pike and rose as opposed to a suburban office park where all it has maybe a deli in the building. And if you want to go to a restaurant, I think you’ve got to get in your car a, they’ll pay significantly more, a 15 to 20 percent more per square foot to be in an amenitized area. A suburban office parks are seeing or having problems getting tenants. Their rents are depressed because of that. And even some of the buildings that are not being leased, uh, the, the owners of the building have even considered maybe even in the building down into and residential there because there’s just not a market for suburban office parks. Um,

Adam Lowe:                       yeah, with people teleworking more and more, I imagine this isn’t, this is just going to continue to be a trend

Paul Remson:                    and we’re seeing even land that’s zoned commercial for office space because there’s no market. If it’s not amenitized, there’s no market for that. What we’re seeing is landlords have gone and had the, the ground rezoned for residential because there is a market for apartments or condos. Uh, that’s been very prominent all over the metropolitan area. Even downtown Bethesda has had some, some pieces of dirt that we’re zoned for office buildings and office buildings, owners of office buildings. You basically can make more money on an office building and you can on a residential building. But if there’s no market, there’s no market. So a, they’d rather have a residential building that they can put up and lease out. We sat apartments, so at least making some money on, on the piece of ground than.

Adam Lowe:                       Right. So what about retail to you? Is, is there anything different or special about retail that you would need to consider as opposed to warehouse or office?

Paul Remson:                    Retail is probably really driven more by the quality of the tenant. I think if there’s a new retail tenant, if it’s a new business going in, there’s not a whole lot of leverage for that tenant. If it’s a national tenant cone in, it’s a lot easier. A retail space spaces a little bit more tricky because of that, because you have a typical shopping center that might bring shopping center that once it gets 100 percent leased, you know, within the two to three period, two to three year period, you’re going to lose a higher percentage of your tenants than you would in an office building. Businesses come and go. Managements bad people buy off more than they can chew because they really don’t know how to run their business. So I think landlords are a lot more skeptical and retail, uh, about the way they negotiate a, there’s a lot less concessions given in retail tenants, uh, having some experience and previous rental history where you’ve paid a landlord helps tremendously.

Paul Remson:                    It doesn’t matter if things can’t get done, but basically I think in retail for newer tenants, uh, it’s hard to get any kind of concessions at all. You can get some free rent in the time it takes to build out your space, but landlords are not going to throw a lot of their own money into the deal. Okay. Yeah. They want you to risk your money to build the space out. Uh, especially if it’s a restaurant. Now, if there’s a national restaurant chain coming in and there’s an institutional owner that owns a strip shopping center or some other shopping center, uh, they’re probably willing to give some money to that national tenant to get them in there because that national tone, it helps draw other tenants to the center. So it’s a little bit tricky, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Great. And anything else you want to add?

Paul Remson:                    Um, I would say the biggest thing that I tried to explain to potential clients is that they need to understand that they should have somebody representing them. Again, the analogy about a lawsuit, if you wanted to file a lawsuit or you were charged in a lawsuit, you would have a lawyer representing you. You want to have somebody representing you. And as a tenant broker, I’m legally obligated to represent my client’s interests. Uh, the landlord is legally obligated to represent his clients interests. So you wouldn’t have somebody on your side helping you negotiate? Yeah. Okay. It saves you time. It definitely saves you money and it should give you peace of mind. Yeah. Great. Um, so I’ve got a few lightening round questions for you. I’m hopefully prepared for some of these. Yes. Um, so just a little bit of fun. So if you could give one book to everyone that you meet, what do you think it would be and why? I’m so, I’m a big Winston Churchill Fan. I’m a fan of history. I’ve read a number of biographies about him. Um, I think that Winston Churchill saved the western world, um, during, uh, during World War Two for Britain and I think any book about him will be well worth reading. That’s a great answer. Um,

Adam Lowe:                       what’s the biggest mistake that you see business leaders make? A, it doesn’t necessarily need to be related to space, but just a mistake in general that you see them making

Paul Remson:                    biting off more than they can chew. Too much debt. I encourage my clients when they’re looking for space, at least initially get less space. If you’re cramped in your space, you know, that’s a better problem having them. If you take too much space and you find out you’re paying for space, you don’t need. Okay. I’m biting off more than you can chew.

Adam Lowe:                       Be Conservative. Okay. It’s, you know, I suppose you can always, you can always move up, but uh, once, once the debt starts accumulating you,

Paul Remson:                    it’s hard to dig out of that. Exactly. Um,

Adam Lowe:                       so you’re not allowed to say your phone, but what’s one tool or a piece of technology or a process or methodology or something that you feel like you couldn’t live without?

Paul Remson:                    Well, access to my commercial database of buildings, I thought when I first got into the business there wasn’t computer databases, they were books, but I remember initially when we had a computer database that I would be talking to a client about a particular building and I would be asked, we’re talking on the phone, I would be looking up the building and I would say, well, the building has this and the building has that and I don’t know whether you believe that. I just knew that from memory or knew that I was looking at a computer screen, but it, it’s a very comprehensive, uh, and it gives me the ability to, uh, to really help my clients knowledge.

Adam Lowe:                       And you can really narrow things down.

Paul Remson:                    Exactly it, it’s extremely comprehensive. It’s very expensive for us, but it’s worth it. It’s our Bible. Sorry. It’s a commercial real estate Bible.

Adam Lowe:                       Gotcha. Um, so then if you could have a lunch with anybody that are alive, who would it be and why?

Paul Remson:                    Okay. So I’d have to go to the Winston Churchill thing. You really are Winston Churchill. So I’m old enough that, uh, you know, my father was in world war two at the end of the war and he, he was a very big fan of the British and what the British did. A lot of people don’t know that for war or to Britain was pretty much the superpower. We weren’t, well what Churchill did, especially during the battle of Britain in the summer, 1940, uh, basically keeping the country together when they were on the brink of destruction, basically. Um, I thought he’s an interesting guy. I like to smoke cigars. He smoked cigars. Uh, I don’t necessarily drink bourbon at breakfast, which I believe he did, but I, I think he’s, he was a very interesting guy and he had his political ups and downs in Britain, but I, I think he was, uh, he, he, he, he saved the Western world. He saved the western. Yeah. Despite all his fault, he saved the Western world. Can’t argue with that. Yeah. Um, and then tell me a fun fact about yourself that people might not know. Um, fun fact. I have a very eclectic taste in music. Uh,

Paul Remson:                    my father was a very big Tin Pan Alley Fan. Uh, that’s the songwriters, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harry Warren, all those guys back then. So that’s what he listened to when I was growing up. However, I was a child of the late sixties, early seventies. So when I was a teenager, everybody was listening to Hippie rock and roll, a crosby, stills, Nash and young, and the allman brothers, a pink floyd. So I very much like that old tin Pan Alley music a lot. But I also am a huge fan of that, that kind of Hippie rock and roll. So it’s kind of unusual for somebody like him. I never would have pegged you for hitting rock and roll guy. Uh, I, uh, I’m a big fan of that. So most of the music I have on my phone is kind of split between that, um, but it’s Kinda what you grew up with.

Paul Remson:                    But uh, you know, my dad really liked that old stuff and that’s what was in our house. My Dad was a big music fan, so with all that stuff, but I like Broadway musicals, but I’m going to see boss scaggs who’s a 1970 sky in a couple weeks. So I’m a, I’m a real big music fan, but very, very eclectic. Great. Um, so anybody that’s here in the DC metro area, you work in DC, Maryland and Virginia, right? Yeah. So I’m licensed in all three jurors jurisdictions, even though we do commercial real estate brokers, even though we do a leases, we still have to be licensed. So I’m licensed in often jurisdictions and I do business a somewhat split up evenly. Most of it is in Maryland, Virginia and I, we just did a small law firm deal in DC so I can move people around and I’ve had people move from.

Paul Remson:                    I had somebody move from Herndon, Virginia to Frederick, Maryland. I’ve moved people from Tyson’s corner to Bethesda. So, uh, yes. And that helps that. So since I’m client driven, uh, if there is a client that I come across in Tyson’s and they want to move downtown, I can do that. Or if they’re in Rockville and you’re wanting to move downtown, I can do that. I’m not restricted about not having a license and the jurisdiction to minimum. Okay. So anyone here in the, in the DC metro area, if they want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to reach out? Well, um, our website, our, our company’s strategic realty advisors, it’s Sra is the website and then my phone number is two, four zero, four five, three, zero nine zero six. It’s my cell phone and it’s the best way to get ahold of me and it’s pretty much always on my person. Great. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. Is there anybody else

Adam Lowe:                       that you would recommend or suggest that I interview? Um, well I would say for me, if one of my clients, if you haven’t, if you have a client that you think would be a good interview subject, I’d love if you could send their information my way. I will, I will. I find some of them might want to be involved in this would be great. Good, good. So thanks again for your time. Okay, thank you.


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