James Robertson

/James Robertson
James Robertson

About James Robertson

James began his career as a commercial real estate professional ten years ago at Grubb and Ellis where he was award the title of Top 10 Broker. He has listed over 3 million SF and has represented a diverse cross section of entities as tenant rep broker--from Fortune 500 companies, to municipalities and start-ups. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston where he was a 2-term Student Body President and Middle Linebacker for the school's Division 1 football team.

Don’t Let Real Estate Costs Sink Your Business


You (and everyone else) want the absolute best space they can for the lowest price possible.  Attractive curb appeal, great visibility, signage opportunities, at a low price.  As the captain of your ship, make sure that you are looking at what lies beneath the surface while navigating the economic waters.  A simple lease transaction could have unexpected consequences that could devastate your business financially.   Cost of staying The average rent increase for a commercial lease is between 3%-8%. Depending on the amount of rent you are currently paying, this could be a lot of month and it could take your [...]

Don’t Let Real Estate Costs Sink Your Business2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

Capital Improvements


What are Capital Improvements? Capital improvement is work done to a commercial property (office, retail, or industrial) that is undertaken to improve or extend the normal economic life of an existing structure.  Deductions are not done for capital repairs, the cost is added to the cost of the property. Why does this matter to tenants? The cost of a capital improvement cannot be deducted from income from the building.  It must be added to the cost of the property. In other words, the landlord cannot treat these type of repairs as an expense. How does this affect my cost in a [...]

Capital Improvements2015-05-12T01:32:59+00:00

Understanding Commercial Building Classifications


Class A Class A buildings are the most prestigious of  buildings--competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area. Class A buildings have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence. Class B Class B buildings compete for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area.  Finishes are fair to good for the area and systems are adequate, but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price. Class C Class C Buildings competing for tenants requiring functional space at rents [...]

Understanding Commercial Building Classifications2015-05-12T01:33:40+00:00

Common Area Defined


Common Area defined For lease purposes, common area is defined as the areas of a building that are available for the nonexclusive use of all its tenants, such as lobbies, corridors, and parking lots. Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges are charges that are paid by the tenant for the upkeep of areas designated for use and benefit for all tenants.  CAM charges are common in commercial transactions and may include lobby areas, centralized bathrooms, parking lots and more.  Capital Improvements are commonly included within CAM charges when a tenant receives a statement from the landlord. Why does this matter [...]

Common Area Defined2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

What is Rentable Versus Usable SF


Loss Factor Loss factor is the square footage in an office or industrial building that is not usable by the tenant.  This includes common area, hallways, lobby areas, etc.  The way to determine the amount of rentable SF in an office building is by multiplying the space you want to lease by 1+ loss factor to go from usable SF to rentable SF.  An example is if you owned a (very small) 5,000 SF small office building and 500 SF was devoted to common area you have a 10% loss factor.   If a tenant wanted to lease 1000 SF in this [...]

What is Rentable Versus Usable SF2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

How Tenant Rep Brokers Level the Playing Field


Tenant Representation Brokers Know the Cards and How They are Played We are full time commercial real estate experts that have landlord and tenant rep experience.  We have been on both sides of the table and know how to achieve goals for our clients with a track record to prove it!  We fully understand the business points of a lease and know what concessions are acceptable in the market 5 years ago, now, and in the future because do deals throughout the State of Texas. We are big believers in a tenant representation process and strong negotiation strategy.  We take our [...]

How Tenant Rep Brokers Level the Playing Field2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

Why Landlords Win


The Landlord Knows All the Cards in the Deck The landlord broker already knows which concessions he is willing to make and will never reveal this to the tenant.  Because of this, most tenants will focus on the obvious,  leaving the entire lease agreement basically untouched.  Even with a few concessions given in this scenario, this is a huge win for the landlord because he retains all the "gotcha" clauses, cost-increase triggers, and oppressive language in the lease document. The Lease Document is a Landlord Document A lease is usually a private document created by attorneys to minimize liability for the landlord [...]

Why Landlords Win2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

Misfit Office Tenants


My definition of a “misfit” tenant is an office or industrial user that is allowed into a space that does not fit the use of a traditional office or industrial tenant.  In softer markets landlords may attempt to maintain occupancy by going a little further than giving attractive concessions.  When a landlord crosses the line and closes a deal with a misfit tenant, the entire building  (including the tenants) can suffer. Characteristics of misfit tenants for office space can vary based on the building, but the most common misfit tenants are the following: Salons and Barbershops – Salons use a lot [...]

Misfit Office Tenants2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

Rent Increase Triggers Hidden in Plain Sight


We've discussed  lease negotiations for office and industrial space multiple post, but have not gone into too much detail yet on why negotiations are so important! One of the benefits of negotiations is identifying and removing cost increase triggers in the lease that can be debilitating to a small or midsized business. If the landlord decides to repair or replace any number of items that could be considered a capital improvement the tenants will pay additional rent or CAM charges in a “standard lease”.  The impact of these triggers can further impacted by the type of financing the landlord decides to [...]

Rent Increase Triggers Hidden in Plain Sight2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00

Like a BAD Neighbor…


Whether you're a tenant in an office, retail, or industrial space you run the risk of having an undesirable neighbor. Bad tenants are loud, rude, inconsiderate, sometimes dangerous, and always bad for business.  Knowing the landlord and property management's history is a crucial factor in determining how peaceful and productive your office space will be in the months and years ahead.  Responsive management will enforce lease restrictions on noise, foot traffic, and safety before it becomes debilitating to your business. Some tenants believe strongly in getting testimonials from other tenants before signing a lease.  This is always a good idea, but [...]

Like a BAD Neighbor…2017-10-14T13:49:53+00:00