Opening Commercial Real Estate Doors
Tenant Advocate Scott McMurrian has the keys to successfully negotiate a "WIN" for his clients.
By Amy Morgan
It should be easy to find a space to rent for your business, right? After all, you’ve heard the national news that office buildings have big vacancies, and landlords are scrambling for tenants. Not so in San Antonio, says seasoned broker Scott McMurrian, founder of the exclusive tenant representation firm Bottom Line Realty Advisors. Although the vacancy rate has increased in some Class A buildings here, the market is stronger than most people expect. Knowing the reality of the marketplace and how to find “areas of opportunity” are reasons clients keep turning to them for help.
Scott’s been helping tenants find ideal locations at the best terms since he started the company in 2001. Scott’s team of Tony Kimball, Eric McMurrian, Chris Hughes and Executive Assistant, Maria Howard, cover Bexar County and the Hill Country through Austin. They represent tenants — and only tenants — as they find commercial real estate space for lease, renewal or purchase. Clients never have to worry which side they’re on. Bottom Line Realty Advisors never represents landlords, so they completely avoid the typical conflict of interest.
Scott has spent decades researching and negotiating office, retail and industrial leases. He offers some basic but important advice for tenants or “space occupiers.”
Don’t waste the opportunity to negotiate from a position of strength. Learn where you do and do not have leverage and use it wisely. Planning ahead cannot be over emphasized; but most business people are overwhelmed running their business and can easily get caught in a time crunch that negatively impacts their ability to have meaningful choices.
Be clear about your objectives and share them, but don’t be surprised if you end up making some course adjustments along the way. “People very rarely know perfectly what they want,” Scott said. “Unless a client’s needs are very restrictive or unique, year after year, our clients have enjoyed great outcomes when we get landlords who want to compete for their business.”
Scott’s seen the commercial real estate market swing dramatically over the years, and he’s learned how to advise his clients to navigate each one. “Commercial real estate is interesting and always changing,” he said. “We understand the marketplace because we don’t assume anything. Research is an ongoing process. Our clients negotiate with confidence and often achieve superior market terms because we don’t guess and hope.”
New clients typically pay an upfront retainer, from $300.00 to $500.00, based on the project. When their work is finished, the lease is signed or the property purchased, the retainer is refunded in full. Bottom Line Realty Advisors accepts the commission that is offered by the landlord’s or seller’s real estate representative.
Clients sing Scott’s praises:
Tom Cuthbert owns sales and leadership training companies Vistage Master Chair and Sandler, where he coaches CEOs and business owners. When his lease ran out, he needed new, centrally located office space, in an attractive building, with enough meeting room to accommodate groups of up to 20 people.
“Scott was such a good listener,” Tom said. “I presented him a wish list of what we wanted, and he made sure we found exactly what we were looking for. He very patiently took us to look at properties. Once we selected the space, he negotiated on our behalf. He represented us completely with no interest other than getting the best deal he could for us. That really meant a lot to me.
“I have recommended him dozens of times because I think he’s so good at doing what he does,” Tom continued. “He’s very authentic and a person with high integrity. He’s been doing this work in this market for a very long time. Landlords complimented me for selecting Scott to negotiate for me. He made a big difference in the deal we got. The combination of his experience and integrity can’t be beat. Working with Bottom Line Realty Advisors was like having a real estate department in our company without adding to the payroll.”
Kay Chiodo, who runs Deaf Link, Inc., agrees. Scott helped find a building that would fit the business’ unique needs. Because Deaf Link provides on-demand emergency interpreters for the deaf and blind 24/7, she needs a safe space that doesn’t shut off the HVAC overnight. Deaf Link also requires access to highspeed broadband internet, because video of an interpreter signing a disaster warning must be clear.
Scott also mentioned her building should be out of airline flight patterns. “He came up with things I wouldn’t have thought of,” Kay said. “He really thought through it like he worked here. That’s not something you find everywhere. Nobody understood what we did, so we looked like a leasing risk. Scott truly listened with his heart about the challenges of people with sensory disabilities.
“When you work with Scott, he becomes more than a service provider, more than a realtor. He becomes a caring friend. I’ve known Scott 25 years, and he’s never disappointed me.”
Scott has served as President of the Christian Business Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife are now members of Crossway Bible Church in San Antonio.
Call Bottom Line Realty Advisors at 210-535-7800 to see if Scott and his team can help you with your next real estate decision.