Retail brokers, once less respected than office brokers, are increasingly important in the Manhattan real estate game, the New York Times reported.
Instead of deciding on spaces based on instinct and impression, the increasingly competitive retail market is now a game of numbers — demographics, sales numbers at nearby stores and comparables. And as competition among brokers has increased, it has become harder to find deals, especially in New York City, the Times said.
“Typically, good retail areas have very low vacancy rates,” said Amira Yunis, executive vice president at CBRE. “Finding out who owns which buildings, who are the decision makers and when leases come due can be very hard to figure out.” Yunis indicated that 35 percent of her deals have been for spaces that were never officially on the market.
Still, brokers are critical to tenants’ successes in finding the right retail space, the Times said.
“I don’t care how big your chain store is, if you live 1,000 miles away you aren’t going to know the eccentricities of different areas, like why one corner is better than another corner,” said Scott Galin, a principal at the Handler Real Estate organization. “Only a broker can tell you that.” [NYT]