The Tenant Proposal Package Guide for Better Lease Terms  

07 August, 2021 / Alan Rosinsky
Business people seal the deal with a handshake in NYC office space search.

Picture yourself walking through the energetic streets of New York City, eyeing that perfect commercial space for your business. You can dream all you want, but securing that prime spot isn’t always a walk in Central Park. That’s where the Tenant Proposal Package comes into play as your secret weapon to stand out from the crowd and get your foot in the door.

You may wonder, “What is a Tenant Proposal Package?” Think of it as your professional first impression, a well-curated collection of documents that showcase your reliability and value to potential landlords. Whether you’re a thriving entrepreneur seeking that trendy office space or a young professional eager to rent a chic apartment, this essential tool could be your ticket to success.

So without further ado, here is a brief guide on Tenant Proposal packages that can help you secure better lease terms.

Selling Your Tenancy to Commercial Landlords  

You’re eager to secure that prime New York City commercial space, but first, you must stand out. Enter the “Selling Yourself” stage of the Tenant Proposal Package. It’s about highlighting your strengths, reliability, and value to potential landlords.

You might assume that landlords, still impacted by the pandemic, are desperate to fill vacancies and more likely to compromise. To a degree, you’re correct, and they may be willing to offer more concessions and rent reductions. However, many NYC landlords are well-capitalized and financially stable. Therefore, they may hold out for an established tenant rather than deal with the headache of evictions or court battles. In addition, courts are already overwhelmed following the eviction moratorium, so many landlords have become even more selective.

So, how do you sell yourself effectively? Imagine a small business owner searching for the perfect space. Rather than solely relying on their credit score, they emphasize their company’s unique business model, growth trajectory, and community impact. By showcasing their stability and long-term potential, savvy tenants can paint a compelling picture and sell themself to a landlord.

Landlords Have No Reason to Drop Their Standards

It is key to understand that landlords have no incentive to lower their standards despite elevated commercial space vacancies. However, the current climate does make them more inclined to negotiate favorable deals for high-quality tenants.

Remember that human decision-makers ultimately guide landlords, individuals, or corporations. Landlords are attracted to tenants who project stability and can potentially be long-term occupants. In contrast, they are deterred by those who are not financially stable or whose use may be problematic for their building. Therefore, crafting a standout Tenant Proposal Package is crucial in showcasing your reliability and value, making you the ideal candidate in their eyes.

Owners Scrutinize Prospective Tenants

Interaction with a scrutinizing or skeptical landlord can be frustrating for a tenant. However, please take a moment to consider their perspective. Envision being a landlord, confronted with several challenging tenants, all involved in commercial leases that span 3, 5, or even 10 years. Continuously acting as the “bad guy” can be incredibly taxing, with the looming threat of financial setbacks from late or missed rent payments.

With this understanding, the importance of presenting a well-constructed Tenant Proposal Package to landlords becomes apparent.

Maximizing Your Appeal as a High-Quality Tenant

Let’s explore maximizing your appeal as a “high-quality tenant.” Landlords often begin by examining corporate tax returns and financial statements. They may also conduct litigation searches on prospective tenants to assess risks and protect their interests.

As a savvy tenant, crafting a comprehensive Tenant Proposal Package for landlords to review can be a game-changer. By voluntarily providing ample information, you set yourself apart from the competition. In addition, doing so demonstrates that you understand and genuinely care about a commercial landlord’s needs and concerns. Consequently, this proactive approach simplifies their decision-making process while enhancing your chances of securing prime real estate.

Remember, the landlord-tenant relationship should ideally be built on cooperation and mutual benefit, not adversarial tension.

Key Items to Include in Your Tenant Proposal Package

Business Bio

Begin by crafting a business bio that introduces you as a prospective tenant. For example, are you a prestigious law firm, a financial brokerage, a long-standing non-profit, or an experienced restaurant owner? Next, give the landlord a brief history of your company and background information on the principal members of the leasing entity. This information helps the landlord get a clear picture of who they’ll be working with. Remember, they’ll do their research, so ensure consistency between their findings and the information you provide. If the leasing entity structure or your business’s nature is ambiguous, be prepared to clarify any concerns the landlord might have.

Financial Information

Next, showcase your financial reliability. All businesses carry inherent risks, but landlords aim to choose tenants least likely to default or cause long-term problems. Include the following in your Tenant Proposal Package:

  • Your entity’s D&B rating.
  • Credit status.
  • Corporate tax returns for the last two years.
  • An audited net worth statement and profit and loss statement.

These documents demonstrate that you’re a good financial bet for the landlord and help alleviate potential concerns about your business’s financial stability.

Plans for Space Usage

It’s crucial to clearly and concisely describe your intended use for the leased space. For example, outline your business operations, expected foot traffic, and any anticipated modifications or improvements to the property. Landlords want to ensure your plans align with the property’s zoning, building codes, and vision for the space.

References and Testimonials

Including references and testimonials from past landlords, business partners, or clients can bolster your credibility as a responsible tenant. These third-party endorsements assure the landlord of your character, business ethics, and financial stability.

Proposed Lease Terms

Proposed lease terms are part of a formal offer/proposal. That gets included in the package along with tax returns, P&L Statements, bank statements, reference letters, and company brochures.

Outline the key terms you seek in the lease agreement, such as lease length, rent, security deposit, renewal options, and tenant improvement allowances. By presenting your expectations upfront, you create a transparent foundation for negotiation and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings later on.

More Information is Always Better

A robust Tenant Proposal Package is the secret ingredient to securing better lease terms. Transparency, undoubtedly, is the cornerstone of building trust with your potential landlord. Sharing your company’s financials may seem unnerving, but concealing information could raise eyebrows and work against you. You never want to arouse suspicion or give the impression that you have skeletons in the closet.

For non-profits, it’s essential to clearly outline your funding sources, including government grants, charity donations, or individual contributions. Also, make sure to provide your IRS 990 forms; after all, they are easily accessible online and only serve to reinforce your credibility. Besides, being a reputable non-profit or NGO might boost property prestige and make you a desirable tenant.

Next, do some homework on other tenants in the building. Landlords tend to appreciate tenants who complement their existing roster. Demonstrating your compatibility can help create a harmonious ecosystem that benefits everyone.

Lastly, your Tenant Proposal Package should highlight your past leasing experiences. Underscore the square footage you’ve managed, as it showcases your reliability. With a strong track record, you present yourself as a responsible tenant – the kind any landlord would be eager to have on board.

Include a Reference Letter from Your Previous Landlord

A reference letter from your previous landlord can work wonders as a simple yet powerful addition to your Tenant Proposal Package.

So, what should the letter say? First, it should sing your praises as a timely rent payer, an excellent neighbor to fellow tenants, and a responsible steward of the leased space.

Remember, a landlord seeks rental income and solid tenants to showcase to lenders like banks. The more established and financially stable your business, the more likely you’ll secure a lease and negotiate favorable business terms.

Finer Points of Selling Your Tenancy to a Commercial Landlord

When presenting your Tenant Proposal Package, it’s essential to focus on the finer points that make you stand out as a reliable and responsible tenant. Addressing potential concerns, showcasing your commitment, and going the extra mile can leave a lasting impression on a commercial landlord.

For tenants like medical practices who generate biohazardous materials, assuage the landlord’s concerns by detailing proper waste management protocols. Demonstrating your readiness to handle such matters responsibly is crucial in winning the landlord’s trust. A second item a healthcare practitioner should be frank about is the amount of foot traffic their practice will generate.

Finally, consider obtaining business interruption insurance even if not required by the lease. This proactive step signals your dedication to timely rent payments, no matter the circumstances. By addressing these finer points, you elevate your Tenant Proposal Package and increase your chances of securing the ideal commercial space.

Include a Pro Forma Financial Statement in Your Tenant Proposal Package

Five to ten-year lease terms are common in New York City’s commercial space market. Therefore, incorporating a five-year pro forma statement in your Tenant Proposal Package is a wise way of highlighting your financial stability. This forward-looking financial projection reflects your commitment to punctual rent payments for the lease duration. Creating a well-rounded package requires collaboration with your accountant, insurance broker, and a seasoned commercial tenant broker.

Showcase Your Favorable Financial Trends

If you have past financial issues, it’s crucial to demonstrate that you’ve overcome them and turned a new leaf in your Tenant Proposal Package. Convince the landlord that your current and future financial condition makes you an ideal tenant. Highlight improvements in your finances, current cash flow, or for non-profits, newly acquired funding sources. Always be prepared to address any potential concerns the landlord might have.

Understanding the other party’s objectives is vital in any negotiation. For example, when seeking commercial office space, it’s essential to remember that landlords want financially responsible tenants who will take care of the leased space and enhance the property’s appeal to other potential tenants. By demonstrating your financial improvements, you’ll present yourself as the type of tenant a landlord would welcome.

The Key Takeaway

As we wrap up, remember that the Tenant Proposal Package is your opportunity to showcase your value and reliability as a tenant in New York City’s competitive real estate market. By putting your best foot forward, you can navigate the complexities of securing better lease terms and cultivating a harmonious relationship with your landlord. It’s all about building trust and demonstrating that you are a responsible, low-risk tenant who understands and addresses the landlord’s concerns and needs.

The power of a well-prepared Tenant Proposal Package is genuinely significant. So as you venture into the world of NYC commercial leasing, let these insights be your guide, giving you the confidence and know-how to secure your dream space. Keep your focus, and with hard work, tenacity, and a little finesse, you’ll be well on your way to forging a bright future for your business.

Accessibility Tools