This article is pursuant to my last write up discussing about the unique character of commercial office space in Delhi and how, at time, it could be slightly tricky to take an office on rent in Delhi.
Before we dive deeper into the topic, I think we should first of all define what is the meaning of “Good” here. We know every word changes its meaning depending on the context it is being used in. A good-looking broker, earning handsome amount of money driving a good car will be a very good broker profile on a dating site, but nowhere close to what we are looking for here.
“Good” broker in our context can be judged based on the following traits of his personality-
- Personal Traits.
- Professional Traits.
Let us delve deeper into each one of them, beginning with Personal traits because we firmly believe that however sound a person’s professional knowledge is, it is of no use if their integrity is compromised.
So the foremost qualities for us would be Honesty and Integrity. As discussed in our previous article, we have seen how some deceitful brokers who are very suave and professional otherwise, misuse the complications of property use allowed in different zones and different types of properties in Delhi along with prevailing confusions on account of old and new norms of land use conversion in Delhi Masterplan, collude with greedy property owners and trick gullible clients into renting a property which is unauthorized for commercial use or is embroiled in some other legal matter. Or make you pay more than the market rental as it fetches them better money. Or after taking you in confidence, slip in some clause in the lease agreement which benefits the landlord in any untoward eventuality. Or influence you in taking an office which might not be the best as per your requirements but it gets them better money etc etc.. the list could be long. So, it is most important to find the right kind of human first irrespective of their personality, knowledge, experience and the brand they are representing.
Now come the Professional Traits – let us start from
Subject matter knowledge– It is a must that they have thorough knowledge of office space domain rather than residential properties. They should be aware not just about the broad range of rentals in a business district but also about rates of different buildings and different streets in the same locality. It is always advisable to go through a person who can compare different submarkets too and is not an expert only in a small locality, especially keeping in mind we are looking for an expert for office space search in entire Delhi market.
Educated – Due to complications in understanding the land use bylaws in Delhi coupled with expertise required in drafting a commercial lease, which at times might run into scores of pages, it is very important that while you are looking for a commercial office space in Delhi you must look for an educated property agent who has good command in reading, writing and comprehending both Hindi and English language.
We don’t mean to say that a property broker should know the Delhi Masterplan by heart and he should know the drafting of lease agreement better than a lawyer. What we mean is that a Good Commercial broker in Delhi must be aware about the by laws and different kind of uses allowed in different kind of properties in different Zones of Delhi or at least he should be educated enough to read and find the required information from the Masterplan. Same goes about the Lease agreement, a Good commercial property broker should not be compared to a lawyer but he must be aware about commercial lease formats, what all a commercial property lease is supposed to cover, how it can ensure that their clients rights are not being encroached upon etc.
Locale Knowledge – It might be interesting here to discuss about a new breed of companies who have cropped up recently having excellent online presence across cities but, unfortunately, like their clients, are dependent on google for their local area knowledge. The property dealer, especially keeping in mind the complicated nature of commercial property in Delhi, must be very well versed with the area, its history, upcoming developments – like any reconstruction or revamping plans approaching which might disrupt working conditions for coming couple of months, for example what Connaught place went through couple of years back and Bhikaji cama place is going through today ( 2020 onwards ..) or any new construction like a metro line, flyover work, construction of a new parking lot etc going to start soon in any nearby area which might severely impact the travel time and accessibility to office in mid-term future. Expecting the broker to know which other corporates are operating from any office district, prices of properties in surrounding areas, rents of residential properties in surrounding areas and availability of other office and general requirements etc. would not be a huge ask.
It is always better to deal with an experienced person in any walk of our life, more so in property matters owing to the quantum of money involved. However, this become imperative for anybody looking for commercial property in Delhi to deal with an experienced property agent because of the complicated nature of land use laws which takes some time in understanding.
An experienced person might be able to understand you better and put to use their previous experiences and offer insight in the matters which look very tough to solve otherwise.
Certifications- There is no such mandate as per law but it is better to go with a broker with required government certifications like RERA in case you are looking to buy something under construction.
Team- The broker must have a team, as it is offers them a substitute and avoids any delay on account of uncertainties. If not big even small is ok as this is a very specialized business and commercial real estate brokers dealing in a single city might not have very big teams in general. A team size of around 5-10 team members is considered decent for a good commercial property brokerage firm in Delhi.
We think if one is able to ensue all above mentioned qualities in a broker then they are good to go.
Now comes the questions of HOW to find and secondly to ENSURE that your broker is a GOOD commercial real estate broker for office search in Delhi.
In our understanding the answer to both of these questions lies in online search. As in todays world where every piece of information is available on a click of mouse we don’t recommend anybody to go and find a broker off line even if they are aware about the locality and building they want an office in because it is not just about finding a broker but a GOOD commercial real estate broker, and the first and foremost quality to look for is their integrity.
When we meet someone personally it hardly helps us in judging them on their integrity and honesty but on the flip side it is quite possible that they are able to charm you or impress you because of a big team or flashy office etc, or unwittingly annoy us for some reason ..leading you astray in search of an honest broker.
We think the best way to ensure a person’s honesty is to find if they have something on stake if they do something wrong. For any company which has decent online presence and positive google reviews is always very protective about its image. It is well aware about the power of internet and what good and bad it can do to their business. Being open to public reviews makers them vulnerable thus a suitable candidate to trust.
Once we have shortlisted someone we can further run internet searches regarding any complaints filed against them by any previous customers.
We can further investigate on their website about there charging practices, if they are in line with the market or not. If they support humanitarian causes and have different charging practices (discount being offered or no charges ) for NGO’s and other not for profit organizations etc.
Online search saves time not only on account of time saved in unnecessary travel etc but also because it tell us about the subject matter knowledge, locality knowledge, area of operation and expertise of a broker without even talking to them.
Rest of the other attributes can be easily ensured through a small phone call and further in a face to face meeting, especially when you enter the meeting loaded with a lot information about them gathered from their website.
Hope it helps. If you still have any doubts ..kindly feel free to get in tough with us for any help regarding your search of office space on rent in Delhi, We will be more than happy to help .