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Good governance in the public sector extends to the private domain

Vincent Gérin
It is now around ten years ago that Anixton, through its founder and Managing Director Vincent Gérin, started providing the service known as ‘Tenant Representation’ (Rep for short). In this article, Vincent Gérin talks of the philosophy behind the move, and cites a number of concrete cases. He also talks of the trends in the real estate sector, in terms of selecting a new building, which he describes as ‘being part of the company’s marketing’. Allied to all this is the issue of sustainability, passive buildings, and of all the different criteria which play a part in the final choice.

The basic idea behind Tenant Representation is to redress the balance around the negotiating table. It is believed that while those offering office space – owners and developers – are very well catered for by their agents, the potential new tenant was often left to fend for himself in front of these seasoned professionals. And it is quite clear that any company or organisation wishes to concentrate on its core business, not on real estate negotiations. So a service dedicated 100% to the tenant, and which was already in existence in some neighbouring countries, was an obvious path.

The approach had many of its roots in these public tender negotiations, but has now expanded to a much wider domain. The transparency which the public sector demands – and in some cases encompasses in law – is also becoming a crucial criterion for the private sector. This includes an appropriate manner of communicating what is being done, using all of the channels of communication available to the parties. It should also be noted that in some cases, as Vincent Gérin points out, the ‘public tender’ aspect of a forthcoming real estate negotiation even extends upstream as far as selecting the consultant in the first place.

Vincent Gérin speaks of tenants seeking transparency and neutrality when looking for a new building. The question of Belgian law involving public calls for tender (which do not apply to certain cases of moving into existing buildings), and of European laws in the domain, are also relevant. And Belgium being Belgium, the recent sixth reform of the State, with a shift of many areas of competence from the Federal to the Regional level, also has to be taken into account.

When representing a tenant, not only do these various laws need to be taken into account, but the primary mission of the consultant takes precedence over any other consideration. This is to represent the tenant and ensure that he receives the very best deal in line with his needs. And there are ten critical choice criteria which Vincent Gérin takes into account. It may be something of a surprise to discover, for example, that the actual rental priceis only weighted at 40% in these criteria.

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 | 10-05-16


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