If you’re looking for office or logistics space in Germany, Exis member Solved has you covered. Solved has leased spaces in Germany for clients on numerous occasions, and their most recent project was joining three Bethmann Bank / ABN AMBO offices in Frankfurt.

Leasing space in Germany has its nuances. For instance, the lessor pays the broker’s commission, which is divided between the tenant’s agent and the leasing agent. This is the result of a negotiation among the brokers themselves. The German broker market is unconventional; the broker who is first to plan a viewing with the tenant is entitled to the commission, whether he is the tenant’s adviser or not.

Additionally, German brokers claim they know the entire market very well; however, after assessing this claim we concluded that the broker who claimed to be the best only offered 62 percent of the entire market of Frankfurt. This could imply that the brokers have limited knowledge about the market or that other brokers do not share all the information they have about the market supply. We believe that brokers in Germany have little knowledge of buildings and solely have the role of introducing parties to the lessor, who then negotiates the rent since he’s familiar with the building.

This is why it’s very important to select an adviser before visiting buildings with different brokers.

Another important aspect of leasing space in Germany is to determine whether a building is offered turnkey. For instance, a budget for the layout is included in the rent; however, this budget is usually insufficient for the complete layout. The risk then is that more money is needed for the layout or that some elements appear to be missing on completion, after signing the rental agreement. As a result, costs could increase and the lessee’s negotiation position is poor.

This is why we advise our tenants to have a good idea about the kind of housing they need for their activities prior to the commencement of a project. What will be the workplace concept? What’s the tenant’s budget? What does a tenant expect of the layout? And so on… In other words, make a plan that can be compared to the lessor’s offer. Then, several buildings can be sketched in order to determine how many square meters are needed and to gain insight into the costs of the entire housing project. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone: the rent as well as the layout budget are negotiated with the lessor. The technical description of the layout, the budget, and the drawings can then be added to the rental agreement. Make sure it is clear what steps need to be taken when certain amendments are needed during the construction.

Why is this approach so special? Because we want to be transparent. Good preparation, a clear overview of the market supply, and up-to-date knowledge of the contracts are key to making the right choice for your space.  And last but not least, having a great accommodation consultant, a great lawyer, a great architect, and a great project manager will result in a successful process.

Learn more about our author, Olivier van Gool, Partner at Solved.