Common Site Tour Pitfalls PMs Can Help You Avoid

When touring spaces with a new client, it’s common for them to request additional requirements from the brokers. Seeing these places in-person allows clients to get a first-hand experience of the space, which helps them determine what they’d like in this new location. Sometimes, clients will recognize the features that they like in their current space because of its absence in the buildings during a tour. It is also not unusual for listing brokers to not know the finer details about the building, which is why having a project manager on the tour is beneficial.

A project manager can provide insight to the building that a broker alone typically cannot. For example, a PM can determine whether a wall is load-bearing and unable to be removed. They can also assess the building supplied power with a quick look at the switch gear to see if there’s enough electrical power in the building, determine the quantity of HVAC needed, evaluate the size of the water main, and find out the availability of gas on a property for a client’s needs.

Here’s a firsthand look from one of our project managers and her experience during a site tour:

“I was walking a retail client through a retail space that they were already in love with. The most unique part of the space was the turret-like ceiling that the client wanted to keep, which I initially liked as well, but there were a handful of problems with the space that would compromise this feature.”

  • The client required several small patient rooms, and to keep the U-shaped floor plan they currently had and loved. This new space was odd-shaped and would never properly fit this plan.
  • If the unique ceiling was incorporated into one room, the room would be about 800 SF, which was too large for any space they needed.
  • This room would also be at the back of the space with no external door, so it would not work as a lobby, and visitors would be less likely to see the ceiling.
  • No fire sprinklers were present in the building and would need to be added into the beloved ceiling. Since this tenant would be adding sprinklers, the entire building would also be required to add sprinklers.
  • The building had not been upgraded in years and was being subdivided.

“The moment I saw the ceiling design, I understood why the client loved this building, but I also saw how much additional work it would take to bring the space up to what they wanted. I kept this to myself during the walk-through, so that the broker kept their negotiating power, but told the client all of this afterward.”

“After I told the client of these additional costs, they decided that any move would be too expensive, and they negotiated a renewal with their current landlord to stay. If I’d not been there, the client wouldn’t have realized all of these details. They could’ve signed a lease only to then realize that they were overstretched financially.”

These are just some of the ways that a project manager can help during a site tour with each scenario being unique to the client, their needs, and the location. Ultimately, a PM is there to make sure the building fits the client’s needs.