It’s a question I get a lot, and here’s the basic answer: If you hire the right broker, it doesn’t really matter. From a tenant broker’s perspective, I’ve seen unbelievably high-priced rents in the midst of “terrible” markets and world-beating pricing achieved in “strong” markets.
Instead of thinking about the market in terms of “strong” or “weak,” understand that a market is made when a buyer and seller agree on the price. That price is made up of many components. A good broker understands how to play these dynamics towards their client’s advantage. Landlord brokers will try to create scarcity and get the tenant to make a quick decision. The tenant’s broker will look for alternate options and force the landlord to compete for price.
Yes, rental rates increase when vacancies decline. But vacancy rates are never zero. There are always options, and a savvy broker will help his tenant leverage those options to drive a better deal.
Early in my career, a client told me, “There’s always another option” and it was a good lesson to learn. No matter what is happening with the market, you can get the deal you want if you look for the right solution.