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Good Old-Fashioned Service

(Means Doing More Than Is Expected) Jeffrey Chasan Ensures that Attorneys Get More Bang for their Buck

Any attorney knows that experienced, well- rounded, expert testimony can make or break a case for their client.  Often times it is a single expert’s testimony in a legal dispute that becomes the ‘ace-in-the-hole’ for the attorney and their clients.  The reason is simple.  Experts bring to the table information that neither the attorney nor the client can testify to with the same degree of certainty as someone who has made it their life’s work to study and understand highly specialized subject matter.  No matter how hard an attorney or their client tries, they simply “can’t know what they don’t know.” It is precisely this adage that has made Jeffrey Chasan, Senior Vice President of Grubb & Ellis, such an incredible ally for attorneys for more than 25 years.

Value Added Expertise

Chasan, who holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, has been working with attorneys since the start of his career.  Originally retained by clients to assist in locating, negotiating, and securing desirable commercial office space for his clients, he inadvertently began carving a niche for himself as the commercial real estate broker of choice for countless law firms and attorneys.  He achieved this by becoming a true expert in a field that is indeed highly specialized.

In his early years in the real estate industry, it was Chasan’s meticulous attention to detail that drew in attorney clients.  He explains that while working with a small business owner, for example, the thoroughness with which he negotiated leases, to the extent that additional clauses were written into lease agreements to protect them from potential pitfalls that they didn’t even know existed, his clients’ attorneys took notice. When reviewing the final contracts for clients prior to their signing the lease, it was impossible for attorneys not to notice just how methodical and detailed Chasan had been in negotiation.  Soon enough the attorneys themselves were coming to Chasan to secure new office space for their firms.

As the years passed, Chasan continued to evolve as an expert.  In addition to representing tenants, Chasan would ultimately become a real estate company owner, where he then sat on the flip side of the coin from those tenants he had represented.  This only served to give him an even deeper understanding of commercial real estate transactions, as he was able to clearly identify loopholes that would ultimately benefit the landlord, often at the detriment of the tenant.

Yet, he still had room to grow as an expert, and that he continued to do, utilizing his expertise in other fields of specialty at no cost to the client, but to tremendous benefit.  With a background in construction and design in place, Chasan was clearly becoming much more to clients than merely a tenant representative.  He sat in on construction planning meetings for clients.  He provided suggestions conducive to the specific needs of law firms including at times even assisting with designing reception desks for firms, always taking into consideration the firm’s budget, cost control, and growth plan. Time after time, he helped clients save money in areas that other commercial brokers just weren’t able to, because of his well-rounded background in the multi-faceted areas of commercial real estate. These additional services he provided at no additional charge to the client.

In addition to offering his expertise in these areas, Chasan brought added expertise in the field of IT and telecommunications to his clients’ tables.  When working with construction companies in a designated commercial space, for example, he culled from his years of experience working with MCI and many other telecommunication companies, to offer suggestions on wiring, pointing out potential technological needs for the firm moving into the space.

More Bang For Your Buck

To Chasan, offering his expertise is just part of the fun of providing his clients with the best possible advisory services, which frankly makes him an anomaly in the field of commercial real estate brokering.  “I’ve been negotiating for over 25 years.  I’ve been on the landlord’s side.  I’ve formed my own companies and signed leases for my own office spaces. I’m not interested in going out, finding a space, negotiating and being done.  I become my clients’ advisor and advocate in many of the areas of commercial real estate.”

It’s certainly one thing to say this, but do Chasan’s claims stand up under examination?  Absolutely.  In fact, he not only uses his expertise to protect his own clients, but he uses his expertise to educate attorneys he’s never worked with, and may never work with.  As a regular seminar speaker for the San Diego Bar Association, and a contributor to the association’s published materials, Chasan has spent countless hours teaching attorneys how to protect themselves from things they just might not know.

“The small law firm is the biggest harm to itself,” when it comes to securing office space, Chasan says.  To that end he regularly presents information to attorneys on potential consequences that may arise from trying to secure their own space.  It’s not that attorneys aren’t seasoned in reviewing contracts, he assures.  It’s just that there are things that one would only know through painstaking research and experience, time that many attorneys don’t have.  “How landlords measure space is a big issue,” Chasan says.  “How buildings are measured, the rentable versus usable space, operating expenses, tenant improvements, and the underlying tenant protection mechanisms available during that specific market cycle, are all multi-faceted aspects that people just don’t know to ask about their lease,” he adds.  Moreover, it is not often easy to identify the hidden agendas of the landlords.  “Will the office be remeasured in a few years?  These are the things that need to be asked and need to be included in the contracts,” Chasan explains.  And these are precisely the types of things he spends his spare time teaching attorneys through his position as an expert consultant for the San Diego Bar Association.

But to Chasan, it’s all in a day’s work.  “I care,” he says simply about working with attorneys.  “I will be as involved as a client wants me to be.  If you need a furniture vendor referral, I’ve got it.  If you need me to sit in on construction meetings on your behalf because you’re opening an office in San Diego, and you’re in Minnesota, I’ll do it. I do this every day, and I want to do more than just good work for my clients. I care about my clients and the results.  I want my clients to come back to me, and so far this has worked really well. I have clients from almost 25 years ago who come back to me to assist them with their leases.”

Although Chasan doesn’t charge extra for the additional services he offers, his standing as a true expert in the field of assisting attorneys and law firms with securing the perfect space for their practice has made him an absolutely invaluable commodity to countless attorneys throughout San Diego.

Jeffrey Chasan
Senior Vice President
Grubb & Ellis Company

4250 Executive Square, Suite 500,
La Jolla, CA 92037
Office 858.875.3610 • Cell 858.395.5740
Fax 858.875.3636

CA License # 01067885

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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