Barkley Peschel Team

Barkley Peschel Team

I assist my clients to buy, sell, lease and invest in commercial land and buildings. I help them take advantage of their real estate needs to achieve their business or personal goals.  Call me for a free consultation.


I am multi-disciplined commercial real estate advisor with experience in site selection, relocation/expansion, tenant/buyer representation, land acquisition/disposition, and economic incentive negotiations.  I spend most of my time on industrial and land transactions, but since I have a large network, I'm involved in a variety of different deal types including office and investments.  I'm surrounded by experts, so I partner with them depending on the deal.  I stay involved in transactions to bring trust to the client.

In 2010, I established IronStone Realty Advisors, a boutique commercial real estate firm serving the Houston region and the Eagle Ford Shale region in South Texas.  In 2014, I merged IronStone with the Fort Bend County office of Colliers International, where I currently serve as Senior Vice President.  Prior to that, I spent over 10 years with the Fort Bend Economic Development Council recruiting businesses to locate in Fort Bend County, handling economic incentive negotiations and spearheading redevelopment activities on behalf of the County and its cities.

FAQs - commercial real estate insights

Top 10 most common mistakes made by tenants when leasing P\property


We see tenants (occupiers) make the same mistakes over and over whether they are leasing office or industrial space.  Next time you are considering a new lease, lease renewal or relocation learn from other people’s mistakes and don’t do the following:

Top ten mistakes

  1. Putting yourself at a disadvantage by beginning renewal or new lease negotiations too late
  2. Lacking clearly defined business or real estate objectives
  3. Focusing exclusively on financial costs
  4. Failing to appoint a project leader as the internal single point of contact
  5. Making inaccurate estimations of the company’s space requirements
  6. Acting too slowly once a decision is made, and consequently missing out on opportunities
  7. Agreeing to terms prior to obtaining a logistics consultant (industrial) or space planning perspective (office)
  8. Failing to allow for future expansion or contraction
  9. Lacking the knowledge of future opportunities; often, the best deals are secured well in advance of space becoming available
  10. Failing to leave enough time at the end of the lease to fulfill “make good” obligations, or failing to understand the exact terms of your tenant improvement allowance

A landlord or listing agent loves it when a tenant represents himself/herself to lease a space or renew a lease.   It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.  Find yourself a qualified real estate advisor and let him/her focus on the real estate while you focus on growing your company.

How will Hurricane Harvey affect commercial real estate?


So how will Hurricane Harvey affect commercial real estate in the Houston region?

I’ve been pondering this question over the last few weeks.  I have read numerous articles and opinions while watching our region start the long road to recovery.  

Two of my colleagues in our New York office called me right after the storm to ask me this very question.  Their client had bought a few development land tracts in Houston and these real estate advisors were trying to determine if it was wise for their client to move forward with the developments.  One advisor had a “doom and gloom” view of what would happen in Houston after the storm and the other advisor thought we would be ok.  “What did I think?” was their question.

My knee-jerk response was this: “Never bet against Houston”. After they stopped laughing a few minutes later, they asked that I take off my cowboy hat, get off my horse and give them an honest answer.  I pondered the question again, this time with more thought and I gave my answer: “Never bet against Houston.”  

The core fundamentals in our Houston commercial real estate market were healthy prior to the storm, and I do not believe Hurricane Harvey has changed that.  We have soft spots like any market and we are still feeling the effects of low oil prices (i.e., record level Class A Office vacancy and sublease space), but the key fundamentals are strong.  

Will we see any effect?  Of course.  Is it doom and gloom?  No.

Residential real estate was hit the hardest.  The rental and apartment markets tightened up overnight.  The residential sales market will see an immediate uptick because everything was on hold for two weeks, but I don’t expect a huge increase in housing sales directly related to Harvey.

Though some commercial properties in the Houston area were impacted, the commercial market for the most part faired quite well.  A lot of the commercial property listings I’ve seen recently state “not flooded”.

I think commercial deal velocity will slow down through the end of the year because a lot people are focused on recovery and repair.  In addition, the holidays are right around the corner and we typically see a slowdown after Thanksgiving.  But once everyone returns from Christmas vacation, I think the market will pick up speed quickly in mid to late January.  

We are already seeing huge increases in construction prices due to shortages in sheetrock and labor, and the hurricane in Florida will only make matters worse.  Who knows how long those effects will be felt.  Marginal real estate deals will no longer make financial sense with the higher construction prices, and some deals will be scaled back or cancelled altogether.

A lot of money will be spent in the Houston region in the next few years, which is a good thing.  But those funds could have been directed to growing new and existing businesses instead of rebuilding and recovery.  

I still stand with the comment I made to my New York colleagues, “Never bet against Houston” ( I was not referring to our sports teams.)  Seeing how our community responded to this natural disaster reminds me of why I am so proud to be a Texan and Houstonian.  It’s that grit and determination that will make us stronger in the end.    

Gross rent, net rent, effective rent and face rent: what's the difference?


Those of us in the commercial real estate industry sometimes use commercial real estate jargon and expect everyone around us to understand what we’re saying. Terms like gross rent, net rent, effective rent or face rent get thrown around in conversations with tenants but not everybody knows the meaning of each term. Let me break it down for you in simple terms and then advise you as to which one is most important to you as a tenant when you are considering lease alternatives.


Face Rent:  The quoted base rental rate before taking into account any rent increases or incentives.  This term is used interchangeably with ASKING RENT or FACE RATE. Face Rent may or may not include building expenses, depending on if the rent is quoted as “gross” or “net”.


Gross rent:  The rent calculated inclusive of all building costs (i.e., property insurance, taxes, common area maintenance expenses, etc.)


Net rent:  The rent calculated excluding building costs. On an office listing, you may see the rent quoted as $20.50 NNN.  In this example, the “base rent” is $20.50 per square foot per year (SF/YR) and then you have to add the annual expenses to that number.  If the annual “NNN” expenses (operating expenses) are $9.50 SF/YR, then your total “gross” rent would be $30.00 SF/YR.  The same applies to an industrial property.


Base rent:  This term can be confusing because sometimes it includes all building costs and sometimes it doesn’t.  If you are reviewing a lease document, the term base rent should be defined in the document.  If you are viewing someone’s listing, you will have to use context clues or ask the listing agent to clarify.

Effective rent:  The rental rate averaged out over the term of the lease, including consideration of rent-free periods and incentives/concessions.  Simply put, effective rent is the average amount of money that will come out of your pocket each year or month when averaged out over a period of time, typically your lease term.  This is the number you want to use when comparing lease alternatives.  Effective rent is not the only thing to consider when comparing leases, but it’s a good way for you to do an apples-to-apples comparison when evaluating offers with varying lease rates, expenses and concessions.


When you are considering an industrial or office lease (new lease or renewal), it is important that your real estate advisor conducts a financial analysis to compare the effective rent for each of your building options.  That is an important first step (but not the only one) in determining which option is best for you. 


Don't use a real estate "agent" to handle your commercial lease renewal



You heard me right.  Don’t hire a real estate agent to handle your lease renewal.  But do hire a commercial real estate advisor who is an expert in lease negotiations for the type of real estate you occupy.

You don’t need a real estate license to read a lease document and negotiate a lower rate with the landlord (LL), so there’s no need to hire a real estate “agent” who will do the same thing and take a fee. Anyone can do that.  But you should hire a commercial real estate adviser to help you investigate, consider and negotiate all the aspects of the transaction that will impact your company for the next 3-10 years.  Why?  Let me count the ways:
If you negotiate directly with the LL, the LL knows that you probably aren’t going to move.  As a result, he’s not very motivated to negotiate.  He will play a little cat and mouse game with you just enough to make you feel like you got a good deal.  But the reality, in most cases, is that you left a lot on the table.
When you hire a real estate adviser to handle your lease renewal, you immediately change your negotiating position.  Your LL now knows that you are serious and you may move to another location if you don’t get the right deal.  You tip the negotiating scales in your favor away from the LL by taking this one simple action.
For example, a colleague and I just saved our client a significant amount of money on a +/- 20,000-SF lease renewal from the baseline proposal the LL offered directly to our client before we were hired.  How did we do that? Here’s a little glimpse of our “secret sauce”:
Once engaged, we actively looked at other options in the market.  We toured a short list of buildings and then conducted detailed financial analyses of all the options so we could compare apples to apples. After multiple conversations with the company executives, we understood the company’s business and goals and how we could use their real estate requirement to help them accomplish some of those business goals.
With the big picture in mind and those financial analyses in hand, we started our negotiations. In the end, our client was able to make an informed decision and they got the best possible deal they could get in the market.
As a friend of mine likes to say, you don’t need to go to the gym to get in shape but it really helps.  The same applies to real estate.  You don’t need a commercial real estate adviser to renew your lease, but his or her assistance can really help.
Here are a couple of other questions and statements we commonly hear from tenants.
Many times the tenant is thinking, “I negotiate deals and contracts every day.  I don’t need a real estate agent to negotiate my renewal”.  And some tenants think, “If I don’t use a real estate agent, the landlord will give me a lower rate because he or she doesn’t have to pay an outside real estate commission.” 
While that logic sounds good, very seldom does a tenant come out ahead by going at it alone.
In most cases, the brokerage fee is baked into the lease rate already, so you really aren’t saving anything by going direct (though the landlord may try to convince you otherwise).  Most of the time, the landlord will pocket the savings that would have otherwise gone to your broker and you are left personally negotiating against the landlord’s industry specialist who represents the landlord’s best interests.
When you hire a real estate adviser who’s worth his or her salt, they will consider a whole host of variables that could greatly affect your deal. Here are a few:
When should I start talking with the landlord about my renewal? What’s the local market rate for this kind of asset? Is the landlord quoting me a rate above market?  What kind of concessions has the landlord given to other tenants on recent deals? At what rate have other tenants in the building (or nearby) recently renewed? Are any major tenants in the building leaving, thus bolstering my negotiating position?
What are your business goals and how can we use your real estate requirement to support those goals?  Does your current location support or detract from your company’s image?  Would a relocation increase your business’ profit?
Is your space efficient? Should you consider redesigning your space/layout to support a company culture that you are trying to create, change or encourage? How long of a lease term should you consider? How will the new lease offer affect your EBITA with the new FASB lease accounting rules if you plan to sell your business in the next few years?
Remember, you will be negotiating against the landlord’s industry specialist representing the LL’s best interests.  Wouldn’t you be better served hiring an industry specialist to represent your best interests so you can focus your time and efforts on your own business?

As the saying goes, sometimes “you get what you pay for”.  And it pays to hire a professional.  Give me a call and I just might know someone who could help you.


Barkley Peschel

I assist my clients to buy, sell, lease and invest in commercial real estate (Land, office, industrial, investment/income producing, etc.). I help them take advantage of their real estate needs to achieve their business or personal goals. My background in economic development, combined with the Colliers process and platform, give me a unique perspective and experience that I use to meet my clients' commercial real estate needs.

Barkley Peschel 
Senior Vice PresidentFort Bend   
Office: +1 281 242 2300
Mobile: +1 832 423 6285 


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Embrace the Suck

 Embrace The Suck  Article Image 

One big difference between successful and unsuccessful people is this:  successful people consistently do the things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.  People who accomplish amazing feats in life faithfully power through the parts of their lives and jobs that are hard, painful, uncomfortable, routine or boring.   
David Goggins had every excuse in the world to give up and feel sorry for himself.  Alcoholic father who abused him. Poor.  Learning disability.  So insecure that he developed a stutter.  Told he would never amount to anything.  In his twenties, David was 100 pounds overweight working for a pest control company spraying for cockroaches in restaurants at night.  But instead of giving up, he changed his mindset thus changing his life.  He got comfortable being uncomfortable, and he worked harder than everyone else.  His attitude and determination are what set him apart.   David went on to become the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.  He also set a Guinness World Record completing 4,030 pullups in 24 hours. 
Click here to watch a short video by David Goggins titled “Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”. 
“Embrace the Suck” is a phrase the military has used for years, but we can apply that same philosophy to our business and personal lives too.  What would it look like in your life and/or business to “embrace the suck”?

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