If interested in this lease, you first must set up an account with the GSA AAAP system. You will then enter your building information, ownership information, and offer specific details on the AAAP website. This is frequently confusing to building owners and brokers that don’t do this on a daily basis because you are lacking a great deal of information. Without the proper research and preparation, it is very easy to underbid. Preparation is key!
How to Prove Your Building is Capable of Becoming “Technically Acceptable”
The first step of proving your building is capable of becoming “technically acceptable” will be a physical tour of the building. Assuming the building “passes” the site visit, you will then receive a “Due Diligence Letter” from GSA. This letter will contain a long list of items that you will need to provide to GSA by a stated deadline. The documents you will need to provide may seem tedious, but they are not difficult to obtain. You will just need to follow directions exactly.
During this phase, it is very likely that you will also receive some additional information regarding the government’s tenant improvement requirements. It is very important that you review these materials to see if there is anything contained in these requirements, often referred to as Agency Special Requirements or Program of Requirements, that does not change your understanding of the costs associated with this lease and therefore your offered rates.
Should you discover requirements in the ASR / POR that increase the costs associated with this lease then you may face a dilemma. GSA is quick to state that AAAP process does not allow for negotiations after the offer has been submitted, but this is only partially true. You will need to remind GSA that your offer was based on their generic lease and RLP provided on the AAAP website and did not include consideration of the new information that was just provided.
While this is technically true and there should be a mechanism for adjusting your rates based on the new information, your ability to make these necessary adjustments will depend of reasonableness of the Lease Contracting Officer or Leasing Specialist that you are working with. Here again, a deep understanding of the organization and this procurement model will provide your best chance of success.
Once you have submitted your complete AAAP due diligence package to GSA, you will again enter into a waiting phase. This could last weeks or months. Unfortunately, recent experiences with this program are yielding wait times measured in months.
However long the wait, you will eventually receive a lease for execution. Congratulations… now the real work of designing, pricing, and constructing the tenant improvements begins. That is another conversation for another day….
While there are of course other variables that can pop up along the way, the AAAP procurement process is currently the quickest and most direct path to obtaining a lease with GSA. However, it can also be the most confusing given that you are basing your proposal on generic information that is subject to change after you have been selected. If you decide to go at it alone, just remember that preparation prior to proposal is key, and also know that preparation can only be achieved by reading and truly understanding what you are signing up for.
If you are considering pursuing a GSA lease or have additional questions on the GSA AAAP process, please reach out to us today! With over 15 years of experience within the Federal Government, we understand the potential complications of GSA leases and are here to help make you successful in obtaining a GSA AAAP procurement!