I receive many calls from prospective clients and tend to get the same “phone interview” questions regarding experience. How long have you been in business? How many other listings does your company have? How will you sell my investment property?
Although these are good questions or traits, they are just the start of the diligent process of choosing the “right” commercial real estate broker.
First, in my opinion, would be Trust. I believe it is vitally important for the Broker/Client to have a good working relationship built on trust. Yes, experience is extremely important; however, during the marketing process and due diligence work, there will likely be countless obstacles to face and the Client has to believe the Broker is putting their needs first.
In addition, the Broker needs to know the Client is committed to selling the property and will treat all parties fairly in the process. Mutual trust in the Broker/Client relationship should be present or both parties should find other parties to work with. The owner should do their homework and ask for client referrals.
Second would be Experience–more specifically a Broker who specializes and has expertise with the property type being listed. I am always curious to know why owners and investors will list their property with a specific broker who I know has little to no experience with that particular property type. A lot of brokers are really good salespeople and do a great job of touting their company’s experience. However, choosing the right Broker is based on that particular agent’s experience and whether that agent specializes in the property type being listed.
I am a big believe in specialization and have seen agents who do specialize dramatically increase their listing success by focusing on one or two property types or geographies. Owners and Investors should only use agents who can demonstrate their experience and specialty for the particular property type.
Last, a marketing plan should be included with every listing proposal. Again, I am curious to understand why any Owner or Investor would allow an agent to list an investment or commercial property without at least a 90-plan of how the property will be marketed and which marketing platforms will be used.
There are many commercial brokers who are still not using Loopnet or Catalyst, which in my opinion are, at least, the minimum marketing platforms that should be offered.
In addition, a very specific direct marketing campaign should also be employed which will target likely users or buyers of a particular property and/or location.
In summary, choosing the right commercial real estate broker will take some time; however, it will pay off in the long run by expediting and easing the marketing and closing process.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list and there are many more reasons and/or questions which should be asked prior to choosing the right commercial real estate broker; however, I feel these three above are great starting points.
By the way, my specialty is representing real estate investors who purchase retail and office projects in the Gulf South. If you want a Broker who will search for income producing properties that match your investment criteria, please call me at (601) 906-8999.