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5 Qualities You Should Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Broker

5 Qualities_CRE Broker

Article by Colin Carter, Associate Broker in Voit’s Anaheim office

There is a big pool of commercial property investors floating around the market these days, and plenty of competitive commercial brokers diving in to pitch the perfect deal. 

It may seem overwhelming, but with some professional recommendations, private research and a good old-fashioned dose of common sense, you’ll be ready to take the plunge. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, here are five characteristics you should look for in a commercial real estate broker, and some important questions you should ask to be sure you make the right decision for you and your business. 
 
An Established Business

A good place to start your hunt for the best commercial real estate broker is to ask who in your area has an established business. Someone who has long been in the commercial real estate biz knows the ropes when it comes to marketing properties, connecting the right owners and tenants, and sealing the deal. 

In most situations, the broker gets paid after the deal is done and the amount depends on the size of the rent. You don’t want to find yourself stuck with a rookie who is willing to settle for a more expensive deal or push along the process for quick profits. Established businesses have the financial stability to patiently put the client’s interests at the forefront, as well as an long-standing reputation in the community to uphold.
 
Commercial Real Estate Expertise

A residential real estate agent may be seasoned in selling condos or apartments, but probably won’t be familiar with the intricacies of marketing such as selling or leasing commercial property. Look for a broker who is experienced in helping tenants find office, retail, and other commercial spaces, and has a network of tenants to market properties to.

Finding the right broker for the job is going to require some digging. When interviewing potential brokers, ask what percentage of the transactions they have handled that were commercial deals. Or merely look for a commercial real estate firm that specializes in the type of properties you’re interested in. 

Another key question is if the broker has access to all of the commercial property databases and marketing platforms, and if they can provide the latest comparable sales and leasing transaction data. The more expertise, the faster the processes will be expedited and the more profitable the transaction is likely to be. And any professional attempting to withhold information during your search will immediately throw up the red flags for you.
 
A Marketing Plan Designed for Commercial Real Estate Market

You want a broker whose marketing plan is firmly rooted in the commercial real estate market. Is the broker subscribed to relevant databases and marketing platforms? On which websites will their properties will be published? 

Consider that the broker’s signage, brochures, and other marketing materials look clean cut and professional. It’s pivotal that all aspects, down to the smallest details, are geared towards commercial properties. The more knowledge your broker has about the commercial industry, the more likely you are to get the best property for the best price, or lease yours quickly.
 
Local and Global Market Knowledge

Commercial real estate is growing in popularity among investors worldwide so why not take full advantage of the market? Greater demand will guarantee the best offer for your property. In today’s international real estate market you never know where the prospective tenant or investor is based. Choose a broker who has both local expertise as well as global market knowledge.
 
Most of All, Trust

These days it can be difficult to determine who to trust. It is likely every broker is putting their best foot forward in the interview process. So, don’t be afraid to ask around! Do a quick Google search. Look for healthy, thriving businesses in the area and ask others in the industry which brokers they would recommend. 

In a larger city, you could narrow the search asking tenants whose businesses are similar to yours. Just use a hefty amount of common sense and pay particularly close attention to who seems to be the most genuine in the stages before you hire the broker. Commission on commercial real estate properties is not a small chunk of change -- you want to make sure the person you are working with has your best interest in mind, and isn’t just in it for a quick payday.

 
ColinCarter_blogColin Carter | Associate Broker
Connect with Colin directly via his LinkedIn page
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