How to Choose a Commercial Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling commercial real estate is a huge financial transaction. Regardless of whether you are an investor interested in finding a strip mall to add to your portfolio or a corporate employee tasked with finding a new commercial site for a warehouse or expansion, choosing the right real estate agent for your needs is critical to success. Surprisingly, many people merely search the Internet for a local commercial real estate brand and choose their agent based on whomever answers the phone. These same people put more effort into choosing their coffee drink in the morning.
Unlike residential real estate agents, commercial real estate agents assist with purchasing or selling commercial real estate properties, leasing office buildings and industrial space and much, much more. These transactions can take place over a series of months or even longer. Before choosing an agent to work with, ask some fundamental questions and then check references to ensure the information you get is accurate.
Ask the potential commercial real estate agent:
- How long have you been selling/leasing commercial real estate?
- What is your specialty in the commercial real estate industry?
- How many transactions have you completed, can you provide references and addresses for these transactions?
- Tell me about your brokerage; what do they specialize in and how do they operate…such as office support, leasing support, marketing support, etc.
Marketing a Property for Sale or Lease
- Who are the potential buyers/tenants for this property and how will you market to that demographic?
- How long do you think it will take to sell or lease?
- How many comparable properties have you handled in the last 2 years and what were the results?
- What is the price range for this property?
- Please provide a comprehensive comparable market analysis for my property?
Purchasing or Leasing Questions
- How will you help me find the right property to buy or lease?
- What research do you offer about the locations and potential clientele?
- How do you research relevant information about the property before presenting it to me, such as permits and zoning?
These questions start the conversation and then it’s your responsibility to follow up and check the information provided. Commercial real estate transactions are significant financial decisions, regardless of the purpose. You must ensure you’re working with a commercial real estate agent who understands your needs and the local market to ensure you choose the right situation for your specific requirements.