[fa icon="calendar"] 11.08.2016 / by Hunter Strickland
So you’ve decided that you want to hire a commercial real estate (CRE) broker to help list and market your properties. That’s great! But do you know what to look for and what you should expect from your broker? You don’t want to set your standards too high, but you don’t want to set them too low either.
Here are a few basics you should reasonably expect from your broker:
Because CRE brokers handle a lot of the day-to-day activities such as organizing inspections, negotiating lease terms and handling communications with potential buyers, you should expect your broker to have excellent communication skills with both you and the tenants. As the property owner, it is a good idea to establish your expectations early on in the relationship. Do you prefer phone calls to email? Do you expect same day callback?
Your broker should be able to provide you with monthly or quarterly reports on all listing and marketing activities including prospects and qualified leads. They should also provide you with feedback in the report detailing how many showings and/or inspections they have completed so you know the status of your investment.
A good CRE broker should have a comprehensive marketing plan in place that is specifically geared towards commercial real estate. This plan can include both online and offline tactics and can be unique to each individual listing.
Your broker should be able to provide you with a written proposal that you can refer to from time to time. This will come in handy if you ever need to remind yourself, or your broker, of what was initially promised.
A good CRE broker should have lots of connections that you can benefit from. These connections don’t have to be entirely based in the real estate world, they can be from community involvement, philanthropic organizations, or general business relationships. However, it is more beneficial to you if your broker has strong relationships with developers, other brokers or local business owners and investors.
It is always a good sign if your broker is well-liked in the community as this reputation will ultimately benefit you, as the property owner, as well. In fact, this is probably the biggest reason you would want to work with a broker in the first place: the relationships they have within the community.
Before hiring a broker, it is always a good idea to look at their background first. You can start by checking their LinkedIn profile for endorsements then by asking them directly for the names of some of their past clients. Your broker should have several positive recommendations from contractors, other brokers and even your “competitors. If a broker does not have a large referral network, this is either a sign that they are inexperienced or do not have a good history. However, depending on your needs you may find that a younger broker with less referrals will actually work harder to gain your business and get your property leased.
Narrowing Your Search
Now that you know what you can reasonably expect before you hire a CRE broker, you can start filtering out the bad fits and narrowing down your search. Keep these traits in mind throughout the interview process as you search for the “perfect” brokering partner.