What to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Before starting your search for rental space, think carefully about the kind of location and building that will best suit your business, determine the maximum rent you’re willing to pay, and set other priorities, such as the size and configuration of the rental space. Then consider the working relationship you want with a broker. If your rental needs are fairly straightforward, the types of spaces you want are plentiful, and you’re comfortable negotiating lease terms with the landlord, you may find space on your own and forego hiring your own broker. But if you want to work with a real estate broker who represents tenants (ideally, exclusively), you’ll need to do some searching. Here’s how to get the best results.

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Finding a commercial real estate broker isn’t all that different from finding a good doctor, lawyer, or dentist. A hefty application of common sense, professional and personal connections, and some independent research usually does the trick. The same method works when looking for a broker. Here’s what to look for:

  • Expertise in commercial real estate. Make sure the broker you choose is experienced in helping tenants find office, retail, and other commercial space (not someone who works primarily with houses, condos, and apartments).
  • Experience in representing tenants in commercial real estate transactions. You’ll ideally want a broker who consistently works only with tenants, but it may be difficult to locate such a broker, especially if your business is located in a small community (in this case, you may need to find a broker who works for landlords and tenants).
  • An established business in your geographical area. Look for someone who’s been in commercial real estate long enough to know how deals are done and how landlords and their brokers work. In addition, experienced and successful brokers will have the financial stability to enable them to firmly put your best interests at the front. Remember, in most situations a broker gets paid when the deal is done, according to the size of the rent. A broker who isn’t hungry will be less tempted to rush negotiations or settle for a more expensive result when patience might produce something better for you.

How to Find a CRE Professional

Other commercial tenants in your community will be the best source of leads for brokers. Ask businesses if they have engaged a broker and whom they would recommend. Look for tenants who appear to be running a healthy business (chances are that their good business sense was at work when they chose a broker, too).

You can narrow your field of inquiry by approaching tenants whose businesses are similar to yours, especially if you’re in a large city where brokers may have divided the market into niches, with some specializing in office space, others concentrating on restaurants and food stores, and others working mainly with light industry. For example, if you’re intending to open an art gallery, you’ll want to deal with a broker who’s familiar with the commercial space that is appropriate for a gallery. The owner of a currently operating gallery may have found just the broker.

In some cities, brokers may even concentrate on specific neighborhoods. If you want to locate in a particular area, to take advantage of adjoining businesses, traffic patterns, or expected rents, it makes sense to look for brokers who have already done deals in the neighborhood.

Be sure to check out brokers who represent buyers—but not sellers—of commercial real estate; they may act as tenants’ agents in leasing transactions too, or they may be able to direct you to a kindred spirit who represents tenants only.

Try to get recommendations from several tenants and business people. You may find that the same name or names pop to the top of everyone’s list. Once you’ve whittled down your list to two or three promising names, you’ll want to ask your contacts about the broker’s strong and weak points, before you interview and chose a CRE Broker.

Investment Property Guide

Investor Guide – Table Of Contents

Click Here :  Investment Property Guide

  1. Adding A Home To Your Investment Portfolio Investors Are Becoming Landlords
  2. What Is An Investment Property?
  3. Things To Consider Before Investing Does An Investment Property Fit Your Financial Plan?
  4. Do You Want To Be A Landlord?
  5. Location, Location, Location
  6. The “Typical” Rental Property
  7. Setting Parameters
  8. Beginning Your Search The Preapproval Process
  9. Shop Like An Investor
  10. Considering Condos or Co-ops
  11. An Expert Home Team Makes A Big Difference Building Your Team
  12. Real Estate Agents
  13. Appraisers Investment Property Financing Experts
  14. Follow Up Teamwork With Homework Do Some Research
  15. How Much Should Your Property’s Rent Be?
  16. Calculating Cash Flow
  17. Tax Implications
  18. Applying For Your Loan
  19. Preparing For Closing
  20. Renting Your Investment Property Finding The Right Tenants
  21. Setting Your Standards
  22. Preparing a Lease: Get Legal Advice
  23. The Lease-To-Purchase Option
  24. Maintaining Your Investment Property Keep Your Investment In Shape
  25. The Property Manager Option
  26. Additional Resources Investment Property Checklist
  27. Real Estate Listings Decoder

Commercial Real Estate 101

Types of CRE Properties (Listed below)

Office Buildings – This category includes single‐tenant properties, small professional office buildings, downtown skyscrapers, and everything in between.

Industrial – This category ranges from smaller properties, often called “Flex” or “R&D” properties, to larger office service or office warehouse properties to the very large “big box” industrial properties. An important, defining characteristic of industrial space is Clear Height. Clear height is the actual height, to the bottom of the steel girders in the interior of the building. This might be 14‐16 feet for smaller properties, and 40+ feet for larger properties. We also consider the type and number of docks that the property has. These can be Grade Level, where the parking lot and the warehouse floor are on the same level, to semi‐dock height at 24 inches, which is the height of a pickup truck or delivery truck, or a full‐dock at 48 inches which is semi‐truck height. Some buildings may even have a Rail Spur for train cars to load and unload.

Retail/Restaurant – This category includes pad sites on highway frontages, single tenant retail buildings, small neighborhood shopping centers, larger centers with grocery store anchor tenants, “power centers” with large anchor stores such as Best Buy, PetSmart, OfficeMax, and so on even regional and outlet malls.

Multifamily – This category includes apartment complexes or high‐rise apartment buildings. Generally, anything larger than a fourplex is considered commercial real estate.

Land – This category includes investment properties on undeveloped, raw, rural land in the path of future development. Or, infill land with an urban area, pad sites, and more.

Miscellaneous – This catch all category would include any other nonresidential properties such as hotel, hospitality, medical, and self‐storage developments, as well as many more.