Don’t compare apples to oranges when picking the right land and commercial real estate broker. Here’s a few things to look for when searching for the right CRE partner.
In its simplest form, a broker is someone who buys and sells goods or assets for others through negotiation. Whether you’re hiring a commercial broker to find a property for your business, a tenant to lease your vacant property, or to assess and buy land, here are 6 key traits of a strong land and commercial real estate broker:
Since all land and commercial real estate brokers are required by law to be licensed within the states they do business, that’s a good start-and a minimal expectation-but experience teaches a broker tips and tricks that go beyond book learning. With vast field experience, a broker learns to specialize in specific property types and locations and racks up years of on-the-job service.
Experience helps them establish strong, long-standing relationships within the community, develop a deep network of buyers and contacts, predict future land and commercial real estate trends accurately and determine how to best achieve a property’s maximum potential. These are vital skills in today’s ever-changing market conditions.
Trust and an outstanding reputation are critical assets in the land and commercial real estate world. A great land and commercial real estate firm is well-respected, and their practice is valued within the local business community. If these two elements check out, then you’ll be dealing with a top-notch professional with fair methods who can get the job done right.
Like previously mentioned, trust is a fundamental component of land and commercial real estate, especially in a smaller market like Frederick, Maryland. If a CRE broker has a handful of reliable references and a solid transaction history, including a high closing ratio, you’re in good hands.
Ask around. Check references. Talk to former and current clients before pulling the trigger on a hire. You’ll start to piece together a picture of the firm’s reputation that can influence how you move forward with the selection process.
A broker’s knowledge of leasing agreements, contract terms, zoning laws and build-out provisions should be unparalleled. They should be expert negotiators, as their skill in these areas can significantly alter the terms and conditions of a lease or contract, which can have long-term ramifications for your business and investment ROI.
If you’re looking to sell a property, this expertise will also help with creating a personalized, innovative marketing plan that will get you the price and terms you desire. Whether it’s tacking social media, investing in a strong web presence, diversified advertising, signage or tapping into their deep network, a smart, experienced broker will find the best solution for you.
The ideal broker will tell it like it is and collaborate closely with you to set realistic expectations for lease terms or the sales or lease price for a given property.
A confident and strong land and commercial real estate broker won’t dance around the elephant in the room–for the relationship to succeed, he (or she) knows honest communication and realistic goals must be set, and he’ll have the courage to ask the really hard questions up front so there’s no negative surprises down the road. What’s more, a great broker will communicate frequently on the property’s progress.
Congruent Areas of Expertise
The broker you hire to find the right commercial space for your business or to sell your property should not “dabble” in land and commercial real estate. In other words, it’s never a good idea to hire a residential broker to negotiate commercial transactions–while they might be a good friend, residential real estate and commercial and land are entirely different animals that require divergent skill sets and knowledge.
Land and commercial properties are the domain of the commercial broker only, whereas residential agents can handle re-sale, new construction or some rental situations. Steer away from Residential “dabblers”, even if they are close to you and want your business.
Choosing the right broker is perhaps the most important factor in the success of your land and/or commercial real estate endeavor. Ask the right questions, identify the right traits and start building a great relationship, and a successful, efficient transaction is sure to follow.
Rocky Mackintosh is President of MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He has been an active member of the Frederick, Maryland community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1843, it is one of the longest enduring businesses in Frederick County.