Being one of the largest investment decisions for an individual or company, commercial real estate is no small task for any real estate agent. You are hiring someone that you ultimately trust to provide the most insight and get you the best deal through the process given the market conditions. So, how come more people don’t really consider thoroughly interviewing their commercial real estate brokers? There are a few reasons – It is a referral business and most people and/or businesses don’t have the time to interview when they have their own internal deadlines and issues to attend to. Largely, whether residential or commercial, people always choose those who they “know, like, and trust.” Notice, I didn’t say professional, qualifications, or any sort of competitive value. Just like many industries, we are not all created equally, and having seen the wide spectrum of characters in the profession, it really holds true.
Here are some key considerations before getting that agency agreement signed.
- Resourceful. Have you considered the means of what your trusted agent will do to either sell or find you a property? Does your agent have the tenacity to get creative in the process whether using social capital or existing and new business relationships to get a deal done. Remember – this is the trust business so reputation is really important.
- Availability. I have actually been impressed by the number of residential agents who have asked me if I had time to work with their client. NEVER assume that either a slow or busy agent will make you and your client a priority. I have seen it over and over again where these bigger commercial shops shops do absolutely nothing to market a listing for sale or lease (outside from a side and a costar input) because they are working on much larger accounts. If their clients only knew of their level of response – those agency agreements would not be renewed. However, I will talk about the laziness and lack of professionalism in the landlord broker market in another blog.
- Personality. Just like any type of business, if you are working with someone you dread having a casual conversation with – the transaction is bound to be stressful from the start. You can’t teach someone to have a good personality in my view, unlike the skills you can teach them to do the job right. I personally have no tolerance for arrogance in this profession or non-existent communication when that is the name of this game. Choose an agent that shows enthusiasm and really cares about the sucess of your investment.
These are all very important lessons that I have learned from my clients and my interactions with real estate agents. I am not trying to say all of them lack these attributes, but there is a good number of dead fish in the pool. Don’t be afraid to feel like you have choices in the process!