So you have commercial property you need to lease, sell, or buy. Who do you hire to handle the transaction? Pick the biggest firm? “Not so fast” says Tyler Saldutti from Prime Realty in Jacksonville, Florida. Picking the Commercial broker company with the most recognizable name may not be the safe decision it seems.
“Every commercial real estate firm is made up of individuals. These people spend years honing their craft and the good ones develop a niche. I advise people to know the individual you are working with and make sure they have the experience you need. ” – Tyler Saldutti
While larger firms have their advantages in certain cases, boutique firms like Prime Realty might be hungry for your business and be willing to go farther and hustle faster than their larger competitors.
Here are some things to consider before you sign with that mega-firm
- Never be left wondering what your agent is doing for you. Make sure your agent is doing more than just posting your listing to LoopNet, a popular online real estate marketplace for brokers. You should expect a marketing plan to get your property sold or leased. The hungry firms will put out signs, make personal phone calls, have a direct mail strategy and have a database of people they can email about your property. If they can’t tell you where they are in the marketing process, it’s time to look for another firm.
- Expect Ritz Carlton like service. In the world of commercial real estate, the larger transactions get the most attention because that’s where the largest commissions are made. While that may work for companies with a national footprint, and millions of square feet, it may leave your smaller transaction neglected. Find a boutique firm that is excited to have your business. They should make you feel like you are their most important client.
- Have cutting edge technology. Technology is the great equalizer. Top boutique firms will use the same subscribed services and technology as the big boys. Firms that make this investment understand that with information comes power and reach. Suddenly everyone is competing on a level field.
- Understand what Independent Real Estate Broker really means. When working with the mega-firm they are forced to work with agents in another market who work for the same company. The decision is not based on merit or talent like it can be when working with an independent Real Estate Broker. An independent broker has the flexibility to bring in others that add value to the deal and may even be willing to co-broker. A larger firm may not be willing to split their commissions.
- Deal with an expert, not just a salesperson. Large firms have multiple levels of management and some people may be operating as a salesperson. That is, hunting for a listing; getting the required signatures and moving on to the next kill. Little attention is paid to the details because it becomes a volume game. The most you have listed, the more you stand to close. This is not how a boutique firm like Prime Realty works. You deal with an expert every time and you get the best advice without anyone having to check with middle management.
As a final best practice, don’t be afraid to ask for case studies or references. The decision to hire a Commercial Broker is a big one. Usually the more time that passes increases cost and significantly makes things more stressful for everyone. Your very business success (or failure) may be directly traced back to working with the right person to handle your real estate transaction.