Help your broker help you

August 13, 2014

 

By KRIS HELTON
NAI Benchmark/First Commercial

As commercial real estate agents and brokers we come across many different types of properties and owners.  Each property and owner has a unique personality.  On many occasions we need to be a real estate adviser, a psychologist, a business consultant and a friend.

Our goal is to have a clear picture of the expectation of either the owner of the property or the client we represent looking for space.  As the client, what can you do to help us make your transaction as smooth and successful as possible?

Property Owners

As a property owner, you should first identify the three critical success factors or expectations that will help guide your real estate professional.  For example, are you looking for a particular type of tenant?  Are you looking for a low upfront investment in a tenant?  Do you want to clean up your portfolio by replacing some of your improvements?  If you are leasing a property, what do you envision as a good use?

All of these examples help your real estate professional begin to understand the property and build a framework to reach your goal.  Each property has a history and a story.  Make sure to tell that story to the broker to enrich the sales and marketing for the property.

 

Buyers or Tenants

If you are a client looking to purchase or lease property for your own use, there are many things to address.   Aside from the standard type and size of commercial property you are evaluating, you need to recognize if your business is expanding or contracting.

Take time to get a good handle on your financials.   Recognize lease or purchase pricing that compliments your business.  It is important to be prepared to produce a business plan, a personal financial statement, tax returns, credit reports, financing options and prequalification’s from lenders, and name the guarantors.  You will save a lot of valuable time by making some small preparation before evaluating the property options.

It is important to know your story and paint a clear picture for your broker.  What are three “non-negotiables” for your next property?  Location?  Appearance?  Proximity?  Layout?  Cost?  By having a plan and casting a vision for your broker you can expect them to provide a comprehensive list of property choices. You can expect your broker to provide a list of properties and comparable properties within your range.  He/she should know the market in relation to pricing and terms.  Your broker should advise and help navigate you through the process of lease or purchase terms.

In the end it is critical to ask a lot of questions and have consistent, meaningful dialog with your commercial real estate professional.  The value provided by your broker is based upon the preparation, insights and feedback you provide to him or her.

There is nothing quite like the experience of completing a successful transaction and with your help it can be a smooth and enjoyable process.

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