After having been in real estate for over a decade you end up running into all types of commercial brokers. Much like every other profession there are good ones and bad ones, brokers you are compatible with and some you aren’t, and some that have different goals and motives than what you are trying to accomplish. Here are a list of some questions I feel are important to ask your broker before working with them.
“What strategies are you willing to employ to make my property stand out from the rest?” In this digital age it’s more important than ever to be innovative and creative in your marketing strategies. There is so much noise in our everyday lives, it becomes increasingly difficult to get people’s attention. Marketing efforts should be tailored to the property depending upon the asset type, demographics, and goals. Make sure that the marketing strategies make sense and aren’t cookie cutter.
“Have you seen this problem before and how did you handle it?” Investors and tenants alike utilize brokers for their expertise in real estate. For many, this is a huge decision in their business and can be costly if not done properly. There will always be issues in a deal. Whether it’s lease terms, negotiation strategies, or simply site identification, there will be hurdles to overcome. Make sure your broker has ‘been there, done that’ and has a action plan ready to go.
“What are your goals?” I find this to be an interesting question in that it usually catches people off guard. Sometimes brokers are seen in the investment community as people just trying to make a quick buck and move onto the next deal. Conversely, I have had the pleasure of working with many brokers who genuinely consider their clients goals as their #1 priority. Forming an investment team is crucial to your investing success. Brokers, lawyers, tax consultants, property managers and others should all have your interests in mind, so pick ones that align with your principles. Building long term relationships should be at the top of the list, not transactions.
There are several questions that should be asked, but i think the above questions will determine whether or not this is someone you will want to pursue for your business. Not every broker is going to be right for your goals, so ask questions. Find a broker that you feel is someone that you can work with now and in the future.