Don’t settle on just any tenant rep broker. You want someone who will become a strategic partner. Here are five questions to ask:
- How much experience do they have? Commercial real estate can be a tough business, and the brokers that have stood the test of time have been there, done that. However, it’s not always the number of years in the industry that is important—you also need to consider the amount of deals they have done in their career. Brokers with specific real estate designations such as a CCIM have completed extensive coursework in financial and market analysis and are recognized as leading experts.
- How well do they know the market? You will want to look for a broker who is an expert in their market. An expert will have an accurate understanding of current and future real estate trends and be able to easily discuss how it relates to your real estate needs. This invaluable insight will give you more leverage when negotiating with a landlord.
- Are they resourceful? An established tenant rep broker will have existing relationships with other professionals that will be useful to you during this process. You don’t have to spend the time doing your own research if your broker has already vetted them for you. Space planners, real estate attorneys, and movers are just a few services you may need.
- Do they have a process and timeline? A well-designed process will provide structure to a real estate transaction. They should be able to tell you exactly the steps it will take to get from an initial meeting to a signed lease. A timeline will set expectations as your broker guides you through the complicated process of renewing or relocating.
- Do they understand my needs? You want to look for a tenant rep broker that will take the time to listen to what your needs are―both current and future. Sometimes what you think will be the perfect location or space might not be the right fit. They should be able to help you determine what you really need.
Do your research and ask for recommendations from colleagues and friends to narrow down your search. Pick a few brokers that you think will meet your needs and have a quick conversation with each of them. In addition to all the professional qualifications, look for someone who you actually like. After all, you may be spending quite a bit of time with them.
You know what to look for in a tenant rep broker, but do you understand the true value they will bring to a real estate transaction? In our next post we will explain the benefits of having one in your corner.