Choosing commercial real estate is a big decision that can affect the future of your company greatly. It can put you in an excellent business position or damage your company’s future. Whether you’re searching for a purchase or a lease, real estate investments tend to be one of the biggest line items on the budget. Because of this, it’s vital to find a commercial realtor that you trust, and who has the competency and integrity to guide you well in the commercial real estate market.
Because real estate affects so many other aspects of your business, choosing a realtor who lacks character or competence can put you at risk of damage to your company or your investments financially. This is a choice that you don’t want to cut corners on! And because compensation is generally percentage-based for realtors, you’ll most likely pay the same amount whether you’re working with the most competent or the least competent person. If you’re searching for the best commercial realtor in Charlotte, NC (or anywhere in the United States, for that matter!), here are some tips and insights on how to choose the best commercial realtor for your needs.
5 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Agent
When you’re searching for commercial real estate agents, one of the first categories you should address is finding someone who’s competent in their field. Look for someone who is driven, organized, and gets things done. The best real estate agents are problem solvers. They have a reputation for overcoming challenges, staying vigilant on their searches, noticing details, collaborating with other brokers, and going the extra mile for their clients.
But how do you know if someone is competent? Firstly, just talk to them. Do they seem knowledgeable about the market? Do they answer your calls and respond promptly?
Secondly, you can ask about their experience. How many deals have they closed?
Lastly, besides having a license, many real estate professionals have specific designations, like SIOR, CCIM, and MBA. While these aren’t always necessary, these designations really prove that a person is going above and beyond to learn the industry and provide a great experience for their clients. These are the brokers who are serious about their careers and aren’t just providing commercial real estate brokerage services on the side or as a hobby.
Next is relationship. More than just being competent, you want to work with someone who gets along with you well and understands your business goals. Whether you’re on the hunt for retail space, industrial space, office buildings, investment properties, or other commercial opportunities, you want to find a broker who truly cares about your long-term goals and can find the perfect location for you based on these goals.
The best commercial realtors have your best interests at heart and will put your needs first throughout the entire process.
All the competency and great relationships in the world won’t do much for you unless you have a broker who’s responsive. These types of commercial brokers have a track record of answering phone calls, texts, and emails in a timely manner. They’re committed to their career and most of all to their clients.
The world of commercial real estate is often fast-moving, and current listings are many times here today and gone tomorrow. You need someone on your team who doesn’t let time snatch the best deal out of your hands. (Of course, everyone is busy, so don’t forget to give some grace, too!)
The best ways to find a responsive real estate broker are to:
1) See what past clients have said about their experience
2) Reach out to them and wait for a response!
Commercial real estate brokers who are genuinely helpful are those who aren’t simply in it just to close the deal. Instead, they have an authentic interest in finding you the best property for your needs or guiding you down the right path. When you call or email them, you’re answered with helpful advice – not a one-word response.
When you first chat with a realtor or read about their services, ask yourself, “Do they seem like they genuinely want the best for their clients?”
Last, but most importantly, is integrity. Warren Buffet once said,
“…in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
It might sound extreme, but without integrity, the other qualities hardly even matter. When you hire someone, you want to know that they not only know what they’re doing, but that you can trust them. A real estate broker or commercial real estate firm that has integrity is one that you can fully trust to have your best interest in mind, knowing that they’d make the same choices for themselves if they were in your shoes.
Someone with integrity will be able to show the past success of dozens of clients before you – clients who have flourished because of the integrity of a trustworthy commercial broker.
5 Things to Avoid When Looking for a Commercial Real Estate Agent
Now that you know what to look for, here are 5 things that you should avoid when searching for a commercial broker.
1. Someone who’s just in it to close the deal
This one is fairly easy to spot, because someone who’s just in it to close the deal will probably not have excellent reviews or referrals. The best brokers are those who are in it for the long game and want to do the right thing. They’re not just working with you to close the deal and to make a commission, but instead, they want to provide lifetime customer value to you and do the right thing for you and your business.
These brokers also know that providing you with long-term value will lead to repeat business and referrals.
2. Someone who doesn’t have good relationships with other brokers
When it comes to commercial real estate needs, brokers are just one part of an interconnected network of industry personnel. Your broker should not only have good relationships with other brokers, but also with commercial property management firms, lenders, attorneys, and inspectors.
A well-connected broker can help you find more properties, better guide you through the entire process, and get ahold of other industry experts that you might need to speak with.
3. A large firm (if you’re a small business)
There are three main types of commercial real estate firms:
- Large corporate real estate groups
- Mid-market companies
- Smaller commercial brokerage firms (often called boutiques)
Large corporate real estate groups include companies like C.B., Richard Ellis, Jones Lang LaSalle, Colliers, and Cushman & Wakefield. These large groups have property management divisions and provide a number of different services. They tend to service Fortune 100 companies. Because of this, though, they don’t tend to do as well with small businesses, because the deals aren’t usually big enough for them to really dedicate their time to.
Mid-market companies are often a mix of brokerage and property management as well as some development.
Then, you have small commercial firms, often referred to as boutiques. These are usually more relationship-driven environments and tend to work better with small businesses. They have the ability to pivot quickly when the market changes, and they don’t have to go through tiers of management to get an answer, which allows them to move more nimbly.
If you’re a smaller business looking for commercial real estate, you’ll want to look for a small firm that has the time and maneuverability to help you get the best value for the best price, and provide that personal touch that is vital to the success of a small business.
4. Someone who doesn’t return your phone calls
Though a small brokerage firm (or boutique) probably has the ability to move quickly, they won’t be able to get you very far if they don’t return your phone calls. Find someone who is responsive in communication. This will be a huge factor in your real estate success.
5. Part-time brokers
Lastly, it’s usually best to find someone who’s working in the industry full time. These brokers are committed to the job and have the time to search for your property, return your calls and emails, and complete paperwork in a timely manner.
What Our Clients Are Saying
At Regent CRE in North and South Carolina, our highest priority is providing our clients with a positive experience in the commercial real estate market that will impact their business positively for months and years to come. Here’s what our clients are saying about working with Regent:
“I can’t speak highly enough of Regent Commercial Real State and Brian Smith. The entire experience, starting when I made the call, was fantastic. Brian was knowledgeable and took the time to address all my questions and concerns in each property we visited. If you’re looking for a trustworthy commercial realtor, you can look no further than Regent Commercial Real Estate.” -Pablo P.
“As someone who is new to commercial real estate, I appreciated how he took the time to understand my needs and goals. He was always available to answer questions and provide guidance, no matter what time of day. His knowledge of the local market is invaluable, and he helped me sift through the many options available for my business. I recommend him without hesitation and hope to work with him on future transactions.” -Don A.
“In all my work with Brian as an owner rep/tenant rep for his clients, I have been very impressed with his knowledge of our real estate market, professionalism, critical thinking, and integrity. He’s always consumed in his client’s best interests and their special needs.” – Bruce V.
“Brian Smith was excellent during our entire process of relocating our office. He has excellent knowledge of the Charlotte office landscape and made sure we found the perfect office for our needs. Thank you, Brian.” -Tim J.
Read more reviews here!
Why Choose Regent Commercial Real Estate?
Regent Commercial Real Estate is a small commercial brokerage firm serving the Charlotte area and beyond. We specialize in pairing our clients with the perfect property for their needs throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Our track record shows nearly 1000 successful sales and leases, and we strongly believe in the importance of being transparent, hard working, and available for our clients so that we can help you make the best decisions to support your real estate needs.
Ready to find your next property? Find out more about our process, or contact Regent CRE today!