I always ask myself, “Would I buy this property?”
If I’m certain, I bring it to the people who have entrusted me with expanding their portfolio in Eastern Washington.
Does your broker regard your investment as their investment? How does he or she handle your income, retirement, and legacy?
Retaining a knowledgeable broker is definitely an advantage. But are there other qualities and traits your commercial broker should possess? And if so, what are they?
In other words, how should your broker behave in terms of how they communicate, how they operate their business, and how they treat, not only you, their client, but also the other party?
I thought it would be a good idea to explore this question through the lens of some of my own clients. This may strike you as a tad self-aggrandizing but that is not my purpose here.
Even though we are in a market involving inanimate objects, this business is driven 100% by the people involved in it. Clients know better than anyone the importance of a well-qualified, principled broker.
So, I feel confident that you can take their information and apply it to future decisions and opportunities. Well-informed investors benefit the entire community.
“It was a tough time to sell a building and a tough building to sell… We knew this was going to take time and determination on the part of a broker. Russ was a good choice, his knowledge of the local market and ability to stick with the marketing process was key. As the months and then years passed, Russ remained committed, pursuing every possible lead. He researched the neighboring commercial building owners and also looked at potential non-profit tenants. Eventually, a viable buyer emerged, it was a long process bringing the buyer to closing and required several obstacles to overcome. In the end, the sale was completed. Through the long process I came to know Russ well, perhaps most importantly, I came to trust him.”
Often times, as the process drags on, as it sometimes does, people stop returning phone calls. Properties collect dust, brokers look to easier closings, and clients can’t move on to their next investment.
Research your broker’s track record. Speed and quantity are not everything. Commitment, in a word, can be just as valuable.
As a certified commercial investment manager, Russ has the business acumen to study the market in detail and analyze the true effectiveness of the investment. With his analysis tools he was able to provide us with an accurate picture of the internal rate of return, discounted cash flow models, and the future value when it might be the proper time to sell the property.
Does your broker care enough to continue to invest in their education and their excellence? Did you know less than 2% of all realtors and less than 10% of all commercial brokers are certified commercial investment members?
For instance, a Certified Commercial Investment Member certification, or CCIM, involves taking 6 graduate school level classes, passing a comprehensive final test on all classes, and completing a 100-page portfolio of qualifying experience to prove you know how to implement what you’ve learned in the real world.
Is this necessary? No.
But, a broker needs to do more than put up signs and field phone calls. Are they doing anything to improve their skills in order to better serve you?
I reached out to Russ Roberts four years ago when I unexpectedly needed to find a new office on a short notice. As a self-employed Professional, I had a specific budget and requirements that I needed to meet. I felt that Russ went above and beyond, finding the perfect office for me. I felt like he really understood my needs and made sure to find a place that was convenient, in my price range, and in a safe area, I could feel comfortable in. I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again.
Brokers need to consider your present needs as well as anticipate your future needs. Possessing an established network allows a broker to work without listings. Networks allow brokers to meet seller’s needs and expectations.
It’s fairly easy to verify your broker’s network. A quick trip on loopnet, linkedin, or google will confirm what you need to know. But you should talk to business owners and property managers in your area of interest.
Again, people are the key.
To summarize, seek a broker who can provide
What qualities or traits have you found to be necessary and beneficial in your commercial broker? Comment below! I’d love to hear what you have to say.