A broker is a professional experienced in the commercial side of the real estate industry, an individual that knows the market and can deliver effective results.
1. Industry Know-How. Just as you would not turn to a podiatrist to give you an assessment about your eyes, you wouldn’t work with a residential real estate broker to find a retail store, an office building or a manufacturing facility. A commercial real estate broker understands the industry and how leases are made as well as how properties are bought and sold.
2. Segment Specialization. Not every broker is skilled with every segment of the commercial real estate industry. One professional may be a retail sales expert, another an office management guru, yet another may concentrate solely on manufacturing facilities and warehouses.
3. Market Experience. A commercial real estate broker not only knows the industry, but the industry knows him. This point is critically important as other brokers are needed to open doors or make contact to find places that are suitable for you. Your broker may work for a particular company, but that professional will know brokers throughout the industry and will have an inside glimpse at what properties are becoming available. That’s something most business owners do not have or simply do not have the time to seek out.
4. Lease Negotiations. Leasing is complex and deals can hang on a number of factors including the monthly rate, property taxes, insurance, common area maintenance costs, trash disposal, maintenance and repairs, and utilities. What can look like a good deal on the surface could be much more costly to you than you had thought. A credible broker that represents you will sniff out problems and will aggressively negotiate on your behalf.
5. Cost Containment. Quite frankly, if you try to find suitable property yourself, you will need to redeploy someone else to do your job. This is not always practical or wise as your work is a valuable part of the company. Effectively, you are outsourcing the responsibility of finding new property, allowing a skilled professional to do the job for you. His fee will be well worth it, saving you time and money in the short term as well as over the length of the lease.
6. Legal Connections. Your company’s attorney will review your lease agreement to ensure that your interests are represented. However, if you do not have legal counsel or if your attorney is not experienced in commercial real estate law, your broker will know of attorneys that are and make the connection for you. This can be especially important if you operate a young or small concern and you do not have the legal resources in place to get the work done. Your broker does and can expedite the process.
7. Relationship Builder. Once you find a commercial real estate broker that is worth his salt, you will want to keep this relationship strong for years to come. This is important as your business grows and expands, and your leasing needs change. Your broker can advise you on future developments including properties you might consider buying instead of leasing. He has his hand on the industry’s pulse and can approach you with new options as these arise.
Keep in mind that in many markets there is a saturation of available commercial properties and this means it is a buyer’s or lessee’s market. A broker representing you will as a matter of business practice let you know how much negotiating room you have and offer guidance on how to present the best possible offer for the lowest cost to you.
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