Does the agent specialize in commercial real estate? There are many agencies and agents who represent all types of properties, residential, farm and ranch, etc. Usually there are one or more agents who prefer commercial real estate and devote most of their time to it. The agency doesn’t have to be a commercial agency but the agent should be!
Is the Agency local, with local knowledge? Does the agent know what is going on in the market, know the deals and deal makers? Location specialization is more important than commercial/industrial specialization! That said, the reach of the agency does have value. How many other agents (all agents who may have a buyer or a seller regardless of their specialty) locally and otherwise, will be made aware of the property and have access to the particulars?
How do they market a property for sale? Will the property be listed in the local MLS, Loopnet, etc., or will it be a pocket listing where only the agent or agency is looking for buyers and the other agents in the region are unaware of the properties existence unless they happen to see a “For Sale” sign if there is one? Ask how the property will be promoted to other agents and potential clients/buyers in the marketplace.
How do they serve buyers? Will they put in the time to search for your desired commercial property? Do they have the resources?
Commercial agents should also be familiar with 1031 exchanges. Many small businesses and investors are the primary users of like-kind exchanges and main beneficiaries of the capital gains tax deferrals. More on this subject will be written in following months.
How active is the agent in the business? It’s not how long but how active! Have they received any recognition, awards, and/or certificates for performance? Do they have special certifications or accreditations? What do past clients have to say about them?
Is the agent likable? Not only is this important in your dealing with the agent, but their likability will be an asset in dealings as long as they can be a good negotiator as well.
Do you trust the agent? Will they put your interests before their own? Even though you are hiring a brokerage you are still dealing with an individual. Before you pick an agent, see who seems the most sincerely concerned with helping you out, not themselves out during the interview process.
Will the agent be loyal to you? Likability and loyalty are not the same. There are plenty of people in the world who are amiable, but too often put their own interests ahead of the one they should be representing!
Consider these things when interviewing for an agent and you will more likely find the right fit for you.
Good Luck hiring a commercial real estate representative!