Four Things to Expect
While specialties and local market expertise can vary, offering a very high level of service does have similarities. Look carefully for the following from your new broker:
- He or she aggressively represents your interests.
- He or she offers sound, meaningful advice every step of the way.
- He or she not only guides but streamlines the transaction process.
- He or she brings to your attention items that have yet to occur.
While each of these services is important, the last one is critical. An agent should have plenty of experience, and his advice should keep you away from issues and problems that others might have to deal with, especially if they’re navigating the process on their own. If you aren’t feeling guided in certain directions from your agent, you should wonder why and carefully consider whether any of the following may apply:
- Is he or she inexperienced?
- Is this transaction a different type of commercial real estate than he or she usually handles?
- Is he or she not paying attention?
- Is he or she lazy?
Whatever the case, this is cause for concern. You should be partnering with an industry expert who is experienced enough to comfortably guide every phase of the process as necessary. That means facilitating and looking ahead. If something comes up unexpectedly, that’s a big red flag. Odds are good that no matter what it was, an experienced broker who specializes in the kind of commercial real estate you are looking into would not only have expected it, but been prepared to avoid it.
Your Broker’s Most Important Job
It’s true that in rare instances, something will happen for which no one could have properly prepared. But I’ll share a personal anecdote to illustrates my point. For years, I drove a race car with a professional team. I’ll never forget a famous driver who said, “There is no accident you are involved in that is not your fault.” It seemed such an odd statement to me, because in racing, things happen all the time. But as I gained experience, I saw the truth of this viewpoint. All accidents in which you are involved are actually your fault for two reasons – either you didn’t see it coming, or you put yourself in a situation in which the mistake or poor judgment of another affects your future. The same is true in commercial real estate. Your broker’s most important job is to insulate you from all issues that could have any negative impact on you. Anything less is a failure.
Your job as the client is to conduct a proper interview process to make sure you’re getting the best broker for your needs. Don’t educate an agent at your expense. That may sound extreme, but real estate transactions are important ventures. You deserve expert representation for expert results.