What kind of real estate do you practice?
This is an easy place to start, and your goal is finding someone who specializes in just what you need. A general agent who dabbles here and there should be a last-resort option. Instead, look for someone who is proficient in specific areas of industrial or commercial real estate – with the track record to prove it.
How long have you been working in industrial real estate?
Any agent who has been doing this long enough will take this bait, launching into a description that leaves no doubt as to his or level high level of experience. You don’t want to be the guinea pig for a new agent – let them cut their teeth on someone else’s transaction.
What kinds of transactions have you handled recently?
This is another opportunity for an agent to share successfully completed projects. If they aren’t offered, ask for names and contact information so that you can follow up for the client perspective. This should not be off-putting for an agent, so proceed with caution if it’s taken badly.
What can you tell me about the current market?
You aren’t looking for generalizations here, but reporting that includes details, numbers, charts and graphs. If vague commentary about a hot market or dropping vacancy isn’t backed up with detailed statistics, that’s a red flag. A solid agent maintains his own market data in an effort to support his arguments with landlords he’ll be meeting as your representative. Without that data, an agent’s negotiations are weakened, and no one wants a weak agent handling their negotiation.
What’s the biggest mistake someone can make when they look for industrial property?
Tom has been assisting firms in northern Nevada for decades now, and he still remembers being asked this question. It happened just once, but he still thinks it’s the most important question you can pose to a potential agent. Read his post, “Leasing Industrial Property? Don’t Make this Mistake,” for more on the topic, but you should expect a very thoughtful reply to a question like this. It will tell you a lot about the depth of a prospective agent’s experience.
Before the Interview
Before you see a prospective agent, spend some time researching market vacancy, big deals happening in the market and general trending. You’ll be in a better position to critique the agent’s answers to the questions shared above. All in all, you’ll be able to quickly decide whether a given agent has the ability to handle your transaction to your utmost satisfaction.
More questions about how to find the right agent? We invite you to browse our blog for more posts like this one, or to contact us today.