Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Broker

Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Broker

The challenges accompanying the commercial real estate buying and leasing process can seem daunting, especially for first timers who are unfamiliar with the procedures. Selecting a commercial real estate broker to guide you is a forward-thinking step, but how do you know which broker is right for you? As you speak with brokers and learn more about their services, ask them the following questions to ensure they’re prepared to find a property that will foster long-term success for your business.

What area does your firm specialize in?

Every business owner is familiar with the old mantra, “Location, location, location,” and for good reason. Opening in the wrong spot can seal your fate before you can even cut the ribbon, so understanding your new community is a crucial first step in the commercial real estate process. Once you meet your real estate broker, ask them how well they understand the region in which your business will be located in and how familiar they are with the community, including demographics and traffic.

How long have you been in business?

The more experience, the better. The simple truth is commercial real estate brokers who have been in business for years have a more robust background than newer firms. Experienced brokers have the expertise needed to handle changes in the real estate market or any other challenges that may a rise in the process of finding a new property. They’ve seen the ups and downs before; they know how to navigate even the most tumultuous economic climates. Additionally, experienced brokers will have established relationships with numerous individuals and institutions involved in the sale or lease process, including banks, inspectors, and property owners.

Who else have you worked with?

As a business owner, you understand the value that comes with a positive review. Customers who have been satisfied with your services and are willing to share that experience with their peers are probably the most invaluable resource an organization can have from a marketing standpoint. Similarly, commercial real estate brokers can leverage positive experiences with former clients — and will be more than willing to share them. Ask about their past work, find out if they’ve worked with businesses like yours, and reach out to these companies to see what they have to say.

What types of properties do you specialize in?

In commercial real estate, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one business may not work for others. Some brokers may specialize indifferent types of commercial real estate — like offices, warehouses, or retail— so ensure your broker is equipped to locate the property that suits your company by asking what types of properties they usually deal with.

Should I lease or purchase?

Is owning a property necessary for you to conduct your business? Some businesses may find property leasing to be a more cost-effective option in the current economic climate, while others may see owning as a better long-term solution. Before your broker can look for properties, ask which option is best for your business; their years of experience will equip them with the insight you need to make an educated decision.

What will the buying or leasing process look like?

Before you start down the process of buying or leasing a property, you should first understand the steps in the process and what your company must bring to the table to expedite it. Ask your broker for a step-by-step plan of how the process will play out and how long they anticipate it taking.

What market trends do you anticipate in the future?

The economy is fickle and sometimes volatile. Should we enter a recession, your finances may be stretched thin paying for a lease or mortgage you can no longer afford. While your broker can’t tell the future, their experience can at least help you understand current economic trends and how they can affect the market down the road. Don’t be caught off guard — leverage your broker’s expertise.

Do you have any questions about the commercial real estate market? Not sure where to start? The experienced team at Joseph &Camper Commercial is ready to assist with a wide range of services to get you in the right property. Contact us today or call 309.691.5919.