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9.4.2019

The Ultimate Guide to Working With a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Some people carry the perception that working with a commercial real estate broker is intimidating, complex and unsympathetic. As one of the leading CRE firms for more than four decades, that has not been our experience.

While it’s true the stakes are higher in the world of commercial real estate, working with a broker is an incredibly beneficial process that can foster prolonged value for decades. To help shed some light on the process, we put together this comprehensive guide to working with a commercial real estate broker like Farbman Group.

Defining Your Needs

Before you even begin your relationship with a commercial real estate broker, it’s critical that you define your needs—getting as detailed as possible to ensure you’re getting maximum value as quickly as possible. It’s one thing to call up a firm and tell them you’re looking for office space in Detroit, but you’ll find a fit faster if you tell them you’re looking for office space within a price range of $100,000-$250,000 in the downtown Detroit market.

When you first make contact with a commercial real estate firm, you’ll want to be ready with a list of fully defined needs you’re looking to fulfill. Oftentimes, this includes the type of property, price range and location(s).

Choosing a CRE Firm

Once you have a solid grasp on your commercial real estate needs, it’s time to choose a firm to work with. Depending on your area, competition is typically heavy, so picking the right partner should be a well-researched decision.

Here are five characteristics that define good commercial real estate firms:

  • Understand Your Goals. First and foremost, a good commercial real estate firm will have an expert understanding of your objectives to deliver the best deals in the timeliest manner.

  • Top Portfolio. A good CRE firm has deals and listings that can’t be found anywhere else, and that can ultimately make you the most money.

  • Good Communication. You want a CRE firm that returns calls promptly, puts in the effort to help you achieve your goals and truly cares about maintaining a great business relationship.

  • Committed to Success. From utilizing the latest technology and software to building amenities, a good CRE firm is constantly updating their properties to make them more consistent with the industry trends of the time.

  • Great Referrals. A good CRE firm can refer you to the best property managers, lenders, surveyors, inspectors, attorneys, investors and any other personnel that can help your investment succeed.

There are a couple of ways to find a good firm that meets the attributes above. One is to ask people you trust for brokers they worked with in the past, and ask questions about the firm to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. For example, simply asking if they would use the same broker again can shed a lot of light on their ability to best help you succeed.

You can also find reputable CRE brokers online, using resources like LoopNet, CoStar and Google (search ‘commercial real estate firm’) to find the top-ranked brokerages in your area.

The Full-Service Advantage

While there are several commercial real estate firms, a select few provide a full range of services that provide more effective, efficient and cost-cutting solutions. It’s one thing to find a firm that offers brokerage and leasing, but it can be extremely beneficial to know they also provide services like:

  • Development & Site Selection
  • Property Management
  • Asset Repositioning
  • Financial Solutions
  • Construction
  • Receivership 

Firms like Farbman Group that provide all this and more show demonstrated ability and commitment to exceeding expectations of service and professionalism in the commercial real estate space.

Don’t delay—do some research, curate a list and contact your local commercial real estate brokers to learn which one is best for you.