By Brad Kitchen, President, Alterra Real Estate
The best way to select a commercial real estate broker is to first determine what service you need.
-Do you have a company occupying office space and you need to have a broker help you find a new office? If so, you will want a broker who specializes in representing office tenants and who has done deals in the area that you are looking in or, if out of town, they can team up with another broker in that other market to help you. Do not select a broker who only deals with warehouses if you are looking for office and you should have a commercial agent, not a residential realtor, assist you with an office space search.
-Do you own a building and need help leasing some extra space in the building? You need a broker who is set up to market similar properties in your area and who has successfully filled other spaces.
-Do you own a building and need a commercial manager to manage your property including collecting rents, hiring and managing contractors to keep your property well maintained, appropriately accounting for all income and expenses and helping to minimize your costs while maximizing your return on investment? You need to look for a professional commercial property manager who can add value to your property and understands complex parts of property management such as budgeting, operating expense reconciliations, gross ups and also can create and keep good relationships with your tenants to help you keep them long term. Keeping tenants is key to maximizing returns.
-Investments – do you need a broker to help you find a suitable commercial real estate investment to diversify your investment portfolio and add cash flow to your returns? Find a broker who commonly deals with commercial real estate investments as they should know of on and off market opportunities and how to structure the deal to maximize your return. They can help put you in the right type of property that fits your portfolio and your risk tolerance.
As you can see, it is imperative to find the correct commercial real estate agent to fit your needs. You can find these people by asking your network of advisors (accountants, attorneys, etc) and professional contacts for a referral based on a past positive experience they may have had with a good commercial realtor. You can also find brokers on the internet but you should ask them several questions to qualify them such as asking them for specifics on some of their most recent deals to try to asses their expertise. You can also look for professional designations such as SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) which is a designation that can only be earned by being a top producer in the commercial real estate field. When you see someone with an SIOR designation, you can be assured that they are an expert and have completed hundreds and hundreds of transactions and they are most likely one of the top brokers in their market.
Brad Kitchen, President of Alterra Real Estate Advisors in Columbus, Ohio is an SIOR and has been in commercial real estate across for 24 years. He is considered an expert in many types of commercial real estate transactions ranging from tenant and landlord representation to investment sales and acquisitions. Alterra also has a property management division and manages office, warehouse, and industrial properties and transit centers including property for the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).
Call or email Brad Kitchen to discuss commercial real estate opportunities or needs. (614) 365-9000 www.AlterraRE.com