Friday, September 4, 2015

Is YOUR Commercial Real Estate Broker Cooperative?

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Many would agree that a customer's experience is paramount to a successful business. Southern California is filled with many, many places to shop, dine, and be entertained. If your business is not customer centric, the customer will quickly shop, dine and seek entertainment elsewhere.

Additionally, a customer can now research, shop, and read reviews on line. If a disgruntled customer Yelped you negatively - lights out! Your business won't get a first look - much less any repeat business.

As I considered the importance of the customer experience, and the ways in which folks research and shop these days, I wondered about a parallel with commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate availabilities - vacant buildings - are the merchandise. Potential occupants of commercial real estate - buyers and tenants - are the customers. Commercial real estate brokers are in effect the shop keepers - we represent owners of available commercial real estate. However, we also represent commercial real estate customers - the buyers or tenants.

Generally, the lease or purchase of commercial real estate is negotiated by these commercial real estate shop keepers. Because you place the marketing and shopping tasks in the hands of your commercial real estate broker, your broker's willingness to cooperate with other commercial real estate brokers is critical!

Is your commercial real estate broker cooperative? I believe you should understand the items below to know for sure.

Fee sharing. Generally, commercial real estate commissions - fees - are split between the owner's representative and the occupant's representative. In rare occasions, an owner's representative is unwilling to share a fee. As an owner, you just eliminated any cooperation with a broker who may represent the perfect buyer or tenant for your property. You should fully understand how your representative treats fee sharing with occupant brokers.

Information sharing. Your commercial real estate representative should share information on your available building with all of the available multiple listing services - including the ones that charge for entry - such as LoopNet.

Property tours. Is your representative present when your building is shown by another broker to a potential tenant or buyer? Being present at tours is a huge time commitment but one that your broker should be willing to make. After all, would you allow a customer to walk through your store without asking them if you could help them?

Responsiveness. Your representative should respond to all property inquiries the same day that they are received. Can you imagine visiting a store on Black Friday that was closed? If your commercial real estate broker is not responsive, your store is closed!

Accuracy of information. Sharing information is tantamount to a successful marketing campaign but your representative should insure the accuracy of the information as well. Searches for commercial real estate are conducted with several criteria - percentage of office space, warehouse clearance, size, location, electrical service, etc. If the information on your building is in accurately represented, your building may not appear in a search - and your building will not be considered by a tenant or buyer.

Ethics and integrity. The reputation of your commercial real estate broker can really attract potential occupants to your commercial real estate. If there is a belief that your representative is accurately communicating motivation and urgency, and will deal with all requirements fairly and openly, there is a greater chance that your commercial real estate will be leased or sold quickly.

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