As the market leader in Las Vegas Commercial Property Management and Brokerage, we are committed to not just meeting, but to surpassing the expectations of our clients. One of the contributing factors to that success is transparency.
We believe in being open and honest with our clients and will never play the stereotypical “broker game”—for example, telling you we have hidden buyers then having you drop the price later. To that end, we have compiled a list of our clients’ commonly asked questions and will publish the answers as a series of blogs.
In this blog, we answer the commonly asked question: How do I find the right listing agent for my commercial property?
4 Steps to Finding the Right Listing Agent for Your Commercial Property
When selling a commercial property—or any property, for that matter— it’s vital to find an agent who has experience in the type of property you are selling and who will keep your best interests at the forefront of all transactions. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this crucial decision with ease.
Step 1: Understanding your property type and your objectives.
The first step in finding the right listing agent is understanding your property and your objectives. What type of commercial property do you have and what do you want to do with it?
There are five general types of commercial properties. They are also referred to as “product types”. They are land, office, industrial (also called warehouse), retail (also called shopping center or strip center), and multi-family (also called apartments). There are also specialty product types like hotels, gas stations, and taverns.
Once you determine which type of property you have, you need to decide your objectives. Do you want to sell, lease or both?
Now that you have determined these parameters, you can start looking for the right listing agent.
Step 2: Determining what type of agent you need.
Each product type has its own nuances and “rules of engagement.” The same applies for lease transactions and sale transactions. It is important to find an agent who specializes in your type of property and isn’t a “generalist.”
I like to use doctors as an analogy. You wouldn’t schedule a heart procedure with your family doctor. While they are both doctors, they have different and distinct areas of medicine that they practice.
In commercial real estate the best agent specializes as well. An agent experienced in leasing or sales, and the type of product you have (office, industrial, retail, land, multi-family) will have current knowledge of that niche and will have established relationships with the typical “players” or buyers within it. They will also have experience in the requirements to sell/lease that type of product like which lenders are actively financing or which industries are fueling tenant demand.
Step 3: Do some homework.
Now that you identified your property type and objectives, you’re ready to start identifying the active agents in your market. Here are three ideas to do to start gathering a list of qualified agents.
Ask your professional network for references. But remember, you’re not looking for someone who just “does commercial” or someone that also does residential. You are looking for a listing agent that specializes in your type of commercial properties.
Another good way to find who is active in the market for your product type is by visiting commercial listing websites. The most popular in our market are realnex.com, loopnet.com and crexi.com. Look through the listings similar to yours to find brokers who have multiple listings of that type. You can also observe how they present other properties that they list.
Finally, look at professional designations, such as:
- SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®)
- CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member)
- ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) designations such as Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX), Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM), Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS), Specialty Leasing Designation (SLD)
Once you have identified a number of potential listing agents, you will be ready for the next step. Aim to narrow your list to approximately 3-5 potential listing agents. It’s always good to look up their bio on their company website, look how they present themselves on LinkedIn.com and their social media if they have accounts set up.
Step 4: Talk to your top prospects.
Once you have identified the 3 – 5 best agents for you, contact them and ask them a few questions to determine who would work best for your needs. To set them up for success, start out with who you are, the property address, your objectives to either sell, lease or both, and explain that you are currently interviewing prospective listing agents. After that, here are some helpful questions to ask:
- What is your specialty and what is your view of the market right now?
- Do you know my property, and if so, what are your overall thoughts about it?
- Why are you the most qualified listing agent to represent my property and an owner like me?
- What resources do you have including your company, specific experience, and relationships, that will be beneficial in marketing my property?
Once you have completed the four steps above, you should have enough information to narrow the agents down to the top 2 or 3 with whom you’d feel comfortable working. From here, you should proceed to request a formal listing proposal from those agents and schedule a time for them to present it to you in person or on Zoom.
Following this process will help you make an informed decision on how to find the best listing agent for your property.
For more answers to your commercial real estate questions, check back to the MDL Group Learning Center for the next blog in our series of “Answering Our Brokerage Clients’ Most Commonly Asked Questions” – What is My Property Worth?