When you’re looking for a new office building, warehouse, or another commercial space for your company, you might wonder if hiring a commercial real estate broker is really necessary. After all, you can do your own search and negotiate your own deal, right?
Maybe, but it’s important to remember that commercial real estate deals are tricky. There’s a lot you need to know about buying, selling, or leasing, and the legal implications of not knowing can leave you paying too much or getting stuck in a lease that’s bad for business. Hiring a commercial real estate broker will help you streamline your commercial real estate transaction and ensure you’re getting the best deal for you.
What Is a Commercial Real Estate Agent?
Residential and commercial real estate professionals serve different demographics and have different expertise. While a residential agent works with individuals and families with their daily lives in mind, commercial agents focus on business. Choosing a home is often partly emotional, while choosing a commercial space is based on the numbers. Commercial agents have to understand the unique factors that play into the commercial market, as well as how location impacts business.
Commercial contracts are typically more complicated, too, as each type of business has different requirements. A medical office will need permission for specialized equipment written into the agreement, for example. Businesses of all types have considerations which will need to be negotiated, such as:
- Rent and whether there are any planned increases
- What you’re expected to pay for community spaces (like lobbies and bathrooms)
- Build outs and remodeling
- Space and whether you have room to grow
- Office hours and whether after-hours access is permitted in the building
- And more
You might also need some help determining whether it’s better for you to rent or buy commercial property. It helps to turn to someone who understands the real estate market.
What Does a Commercial Real Estate Broker Do?
Commercial real estate agents go to work for you. Here’s a glimpse at what they do and the qualifications they have:
1. They hold real estate licenses.
Just as with residential real estate, the team at your commercial real estate brokerage firm has a real estate license. This ensures they’re legally permitted to facilitate real estate transactions.
2. They have local market knowledge.
It’s an agent’s job to stay on top of market trends. They have access to proprietary data, and often know of spaces that haven’t been advertised but are set to be on the market soon. They also know if a commercial property is fairly priced or if you should negotiate a better deal.
3. They get access to all commercial listings.
Unlike residential real estate, which has a centralized listing service, commercial deals are listed on multiple platforms. That makes it hard for a business owner to conduct their own research about available properties. The agent has access to listings on all these platforms.
4. They connect with property owners, managers, lenders, and more on your behalf.
Your agent will make all the necessary calls while you run your business. He or she can inquire about your top properties, set appointments for property tours, double-check city zoning and regulations, and so much more.
5. They handle negotiation and closing.
Your commercial real estate broker negotiates on your behalf. He or she knows which elements need to be included in your contract based on your business type, and can also gauge fair prices for properties.
6. They keep your best interest in mind.
Tenant representation is important: At The Genau Group, we avoid conflicts of interest. We’ll never work with a landlord or a property owner who is looking to lease or sell to one of our clients.
7. They manage your commercial real estate lease.
Your agents can manage your lease as long as you’re in it, ensuring you don’t miss any important dates, deadlines, or changes to the agreement. They can also renegotiate the commercial real estate lease when the time comes.
How Hiring a Commercial Real Estate Broker Helps You
No matter how you look at it, hiring a commercial real estate agent is a win. This is how it helps buyers and renters:
- You save time.
The agent searches for properties, narrows the search based on your requirements, then schedules appointments to see the ones that are the best fit for you. Meanwhile, you’re conducting your business as usual.
- You save money.
An expert negotiator can save you thousands of dollars over your lease. Hiring a commercial real estate agent doesn’t actually cost the tenant anything extra, as fees are paid by a landlord or seller. It’s already built into what you’ll pay them.
- You negotiate better contracts.
Landlords tend to write contracts that favor them, As your tenant representative, a real estate firm can negotiate on your behalf to create an agreement that protects your interests, too.
- You reduce your stress levels.
You don’t have to struggle to understand the legal aspects of the real estate sale or the lease terms while trying to get the best deal. Your agent will take care of that for you and will answer any questions you have.
Hiring a real estate firm is similarly beneficial to sellers and landlords:
- Sellers and landlords also get precious hours back.
As a seller or landlord, your agent will aggressively market your property, find qualified leads, and schedule appointments for property tours.
- They save money in the long run.
Sellers and landlords pay commissions, but they have to consider the expertise, years of experience, and resources they get by working with a professional. Your property will likely sell faster and for more money than you might be able to get on your own.
- They get to negotiate better contracts with tenants.
The best case scenario as a landlord is getting a good tenant who stays for a long time. With a well-written and carefully negotiated lease, you can create a win-win situation that helps you earn the money you deserve for the property with a tenant who is happy, successful, and knows the agreement is fair.
- Your stress levels go down.
Your real estate firm handles the details, answers your questions, and makes the selling or leasing process smooth and simple.
No matter which side of the commercial real estate transaction you’re on, a professional makes the process more enjoyable.
Hiring a Commercial Real Estate Broker in D.C.
At The Genau Group, all four of our founders were born and raised in Washington, D.C. With advanced degrees, years of experience in real estate, and backgrounds in accounting and finance, our team is uniquely qualified to manage your commercial real estate transactions, and we can’t wait to help you find the perfect situation for your business.
Contact The Genau Group today to speak with an expert about any commercial real estate broker-related questions you might have.