The right agent...

As I prepare to enter the investing side of commercial RE, I struggle with how to find the right agent to work with. I want to establish a long-term business relationship with the right person. I have a few questions for those that feel like helping -

What is the best way to do find a good agent?

Should I try and sit down with every agent in the area to determine who I click with?

As new to investing (not the industry) will the established agents want to spend their time on me or will I have to settle for a newbie agent?

Finally, what should I be looking for in these people?

There are obviously many dishonest people in RE. It helps that I can value commercial real estate (general appraiser), but I need someone that come to me with their pocket listings and make deals happen. Thanks

Couple of things.

First off, stay away from residential agents. Stay far, far away. I actually do not like dealing with them on commercial deals because many have huge gaps in knowledge. A commercial agent typically talks to no one but commercial brokers, lenders, developers, builders, buyers, tenants, landlords and sellers. Dealing with people on the commercial side eats up my entire day. How can someone who sells condos 3/4 of the time really get up to speed? The answer is: they can’t.

The super busy, experienced guys are probably not going to want to deal with selling you $150,000 warehouse condos all day. Most of them have moved on from there. If you have some real money to invest, can show your financing is in place and aren’t someone who dilly dallys, lots of competent people out there will work with you.

Find yourself a hungry, relativity new guy who you can build a relationship with. He’ll certainly appreciate it. If the deals are sufficiently complicated, you may ultimately want a seasoned pro.

What you want is someone with a grasp of the market, where it’s headed, is connected to people in the community and also someone who knows how find good deals. This typically comes with local knowledge and research.

There are a lot of agents out there who are good at talking people into letting them list their property but can never seem to sell anything. Don’t assume because someone has a lot of signs in the ground that they’re better equipped to find good properties for you. It’s a misnomer.

Lots of dishonest people in real estate. I really do not like Realtors much myself even though that’s what I do. Lots of self-serving agents out there. A good agent, though, is worth holding on to. Find someone who is willing to work hard.

Good luck.

Thanks that helps. I’m still not sure the best process to go through. I guess I just need to ask around for some good brokers and sit down with them.

I know I’m not interested in specializing as an investor. I would like to be diversified in what I own to survive whatever cycle real estate is going through. Obviously, alot of brokers specialize even though they sometimes claim they don’t. It seems like I could end up with 2 or 3 brokers when all is said and done. They might not appreciate that very much. Is having multiple brokers considered bad business in real estate?

The brokers will tell you that it is… what dummy broker wouldn’t want to say that (i.e. keep you all to himself)? They’ll say it’s “unprofessional” or shows lack of “integrity” or “trust”. I say f*ck’em. They’re in it for the commission. You know it, they know it, we ALL know it. Just like everything else, most brokers are crappy service providers.

Be honest and say that you have multiple sources for leads. it’s strictly business and nothing personal.

Just ask yourself this… are you doing this real estate thing to be successful or to make brokers happy?

My 2 cents.

Commercial brokers and residential investment brokers won’t get jealous. Whoever brings the deal wins. If you develop a strong relationship with someone who brings a lot of deals, you may want to toss them a referral or deal at some point.

Having multiple agents in business is required. If an agent tells you other wise move on. You can not be their only client and they can not be your only agent .Interview Agents and work with the ones who have your best interest at heart with where you are in your growth as an Investor. You will change agents as you out grow them or they may fire YOU.On the residential side I use 4 realtors that play nice together. One agent will advertise a property that I have listed with another agent if he likes the property and likes the market that it is in. Up front and straight forward with all your agents works best. They appreciate it and will respect it. The goal is to sell your property and find you new ones to buy. You will work for them to help them achieve your goal to profit, there by helping them achieve their goal…to profit and feed their families and repeat the process.
I use My Realtors mostley for the exit strategies on properties as I am not their only client…WHAT ! If you only use realtors to find you deals you will be missing the lions share of the Market, that is why you will contact as many as you can.

Call five a day , tell them your RE needs and you will be flooded w/ info…in your favor and you will find many that like you and you them.
Have fun, Darin

finding commercial brokers can be tough

you just have to beat the bushes and talk to as many as possible.

watch out for daisy chains - Ive had realtors send me commercial deals before and there are 4 or 5 brokers in the deals and I’ve had it turn out none were actually talking to the right seller


Just be aware that experienced agents and commercial brokers may not work with you unless you want to buy a deal or have a deal to sell. They may see it as a waste of time if you have no experience or money. $5M is an ok commercial property deal and I’ve seen that the big guys won’t work with less. Of course, each person is individual, but beware of any agent/broker who is willing and eager to work with you without interviewing you first to see if they even want the relationship.