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'How much you've saved me and how much you've made me!'

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Barbara Kreis

Though not the only criteria, commercial real estate owners, investors and tenants have a fundamental requirement of the broker Advisors they choose: “show me how much you have made, or how much you have saved me!” It is a simple and straight forward message that during my 30+ years in the commercial real estate field has proven itself to be true over and over again, whether expressed or simply implied.

The decisions clients make serve to determine how well that statement is answered. The process starts early with making the right choice in picking a broker Advisor and a commercial real estate company. Choosing the right Advisor and marketing platform ensure the client of the essential components of the process toward achieving maximum value in each transaction.

Finding that right Advisor does not have to be complicated.

Since we usually seek a degree of comfort in the company we keep, we consciously or unconsciously look for shared values or cultural norms we each honor. You must feel comfortable and confident that the Advisor not only will represent you, your family, and your business as you would want to be represented if you were doing so yourself, but that the Advisor will unconditionally put your interests as the sole priority; your interests ahead of their own.

A sure fire way to know an Advisor understands you can be found in the questions he or she will ask in your initial meeting. For example, does this person listen to you? Seek to understand what is important to you such as your objectives, your requirements, your goals? Do they provide solutions and think outside the box to do so? Or are they spending all their time talking about themselves or pitching their special deal of the day trying to make it somehow fit you?

Trust and confidence in your Advisor are the basic building blocks of any relationship and are critical in establishing the highest degree of satisfaction and success, and financial rewards.

Secondly, you must find out who that person is. References from people you know and trust provide the best insight for what you can expect from the Advisor you have just met. As do references from current clients and even articles about them that others have written. So, check ‘em out!

Another good indication of success is how may repeat deals the Advisor has done with the same client. Also, make sure the “experience” you are hearing about is in the area of expertise needed for your project or investment. Or make sure you have an Advisor who has the ability to bring in others to compliment or complete the team necessary to ensure success of the assignment.

Once you have narrowed the field to a couple “right Advisors”, then give careful consideration to the company they affiliate with. The platform is critical to the Advisors ability to perform. Not all commercial real estate firms are all the same. Some have significant limitations, hindering maximizing value for you, and some have extraordinary capabilities, maximizing the potential for you. Biggest is not always best .Remember the Titanic. A small commercial real estate firm may be incapable of achieving maximum success. Consider the task at hand and make sure the company platform can deliver.

Most assignments require both local knowledge and national reach to be truly effective. Local knowledge can be defined as the ability to know what is happening, when and by whom in any given market. This is indispensable information needed to make decisions based on fact rather than theory and more often than not, a key component of those decisions making or saving money for clients.

National reach is most simply defined as the ability to cast wide net, if you will, in order to maximize exposure to all potentials and thus capture the maximum deal. Did you know that a recent Real Estate Analytics research company reports that 65% of recent investment deals were from out of state or first time buyers? This is a perfect example of why national exposure is critical to achieving maximum value for a client. It also confirms that no single commercial real estate company knows all the players. That is why broker cooperation is essential. You can’t afford to think otherwise.

Brokers control the majority of the deals. Through solicitation and cooperation with these brokers it helps maximize the competition for a property and raises the price. It’s basic economics 101. If you are a seller, maximum exposure assures you maximum competition and thus the maximum price. If you are a buyer, you want your Advisor to be able to identify and secure existing opportunities no matter when or where they may be. If you are a tenant, you need to know all the options available and how they compare.

In today’s fast paced, intelligence driven market, the right Advisor and commercial real estate company can help ensure clients keep ahead of the curve. The information your Advisor provides can be critical to intelligent decisions and negotiations. Even the best negotiator can’t be effective without timely, factual information. The Advisor is a source of that immediate and timely market research, market intelligence, and market analysis.

The state of the art technology of the Advisor allow for immediate, creative, broad based marketing solutions.

Perhaps the most overlooked advantage, is that the right Advisor has the depth of experience and the ability to dig deep into this or her previous experiences and relationship base to benefit from the collaboration with peers in the industry for “boots on the ground” insight, and market makers as well. That insight alone serves to be a major advantage for the client.

As an example, a client of mine recently made approximately $1.5 million dollars in “profit” in less than a year due to the market insight I was able to obtain in an out of area market. The market analysis indicated probability for rent increases upon lease renegotiation, which resulted in a significant increase in value. We then took advantage of the current market environment and resold the property at the higher value, allowing that client to then move up to a significantly larger valued investment and one providing significantly more net income to him as well. I easily showed this client what I made him.

In another recent deal, given my local market knowledge advice, a good client then declined a reasonable sale offer for a vacant building he owned. Putting the client’s interest first, we cancelled a sale. We have since leased the property and this owner now has the option to sell the Property at a 63% increase over his initial expectations.

Currently, my personal relationships with peers across the country (that national reach I mentioned) have provided access to a very large out of state deal suited perfectly to one of my best out of state investors. The knowledge base of those same peers made us reconsider our initial proposal and upon resubmission, is poised to save the client millions.

This is what choosing the right Advisor and the right commercial real estate company can do. Using the platform Sperry Van Ness |Finest City Commercial affords is the opportunity to show my clients just how much money I have made them, or saved them.


Written by Barbara Kreis, Senior Vice President of Sperry Van Ness | Finest City Commercial | Phone: 619-985-5592 | email: barbara.kreis@svn.com

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