Real Estate Broker

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How to Find a Commercial Real Estate Broker: 3 Things You Should Know


Finding the right real estate broker can be a tricky endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be.

Where do you start? Who can you trust? When can you expect to see results? Saying these questions aloud can seem a bit silly. After all, they’re obvious, aren’t they? However, we’ve heard far too many stories of business owners committing themselves to unhealthy partnerships because they simply didn’t have the time to answer these questions in depth. Don’t make the same mistake. You have a business to run, and you can’t afford to waste any time.

Here at Blau & Berg, we feel a moral responsibility to do our part to help clear things up a bit. Let’s outline what to look for and what to be leery of when working with your broker. These are the three things you should know that foster a healthy partnership:

  1. Proactive Deal Sourcing
  2. Open Communication
  3. Demonstrable Experience

And we’re not the only ones who feel this way. Even The Broker’s List, an industry-leading online platform for businesses and brokers to connect, shares similar views. 

But let’s get to it!


What is Proactive Deal Sourcing

Sometimes the perfect opportunity falls into your lap. But more often than not, this is the outlier. It’s essential your real estate broker actually gets up and looks for these opportunities.

This means they actively seek potential deals. This means they constantly leverage their network and market knowledge for your gain. By not waiting for opportunities to come to them, they can uncover hidden gems and provide you with a wider range of options. This proactive stance is crucial for identifying and securing the best commercial real estate options available and not just the ones that fall into their laps.

But how can you know for sure whether your broker’s actively working for you?


What to Watch out for

  1. Lack of Regular Updates: Not providing regular updates on potential deals or market trends should be your first warning sign. Proactive deal sourcing means constant monitoring and communication on their part. So, infrequent updates may indicate a lack of effort.
  2. Limited Property Options: If your real estate broker consistently presents a limited range of property options, that can be another warning sign. A proactive broker must cast a wide net to find the best options tailored to your needs and not what generally works for most clients.
  3. Limited Market Knowledge: Limited market knowledge on the part of your broker can be detrimental to your business. If your broker isn’t aware of emerging trends, new listings, or changes in the market, it may indicate a failure to proactively source deals.
  4. Missed Networking Opportunities: Nothing’s worse than seeing a good thing go to waste. If your broker consistently misses things like industry events and networking opportunities or fails to establish connections that could lead to potential deals, you may need to consider moving on.
  5. Overreliance on Traditional Methods: Change is hard, but often it’s good. In fact, it’s crucial in today’s modern age. If your broker relies too heavily on traditional methods without exploring new strategies or technologies like online platforms, you should feel concern.

Now, let’s just say your broker does all these things perfectly. There’s not a single warning sign, and you know sooner or later they’ll find you the right property. All these things mean nothing without proper communication.


A Real Estate Broker Must Communicate

At its core, effective communication is the backbone of any successful transaction. Let alone something as big and important as commercial property.

Any broker worth their salt prioritizes not only clear but consistent communication. They ensure you stay informed about deal progress, market updates, and new leads. They also address any and all of your concerns promptly. This kind of open communication not only fosters trust but also allows for quick decision-making and problem-solving throughout the transaction process.

But maybe you feel like you’ve become an afterthought to your broker. What are some of the ways you can tell?


What to Watch out for

  1. Delayed Responses: If your broker has made it the norm to consistently take an extended period to respond to your inquiries, that may indicate a lack of prompt communication. It’s no secret that effective communication in commercial real estate revolves wholly around expediency.
  2. Lack of Updates: A real estate broker that doesn’t provide regular updates on the progress of your deals should also be a red flag. This includes updates on market developments as well. A transparent and communicative broker ensures you are well-informed throughout the entire transaction process. After all, it’s your business, which means your transaction process.
  3. Unclear or Incomplete Information: What’s worse than not getting an answer at all? Getting a confusing one. If the information provided by your broker is unclear, incomplete, or lacks necessary details, it could be an even bigger red flag. Your constant understanding is key.
  4. Avoidance of Difficult Conversations: Sometimes a difficult conversation is all that blocks you from success. A broker who avoids difficult conversations or fails to address challenges openly may not have your business’s best interests at heart. Hard talks mean better collaboration.
  5. Limited Availability: Nothing’s more frustrating than an unanswered email or another answering machine. As such, a broker who is consistently difficult to reach or unavailable during the crucial phases of the transaction is the last thing you want. Accessibility leads to open communication.

But there’s still something that trumps these two. A lack of proactive deal sourcing or open communications can both be looked over if your broker has this one thing: Demonstratable Experience.


Does Your Real Estate Broker Demonstrate Their Experience

The importance of a broker’s experience cannot be overstated. In fact, it has the potential to cover a multitude of sins because, at the end of the day, your broker still gets the job done.

A track record of successful transactions is indicative of your broker’s competence and ability to navigate the intricacies of commercial real estate deals. This experience assures they can handle complex negotiations, legalities, and market dynamics effectively. Of course, each of these exponentially increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome for your business.

But what if they don’t demonstrate that experience?


What to Watch out for

  1. Limited Transaction History: If your broker fails to provide a comprehensive transaction history or only showcases a limited number of deals, start digging. Know first and foremost that a lack of a robust portfolio suggests insufficient experience, and you can always ask to see their portfolio.
  2. Inability to Navigate Complex Deals: Commercial real estate transactions aren’t intricate only some of the time. They’re intricate all of the time. Struggling to navigate complex deals or frequently encountering roadblocks may indicate a severe lack of experience.
  3. Limited Specialization: A seasoned real estate broker often has expertise in a particular market segment. This showcases a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within that specialization. Working with a jack of all trades might not be worth it.
  4. Unfamiliarity with Local Market Trends: An experienced broker should be well-versed in local market trends. If yours lacks awareness of recent market changes, pricing trends, or emerging opportunities, it could be a sign of inadequate experience or dedication to staying informed.
  5. Inability to Provide References: Above all else, a broker with substantial experience should be ready and willing to offer references from past clients. If your broker hesitates to do this or simply can’t, it’s the final warning sign you need to maybe step back and make a hard decision.

Finding the right broker can be hard, but reevaluating whether your current one is right for you and your business can be even harder. So, what do you do now? You’ve checked all the warning signs. You know what to watch out for. Unfortunately, your broker isn’t someone who proactively sources deals, communicates openly, or demonstrates their experience.

Well, sometimes taking one step back is the only way to take one step forward.


Blau & Berg: A Commercial Real Estate Broker You Can Trust

Since our inception in 1932, The Blau & Berg Company has held a leading position in the New Jersey and Tri-State commercial real estate market. We’ve done this by focusing on three simple things:

  1. Proactive Deal Sourcing
  2. Open Communication
  3. Demonstrable Experience

You already have a lot on your plate. Let’s not add anything else. If you’re looking for a broker or don’t know if the one you have now is the right fit, give us a call. Our team approach and philosophy ensure everyone stays supported.

We look forward to hearing from you.