10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Industrial Real Estate Broker

Since industrial property brokerage is a specialized field, not all real estate brokers have the level of experience necessary to finalize an industrial real lease or sale in a competent manner.

The following suggested questions will help you pick an experienced industrial real estate broker with a track record in the type of industrial property you want to buy or lease.

How long have you been an industrial property broker?

Industrial property brokerage is a field that requires special training. Just because a broker has a license does not mean they know the complex issues that may come up during an industrial real estate transaction. That is why hiring a broker that is a real estate specialist with a case load of industrial experience is vital in protecting your interest. Suggestion: Make sure your real estate professional has a minimum of five (5) years industrial real estate experience.

Do you have many long term clients?

This is a tell tale sign on whether or not the broker will be looking out for your interest. People will usually be loyal to one broker if they demonstrate they care about them, performs as expected, and stays in touch after the transaction closes. Industrial real estate is still very much a local relationship oriented business.

Do you have a referral list of clients?

Ask to see this list and ask for the approval to contact the client’s on the list. Do make the calls yourself and ask on a scale of 1-10 on how satisfied they were with the broker’s service in terms of market knowledge, negotiation skills, people skills, organization, and perceived weaknesses, if any. This information will help you winnow the group down to a very short list of potential candidates to consider.

Membership in professional organizations?

Industrial brokers that are involved in professional real estate organizations are associated with the best real estate practitioners in the industry and have to adhere to a code of ethics necessary to remain a member of the association. In order to be a member of the Society of Industrial Office Realtors (SIOR) and CCIM Institute, your broker is required to complete many hours of course study and complete millions of dollars in documented transactions. Membership in professional industrial real estate associations enhance the professionalism necessary to properly represent you in the lease or purchase of an industrial real estate property.

How can professional organizations help market the property?

One of the purposes of professional organizations is to share information about properties on the market.This is done through a multiple listing service, e-mail announcements, mailings, or direct phone contact. Membership in a professional association with a listing service is a vital tool to track market comps and promote your property at a realistic price. Membership listing services are mostly web based with easy access from most computers with an internet connection.

Have you recently sold an industrial property similar to mine?

Ask your broker for case studies of properties that are similar in size, quality, and price as your property. This will help you to narrow the field of choices between the brokers you are considering.

On average, how long will it take you to find a prospect?

This question should be answered in the brokers marketing plan.

How do you track market comps in the firm?

In addition to the answer given in questions above, make sure your broker is linked to a listing service that is networked with other commercial real estate firms in the area. The broker’s ability to receive timely market information is an essential ingredient to the successful marketing of your property.

Why should I list my property with you?

Make sure this question is answered to your satisfaction in the marketing plan.

What are your marketing plans for the building?

What unique marketing plans and programs does this broker have in place to make sure your property stands out versus the completion. Make sure the plan includes verifiable market data.