Tom Miller, CCIM
Franchise or Local Firm – What’s Better for Your Industrial Real Estate Representation?
It can be a difficult decision, but here are four steps that should help you decide what’s best for you.
Consider Your Goals
Specifically, consider your transaction goals. Doing so helps you navigate the process of choosing the right representation by helping you determine which firm will be more attentive in listening to your needs – and respond appropriately. Carefully consider whether it’s more likely to happen with a locally owned and operated firm, or with the local branch of a national company.
Consider Their Current Client List
Take a look at the kinds of clients your prospective firms represent. You want your future agent to advocate solely on your behalf, and that means it’s prudent to avoid any firm that might attempt to juggle your interests while also serving their other client – the landlord. It may be technically legal to serve both parties in a single transaction, but are you comfortable with that working relationship?
Consider your Own Instincts
Do you automatically prefer local shops and restaurants over franchises and chains? Do you feel better served when you can consult directly with owners and long-standing employees in the local businesses, instead of a disinterested staff member at a big box store? Then you may see the value of the boutique industrial real estate firm and its lower-volume/higher-service ratio compared to the national franchise with its higher volume action, where your transaction is just one of many.
Consider the Facts
It’s prudent to do a little research for any prospective firm. Carefully review their websites, read through their blogs, and then make some phone calls. Ask questions specific to your situation and your market. Agencies in tune to their markets will welcome the opportunity to answer your questions, with high-quality documentation to back up what they’re saying.
In some cases, a high-volume franchise firm may suit your needs completely. But you’re doing yourself a disservice by automatically assuming that’s the case. A locally-owned and operated industrial real estate firm may handle your transaction far more successfully, and there’s only one way to find out.
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