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  • Writer's pictureTom Miller, CCIM

Industrial Real Estate Agents are All the Same – Just Pick One and Be Done

This is part of our ongoing series that debunks commercial real estate myths.

Myth #4: “Industrial or commercial real estate agents are all the same – they search the same listings and know the same people, so it really doesn’t matter who you choose.”

The short answer to this myth is no,

industrial real estate agents are not all the same. If that’s what you believe, you’re shortchanging them as industry professionals with strengths and weaknesses. Still, if we’re going to generalize, there’s a better way to do it. Industrial real estate agents and brokers can be divvied into two categories – they’re either in the business of solving problems or taking orders. Here’s how to differentiate between the two and find out which one you need for your industrial or commercial property transaction.

The Problem Solver

1. How to Spot One

This agent exhibits sign of the “driver” or “analytical thinker” personality. Once they understand your needs, they’re quick to develop a clear direction of how to achieve your goal to the best of their abilities. This is based on their experience finding real estate solutions that best serve the needs of their clients.

2. What to Expect

The best way to get the most out of this type of agent is to tell him what you’re looking for and then stand back. This agent knows how to navigate the tough territory. Once you’ve told him what you need, keep your input, suggestions and recommendations to a minimum. However well intentioned they are, they may do more harm than good by interfering with the seasoned work your agent is doing for you. The best of these agents will reflect on your input and adjust course if it’s valid. If your suggestions aren’t useful, this kind of agent will explain why.

3. Why You Want this Agent

The problem solver takes each business relationship personally and becomes deeply invested in order to provide the best service possible. You’ll enjoy the range of his experience, his expertise, his valued council, his ability to streamline the entire process, and his ability to find the solution to your commercial or industrial real estate dilemma.

4. Why You Don’t Want this Agent

If you’re the kind of client who prefers to be in absolute control of the real estate process, hiring a problem solver agent tends to result in a highly charged relationship. Unless you can allow the professional you’ve chosen to do what he has been hired to do, you won’t get the best of his ability – and ultimately, that will negatively affect your real estate deal.

The Order Taker

1. How to Spot One

This agent is agreeable and expressive. He or she is fun to be around and strives to please a client by agreeing and supporting him and his ideas totally.

2. What to Expect

These agents are best suited to working with clients that feel they can pretty much handle their real estate needs themselves, but may as well use an agent to make things easier. In this scenario, the client typically calls the shots and the agents follow up with little council back to the client (for better or for worse).

3. Why You Want this Agent

Clients of the order taker agent will complete their transaction feeling that their assessments were correct all along. They’ll likely feel that their directives directed the majority of the transaction and that the agent merely handled the paperwork.

4. Why You Don’t Want this Agent

The order taker agents are unlikely to advise their clients when they are misjudging or incorrect about a transaction matter. They will not resist a client order nor will they insist that a client reassesses his or her position. The results of a transaction with this type of agent tend to lag well behind the results garnered by a problem solver agent.

So which one is right for you – the problem solver or the order taker?

Do you truly feel you can handle an industrial real estate transaction yourself? If you honestly believe that you a more skilled negotiator than the professionals who do this day in and day out, find yourself an order taker.

If, on the other hand, you feel that a professional agent who performs these transactions for a living might be better suited to guiding you through the process, you will do well with a problem solver. That’s what we are, and we welcome the opportunity to show you why. Please contact us today.


Miller Industrial Properties, Sparks, Reno, Nevada
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