Tom Miller, CCIM
Three Tips to Finding an Industrial Real Estate Agent in a Different State
1. Get online
Search the type of real estate you are looking for – industrial, retail, investment, etc. – along with the city or region name and see what comes up. Even a cursory browsing of a website can reveal a lot about a firm. As you look around, take a few mental notes. What’s your first impression? How functional and useful is the site? Can you tell right away about a given firm’s specialty? Is the site easy to navigate, and can you find answers to your questions? Check out featured listings and take the opportunity to download any available and valuable content designed to educate you as a potential client about this market. If there’s a blog, spend a few minutes browse recent posts. It’s a good way to get an “insider” feel for a company.
2. Narrow your search to firms that will represent your interests – not your potential landlord’s.
In general, landlords tend to hire nationally franchised firms for representation. Those agencies have a contract that means they are obligated to advocate for the landlord. If you’re looking to lease or buy, ask yourself whether it concerns you to hire a firm that has a contractual obligation to get the best deal for the landlord. If you find the idea a little unsettling, look for a firm that isn’t a landlord agent. And learn more about whether national franchised industrial real estate firms provide better service in a market like northern Nevada.
3. Make some phone calls and schedule some meetings.
When you call, you should get immediate access to an agent. Ask specific questions, and except specific answers. If you’re traveling to the area, make time for a few agent interviews. During your meetings, take note of the following: Does the agent ask questions? Is the agent not just hearing what you have to say, but rather listening and understanding? Does the agent show a desire to help you meet your needs? What are your impressions with the agent’s experience, abilities and desire to help you?
Here’s one last tip – if, during your visit to the new location, you happen to see a real estate sign on an available industrial property, be wary about calling the listed agent. Remember, this is a person who is under a contractual obligation to pursue the best deal for his client, and that isn’t you. For further clarification on this topic, read our post, “The Hidden Trouble with the Landlord’s Real Estate Agent.”
Finding the right industrial real estate agent in a new market may seem daunting, but it’s a surmountable challenge. Follow the steps outlined here to zero in on the most qualified and experienced agents in your new market. If it happens to be here in northern Nevada, we welcome the opportunity to assist you.