Choosing a Commercial Real Estate Advisor: What to Look for Beyond Experience

When you start looking for a commercial real estate advisor, everyone will tell you to work with an extremely experienced person. Many of the names that you get as referrals will be some of your community’s leading brokers. They are extremely skilled and extremely busy.

The Truth About The “Best” Commercial Real Estate Advisors

While it may seem like commercial real estate advisors are everywhere, the fact is that when you get to the top echelon of advisors, there are very few of them and they are in a great deal of demand. Because of this, many of them are very selective with how they spend their time. Their time management skills are one of the reasons that they are so successful.

If you have a very large transaction, they will give it a great deal of attention and, in most cases, do an excellent job for you. However, if your transaction is small they will probably hand it off to a junior member of their team. When you gauge the size of what you are offering them, bear in mind that what you think is a large transaction is likely a small transaction for them.

Another Option

Work with an established firm like your local Sperry Van Ness® office, and if you can’t engage a senior commercial real estate broker, find a junior Choosing a Commercial Real Estate Advisoradvisor who may lack in years in the business, but does not lack in tools, resources and initiative. Note that in commercial real estate, the term “junior” doesn’t necessarily refer to the age of the broker or advisor, but more likely the years in the industry. Many of our own top SVN advisors already had successful careers in completely different industries. Why work with a less experienced advisor? First of all, most established firms are relatively selective about who they recruit, so the odds are that you’ll get someone pretty good. Second of all, that advisor should be desperate to do a good job so that they can build their resume. They will give your deal much more attention than a more experienced advisor will. (We note this also works when selecting attorneys!)

At this point, you’re probably asking “What if they’re incompetent?” Here’s the beautiful thing about young advisors at good firms: they aren’t left alone. When you work with them, they will typically have a senior advisor or an experienced manager watching everything you do. This gives you the benefit of working with a top-of-the-line senior advisor while also giving you a very high level of personal service.

Working hard is what I did for my clients when I was a young advisor, and providing expert oversight is what I did for my advisors’ clients when I was a senior advisor and broker/manager. Now you can take advantage of this trick!

What types of commercial real estate advisors do you like to work with? Please tell us below!

The Sperry Van Ness® team is committed to always putting the client first. Visit our advisor directory to find your nearest Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisor®.


How to Choose a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Five Mistakes Great Commercial Real Estate Brokers Don’t MakeLooking for a CRE broker who will give you both the time and positive experience that you need? Start your search by narrowing your options to established national firms. Once you’ve selected a reputable firm, don’t shy away from choosing a junior commercial real estate agent with slightly less experience and knowhow.

This may sound counterintuitive, but choosing a junior broker could be the best decision for you. For one, most established firms are selective in who they recruit, so you have pretty strong odds of finding a good broker, regardless of experience level. Secondly, the junior broker that you work with will be driven to make a good impression so that they can build their resume. Both of these factors will contribute to a broker who will give your transaction much more attention than a more experienced agent would.

At this point, you may be asking, “Well, what if they’re incompetent?” Even if you get a bad draw and end up with a mediocre junior broker, there is still a silver lining: they aren’t working alone. At any good firm, these junior brokers will have a senior agent or a more experienced manager overseeing their work. This means that you get the benefit of working with an experienced senior agent, while also getting a high level of personalized service.

I worked hard for my clients as a young agent, and as I grew into a senior agent and manager, I provided expert advice to my junior brokers and their clients. These clients greatly benefited from the time my junior brokers were able to dedicate to them, as well as the insight and knowledge of our senior staff. Now you can take advantage of this approach!

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