Commercial real estate (CRE) agents perform many of the same duties as residential real estate agents. But given the higher complexity level of commercial real estate, it’s especially important for any CRE investor to have an experienced agent on their team. Getting access to your local MLS (multiple listing service) on your own will not help much, as MLS are not tailored to commercial real estate. It’s difficult to search for or sell a CRE property without the aid of a well-connected CRE agent who has access to and knows how to work with various CRE databases. Investing in CRE has a number of pitfalls for investors that a good CRE agent can help you avoid.
Without having a strong understanding of what the local leasing market looks like for retail leasing, for example, an investor would be in a very weak position to make intelligent offers. PropertyCashin provides a current directory of top-rated CRE agents providing services in your area to help investors find the best professional to represent them during a CRE transaction. PropertyCashin lists top-ranked local brokers based on their experience, success rate on previous transactions and reputation. Use our directory to choose from the best agents experienced in different types of commercial property such as commercial land, industrial property, office buildings, and more.
List of commercial real estate agents & brokers by state:
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- Commercial Real Estate Attorneys & Lawyers
- Commercial Real Estate Photographers
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- Commercial Structural Engineers
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- 1031 Exchange Companies
A commercial realty agent (also commonly referred to as “commercial real estate broker” in some of the states) is a real estate professional who represents clients during the purchase, sale, or leasing of commercial property.
Just like a residential real estate agent, commercial agents oversee the whole transaction process, helping their clients get the best value of the deal. A commercial real estate agent will usually have a specialty within CRE, for example, retail leasing or the purchase of office property.
Most CRE agents will work for a larger commercial real estate brokerage firm. A CRE brokerage firm will include the agents that directly represent clients as well as the back office mechanics that deal with all of the documents and processing related to any CRE transaction.
Agents working for a larger CRE brokerage company will often have stronger access to inside knowledge of the market, as well as a pipeline of off-market deals that could be a strong fit for their clients.
A good commercial realtor guides the client through the entire transaction process, takes care of all the documentation and negotiations with all parties involved.
A listing agent’s first priority is to give their client a sense of the current market and a forecast of how quickly their property will sell at given prices. They should also be able to point out any low-hanging fruit to add value to the property before sale (e.g. renewing a lease, minor renovations).
After agreeing upon a sale price and timing, commercial realtors are responsible for the marketing of the property. Because there isn’t a single public listing resource for business real estate (like the MLS for residential real estate), CRE agents are critical for properly marketing a property within their professional networks and online.
A buyer’s agent (also known as a “selling agent”) represents the investor during commercial real estate transactions by identifying buying opportunities, negotiating prices and then guiding the transaction to a close.
A good CRE agent will have their finger on the pulse of the local market, with a strong understanding of factors that might affect the value of a property. Also, as a buyer, you can be assured that the seller has a commercial broker working on their side. Having a broker to advocate on your behalf during the transaction is almost always the best decision.
Whereas Zillow, Redfin and other publicly available listing services have reduced the role of residential real estate brokers as gatekeepers for single family home purchases, commercial real estate remains a largely opaque marketplace. Being able to find deals and make informed offers is far more difficult in commercial real estate.
Unless you have significant experience in CRE, a strong professional network in your location, and the time and ability to properly search for or market a CRE property, you need a CRE agent on your side. Having a CRE agent is also important during the leasing of CRE property. Without an experienced property agent, marketing an office space rental, for example, would likely be a costly undertaking for a property owner.
All real estate agents are technically brokers in that they act as middlemen during a real estate investment, but there are key differences between real estate agents and real estate brokers as the terms are used in the real estate industry. Real estate agents are anyone who holds a real estate license, which allows them to sell, buy and lease property on behalf of their clients.
A real estate broker will have taken an additional exam which qualifies them to run a real estate firm and hire real estate agents to work for that business. Real estate brokers can also work as independent agents, while agents without a broker’s license can only work under a supervision of a broker.
Just like residential real estate agents, commercial real estate agents are usually paid by the seller of a CRE property. A portion of the total sale price is reserved for the listing agent, who then shares that commission with the selling agent (aka the buyer’s agent). If a buyer’s agent finds a property that is for sale-by the owner (FSBO), it becomes a little more difficult for them to get paid.
They will request their fee from the seller, and sometimes they will try to act as the buyer’s and seller’s agent at the same time to get both buyer’s and seller’s agent fees. However, it’s always negotiable, and the FSBO seller is under no obligation to agree to pay any agent fees.
This is another reason for sellers to always have a listing agent for a CRE property. While not legal, it’s human nature for CRE agents to steer their clients away from otherwise attractive properties if their commission is more difficult to access.
Commercial real estate agents charge a percentage that averages 4%-8% of the total sale price of a property. The seller is normally responsible for paying the commission. If the seller and buyer are represented by different agents (the most common situation), then the two agents will split the commission, usually evenly. This commission is entirely negotiable by both buyers and sellers.
Finding a good realtor will make a huge difference in an investor’s success. Investors should make sure to select a CRE agent with significant experience doing CRE deals similar to the type of investment they are looking to execute. Also, search for online reviews and complaints before making a selection.
Finally, buying or selling a CRE property will likely be a months-long endeavor. You should choose an agent that quickly responds to all of your communications. When first vetting an agent, check to see whether it takes them several hours or even days to respond to your questions.
While a Google search for “commercial real estate agents” will inevitably provide you with a list of options, this method is rarely the best way to find the best professionals for the type of deal you are looking to execute. The best way to find a good real estate agent is to validate the deals they have successfully closed alongside the client satisfaction levels for those deals.
PropertyCashin provides a list of the top performing CRE agents in your area so that you can validate that you are making the right choice. On this very page choose your location and select the realtor from the list.