On the surface it may seem that residential and commercial real estate are similar and can be handled by any licensed Realtor, but in fact, they are vastly different. To assume that your residential broker could also provide you with commercial real estate opportunities would be similar to asking an orthopedic doctor to do heart surgery…not wise. Specialization and knowledge are critical.
Consider, “What are your future business needs and how can real estate serve those goals? versus “What is your family looking for in a home and neighborhood community?”
· Commercial agents have current market knowledge and have built relationships with local commercial property landlords and municipalities that can span a decade or longer; just as residential agents know their local sales history and current inventory of houses. These are two different markets and there is little crossover.
· Your commercial realtor will know that commercial property listings are not maintained in just one place and while your local residential MLS system may provide the homes for sale in your area, it will not have thorough coverage of the commercial real estate available. Contacting your commercial real estate broker will give you a glimpse of both on and off-market opportunities for your business using commercial search databases.
· A commercial sales contract differs from a residential property lease or purchase agreement. A commercial realtor will be well versed and understand the critical differences of the buyer, seller, landlord or tenant’s investment. Issues such as CAM (Common Area Maintenance) and Lease type (NNN, modified gross or full service) can be explained by your commercial broker. Other factors, including but not limited to, zoning use, parking information, property visibility, floor plan, power capability, and data access for specific use. Property or suite improvements (referred to as Tenant Improvements – TI’s) may be needed and should be included in the lease.
Commercial real estate needs are best handled by commercial brokers with the specialty knowledge and local market connections. While residential brokers can help you find the right neighborhood and pick out a home with the perfect backyard, don’t forget that your future business should be in the hands of a commercial broker. – Charlie Koenn, Associate Broker