In an increasingly competitive property market, it’s growing increasingly important to enlist the services of the ideal real estate agent. Commercial agents are just as important as those that deal with residential properties, and business tenants deserve the same VIP treatment as high-calibre home inhabitants.
This raises an interesting question, though – what constitutes a superior commercial agent? Imperial has worked with a wide array of agents over multiple years. As a result, we recognise the tell-tale signs of great representatives that go above and beyond to meet the needs of commercial tenants. Here are seven things that we have learned to look out for.
Flexibility is critical in a commercial agent
An excellent commercial agent is always available to meet the needs and answer the questions of a client. This is far from a 9 – 5 job, so be wary of a commercial agent tied to their desk.
The truth is, you should expect your agent to be constantly on the move, only contactable by mobile. The keyword here, however, is contactable. A high-calibre commercial agent will always ensure they are reachable and respond to queries and concerns promptly.
There will be times that somebody cannot answer the phone. If the agent is driving, meeting with clients or otherwise indisposed, they will be unable to speak. Missed phone calls and emails should be returned within the hour though – ideally even sooner.
Commercial agents must understand their audience
The relationship between a commercial agent and a business tenant is built on trust and mutual understanding. Each party must feel valued, but it’s particularly critical that the tenant is heard and recognised. The term “know your audience” is rarely more appropriate than when discussing the dynamic between business tenants and commercial real estate agents.
A firm grasp on how a business likes to trade, and the sector they operate within, puts a commercial agent at an immediate advantage. It ensures that prospective tenants will be shown properties relevant to their needs. This in turn, enhances the likelihood of a lengthy, positive working relationship.
Local knowledge helps commercial agents stand out
If you’re seeking the services of a commercial agent, it generally means that you’re starting a new business or planning an office move. Either way, you are likely to be physically entering a new and unfamiliar geographical space.
While it can be exciting to discover new terrain, you’ll have plenty of other considerations on your plate as a business owner. The option to lean on the knowledge of a local professional can be invaluable.
This way, you’ll avoid any pitfalls that could be associated with undiscovered terrains, such as poor parking for visitors, antisocial behaviour from residents or limited access to facilities and amenities. Insights from experts can be invaluable – and bolster your business prospects.
No request is out of reach to the best commercial agents
It’s no secret that we live in unprecedented times, and today’s world is very different from that of 2019. Businesses and commercial agents have needed to adjust to this new normal, leading to a range of variations on how we work.
Some of these restrictions are enforced by a code of practice instilled by the central government, while others are matters of personal preference. Either way, a commercial agent should be prepared to do whatever it takes to make a client comfortable.
This brings us back to our initial point – the necessity of flexibility. Client requests should always take priority. If the agent does not agree with these wishes, but they remain reasonable and respectable, an agent should bite their tongue and proceed with a smile.
Commercial agents must interpret and share data
In the world of property, data is a form of currency. Great commercial agents always have a range of data and information at their fingertips.
That means reeling market value increases in the area over a set period, the sector’s general financial health, the core demographic of a particular region, and much more.
The ability to collate and share these insights – ideally in layperson’s terms – builds trust in an agent. Any way a representative can enable a tenant to manage their expectations will be welcome.
Great commercial agents have a speciality
It’s tempting to judge a commercial agent on the width and breadth of their knowledge base. Surely the more an agent knows, the likelier they are to meet the needs of tenants? This is true to an extent, but we recommend finding an agent with a core speciality.
We previously discussed the importance of local knowledge. However, further considerations include whether the agent typically works with smaller or multi-story buildings. Whether the agent has only managed new facilities or often oversees complete office fit-outs of older locales.
Of course, your representative does need a broad knowledge base – the words “I don’t know” should not be in the vocabulary of a great commercial agent. However, having a core, niche expertise in the real estate sector can hugely benefit prospective tenants.
Commercial agents should have a vast network of contacts
Finally, the best commercial agents do not work alone. Your agent should have a name and telephone number for anything a commercial tenant may need. Whether it’s a tradesperson, a caterer, a chauffeur service or a commercial builder, commercial agents should be walking, talking Rolodexes.
These do not need to be close, personal friends of the agent. It’s better if they are not – a little professional separation is always advisable. It just makes life considerably easier for a business tenant if they know that if a commercial agent cannot answer a question or resolve a pain point themselves, they know somebody that can. This is the kind of added value that makes a good commercial agent a great one.
If you have any further questions about commercial agents or their relationship with business property tenants, Imperial would be delighted to help. Just get in touch, and our friendly, experienced team will share their wisdom.