How to Compare Real Estate Consulting Companies
Real estate consulting companies provide specialized advice and recommendations to clients interested in buying, selling, leasing, or investing in property. They work closely with their clients throughout the process to uncover potential issues as they arise to help clients make well-informed decisions. Your real estate consultant is your behind-the-scenes expert. Take location as an example.
As the old saying goes, “location, location, location.” When it comes to owning and operating your own business, selecting the right location is one of the first critical decisions you will have to make. However, selecting the right property goes beyond the physical location of the building. Your location within the building or retail center is just as important. Is there ample parking for your business needs? Who is beside you, above you, or below you? Are your neighbors noisy? Will their business negatively affect yours? Is the area being redeveloped? How will construction affect the space?
While it is impossible to foresee every possible issue, an experienced commercial real estate consultant can help uncover many of these potential issues. But how do you find the right consultant and ensure you find the right property? With so many options, how do you compare real estate consulting companies?
Comparing Real Estate Consulting Companies
Here are a few helpful tactics to help you narrow your search and find the consultant that makes the most sense for Y-O-U.
Ask Around – Who’s Had a Good Experience with One of the Real Estate Consulting Companies in Your Area?
Why reinvent the wheel? Chances are that you know someone who has worked with one of these real estate consulting companies before. They did the legwork for you. Who did they use? Did they have a good experience? Would they recommend their consultant?
If your contact had a good experience, add that consultant to your list of potential candidates. Conversely, if they had a bad experience, you can probably cross that consultant off your list and move on.
Initial Meeting – How Do You Feel?
A real estate agent is simply interested in helping a client find a property. A real estate consultant is there to help their client think through the intricacies of the real estate transaction to ensure the property checks all of the client’s boxes. This requires listening to the client to understand their unique objectives. Only with a complete understanding of these goals can the consultant truly be effective.
So, schedule a few exploratory meetings with potential real estate consulting companies. Take notes during your conversations. Which consultants actually listened to you? With which consultants did you feel a personal connection? If you don’t feel comfortable talking with a consultant, cross them off your list and move on. This is a relationship, after all. If you’re uncomfortable talking with a consultant, the relationship just won’t work.
Ask More Questions – Are They a Good Fit?
Every real estate consultant looks good on paper (on their website). The only way to truly determine whether or not the consultant is a good fit for you is to ask the right questions. Here are a few options to get you started.
- What’s Your Experience? How long has the consultant been in the business? Are They just starting out, or do they have a lot of experience in the area?
- How Well Connected Are You? Do they have existing relationships with local landlords, buyers, and sellers.
- How Will You Keep Me Informed? Ask your broker how they plan to communicate with you. Do they prefer text messaging, phone calls, or emails? And how often do they plan to communicate updates with you? Are they available to chat when you have questions?
- How Are You Paid? It’s important to understand how your consultant is paid.
- Do You Have Any References? A good consultant should be able to provide professional references that can vouch for them.
Specialized Markets – Do They Understand You?
Are you looking at properties in a niche market, such as healthcare? If so, it can be incredibly beneficial to work with a real estate consultant that specializes in your industry. Healthcare real estate consulting companies, for example, understand the different legalities associated with leasing or purchasing medical or dental real estate (OSHA, HIPAA, Stark and Kickback, and local state regulations). These consultants also have existing relationships with the landlords, buyers and sellers, lenders, attorneys, and accountants who also specialize in healthcare.
All of this specialized knowledge means your consultant is better able to meet your unique needs.
Go With Your Gut – Which of the Real Estate Consulting Companies Makes You Feel Comfortable?
Just as – if not more – important than knowledge and experience is your comfort level with a potential consultant. At the end of the day, you should feel comfortable with your choice. Go with the real estate consultant with whom you feel most at ease. The one you trust. Sometimes the best choice just comes down to chemistry. A consultant can check all the boxes, but if you don’t vibe with that person, don’t go with them. There are plenty of real estate consulting companies out there with which you might find a better fit.
A Client-Focused Real Estate Consultant in Maryland
United Development Realty is one of the many real estate consulting companies in Maryland. So, why should you choose UDR over another firm? Personalization and compassion. We start with you: your vision, your objectives, your goals. Only after we have a complete understanding of you and your business can we assist you through a tailored package of services and tap into our extensive network of property owners and developers to match your requirements with the perfect space.
Please call our office (locations in Bethesda 240-221-1976 and Fells Point 410-522-1632) to get in touch with a licensed broker today. Our client-first approach to commercial real estate consulting ensures that your unique needs are met.