As a commercial real estate agent, you know you need to network in order to find clients and to keep your pipeline full of ongoing transactions. From individual sellers to those consistently purchasing commercial real estate, no matter your goals in commercial real estate, your relationships will help you reach them.
Yet, besides the obvious buyers, sellers, contractors, and potential partners you need to build relationships with, there are three other professions that you will be working with on a consistent basis. Focusing on building strong relationships with these three professions can help further your career and ensure smooth deals in the future.
One commercial real estate deal can often deal with a variety of regulations, statutes, and laws ranging from local to federal and while many agents have made their way through many of these simply from experience, navigating these murky waters takes an expert. Commercial real estate attorneys can advise clients on legal issues that could arise during a property transaction and will review ordinances, agreements, mortgage information and closing documents. Laws will vary from city to city and state to state so building relationships with attorneys in the areas in which you are performing transactions is important in order to ensure all projects are within the confines of local law.
Building a strong relationship with a commercial real estate attorney can help you avoid costly, legal mistakes. And, as they are the ones who will draft lease documents, represent building owners in disputes, and provide counsel on lease violations and evictions, trusting their guidance and expertise is crucial to closing deals lawfully and building your commercial real estate career.
Commercial lenders provide loans to commercial enterprises, backed with some type of collateral. Some lenders are private institutions, and others are mutual companies or venture capitalist groups. Some organizations may specialize in a particular type of financing opportunity.
Since the type of collateral required may depend on the amount of the loan, the financial condition of the seeker of the loan, and the purpose of the loan, knowing how to communicate all of these parameters clearly is incredibly important to securing financing. The better your relationship with the lender, the better your chances.
Having a particular lender that you’ve worked with in the past can help you in future transactions. Once a trust is built, it can be easier to secure funding and streamline the process if you are both familiar with the process and requirements. An initial, small transaction may help build a relationship and trust between a lender and agent and pave the way for more fruitful transactions in the future.
Some agents have studied accounting and know that side of the business but if you don’t, it is important to have a strong relationship with those that do.
Real estate accountants provide a wide array services to their clients through the complicated financial aspects of obtaining a commercial property. They not only prepare financial records and reports (on behalf of both the property owner and agent), they also provide financial guidance and assistance during transactions. As such, it is important to trust their work and experience.
Before you are involved in transactions, it may be difficult to interact with the professionals in these roles. While lenders will sometimes reach out to agents because they can send them business, attorneys are harder to get a relationship with. The best ways to meet both attorneys and accountants is to get involved in business and networking groups that these individuals will attend. (LinkedIn groups are often an easier way to get started.)
Because a commercial real estate transaction can often take months to close, your interactions with the individuals in the above professions will stretch on over long periods of time, and your paths will cross time and time again. From the very beginning of your career, it’s important to begin building relationships with those in these professions and keep those relationships strong even between transactions.