5 Questions to Ask Real Estate Advisors Before Hiring Them

With real estate brokerages offering a variety of different services and specializing in specific practices, it can be a challenging task to select the right advisor for your unique needs. While looking for a partner, you’ll want to vet candidates with questions. Depending on their answers, you may find they’re not best suited for your situation—or that they make your decision to partner easy.

Whether you’re just starting the research process or are preparing to sign the dotted line, take the time to ask these questions to ensure you partner with the right broker.

1. Where does their area of expertise lie? 

It’s common that brokerages will offer tenant representation, agency leasing, or property management services. Depending on what you’re looking for, look for a team that specializes in the service(s) you need in the industry you are in, whether it’s office, industrial, multifamily, and so on. At Allegro Real Estate Brokers & Advisors, we specialize in tenant representation for office and industrial users. 

2. What geographies do they serve? 

If you’re looking to tap into a new market, you’ll want an advisor who has the experience and deep knowledge of that specific area. When you partner with a team who has experience working in the area you desire, they’ll have deep connections and a better understanding of the local economy and rental rates, and even have an upper hand when it comes time to negotiate. In many metro areas across the country, you will find experts that focus solely on one specific submarket. One broker may excel in the central business district, while another in the suburbs.

Allegro operates in Northeast and Central Ohio, but our team has partnered with brokers across the country and around the globe. When selecting a brokerage firm to partner with, understanding their geographic specialties is critical.

3. Do they work with any clients who may have a conflict of interest? 

Sometimes brokerages can represent both the tenant and landlords, which can pose a conflict of interest, known as a dual agency. Allegro solely works in tenant representation, so our team is always working as the tenant’s advocate, not for the landlords across the negotiating table. Rarely will you want to select an advisor that may also be representing your current or future landlord, as this could be a major conflict of interest.

4. Do they have case studies of similar scenarios they’ve worked with in the past? 

Ask what resources they have available to showcase their experience. Oftentimes, case studies and other helpful content can be found on a brokerage’s website. Reviewing case studies helps you see how their team approaches problem-solving for clients.

Additionally, browse their site or other external review sites to see how past clients have reviewed their partnership. Reviews and testimonials are extremely valuable as they provide a third-party opinion of the brokerage.

5. What fees are associated with their services? 

Be sure to have a solid understanding of their payment terms for the service you require. Sometimes there can be hidden or surprise fees, so ask about commission rates, whether there’s room for negotiation, etc.

Traditionally, listing broker fees are paid via commission, which are paid by the property owner as part of the rental rate or purchase price. Other times, tenant brokers might take a percentage of the landlord’s brokerage fees. Another option, although less common, is when fees are directly correlated to the size of the transaction (ranging from $1 to $3 per square foot), or to the number of hours spent working on the deal. With these approaches, the more the tenant or buyer pays, the more the brokers are paid. 

Allegro’s fee structure is unique, as our team can operate with approaches other than commission, such as hourly, fixed fees, success fees, and hybrid structures. At the end of the day, our team is here to help deliver exceptional service and find the best solution for your needs, not to bring in the highest commission.

Ready to speak with an Allegro team member?

We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation to see how our team can help you achieve your company’s ambitions.

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