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Commercial Real Estate FAQ With S.L Van Der Zanden On Retail Properties & Special Servicers

As An Investment Firm, What Do You Look For?

The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful:

When looking for a broker to represent you and your property, professionalism and experience is best. A broker with a book of clients they deal with can help you to move properties you want to move quickly. As for hiring brokers, working to train and prepare fresh brokers in an organic fashion is a worthwhile endeavor. 

Richard Wilson: So, as an investment firm, what do you look for in a commercial property broker? I’d like you to answer this from a couple perspectives. One, you have your own real estate firm. You might hire brokers, so you might look for something in a broker to hire them to your team and join your platform. But, being as experienced as you are, if you sold CapRock tomorrow, and you needed to go out and hire a broker, what also would you look for in a broker to actually represent you in your interests? If you could kind of answer it from both perspectives. 

S.L. Van Der Zanden: In no particular order, for me the broker has to be very professional. They have to have great communication skills, they have to have a track record that they can prove they sold the kind of property that I’m trying to sell, in this case retail. They hopefully have a book already of clients, so they can say “Hey, this would be a good property for these 12 guys in my group.” Shorten that process because once you go to market, the longer it’s on the market, it gets stale, it gets hair on it, whatever term you want to use. That starts hurting the perceived value of the property because people are hurt focused, and if somebody else doesn’t like it there must be something wrong with it, right? I mean that’s where you get opportunities. You want someone that’s on the ball, and it isn’t their first time to the rodeo. 

Now, as far as hiring goes, I hire guys coming out with real estate degrees, typically masters from DePaul and we sign them out, they get their brokers’ license and they start working. We’re organic, we train people our way and we found that that works the best. 

Richard: Okay, great. 

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Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson

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