There are many critical things to consider when selecting a commercial real estate agent. Experience, certification and licensing credentials greatly vary. When it comes to getting the most out of your corporate investment, it pays to do a little legwork.

Conduct Interviews. First off, ask for names and contact information of several local or regional certified commercial agents in the area and then take the time to personally interview the two or three most reputable. You can tell a lot about a person by how well they interview (as well as their response time to your requests). Are they responsive? Do they actively listen and ask questions? How well do they sell themselves? After all, if they cannot professionally sell themselves, how well will they sell your investment?

What Certifications Does Your Commercial Agent Obtain? Commercial real estate is a niche. You would not want to have your open heart surgery performed by a nurse practitioner because they have lots of experience in healthcare but no prior experience in heart surgery. Don’t trust your real estate investment with someone who is not specialized in buying and selling commercial property. Where is the bulk of their experience? Which type of commercial property have they handled previously? Are they full-service or do they focus predominantly on industrial, office or retail?

A Certified Commercial Investment Member or a CCIM is an expert in the field of commercial real estate. There are only a handful of commercial real estate professionals who hold the CCIM designation. In fact, of the 150,000 commercial professionals in the United States less than six percent have their CCIM. CCIMs have access to an elite suite of online technology tools and can post properties for sale or lease on the CCIMNet commercial real estate exchange.

Does Your Agent Sell Commercial Real Estate Full Time or Part-Time? It is not unusual to find agents who have a full time job and also sell real estate on the side. However, when it comes to your investment, do you want someone focusing on real estate part of their work week or 40-60 plus hours?

Lastly, go with the individual who best knows the market. A local representative usually is more on top of current listings, city zoning decisions and upcoming listings.

Sara Summers Stein
Sara Summers Stein

Sara Summers Stein is the PR Director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Stein & Summers Real Estate, formerly Summers REALTORS and then Prudential Summers REALTORS. BHHS Stein & Summers Real Estate has 44 agents and six staff persons and is a second generation, family-run company servicing all of Northwest Missouri. To date, BHHS Stein & Summers is the only full-service real estate business in Northwest Missouri selling 73 million in volume and 573 units sold in 2014. For more information, please visit http://bhhsstein.com/.