Every owner and investor has a different approach when it comesto choosing a leasing or investment sales broker. Some owners havelong term relationships with an individual broker or firm andexclusively use that broker for all their deals. Others identify abroker on a case by case basis, and choose a broker who is mostrelevant to their specific deal or property.


As an owner and investor with more than 70 properties across thecountry, Passco Companies is no stranger to the art of selectingthe right broker. Over the years many brokers have asked us justhow we choose a broker for our properties and deals. Below is alist of questions we ask when identifying a broker, and questionsbrokers should likely keep in mind to ensure they are stayingcompetitive.

  1. How well do they know the market?
    Marketexpertise can go a long way when selecting a broker. Brokers with aspecific niche expertise in the market in which we are buying,selling or working to lease a property, are generally going togarner more of our attention.

  2. How do they attract tenants orbuyers?
    Are they so busy working with other clientsthat they solely rely on building signage, their website, mailersand or email blasts to garner potential tenants or buyers? Or arethey hitting the pavement actively marketing currentassignments?
    For leasing, do they know when leases are coming due atcompetitors' assets and are they prepared to fill our spaces if acurrent tenant doesn't renew? Has the broker sold in the market,how recently and was it a similar asset?
    We take a good look at how a broker is managing their currentassignments as a strong indication of the work they will do for us.As an owner, every vacant space costs us money and having a brokerwho makes their current properties a priority is paramount.

  3. How realistic are they in terms ofpricing?
    If Passco Companies is looking to invest ina market, chances are we know what the going rates are for bothpurchasing assets and leasing space. Brokers who promise over thetop prices for sales or rates for leases, are not going to get ourattention.

  4. Do they have references?
    We want to seepast clients, with a similar product, in a similar area and hearwhat a broker did for them. There is nothing like strongthird-party references to shoot a name to the top of our list.Brokers should have their own list ready and updated at alltimes.

  5. What is their reputation?
    If we areentering a new market, we make it a point to ask our peers who theyuse in that particular area. We also ask our local brokers if theyhave affiliated brokers to recommend in that submarket. Chances areif everyone knows a broker's name, we will want to know it too.This is where networking within ICSC pays big dividends.

  6. Are they in the news?
    We take a seriouslook at who has a high volume of sales or leases in the submarket.We read publications like GlobeSt.com to determine whichbrokers are working with similar property types, in similar areasand are garnering press due to their success.
    In addition, we take note of which other companies are currentlyworking with these brokers. If the top-tier investors are allworking with the same broker, there is usually a reason.

With all that said, selecting a broker is certainly a personalpreference for each company. At Passco we use a mix of bothapproaches, utilizing loyal brokers who have proven their worth tous, and also concentrating on finding the best new brokers based onthe specific deal and market when applicable. While a nationalbrokerage broker may be better connected nationally for a propertyin a major MSA, a smaller, more localized broker may be betterequipped to market a property in a smaller market.


When it comes down to it, brokers should strive to be asknowledgeable, well-connected and hungry as possible in order togain owners' and investors' attention and ultimately win theirbusiness.


The views expressed are the author's own.

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