Choosing the Right Real Estate Firm

How do you determine if a real estate firm is a great fit for your Company?

Evaluate these five characteristics when choosing a CRE services provider to support your organization.

Expertise that fits-

One of the primary reasons for seeking the help of a corporate real estate firm is to tap into specialized expertise. Expertise means knowledge, skill and up-to-date experience. However, expertise is only valuable if it fits your needs, i.e. if it is relevant.  For example, does the firm advise corporations, tenants, landlords or investors?  Verify their perspective matches up with your type of company.  Also, consider how they apply their expertise.  Are you seeking advice, representation, or both? Consultants analyze and solve problems while transaction representatives typically focus on evaluating market data and  negotiations.  The first element of a good fit is combining the right perspective and the right focus.

Responsiveness -

Responsiveness is a crucial element of effective support. This means both the speed with which they respond to your requests as well as their ability to address issues in the market locations where you need support.  For example, how quickly does the firm respond to your initial inquiry and to your request for a proposal?  The speed and attention to detail they demonstrate early on may be an excellent indicator of their ongoing attention to your requirements. Further, when evaluating whether the firm can support you in the market areas in which you need help, don’t confuse multiple offices with market coverage. The key measure of responsiveness is their ability to deploy the right expert resources when and where you need them.

Consistency –

Identifying a responsive expert is a good start.  However, there is another important characteristic that separates the “good” from the “great”.  A great firm will also consistently execute, without fail, delivering valuable results when and where needed.  Evaluate a firm’s consistency by requesting and checking the firm's references.  Be sure to ask, “Did they consistently deliver what was promised?” Although past performance does not always predict future results, positive comments from existing or past clients will go a long way in helping you evaluate the firm’s consistency.

Customer Service –

Does the firm actively listen, hear you, and then respond appropriately? Obvious expertise, responsiveness and good references will be negated if the firm does not communicate effectively.  Great customer service begins with your first contact and continues until all of the assignment objectives are met.  Consider, did the firm understand and respond specifically to your inquiries?  Are their oral and written communications clear and concise? Are their representatives pleasant and attentive specifically to your needs?  All of these factors contribute to excellent customer service.

Value -

As the old saying goes, “it always comes down to price.” Perhaps true, but the more important measure of economic worth is value. Real value is a combination of relevant expertise, consistently delivered to achieve meaningful results at a reasonable price. When considering the pricing offered, don’t forget to include the value of your time required to manage the assignment.  A seasoned firm will be able to deliver all these elements of value at a competitive (if not the lowest) price.

Conclusion -

Finding the right corporate real estate firm for your company requires more than a checklist approach.  When conducting your due diligence, base your judgment on these five key characteristics -- great customer service, relevant expertise, responsiveness to your needs, consistency and value.  Your judgment should be well rewarded.

Galaxy Partners is a national corporate real estate firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  Galaxy provides Consulting, Transaction, and Management services exclusively to corporate clients throughout the USA. 

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