Commercial Property Owners and Investors: Choose the Right Broker to Deliver the Right Results

Right Property, Right Location, Basic Problem

Commercial investment and owner-operator successes demand owning the right property in the correct location. Achieving that goal demands experience and expertise in both location and property type.

The CRE Buyer

Few CRE buyers, whether passive investors or owner-users know enough about the local geography, community, and regulatory factors that determine the right location to meet their short and long-term goals. They also often lack local expertise to choose the right property and negotiate the best price and terms based on its condition and status.

The CRE Seller

Property owners who want to liquidate their investment on the best terms and in their preferred timescale often don’t have updated knowledge about where to find, attract, and work with ready, willing, and able buyers for their property.

The Solution

Putting those two things together so the buyer and seller maximize their results is where professionals with the right expertise come in. This article will discuss why geographic specialty and property-type niche knowledge are critical to achieving your goals.

CRE Success is Founded on Four Pillars

Pillar 1: In-Depth Knowledge and Expertise

Prospective purchasers must be confident in their decision-making. That demands having up-to-date information about a location, community, and existing zoning standards. Equally important are historical data and plans – both existing and proposed. These will affect the purchase price, other initial costs, and how well the investment will perform in years to come. Let’s take just three examples to make the point.

Zoning Issues

Prospective purchasers should get a zoning compliance letter. This letter shows the applicable zoning, approved and proffered conditions, development conditions, and other approvals for the property’s lot. It also tells the buyer about current compliance with, or violation of, zoning ordinances, plus any pending zoning applications.

The right CRE broker will already be familiar with many of these issues, as they may affect a particular property. Awareness of such details saves buyers money and time either by discovering these details themselves or by working with a less experienced broker who will have to explore these issues from scratch on the buyer’s behalf.

Environmental Issues

A broker with a well-established position will know a lot about the history of an area, community, or individual property. For example, an owner-user wants to open a school, childcare center, winery, or brewery. If the property or adjacent property was previously a dry cleaner, gas station, or used other chemicals, it may impact final rezoning approval. The property may also require restorative correction or other costly, time-consuming refurbishments.

Community Developments

Schools, childcare centers, wineries, breweries, and event centers serve local communities. The current and proposed demographics of a neighborhood impact purchase decisions. Transportation, communication systems, commuting trends, and current and future footfall trends make a direct impact, if in some different ways, on how viable a property may be for a specific line of business.

Again, a CRE broker with geographic experience will have this sort of data to hand and will be able to explain situations. They can offer real-world advice, help to compare different locations, describe comparable business successes, etc., and advise with hard facts and informed opinions.

Pillar 2: Access to Exclusive Listings

A CRE broker whose very familiar with a local market area will not only have his ear to the ground but will have direct contact with clients and associates. They share their thoughts, ideas, plans for future moves, 1041 Exchanges, and more. The net result is that the broker has exclusive access to inactive potential listings and listings that have not been entered into the MLS, Loopnet or other commercial property listing platforms.

Such access can put a potential buyer on the fast track to finding the right property, saving time and money. It also helps the potential seller to handle any necessary legalities early on to ensure a smooth closing.

Pillar 3: Targeted Marketing

Experience and expertise create effective and efficient transaction processes. The evident and powerful result is that the broker develops and hones two types of marketing processes:

Attracting Buyers

The first process is to attract potential buyers for properties that will meet their business needs. Buyers around the world, whether user-owners or passive investors are attracted to local experts with whom they can build strong relationships. That relationship delivers business results when it comes to finding the right property.

Marketing Listed Properties

The second process is to market listed properties locally, nationally, and globally by applying unique systems and strategies to attract, involve, and convert interested parties into willing buyers.

These two marketing strategies intertwine to produce major results.

Pillar 4: Strong Relationships

These three success pillars produce the fourth pillar. This pillar is about navigating a potential transaction into an active one and making the entire process hassle-free and effective.

A broker specializing in a particular geographic area and clearly defined market niches (such as Montessori schools, childcare centers, wineries, breweries, and event centers) automatically builds working relationships with other brokers.

Those brokers may have a specialist listing and need a buyer, or they may be working with a buyer and needs to find the perfect commercial property (whether listed or about to be.) What’s their first port of call? The established specialist broker.

The specialist broker also develops working relationships with other specialists like appraisers, lenders, architects, and contractors. Those specialists also have detailed knowledge of the locale, the community, and particular properties. Initial conversations about easements, encroachments, setbacks, title limitations, and more may convince a buyer to move forward or look elsewhere.

The Result

The seller or buyer who chooses the right broker gets immediate access to complete knowledge and thus sells their property to the right buyer. In turn, the buyer receives the right property for their NNN lease options or to be a successful user-owner. The result? Both sellers and new investors make sound business decisions and achieve their immediate and long-term goals.

Why Serafin Real Estate?

Serafin RE focuses entirely on Loudoun County, Western Fairfax County, and Northern Prince William County. SRE’s track record speaks for itself. Not only did Serafin Real Estate close more commercial businesses in 2022 than the other 166 commercial brokerages, but Joe Serafin personally came in at #1, and Sean Kline, Serafin RE’s COO, ranked #5.

By building a selective database, initiating highly-effective marketing programs, and focusing totally on specific lines of business niches, Serafin effectively controls the local market. You can read more about our Principles, Processes, and Promises to clients here.

To quote one client, “Joe (Serafin) really invested time and thought into my property and put together a very effective marketing package . . . Joe was able to sell my property when no one else could.”
C. Cook

From a recent data report, SRE has outperformed the CRE Market averages for the past three years.

Valuable Northern Virginia CRE Statistics

As well as delivering results for our current clients, part of our mission is to keep everyone as fully informed as possible about Northern Virginia. We provide usable data to help our clients and potential future clients make plans. We also publish in-depth reports on niche market history, current market conditions, and future trends. Here are just two examples:

The SRE Team

Having your heels dug deep in Northern Virginia makes working with CRE clients more than just business. Continually doing the best possible job for clients enhances the communities in which the SRE team lives. Joe Serafin, Owner and Principal Broker, Sean Kline, COO, and Grant Wetmore, Sales and Acquisition Advisor, are all Northern Virginia natives. And that makes it personal.

Serafin Real Estate Listings

SRE’s current listings (for sale and for lease) are listed here. Just to take a few examples, you can see:

  • Piccadilly Place: a historic property zoned for many uses, including a restaurant/bar and a wedding event venue.
  • Commonwealth Digital:  NNN sale-leaseback of a 37,000 SF flex-industrial building for investment.
  • Fox Chase Farm: this 30,365 SF building on 33.72 acres is ideal as a major event center.
  • Guidepost Montessori of Aldie and Primrose School of Haymarket are two well-established education property investments.
  • Beacon Hill, just outside Leesburg, is a vacant lot amid a thriving brewery and award-winning wineries area.
  • Dry Mill Rd & Chancellor Ct are two vacant lots ideal for a winery or brewery.

Contact Us

To learn more about how Serafin Real Estate delivers planned and agreed-on results for our clients, or if you want to receive our monthly market reports, please click here to contact us.

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