The commercial real estate industry touches virtually every aspect of business in the United States and throughout most of the free world. Businesses cannot grow without acquiring additional warehouse or office space, patients can’t visit hospitals unless those facilities are constructed and consumers don’t shop at Wal-Mart unless the store has been built. The commercial real estate industry is complex and the professionals who work in this sector are highly specialized. Often, however, the terms commercial real estate agent, broker and Realtor are used interchangeably without giving any thought to each individual position’s specific responsibilities, education or licensing requirements, expertise and specialization.

A commercial real estate advisor is a property professional who advises clients about their best courses of action regarding the purchase, lease or management of properties. Those who work as real estate agents or brokers are primarily concerned with sales and leasing of retail space, offices, farmland, investment properties, industrial space and a wide variety of other types of real estate. In addition, many property professionals specialize in a particular type of property or client, such as providing consulting services to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or working with large industrial companies on redevelopment of land and construction of new facilities.

Regardless of their area of specialization, all commercial real estate advisors must have an in-depth understanding of their local market and possess superior negotiating skills. In addition, they must be comfortable with receiving a sporadic income, as it can take up to a year for a commercial real estate transaction to close, with the advisor earning his or her commission once the transaction has closed and the property assumes ownership by the client. Also read

It’s also important that a commercial real estate advisor be familiar with the various financing options available to buyers and sellers, how each may impact the transaction and its outcome and have a solid grasp of the legal issues surrounding the sale, acquisition and leasing of properties. Additionally, they must be proficient in the use of computer software programs for analysis, financial reporting and valuation of property.

When a business decides to expand or relocate, a commercial real estate advisor will help them find space that meets their needs and fits within their budget. This requires a thorough knowledge of the local market, including current and pending regulations, neighborhood trends, zoning laws and competition. The advisor will also have access to exclusive property listings and provide in-depth analysis, such as total cost of occupancy analyses and lease verse buy comparisons, which will help the client make a well-informed decision.

Choosing the right commercial real estate advisor can be the difference between a company that thrives and one that struggles. A good advisor understands that a company’s success is not measured by the day it moves into its new facility, but rather by the positive impact that location will have on the business over the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. Invest in an advisor who is committed to the same goals as you are and can provide the advice and service you need to succeed.