When it comes to selling an apartment building, there are many factors property owners should consider before diving into, what for most, is an intensely complicated process. Among those factors, and perhaps the most important of them all, is choosing the right brokerage to engage the right buyers.
Cliff Ford is the director of sales and marketing at Skyview Realty Limited. As someone who has been been facilitating this process for more than seven years, Ford offers the following guidelines for finding a brokerage firm to foster successful transactions and ensure the highest results.
Go with experience
Real estate markets change from year to year, even from month to month. “When dealing with a brokerage firm, owners need to find the delicate balance of experience, coupled with the up-to-date understanding of today’s current marketplace and trends,” says Ford. “Experience alone will fail to provide strategies that reflect current trends in the industry.” On the other hand, a brokerage firm lacking in experience will not be able to accurately predict and prepare for upcoming trends.
Look out for number one
Ford advises that above all else, apartment building owners choose a brokerage that looks after their interests and works hard to achieve their trust, confidence and commitment. “Your brokerage should ultimately be looking to serve your needs throughout the process of selling,” he advises.
Take the right approach
While some brokerages focus on the approach of, “Bring me an offer, any offer,” Ford points out that finding the right buyer with the right offer is the better way to go. “A good brokerage will bring the right people to the table to help you sell your building,” he says.
Know your value
Many brokerages waste valuable time and resources trying to pinpoint the market value for a building. “The right brokerage will have the knowledge and experience to provide an accurate opinion of value prior to even listing your building,” says Ford. “Knowing what your building is worth will help you get the right return on your investment.”
Get maximum exposure
Marketing is not just a matter of using one or two forms of communication to blanket the market in hopes of finding potential buyers; to properly market a property, the right brokerage will use what is called target marketing. “Using multiple forms of communication, your brokerage should identify the best strategy to reach all buyers in the apartment building industry directly, resulting in you getting the most efficient marketing results,” he says.
Find someone connected
The ideal brokerage is connected not only to you, but also to a network of current buyers. When you are ready for your property to be listed, Ford says your brokerage should already have contacts with potential buyers and know who would be the right fit for your building.
Remember, established is good
Along with knowledge of current buyers, a brokerage should have already established relationships with other companies in the industry—appraisers, environmental and structural inspectors, financial institutions, and other key players. “Having an established network of industry professionals can assist you in bringing your transaction to a quicker close,” he says.
Look beyond the offer
Many real estate transactions fail at the most crucial stage: the due diligence process. “Having a brokerage that engages in a thorough due diligence process ensures that your building’s information is verified for the buyer and your transaction closes smoothly and promptly.”
Get what you pay for
“Whether you are paying a low or high commission fee to the brokerage of your choice,” says Ford,” you need to be confident in the level of service you received. The right brokerage will be dedicated to providing the ultimate service for the commission fees you pay.”
Finally, when all is said and done, Ford explains that the most important element in dealing with a brokerage firm is achieving top dollar for an apartment building. Finding the right brokerage—one that fulfills the above criteria—ensures that the owner walks away from every transaction with confidence, having received exceptional service, maximum exposure, hassle-free processes, and best of all, financial results.
Erin Ruddy is the editor of Canadian Apartment Magazine