Although every market has its ups and downs, the truth is that there are several ways to find a buyer for excellent commercial properties for sale. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to find buyers for commercial real estate for sale, including retail, office, apartments, and industrial buildings.
Main Types of Property Buyers
Before we talk about how to find commercial property buyers, it’s essential to understand the main types of commercial real estate buyers you want to target. Each category of commercial real estate buyer has unique investment objectives and expectations for the property they are purchasing:
- Investors who wish to expand their existing commercial real estate portfolio by geographic location or asset type. Such individuals could be seeking apartment buildings for sale in NYC or offices in Atlanta, for example.
- Businesses that own the building they are located in that need to expand, relocate, or sell.
- Commercial property owners – both buyers and investors – conducting a 1031 tax-deferred exchange are always looking for investment properties for sale to replace the ones being relinquished.
- Tenants currently leasing their commercial space who would like to buy a property when their lease ends to benefit from the tax advantages of owning real estate.
- Residential real estate investors who are ready to “move up” to commercial real estate by adding to their investment portfolio or trading residential for commercial property.
Best Ways to Find Commercial Property Buyers
Now that we know the type of buyers in the market, let’s discuss the best ways to find commercial real estate buyers for all types of investment properties for sale.
Master your niche
There’s a lot of money involved in commercial real estate, with properties changing hands for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. That’s why buyers want to do business with a commercial real estate broker who is an expert in their niche.
Knowing about the most recent transactions, property under construction, and market trends are three ways to create credibility and build trust with prospective business owners and commercial real estate investors.
Partner with another broker
Successfully selling commercial real estate is as much about who you know as it is about what you know. Teaming up with another broker is a great way to quickly reach new clients. Using a seasoned broker’s reputation is especially effective for brokers who are new to the business or trying to break into a new niche.
Leverage social media
Social media such as Linkedin and Twitter are two more ways to find commercial property buyers. For example, micro-blogging or posting on Twitter is a great way to share market insights with more prospective buyers than many people imagine. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with professionals who can be an excellent source of buyer leads, including mortgage brokers, escrow officers, appraisers, and contractors.
Contact regional office or headquarters
Today, many businesses look for opportunities to expand, while others look for ways to consolidate or relocate. Directly contacting a company’s regional office or main headquarters is another smart way to find a buyer for commercial properties listed for sale.
List on commercial real estate databases
Instead of trying to build your own website, listing property on a commercial real estate marketplace can be the best way to find a buyer for commercial real estate. It’s still important to master a niche and network for leads, but why reinvent the wheel by building a site when you don’t have to?
Thousands of brokers use the best commercial real estate databases to simplify and streamline the process of listing property, managing leads, and finding the ideal buyers for commercial property for sale.
What Assets are Commercial Property Buyers Looking For?
There’s a buyer for every single commercial property, and sellers know it only takes one buyer to make a deal. Here are the four main types of commercial real estate and the opportunities each may offer potential buyers:
- Though retail is suffering in some markets, it can offer opportunities for buyers looking for value-added investments or property to repurpose for new uses.
- Office buildings in the suburbs and secondary markets are attracting more tenants and investors looking for buy-and-hold commercial property over the long term.
- Apartments and multifamily properties are among the best-performing asset classes this year, especially as more people choose to rent instead of buying their homes.
- Industrial property is red hot due to the growth of e-commerce, with opportunistic investors repositioning vacant retail malls into last-mile delivery space.
Information Commercial Property Buyers Want
To effectively sell a commercial property, you want to provide commercial real estate buyers with the information they are looking for and increase the odds of completing a deal. Information property buyers are looking for includes:
- Data about recent sales transactions to help a buyer understand what a building listed for sale is worth.
- Market reports that show real-time rent trends, net absorption, occupancy levels, buildings brought to market, and property currently under construction.
- Graphics, videos, and statistics for the property’s submarket with information including recent sales and leases, inquiry levels, and nearby properties listed for sale.
- New listings hitting the market that match the requirements of business owners looking for new space and investors looking for the right opportunity.
How to Qualify a Commercial Property Buyer
Selling commercial real estate can easily take a year or more from when the property is listed to the day that escrow closes. The last thing a broker wants is to waste all that time and see the transaction fall through at the last minute due to an unqualified buyer.
Who, what, and where?
Serious commercial real estate buyers are willing to tell you who they are and what they are seeking. Put the buyer information into a prospect list, and also be sure to ask what listings they have already seen. This gives you an idea of their price range and level of motivation to purchase.
Understanding a buyer’s requirements for a new property makes it much easier to match the right property with the most qualified buyer. Investors are more concerned with tenant rent rolls, cash flow, and the overall rate of return. Businesses buying commercial real estate for their own use may spend more time researching items such as needed property improvements, parking ratios, and zoning.
Buyers can be hot, lukewarm, or cold. For example, suppose a buyer is referred by a previous client or comes as a qualified lead from a commercial listing website. In that case, the odds are the buyer is serious about learning more about the property for sale. On the other hand, people calling from a print ad or ‘for sale’ sign may be merely curious at best.
Finding a buyer for commercial property can be difficult if you don’t know how to start or where to look. That’s why more property owners and brokers are listing properties on commercial listing websites. Online marketplaces are the ideal way for brokers to generate leads and find buyers for all types of commercial real estate, including retail, office, apartments, land, and industrial listings nationwide.