How well do you really know someone before you hire them?  What questions should you ask before hiring a tenant rep broker?  On today’s podcast, we’ll give you 8 questions you must ask and we’ll answer these questions for REATA as well.

The first question you should ask a tenant rep broker before engaging them is, how long have you been in the commercial real estate business?  For Bob with REATA?  It’s been 37 years.  Yes, he was fresh outta diapers when he received his brokers’ license.  No, seriously, you should ask your prospective broker how long they have been licensed and how long they have been in the specialty they are now serving.

Second question is are you a tenant rep exclusively?  What about the rest of the firm?  And should I even care??  Yes, Ma’am, Bob is a tenant rep exclusively.  He worked for landlords the first 20 years of his career and while that was awesome and informative, he now uses all that information for representing tenants and getting them to understand the inside of a landlord’s mind.  And yes, the rest of the firm is tenant rep only as well.  We wanted to clear the way for our clients to understand that we have zero conflict of interests.  This question begats the basic question of, is your broker dealing with conflicts of interest?  By representing the landlord AND tenant, conflicts are inevitable.  At REATA we don’t have to deal with that.

Third – how long have you been a tenant rep exclusively?  Very important question to ask your prospective broker.  While they may have been a broker for awhile they may have been working in another area of CRE and not have much experience in tenant representation.  REATA has been around for 17 very interesting years.  Bob feels privileged to get to show our clients the ways landlords operate and negotiate accordingly.

Fourth – What is your area of geographic specialty?  And what percentage of your business does this represent?  In interviewing your prospective broker, you should really know what his/her geographic sweet spot is and how well he/she knows it.  REATA specializes in the DFW metroplex.  This represents about 95% of our firm.

Fifth – What types of buildings do you specialize in?  What percentage of your business do these represent?  REATA’s number one tenant leases from an office.  We also represent industrial and warehouse clients but our specialty is office.  This represents about 80% of our business.

Sixth – Do you have any experience in my specific industry or type of business?  This is an important question just as were the two before it but of the three, it’s the least important.  It good to know your client’s business and how it would be applicable to the space they wish to lease but much more leeway is given here.

Seventh – Can you provide references?  Certainly can – quite a few are on our website, Linkedin – testimonials our clients have made on our behalf.  A lot of times, brokers will have this listed on their website, linkedin, etc.  But you should always ask and follow up!

Eighth – Who do you charge for your services?  Who Pays?  If they say it’s free, don’t hire them.  99% of the time, landlords pay for REATA’s services.  It is built into the rent and provided for through the lease.  Occasionally, we will consult on a project for a fee wherein the tenant pays us but as mentioned earlier, 99% of the time it will be the landlords.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate (also known as a tenant rep) with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.