In recent years the Denver real estate industry has become inundated with a lot of Johnny come lately. Perhaps it is an indication of the poor economic conditions in the metro area or it is just opportunistic behavior but there seems to be a lot of real estate agents moving into sectors of the market where they have no training or expertise. The result of these Johnny come lately is property owners doubting the qualification of all agents within
the industry and a roll back in prices. Don’t get me wrong, I not complaining about an increase in competition that might force fees downward. I’m complaining about agents who don’t have a clue as to what they need to do and are giving the industry as a whole a bad name because of the poor quality of services they are providing.
The real estate commission has become aware of this and has put out a position statement informing agents who move into areas where they have not training or experience to either have an employing broker who is familiar so that they can received guidance or to hire an outside broker who is experienced for consultation. The two main areas where agents have been moving into unfamiliar sectors is commercial real estate brokerage and property management.
Residential brokers have seen a major reduction in the amount of listings on the market and the delays in closings that have been created by the tightening of the banking industries lending policies. In an effort to keep their income stream stable these agents have begun taking on commercial listings and representing clients looking to lease or purchase commercial properties. While there are some similarities in the basic element of residential and commercial listings there are more differences than similarities. Specifically when it comes to marketing a listing and attracting prospects for the property. Most residential agents lack access to the databases that are a primary tool in marketing commercial properties for lease or sale. More critical is the knowledge of market conditions that is necessary to effectively help a person looking to lease or purchase a commercial property. Without that knowledge a client could end up overpaying for a property.
When residential agents venture into property management there is an even greater risk that a property owner will be adversely impacted. These agents don’t have a pool of trades’ people available to do on demand or preventative maintenance, the accounting systems to track income and expenses or the staff to effectively supervise the day-to-day operations. While agents can react and scramble as needed to perform the necessary property management tasks, the delays will probable cost the commercial property owner additional money as a result.
I advise commercial property customers to interview prospective agents thoroughly to determine if they have the baskets of skills to perform the job you are hiring them for. While I’m sure that Johnny come lately has good intentions, good intentions and $1.00 won’t even buy you a good cup of coffee in this town.