Commercial Deals: To Refer, or Not To Refer?

Real Estate Agent with The Purcell Group

Good News:  I have recently come across a potential client who is looking to purchase a commercial lot and build a convenience store on the grounds.  As a direct result of wearing my name badge in public (see my previous blog)!!

Bad News:  I have never done a commercial deal before!

Do I refer the client to a commercial "specialist"?  Do I keep the client and do my best to learn as much as I can? 

I have spoken with seval agents in my office, and each and every one of them have given me a different opinion. I would certainly like to do the deal, but the main question I have to ask myself is: "Is it worth the potential unhappy  client and liability for me to do the deal myself?"  But if I don't do the deal, and refer it to a "specialist" then how do I learn? 

I have recently come up with an idea that I think may be my best option, as long as I'm able to find someone who would be willing to help.  I think that I will find an agent with commercial experience and pay them a fee for his/her knowledge and willingness to answer the phone when I have a question.  That way, I get to do the deal, learn the process and the agent who helps me also gets paid!  I think that will be a win-win for all parties involved, which just happens to be a big part of the KW philosophy! 

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great week!

Comments (6)

Steve Dawson
J. Rockcliff Realtors (#01723588) - Walnut Creek, CA

I have done both commercial and residential.  And if you haven't done commercial, it is a whole new game with lots of different rules.  I would suggest referring it to someone who know how to do it, because if you try to do it yourself, you may not only lose a client but you may be sued in the process.

Sep 04, 2008 08:47 AM
Christopher Smith
TREGO REALTY - Cedar Rapids, IA

Hey Jon, I'd refer.  I've had situations like that and just got the 25% referral fee and then I could go do what I'm good at and that's residential.  Used to live in Austin; great city.  Say Hi to CHUEYS for me!!!  Christopher

Sep 04, 2008 08:49 AM
Mark Baughman
Re/Max Traditions - Kirtland, OH

Take the 25% referral fee! Commercial is a whole different game, one that is not worth messing around with unless you have the knowledge and experience.

Sep 04, 2008 08:59 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Jon, Having an experienced pro you can bounce off of is the way to go. Being that it's just vacant lat it would be a fairly easy deal to get your feet wet on. The buyer may also be very knowledgeable so don't hesitate to just be straight forward with him and see if he can help.

Sep 04, 2008 10:49 AM
Kathy Fey
Fey & Associates - Dacula, GA


In my real estate career I concentrated mainly on residential real estate, but had an opportunity at one point to list a new shopping strip.  I saw it as a great opportunity to learn a new facet of the real estate industry. I did my homework and accepted the challenge.  A year later, and no leases (although I can very close several times) I lost the listing.  My client listed with an agent seasoned in commerical real estate.  Within 3 months ALL of the stores were leased!  I learned a huge lesson - go with what you know - refer the rest!

Kathy Fey

Fey & Associates - Virtual Real Estate Support


Sep 04, 2008 11:02 AM
Tim Maitski - Sandy Springs, GA
Editor of

A man has to know his limitations.  I would refer it out without thinking twice.  I would be the one in the background watching and learning.

Sep 04, 2008 02:09 PM