Property Biz Canada

Will the commercial real estate broker become extinct?


With the pace of technological change accelerating, it is not reasonably possible for businesses to plan further than five years into the future.

Commercial real estate broker.We like to think we know, however, the change that is coming upon us is so rapid no one has a clear picture of where we’ll be in 10 years.

I see three evolving trends which will translate into opportunities for the savvy commercial real estate broker.

Transparency of conduct

There will come a time in the foreseeable future when brokers will be held to a higher level of accountability.

Blockchain could offer us an accurate track record of an individual’s integrity by tracking the critical steps of every transaction they enter into.

If I want to determine the rating of a medical professional, a quick web search takes me to various rating services which help me choose whom I trust to see.

In the future, our clients are going to seek more than just a recommendation from a friend before deciding whom to engage.

Creating the deal

In the not-too-distant future, a commercial real estate broker will not survive if all he or she is capable of is locating a space for a tenant or buyer. Those brokers who succeed today and in the future will provide valuable advice applicable to the individual client that will help them make much smarter real estate decisions.

Both landlords and sellers will benefit from a creative, strategic marketing plan which can offer much more depth than a commercial listing service.

There will always be a place for the broker who is experienced in locating creative client investment options with value add opportunity.

Diversity of knowledge

Commercial real estate deals are increasing in complexity and we can expect this trend to continue. A full-service broker will advise the client with suggestions for lawyers, appraisers, environmental engineers and financial institutions who are knowledgeable in the specific area of the subject transaction.

A good broker needs to know diligent property managers, contractors and surveyors who can assist the client with professional, cost-effective solutions. Navigating building codes and bylaws is becoming increasingly complicated for all parties in a transaction.

Sloppy due diligence in any one of these critical areas can cause significant financial loss and increase liability risk.

It’s really quite simple; if within our practice we cannot add value to our client’s commercial real estate needs, the brokerage business as it is known today will die.

Those who embrace change and are passionate about developing new systems and strategies to better serve their clients, however, will flourish.

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Barry Stuart

About the Author ()

Born in small town Saskatchewan, I began my real estate career in Saskatoon at a really early age in 1978. Although I can’t claim to be No 1 in North America…I hold bragging rights as the recipient of the 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2016 Top Producer Award for ICR Commercial Real Estate. As a broker licensed in Saskatchewan, we specialize in office and industrial leasing as well as commercial investment sales representing international, national and local clients. Some Previous Experience: Served on the Board of Directors of the Saskatoon Real Estate Board as Vice-President as well as Chairman of the Public Service, Arbitration, Membership, MLS and Public Relations Committees; Chair of St. Philip Neri Parish Council; Member of Canadian Ski Patrol System. I am a member of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, St. Philip Neri Parish, Saskatoon Club and the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association My wife Franki and I have five adult sons (we’re just beginning the grandparent stage of life). My interests include road cycling, Nordic walking, Pilates, downhill skiing and RV’ing.

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