Finding A Broker

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Obviously, a great way to find a broker is by word of mouth. But…I don’t really know anyone here yet. Note to self: make friends here. I know I want to be in the luxury sector in Nashville, so I picked-up a copy of Luxury Living Magazine today, the local premium real estate thread.

Luxury Home Magazine

I browsed through the listings to get a sense who’s who then, picked up the phone. I called any broker that looked like someone I would want to work with, and was listing the type of homes in the area and price range that I wanted to be in. I called around 20 brokers, and got various responses. Very useful, I always keep narrative notes when I start a project like this. I noted down by their picture, the date, if I left a message or emailed, etc., and to follow-up with them. The gist of my message was clear:

“I’m Meg, I build luxury homes in California, I am considering doing a California style modern home here, I would like to discuss any opportunities you have now and in the future:

  • -I am looking for off market deals, as well as properties on the MLS with enough spread (will explain what “enough spread” is for me later)

  • -I would like homes that need renovating, but don’t need a lot of added square footage (since I am just starting here)

  • -If you find me a deal to buy, I will give you the listing on the backend when it comes time to sell it

  • -Do you think there is a market for high-end modernized homes here?”

As a developer, I realize that you cannot rely on one broker. Especially in a hot real estate market like Nashville’s today, deals come from different sources and relationships. You don’t want to have overlap, where brokers in the same area are sending you the same deals, because it can become sticky. I try to have a few brokers in each area, and emphasize off-market deals, and my criteria of the style, price and type of project I am looking for. I have found, that each person interprets your criteria differently, so what one broker thinks is a deal, would not have been picked up by another broker. I always disclose to brokers I work with that I work with each of them on a per-deal basis. Now, it is a matter of building up my network, so I can find the right deal.

Development Takeaway: A broker can heavily influence the buying and selling of a project. As a developer, you want someone that is heavily invested in you, someone that will negotiate, and get you the best deal on the buy and highest price on the sell. Building a network of real estate relationships is important to finding the right deals.

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