Buying a Commercial Property

California Attorney and Real Estate Broker Chris Adishian answers the question, “When buying a commercial property, who should be on my team?” at the South Bay Association of Realtors Commercial Attorney Panel on June 2, 2015.


When you go into a transaction, like buying a commercial property, you want to make sure you have your team together. You might say “that’s great, who should be on my team?” Well, the people you want are a really good brokerage firm and/or an agent if the broker is not a selling broker actively out there in the marketplace.

You want an excellent insurance person: there are a lot of insurance issues and a lot of different ways that run through managing and owning a commercial property.

The third person you want is an attorney – stuff will come up. The fourth person you probably want is perhaps a property manager.

There are a lot of different roles. Sometimes they can all overlap, sometimes they’re distinct, and there are reasons why you may want them to overlap and reasons why you may want them to be distinct.

A property manager, at their core – they run the property sort of like a CFO or a trustee for the owner. They collect all the rents, pay all the vendors, generate financial statements, and hopefully if the property is running well, they distribute checks to the owners at the end of each month.

The leasing agent handles if there’s a vacancy. When a property has some spaces that turn over, the agent will be called into market that space and lease it. In that situation, you’re having those roles separated out. Often times, property managers may want to lease it, but they’re kind of different skill sets. We often separate those out. If there’s a vacancy, we have the leasing agent handle it. We’ll consult with him or her. This person knows the market, knows how to market, has the databases – that’s not really the business we’re in.

The third piece is real estate brokerage. Brokerage is really about buying and selling property, not so much about leasing. And again, all those things can be blended together in a firm, but brokerage is really focused on you’re ready to sell your building, you’re ready to buy a building – we’ll help you do that.


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