The First Step to a Successful Sale: Finding the Right Broker

April 29, 2020

Success in selling your self-storage facility is defined as receiving the best terms and highest market price for a property with a smooth and easy transaction process. In order to achieve this in the current, COVID-19 environment, it is essential to use a self-storage broker. Using a self-storage broker is similar to going to a lawyer for legal issues: you could deal with it on your own, but having professional guidance and advice will only increase your chances of success. Like a good lawyer, good self-storage brokers have the expertise and experience to get you the best possible outcome to accomplish your goals. Just like lawyers though, not all brokers are equal and some can actually hurt the transaction process. This is why it is extremely important to choose your broker wisely, as there are certain desirable and undesirable qualities that will determine the value you receive from their services.

What a Good Broker Will Do

A good broker will do 3 main things for you: first, they will help you evaluate the market and assess the value of your asset properly. The biggest pitfall for self-storage sellers is to either overprice or undervalue their asset. Your only insurance against this is to hire a good broker who will understand all of the economic factors, the market your property is in and what an investor could expect to make from your property.

Secondly, a good broker will market your property with the maximum amount of exposure to qualified buyers. You don’t want a broker that relies on a couple of former buyers or gets you to sign a contract with just anyone off the street. By creating an auction-like environment with qualified buyers, a good broker can ensure that you are getting the best price and terms for your property.

Lastly, a good broker will work with you until the money is in your bank account. There are a lot of details in a transaction and numerous potential pitfalls for sellers. A quality broker will advise you throughout the process, make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of, and ensure that you get your property sold for the best possible price.

Characteristics of Good Brokers

Here is a checklist of key characteristics to look for in a broker:

  1. They offer a national platform. Being in multiple markets means they have lots of connections to buyers. They will have access to both national and local buyers to provide you the best opportunity for selling your self-storage facility. Also, being in multiple markets helps ensure that you are working with an experienced broker who will understand the macro-economic factors that affect your property’s value.
  2. They have a comprehensive marketing campaign. Is it organized and systematic? Do you like the way their packages are put together? Make sure to look at a deal that is the same size as yours. Some brokers put together really beautiful packages, but only for deals over a certain size. It is also very important that they are personally calling buyers, as well as releasing it online for people to review.  This is an indicator to how well they will handle your potential buyers during the transaction, in addition to the ability to attract buyers.
  3. They keep in contact. Ask how they will provide you updates during the sales process. Who will handle the scheduling of site visits and how will that be communicated to you? You need to make sure that they don’t get the listing agreement and then you never hear from them again. A good broker will keep you up to date throughout the entire process.
  4. They have experience managing self-storage transactions from start to finish. While handling other asset classes can be valuable experience, it differs from the self-storage industry. There are standards in the self-storage industry that are not standard anywhere else, and only brokers with experience in self-storage will know this. Thus, good brokers are those who have experienced the transaction process from start to finish as they know the buyers and the process inside and out.

Following this guide is a great start to finding a high quality broker to sell your property. Make sure you pick up the phone and find a qualified self-storage broker. You need to develop a trusting relationship where you are certain that they are not only looking out for your best interests, but are capable of getting you the best terms possible. Engaging the right broker is the first step on the right track for selling success.