This month I’m going to offer a two-part series. Both articles will examine the advantages of leveraging the expertise of a commercial broker for commercial real estate transactions. This first article will cover the benefits of a commercial broker from a seller’s perspective; I’ll follow up in part two with a look at the benefits from a buyer’s point of view.

Before we delve into the many reasons why using the services of a commercial broker is a good idea for anyone looking to sell commercial real estate, let me just make a few general comments …


Commercial real estate is truly a specialty. A commercial real estate transaction is a complex undertaking that involves thousands of details and interrelated tasks. It can be very difficult for someone without a thorough knowledge of the commercial real estate business to manage a transaction efficiently and without missing details that would result in unnecessarily wasted time and money. The commercial real estate industry, along with all of the rules and regulations that govern it, is very dynamic. Things can change so quickly that even seasoned professionals can fall behind if they are not diligent about staying current.

I sometimes compare commercial brokers to attorneys. When people (that are not legal professionals) have legal issues, they could try to represent themselves, but it’s not a good idea. Without the vast knowledge and understanding of the minute details that a qualified attorney possesses, there’s a high probability that details could be overlooked and costly mistakes be made. Good attorneys know the most current laws and the smartest strategies and tactics for addressing legal issues. An attorney is an expert consultant for legal issues, and a commercial real estate broker is an expert consultant for real estate transactions.

A commercial broker can represent buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. So let’s take a look at what a broker can do for sellers.

One of the most important benefits that a reputable broker offers a seller is effective marketing. Obviously, when sellers list properties, they need to get the word out to viable buyer prospects. This is how they reach the best prospects and they get the best price for the property. Unlike most property owners, quality brokers have a wide variety of marketing tools and resources at their disposal and the expertise to use those tools to maximize the exposure of the property to the target audience most likely to be interested in buying. Because a broker has these tools in place and uses them often, he or she will be able to run each marketing campaign efficiently and cost effectively. Marketing for-sale properties is something most brokers do practically every day, so the process usually runs like a well-oiled machine. Once the seller submits the details of the property, the broker will have it in the MLS system, on multiple internet real estate sites, and in all the right print publications almost immediately. In most cases, signs, flyers, email blasts, direct mail and other communications channels will also be used to enhance the campaign. In addition to the standard marketing channels, if a broker has been working in the area for an extended period of time, he or she has probably built up a network of relationships with clients, investors and other brokers that will result in some excellent leads.

An experienced broker may also have the talent and ability to look at the property from different perspectives and recognize variables that the owner didn’t notice. A broker can frequently help the seller identify the highest potential for the property based on factors such as location, square footage, property type and more. For example, a property near the hospital may have the most value as a medical facility. A building near the courthouse may be ideal for an attorney’s office. A specific example in Wilmington is on the corner of Oleander Drive and Independence Boulevard. Remember the old Exxon station? Today it’s a thriving Starbucks. It’s on the corner of a busy, high-visibility intersection that’s easily accessible from either side, and near business and residential areas – it’s the perfect spot for a Starbucks.

Proactive commercial real estate brokers also will offer sellers ideas about the best way to utilize their properties. Understanding the variety of ways a particular property can be split or subdivided can expand the appeal of the property to a broader audience. A good broker will run scores of analytics to determine the true value of the property for a range of business scenarios, and then find the appropriate target buyers.

The bottom line is, a commercial real estate broker is a specialist that has the tools, knowledge and connections to help sellers locate buyers efficiently and cost effectively.

Continue reading “The Benefits of a Broker In Commercial Real Estate (Part 1 of 2)”

Whole Foods Acquired Seven Shuttered Chicago Area Dominick’s Stores

Whole Foods Acquired Seven Shuttered Chicago Area Dominick’s Stores

Whole Foods Market has acquired seven shuttered Dominick’s stores — four in Chicago and three in the suburbs — and will open them in a year.

“Whole Foods Markets takes 12 to 15 months, on average, to open a store, so [the wait time] is not unusual,” company spokeswoman Allison Phelps said Friday. “Each store is unique to the community and we take our time making sure it reflects that and is a special place for each neighborhood.”

Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but details are expected to be released when Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods reports earnings on Feb. 12.

The stores are at:

—Edgewater, 6009 N. Broadway

—Lincoln Park, 959 W. Fullerton Ave.

—Streeterville, 255 E. Grand Ave.

—West Loop, 1 N. Halsted St.

—Elmhurst, 215 S. Route 83

—Evanston, 2748 Green Bay Road

—Willowbrook, 6300 S. Kingery Highway

An existing Whole Foods store that’s just around the corner from the Willowbrook site will no longer serve as a Whole Foods, but no further information was available.

Phelps said Whole Foods chooses sites based on availability, population density, cost of the real estate, and the neighborhood’s levels of education, income and interest in natural and organic foods.

In addition to the seven former Dominick’s stores, Whole Foods Markets is scheduled to open three more stores in the Chicago area by 2017. The new stores join five existing Whole Foods stores in Chicago and 15 in the greater Chicago region.

The three Whole Foods stores opening by 2017 are in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods and suburban Lake Forest.

Former Dominick’s workers are encouraged to apply for jobs at any Whole Foods, including existing stores, Phelps said.

Source: Chicago Sun Times Sandra Guy January 31, 2014


CNN Ranks Naperville in Top 100 Best Places to Live


Top 100 rank: 54
Population: 152,600

In its list of America’s best small cities, CNN Money ranks Naperville at No. 54

Community is king in Naperville, which adds a local 1% tax on food and beverages to fund events and heritage celebrations. Come summer, residents converge on Centennial Beach, a huge quarry purchased by the city during its 1931 centennial celebration, or stroll along the 1.75 miles of brick paths on the DuPage Riverwalk in the heart of town. Top schools and lots of jobs at firms like OfficeMax and Alcatel-Lucent round out this picture of near perfection — marred only by some congestion on nearby highways and a lengthy commute for those who work in downtown Chicago.

Source: CNN Money


Coldwell Banker Commercial Largest Number of CCIM Designees and Candidates

Investing in commercial brokers’ education is key.

“Investing in your mind is one of the most important activities you can engage in as a business professional,” says Fred Schmidt, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. With an emphasis on investing in the educational opportunities of its professionals, Coldwell Banker Commercial has made CCIM educational offerings an integral part of the company’s professional development strategy by delivering CCIM courses at its conferences, awarding CCIM scholarships to brokers, and providing discounts on CCIM membership and courses to affiliates.

CCIM Partner Connection asked Fred Schmidt and David Birnbaum, vice-president, learning, to share insights on how the CCIM program adds value for Coldwell Banker Commercial professionals.

CCIM: Which CCIM courses and concepts are most useful and valuable to Coldwell Banker Commercial brokers?

Schmidt: As part of our Emerging Broker Training program, we give an annual Top Student scholarship, which consists of paid tuition to attend the CI 101 course to help get the professional started on their path to designation. We encourage all of our graduates to continue on and take the entire core curriculum, but CI 101 is an essential building block for anyone in commercial real estate.

Birnbaum: Although all the CCIM courses are rigorous and valuable, we focus on the core courses (101-104), as well as their webinars, workshops, and online courses. The core courses provide an essential foundation in the commercial real estate business, while the CCIM webinars and conference seminars cover emerging topics and trends in commercial real estate, which teach CBC professionals how to excel in a fast-changing industry.

CCIM: How do Coldwell Banker Commercial brokers/agents apply the skills they acquire through CCIM courses?

Schmidt: We’ve found that a successful formula for success in the business is requiring new professionals to take CBC’s Emerging Broker Training and to complete their CCIM designation within three to four years of starting in the business. For example, this is the model that is followed by one of our owner/brokers, Rick Canup. Every recruit Rick brings in completes our four-month EBT program, and then goes on to complete their CCIM designation. These two course curriculums together provide a robust knowledgebase that in the end is beneficial for the client. In fact, several of the professionals from Rick’s office are part of our Top Two — those producers who are in the top two percentile of CBC across the United States.

CCIM: What value does CCIM education and your affiliation with the CCIM Institute add for Coldwell Banker Commercial professionals?

Birnbaum: Having the CCIM designation provides a higher level of business acumen and professionalism with instant credibility in the market. It is a badge of honor that the CBC organization espouses; achieving the designation is highly encouraged.

CCIM: Please describe the return on investment that Coldwell Banker Commercial experiences as a result of its affiliation with the CCIM Institute.

Schmidt: Individual results vary by market size, specialization, and a candidate’s number of years in the business, but anecdotally we perceive that when you compare the average income of those who have achieved the CCIM designation, typically their average income is higher than those who have not.

Birnbaum: Coldwell Banker Commercial proudly supports those CCIM initiatives that promote diversity within commercial real estate. CBC also has numerous professionals who teach CCIM classes, and during our annual global conference, the CCIM offerings are among the highest rated by our attendees.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Exclusive Leasing Agent Hanover Square


Randy Taylor and Chris Surico of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT
Awarded Exclusive Leasing Assignment for Hanover Square Shopping Center

NORTHBROOK, Ill –Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT has been awarded the exclusive leasing assignment for the Hanover Square Shopping Center in Hanover Park, Illinois.  Randy Taylor and Chris Surico with Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT will be leading the leasing efforts for the 114,750 square foot neighborhood retail center that is owned by the Village of Hanover Park. 

The center, being redeveloped by the Village of Hanover Park, offers retailers a unique opportunity to be a part of the repositioning of this center in the community with availability from 1,500-39,000 square feet. Located just north of the busy intersection of West Lake Street and Barrington Road, Hanover Square Shopping Center is conveniently within close proximity to the Hanover Park Metra station and other public transportation.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates is one of the leading franchisors of commercial real estate services through the Coldwell Banker Commercial®brand. Coldwell Banker Commercial is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Through its independently owned and operated offices, the Coldwell Banker Commercial network is a premier provider of real estate services and is a leader in the commercial real estate industry. The Coldwell Banker Commercial network of brokers serves the needs of owners and occupiers in the leasing, acquisition, disposition, structured finance and management of all property types. The Coldwell Banker Commercial network of commercial brokers can be found in 41 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, the world’s largest real estate franchisor.