Best Commercial Real Estate Brokers in Chicago

We know that real estate can be a real headache for your company to deal with. That’s why excellent Chicago commercial real estate brokerages exist. Learn more about commercial real estate brokerages below or get right to the list of our top Chicago commercial real estate brokerages.

What is commercial real estate?
Commercial real estate is a property used exclusively for business purposes. You’ve mostly likely spent plenty of time in commercial real estate, from your place of work, to the stores you shop at. Commercial real estate can include small storefronts or giant malls. Even manufacturing plants count as commercial real-estate. Commercial real estate is often leased to income generating businesses, but larger companies can also sell or buy their space. The buildings are providing a service or product for commercial use. 


How much do commercial brokers charge for selling property? 

Typical fees can range between 2-8 percent of transaction price. The work that goes into selling, buying, or leasing a commercial property is significant. There are plenty of factors that affect the pricing for Chicago commercial real estate brokerages. Usually, selling empty land may prove tougher than an improved property, but in Chicago, land in the right spot may not be as much of a hassle. Are you leasing or selling? 


What type of property are you transacting? Remember, commercial real estate can induce a wide variety of properties, including properties ready for manufacturing and others ready for a boutique clothing shop. Market demand is an ever present factor. It’s easier to find the right buyer when the market is full of them. If you are selling a larger amount of space, you can often lock in lower commissions. 


What is a Commercial real estate brokerage?

Before diving deeper into the topic. You may ask yourself, what exactly is a commercial brokerage firm? At its core, commercial brokerage firms help clients buy rent or sell commercial property. 


Commercial brokerage firms can provide a variety of services to support their role of finding a tenant or property 


Leasing – Commercial brokerage firms can serve as a great aid when it comes to setting lease conditions and rates. You have real estate experts who have seen thousands of contracts before, and are familiar with your needs. They work to get you a competitive deal. 


Marketing – Commercial brokerage firms are able to attract a large amount of qualified buyer or leasees for your property. Chicago commercial real estate brokerage firms are embedded within the city and have a deep expertise on how they can connect their clients with the right partner. 


Research and Pricing – Commercial brokerage firms can be a crucial research tool to help commercial property owners understand the market they are operating in, and potential buyers that are out there. In addition, through extensive analysis, Chicago commercial brokerage firms are able to uncover the right price for your sell or lease, making sure you leave nothing on the table. 


What does a broker do in commercial real estate 

There are different types of brokers. Some brokerage firms work only with landlords. Their goal is to find valuable and trustworthy commercial tenants for a property owner. The property owner is their client. 


Other brokerage firms only work with tenants. Their goal is to find a good deal for the prospective tenant and to find space that meets the client’s needs. They’ll work with you to determine what exactly you need for your business growth and will commit to exploring all available options that can fulfill your needs. 


There are also brokers that work with tenants and landlords. You’ll find plenty of brokers like these. They are a good option, as long as they are transparent and professional. Consider this, what happens if a broker is showing a potential tenant, and property owned by a landlord that they also represent? You have to be aware of potential conflicts of interest, but it is also easy for a broker to show a potential tenant properties that they have no client relation with. 


Commercial brokerage firms can serve as partners in negotiations and contracting as well, which is useful for any business owners!


Commercial real estate brokers start out with a regular real estate license in their state, and pursue extra certification and education to deal with commercial real estate. 


They may be required to take 60-90 hours of state-approved licensing courses, and take re-education courses periodically to maintain their license. 


After completing state-approved licensing courses, the broker will take an exam. As part of the exam, applicants have to demonstrate a strong knowledge of state-level and federal commercial real estate laws. 


How much does office space cost in Chicago?

There is a lot of commercial space in Chicago. Chicago commercial real estate brokerages have plenty of properties to help buy, sell and lease. 


The average price of Chicago office space in 2020 was about $340/SQ. There are many factors that impact pricing of course. In 2020, COVID-19 may have dampened certain markets. 

More generally, location is one of the biggest factors. Would you pay more for an office in Downtown Chicago or near the city limits? Chicago has plenty of public transportation and roads, but location is still very important. For client-facing firms, location can add to the firm’s marketing efforts and appeal. 


Amenities may raise the price of a space as well. Is there a reception desk? How about a gym on-site or roof-top cafe? For business owners, amenities may not be the first thing they consider when choosing a location, but it can certainly help not only impress customers, but also potential employees. Condition of the building is similar. You want to first and foremost make sure you are in a safe building, whether it is an office space or a warehouse.   


Finally, how much space do you need? If you are booking to lease entire floors or sections of buildings, you may find more favorable per/square foot rates. Nowadays, there are certainly solutions for companies that only need a small amount of space.  


What qualities should you look for in a Chicago commercial real estate brokerage?

Honesty – when dealing with important transactions like real estate, honesty is non-negotiable. Strive to find a Chicago commercial real estate brokerage that is transparent and honest throughout their entire process with clients. 


They have a strong network – You want a brokerage firm that has deep roots in the market of your interest. The best brokerage firms are involved in their community, familiar to local real estate professionals, and have subject-matter expertise in your specific sector or industry. 


Committed to growth – There is always more to learn. The best brokerages are committed to learning and growing as a company, so they can always stay on the cutting edge of real estate know-how and deliver the best experience to their clients. 


Great testimonials – What’s one way to know you are dealing with a great company? Talk to their previous clients! Chicago commercial real estate brokerages that have had sustained success will have no problem sharing testimonials from their current or past clients. 


What is the difference between a real estate broker and real estate agent

In short, brokers are real estate agents who have achieved further certification and licensing through continuing their education on the subject matter. 

Commercial real estate brokers have extensive knowledge in the field and are able to work fairly autonomously. Chicago commercial real estate brokers have in-depth knowledge of the city and what properties or tenants need to succeed.  Real estate agents are perfectly capable as well, and can help support larger commercial real estate efforts. 

Cool Things Chicago