Before speaking with a commercial broker, is it imperative you know the exact location you'd like to invest in? By that I mean, do you need to know specific submarkets or can you just have certain cities you're interested in and then research the locations later when there is a potential deal?
Any commercial broker is going to have their specific focus. So you can't just find a single broker and tell them to send you deals for Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. The more information you can provide the more useful the broker will be to you. You should really know that for yourself, so just pass that along to them. Otherwise they will send you whatever they have on deck that you will just reject and eventually they'll stop sending you things because you're a tire kicker.
@Michael Le Thank you for the response! Any advice/resources on choosing good submarkets to focus on?
@Jennifer Brown , you can read Dave Lindahl's Emerging Real Estate Markets book but generally you just read the industry news to find markets that have job growth, population growth, and are generally business/landlord friendly. You live in Forth Worth and it meets all of those requirements. So you can start in your backyard, but just expect a lot of competition. People will chase secondary and tertiary market deals because of the high competition but then the indicators won't be as strong and so there will be higher risk. So in the end you'll have to decide what is your tolerance for competition vs risk.
@Jennifer Brown , I tend to agree with @Michael Le . There is a bit of a catch 22 here. If it is your first deal, you need to know how much money you have access to to even begin shopping but it does help to have a specific deal or specific deal type identified to get a good quote. This is one of the many reasons that people like to get some "street cred" by partnering on their first couple of deals.
A bank won't hang around for 12 months while you look for a deal. But if you show that you are in-it-to-win-it, then they will stick around.