Never underestimate the value of advice, and since you are about to invest a sizable amount of money in the world of high-end retail real estate, you're definitely in need of advice. Make no mistake, real estate can be a gamble just like any type of investment, and you want to get the best advice from an expert.
Does this mean you should call Aunt Sadie, who bought the little candy store in the Bronx? How about your friend Rob, who has been very successful selling residential real estate; or your plumber, who--unbidden--is already imparting his immense wealth of information on the topic of real estate?
Of course not. You want to go to an expert, and preferably one who is not related to you. It is a good idea to always keep your business separate from friends and family.
So what to do? Do research. Use the Internet to find the property investment managers they have listed. Study and jot down notes on the ones that seem promising to you and that are within convenient geographic proximity. Log on to the Better Business Bureau in that area to see if there have ever been complaints about this firm.
Next, make appointments to speak to each firm's property investment advisor, and compare them to see which of them suits you best. The advisors won't mind, as long as you keep it short and ask only straight-to-the point questions. Talk about not only the upfront advice you will need, but also ask what services they offer and who might be on the team assigned to your account. Visualize this company actually managing all aspects of your real estate investments.
Look around you while you are interviewing the advisor. Be observant and try to get a feeling for the ambience in these offices. You certainly won't want advice from a firm whose mood is frenetic and unfriendly. There are problems, too, if the employees are jumpy and seem unsure of themselves.
So, if you shop carefully for advice, chances are you'll choose the property investment firm that will provide the ideas and information that will help you to become the real estate tycoon you'd imagined.