17 Traits To Look For In A Commercial Real Estate Partner

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Investing in a commercial real estate property can be a move that opens an entrepreneur up to new opportunities. While some entrepreneurs opt to do everything themselves, including financing the investment, finding a partner to help ease the financial burden and share in the decision making can be beneficial.

However, before making any concrete decisions on a partner, it’s best to do your due diligence to ensure you know exactly who you are partnering with before signing on the dotted line. Here, 17 Forbes Business Council members each share one trait they look for in a potential commercial real estate investment partner to ensure they’re a good fit, as well as how that characteristic impacts the partnership dynamic.

1. A Commitment To Harmony

In commercial real estate partnerships, harmony and alignment are vital just like any relationship. Seek a partner whose values and aspirations resonate with yours to foster open communication and mutual respect. Traits like transparency, reliability and a willingness to collaborate are fundamental in nurturing trust and fostering a harmonious and prosperous alliance. – Kartik Jobanputra, Smartt.Studio

2. Trustworthy

In any partnership, trust and transparency are very crucial. Partners should trust each other while being transparent and accountable. They should also have an aligned vision and exit strategy. Additionally, partners need to be clear about their financial commitments and their expectations about returns. – Reza Esmaeili, Land Services Group

3. Goals And Value Alignment

When investing in commercial real estate with a partner, I look for alignment in goals and values. A good partner shares a long-term vision for the project and is committed to integrity and transparency. We also need strong communication and complementary skills to navigate challenges together. A partner who is reliable and willing to collaborate will make the process smoother and more successful. – Ricky Trinidad, Metrovitalization

4. Reliable

When picking a partner to buy commercial real estate with, reliability is critical. You should look for a partner who has verified funds, a track record of transparency and a history of quality investments that precede you. These traits mean you can trust that your partner will make managing risk together easier. – Chris Kille, EO Staff

5. Financially Stable

When investing in commercial real estate, look for financial stability in a partner. This trait ensures they can handle their share of the investment and any potential unforeseen costs, reducing financial risk and fostering a reliable, stress-free partnership. – Malcolm Allen, Graduate America

6. Active With A Solid Track Record

When looking for a partner, track records alone are not enough anymore because interest rates and state and local laws change quickly. A person who has been actively in deals for the last five to seven years could have more relevant experience than someone who has done it for 30 years but has been inactive for the past few years. – Jesse Sasomsup, Earnest Homes


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7. A Mature Temperament

Assuming they are qualified and trustworthy to invest with, you need to ensure that your potential partner has a temperament that will allow you to get along with them. They may be qualified and trustworthy but would you want to partner up if they are prone to sudden emotional outbursts? Also, you need to know their financial goals so you can agree on time horizons regarding cashing out or if they eventually leave. – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures

8. Long-Term Goal Alignment

Aligning on long-term goals is crucial when choosing a partner for commercial real estate investments. Seek a partner who demonstrates financial stability, a commitment to due diligence and a track record of ethical practices. These qualities will help ensure effective management of market fluctuations and risks. – Kameel Gaines, Rig On Wheels Broker & Recruitment Services

9. Shared Principles

Would you do business with this person for 50 years? If not, don’t do it for even 50 minutes. A partnership is a business marriage, so the foundation should be built on shared life principles and high-quality characteristics. From there, agree on your investment thesis. Then determine your specific buy box and start chipping away one underwriting at a time. – Brian Spear, Sunrise Capital Investors

10. Emotionally Intelligent And Trustworthy

When choosing a partner for commercial real estate investment, prioritize emotional intelligence and trustworthiness. These qualities foster a deeper connection and understanding, ensuring that decisions are not just driven by financial logic but also by mutual respect and a shared vision. This emotional alignment can significantly enhance collaboration and the success of your joint ventures. – Shehar Yar, Software House

11. Having Integrity

Integrity is key, as partners must share the same moral values and not compromise them for any corrupt activity or involvement in financial mishandling. In the future, this will enable them to resolve any situation with honesty and fairness to both parties. – Onahira Rivas, Florida’s Cotton Clouds

12. Complementary Skills And Expertise

When selecting a partner for any investment, look for someone with complementary skills or expertise. A partner can be someone who brings with them unique insights (real estate experience in this case) or general skills that are different from what you bring to the table. This trait can enhance decision making and contribute to the success of the investment venture. – Ryan Austin, Cognota

13. Busy

In addition to having an honest talk about possible outcomes and making sure their expectations are aligned, I like partners who have full-time jobs. If they are busy making their primary thing happen, they have less time to obsess over what I am doing. Also, the amount they invest with me should ideally be more than 5% but no more than 20% of their net worth. – Barry Raber, Carefree Covered RV Storage

14. Able To Utilize The Investment

If you yourself do not want to be involved in commercial real estate operations and want to make it a simple real estate investment, a candidate in an industry that can utilize the commercial space through apparel shops, restaurants, services with other stores, etc. is best. The key to investment success is to be able to secure a lot of stores. – Karita Takahisa, UNIFY PLATFORM AG

15. Aligned On Investment Goals And Risk Tolerance

When partnering in commercial real estate, it’s essential to look for a partner with aligned investment goals and risk tolerance. A good partner should have a transparent and consistent communication style. This alignment ensures that both parties can make decisions cohesively and navigate potential challenges effectively, reducing conflict and facilitating a successful investment venture. – Serge Guzenko, WEZOM

16. Having A Solid Network

This is an essential part of my job as a fund manager. I do background checks on the leaders of the companies I plan to work with and research them on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram. Knowing the type of people they’re connected with and who they follow is also important. The company one keeps can corrupt good habits, meaning you must ensure they’re not connected with known scammers. – Joseph Kimbrough, Apex Real Estate Investments

17. Possessing A Long-Term Outlook

When selecting a partner for commercial real estate investment, look for someone with a long-term outlook. Patience is key in real estate, as investments often span decades. A partner committed to long-term growth and stability aligns well with the enduring nature of real estate assets, ensuring a compatible and successful partnership. – Jay Nagrecha, Rajsi Group

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