Questions for Brokers
From an Ask-NCN Discussion
Irene Lehrer Sandalow, 4/19/16
We are collaborative group of Jewish nonprofits looking to create a shared office and program space in Chicago.
In May, we’ll be meeting with brokers to help us find a space.
- In our interview process, what questions should we ask?
- What should be our criteria for engaging a real estate broker?
- What other advice do you have for us for this phase of the process?
Judy Lind, Kukui Children’s Foundation, 4/19/16
I would seek out a realtor who has worked with other nonprofits in seeking space. Our needs are different than those of a for profit entity. I assume there is no shared spaces building in your area you could approach? That’s by far the best setting for nonprofits as there are other benefits.
I would definitely ask them for references from clients who may have some similar characteristics.
Someone who is familiar with your organizations would be a plus.
And give a call to your local Children’s Advocacy Center. Ask to talk with the ED. They are co-located centers that deal with child abuse and they may have someone to recommend. The current one was built many years ago and the director’s name was Erin. If she’s still around, you can use me as a reference.
Mike Ban, Chicago Literacy Alliance, 4/19/16
Irene, last May we opened Literacenter, a co-working shared space for literacy nonprofits. Our broker is Larry Serota of Transwestern and they were terrific. They understand the nonprofit world as well as area real estate and I give them the highest praise. They were with us every step of the way, from showing us candidate spaces to counsel and advice on the lease, and the buildout. Larry’s phone number is 312-881-7038.