In many business deals, there are two brokers involved, just as in residential sales there are often two realtors. It just makes sense; sellers and buyers each have a representative who’s looking out for their best interests. Both brokers have a strong incentive to get the deal done quickly. And both brokers, if they’re good ones, have the experience and the knowledge to negotiate a fair deal for both parties.
But some brokers don’t see it that way. They don’t want to split the commission under any circumstances, whereas most of us with common sense realize that if a deal doesn’t happen, no one is happy.
Business Brokers of Florida® (BBF), the professional association that is made up of the leading business brokerages and agents in the state, has taken a positive stance on co-brokering. They describe a broker’s role as “trusted advisors or confidential facilitators between the buyers and sellers of a business deal.” They believe that both buyers and sellers should come away from a deal feeling like winners.
One of the organization’s many objectives is to help business owners sell their businesses for the best possible price while ensuring buyers get a good deal. But, they say, in some cases, a single intermediary may find it challenging to provide their clients with the best possible service. This is where co-brokering comes in.
BBF knows that co-brokering gets the best results. On their website they say, “For the Business Brokers of Florida® (BBF), co-brokering is not only a governing rule of our association; it is a proven fact that co-brokering completes more deals for buyers and sellers. This is confirmed in the numbers where almost thirty percent of the deals completed in the BBF in 2022 were co-brokered between our members.”
Working together on deals builds trust and builds relationships. Getting to know each other’s style and expertise allows us to share advice and feel comfortable making referrals to each other when a business is not a good fit for us.
We can make deals happen faster and more easily if, for example, one of the brokers has more industry experience or access to a lender, appraiser, or other professional who’s the best at what they do. We expand our range of contacts; and potentially reach more potential buyers. This is a big help when you don’t have a strong presence in a particular geographic area or industry. It means that you don’t have to turn down an owner you don’t have the right buyer for – you can look for a partner who might.
Selling and buying a business can be a long and complicated process. Having another experienced broker on your team can help manage the workload and make sure every detail is handled in a timely manner. You might find that two different, but compatible communication styles allow you to make sure the clients feel heard, supported, and appreciated throughout the process. Each broker can play to their strengths.
Our clients feel better about a deal when they each have someone they know is looking out for them. If we can deliver better service and build stronger relationships with clients and our fellow brokers, co-brokering just makes sense. If your broker refuses to work with anyone else, ask them why. The answer will tell you a lot about how they do business and who their priority really is.
Bianca Evans is an experienced business broker based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a top producer in her field and has made over 200 transactions since 2006. She is a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), a Certified M&A Professional (CM & AP), a Board Certified Intermediary (BCI), and has her B.S. degree from the University of Florida.
In her 17 years of experience, she has sold businesses in manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, service, retail, restaurants, professional offices, and more.
She has earned the prestigious million-dollar-plus award among her many accomplishments for 16 consecutive years. She has sold the most (dollars) in North Florida for the past three years.
As part of her process to list a business for sale, she offers free business valuations.
She maintains her professional networks by participating in the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF).
One interesting fact about Bianca is that she used to be a business owner herself! She has been on both sides of the transaction when she purchased and later sold that same business. She finds that perspective invaluable when relating to her clients and balancing the many details and emotions.
She is licensed in Georgia and Florida and speaks fluent German.