Real Estate Agents and Business Brokers
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Real Estate Agents and Business Brokers

I got a chance to speak with business broker Tawnya Gilreath this week about the differences between real estate sales and small business sales.

There are a lot of real estate agents in California. "One out of every 75 people in California have a real estate license," she said. Just having a real estate license doesn't mean they know how to sell a business.

Business sales aren't like residential real estate sales because home prices are not as volatile. "The value of a business can change drastically within 30 days -- or even a week." A business can't be shown like a home because of confidentiality. Letting your customers, vendors, or employees to know your business is for sale can make the value drop quickly. It's critical to attract potential buyers and at the same time keep the sale confidential.

Another factor is that realtors don't have errors and omissions insurance. They aren't trained in how due diligence works. "We're trained in how to protect the buyer - or the seller."

Gilreath works with real estate agents on a referral basis. When an agent sends her a qualified buyer they get 20% or for 25% on for a qualified lead on a new business for sale listing.

Gilreath was in software development and design for over 20 years before she decided she didn't want to be tied to a computer. In her work she spent time at chambers of commerce. She often heard small business owners talk about they wanted to retire but their kids didn't want their business. So they simply stopped marketing and advertising. They slowly killed their businesses. Gilreath thought it was a sad situation and wanted to do something to help.

In 2001 she got her real estate lisence and joined a franchise for business brokers called First Choice Business. The franchise trains all agents and offers protection and support to business brokers.

She sells all types of businesses -- service businesses, retail businesses, manufacturing, franchise, etc. Located in Van Nuys location she primarily serves the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and surrounding Los Angeles County marketplace.

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