A conversation with Dylan McGrath, a resident of Encinitas, and business broker with First Choice Business Brokers (FCBB), located in San Diego.
GEORGE BAKES: What made you decide to choose business brokerage as a career?
MCGRATH: I sold residential real estate for two and a half years and was successful, but realized I could not foresee myself pursuing it as a long-term career. I was introduced to business brokerage, one thing led to another and I joined FCBB. The more I learned about the business, the more I became intrigued…I really enjoy working with business owners. My educational background is in Marketing and Advertising. I like marketing to and working with business owners and learning how they were able to grow their business.
BAKES: What makes your business unique? What distinguishes what you do from other business brokers?
MCGRATH: FCBB has a significant marketing budget, different from that of a small boutique firm. FCBB has created a large network through solid relationships with a number of strategic partners. I have found that FCBB’s approach has allowed me to capture business owners who are looking for superior customer service. I maintain consistent communication with my clients on at least a weekly basis if not more often. I find that business owners are extremely busy running their business and don’t have time to pick up the phone to call me for an update.
BAKES: What are some of the things that you would like San Diego residents to know about your business, that they may not know?
MCGRATH: When a business owner considers selling a business, it’s critical to design an appropriate exit strategy, and properly position their business for a successful sale…that process can typically take 2-3 years. Therefore, it is important to establish a relationship with a good business broker so that when the time is right, that business owner is ready to market their business in the most efficient and timely manner.
BAKES: What is your opinion of the current economic climate in San Diego county?
MCGRATH: I believe that in the past few months, business owners were holding back because of the election and the still uncertain tax climate…however, I’m finding that small businesses are selling despite this uncertainty…in contrast to the current residential real estate market, we are seeing numerous buyers looking for good business opportunities. Also, due to corporate layoffs within larger corporations throughout San Diego, those individuals are now looking at alternatives to rejoining the corporate marketplace.
BAKES: What direction would you like to see for San Diego county?
MCGRATH: We come across some good business opportunities but unfortunately buyers can’t afford to pay top dollar for commercial space. I would say that approximately 90% of business owners currently lease rather than own. I would strongly encourage landlords to think more in terms of establishing long-term relationships with these businesses rather than simply obtain the highest possible rents...they should focus more on the potential future growth that these businesses are capable of...in the longer-term, more affordable rents will encourage greater growth and far less business failures.
BAKES: What other types of businesses would you like to see come to San Diego?
MCGRATH: We have access to a wide variety of businesses where I live in Encinitas. That being said, there are certain businesses and industries that buyers are looking to enter. I would like to see the presence of more manufacturing businesses. There is huge demand for property management companies and medical billing businesses. Also, I see a need for more home health care and service-based businesses in general…those are the industries where we see the greatest buyer demand.
The author, George Bakes, is a commercial real estate broker in the Del Mar office of Coldwell Banker, 2651 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, California, 92014, (858) 602-2799, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.georgebakes.net.