Is it part of your mission to establish a church in every community? Or to renew church presence that has faltered in a certain area?
Or is your existing church community growing, but you’re busting at your current building’s seams? Have you outgrown your lease space, or its configuration is no longer meeting the needs of your members or ministries? Debating whether you should buy an existing facility or build from scratch?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might have searched for a church real estate firm. This search can yield an entirely new set of questions: Do church-focused real estate solutions exist? How can you locate the right firm with the right expertise? Should you use a member in your congregation who has a real estate license to help?
Here are three things to consider when determining how to tackle your church real estate problems.
#1 Does the real estate firm you’re considering have experience buying and selling churches?
Anytime you work with a real estate broker, he or she should have an in-depth understanding of the local market. That goes without saying. But beyond market expertise, buying and selling churches is a specialty that comes with niche skills and knowledge you won’t find in a residential or most commercial real estate outfits.
The purchase, sale, or lease of special-use or special-purpose property (like a church) comes with inherent complexities, risks, and costs. A real estate agent who has experience with these can serve you better and even save you money.
#2 Does the real estate broker you’re considering understand church ministry and governance?
Churches are not businesses. There are certain terms that come up in the church real estate process that don’t surface in other types of real estate transactions or decision making. These include “ministry,” “stewardship,” and “elder board,” among others.
The real estate professional you select to help you in your search should have an understanding of church governance, ministry needs, the spiritual aspects of your church home, and other factors that will influence your real estate requirements and deliberations.
#3 Does the church realty solution you’re considering understand church finances?
Budgetary and other funding concerns can make or break your search. Having a real estate agent who can not only work within your budget, but help you optimize it, and is familiar with the managerial aspects of church financing, in addition to church funding sources, can be a real benefit.
Getting this substantial expense right can catapult your church’s place in its community and foster growth. Getting it wrong can cause financial damage that can be difficult to recover from. A Realtor who understands this and can approach your search with sensitivity to financial matters can be a tremendously valuable resource.
Would you like some help from a seasoned church real estate professional who will seek to understand your church’s mission? Contact Ministry Realty to get started today.