Planning Aids for Leasing Managers in Commercial Real Estate

Leasing managers in commercial real estate need a few good leasing aids and tools that can help with market coverage and planning future transaction activity.   It should be said, that the leasing process is quite special in both property types, city locations, and tenant interaction. (NB – you can get plenty of leasing tips and ideas here in Snapshot – its free)

As a part of the commercial and retail property market, leasing, vacancy management, and landlord services can be very lucrative for those agents and brokers that refine their services and property priorities.  Develop daily activities to systems of contact and levels of professional negotiation for both tenants and landlords.

These are the facts to remember and work with.  There are always plenty of tenants and landlords in the local property markets of any town or city to find and convert as part of a leasing transaction or opportunity.  The issue to remember and respect as part of that process is that a specific research and contact focus will be needed to gain market share and negotiation frequency.

The leasing plan tools

Here are some very useful planning aids for commercial and retail property leasing specialists:

 

  1. Tenant lists and tenancy schedules – over time you will gather plenty of information regards tenants in occupancy in local buildings. Those tenant lists can help you with future negotiations and tenant movement.  From those lists you can monitor leasing activity, vacancy potential, and priority tenants.
  2. Targeted building locations – given your precinct of property activity, create a list of targeted buildings to work with over time. Get to know all the tenants and all the landlords in each case.  The targeted process is very useful when it comes to understanding rents, vacancies, and property change.  That then helps with lease negotiation.
  3. Targeted tenants – some tenants are better than others when it comes to leasing opportunity and relocation. Whilst you may work with different tenant types and premise requirements, always maintain a list of targeted tenants that you would consider as VIPs for your business activity.
  4. Fit out costs and comparisons – the costs of relocation will always be an element of lease motivation and tenant change. Those costs will include fit out construction, rental, incentives, and building or occupancy approval costs.  Understand the costs as they apply to the different tenant types, building types, and fit-out configurations.  A solid awareness of the cost issues will help you with negotiations.
  5. Landlord contact details – create a list of landlords for your local area across all the targeted buildings and within the priority precincts. Establish a contact process using the telephone, e-mail, and direct mail for all those landlords.  Share valuable local information relating to rental activity, property usage, and recent enquiry.
  6. Lease expiry profiles – track all the results and the trends relating to lease expiries locally. Understand where the tenants are coming from and moving too.  Keep up the dialog with all local businesses and tenants to capture the property movement requirements at the right time and in the right way.
  7. Rental results from recent deals – watch the occupancy costs that apply to leasing and business activity. The occupancy costs will be relevant to landlords and or tenants depending on who you would consider as your targeted market.  Pitch or leasing services to tenants and landlords based on the factors of opportunity in lease management and relocation.  You can display local property market information and leasing trends graphically, and statistically.  Take the visual approach when it comes to information sharing in commercial real estate leasing.
  8. Call contact lists – maintain your call contact lists and grow them at each opportunity. Every meeting, telephone call, or business conversation will be an opportunity for the list to grow over time.  Merge all that information into a database.  Make sure that you’re using a database that is cloud based for immediate timely access when required.  Your call contact lists can be segmented into areas, property types, and enquiry requirements.
  9. Property manager detail – local property managers will be ongoing valuable contacts for you when it comes to leasing, tenancy change, and vacancy identification. Those property managers will generally need help when it comes to solving vacancy problems in their managed assets.
  10. Tenancy measurement tools – carry a tape measure, a laser measurement tool, and a calculator with you so that you can identify areas and measure any space factors or requirements during a property inspection. You can also carry a compass for understanding the proximity and analysing the directional issues relating to a property or vacancy.
  11. Digital camera – take plenty of photographs relating to a vacancy, a property, and a precinct. Digital photographs are easily shared and will help when it comes to a property presentation, landlord conversation, or tenant pitch.  It is a known fact that digital photographs engage the attention of others when it comes to leasing commercial and retail real estate.  You can keep those photographs online in cloud storage for future use and client or prospect engagement.  When you have something to say, use of digital images to convey important thoughts and ideas.

So, there are many different planning aids that you can use in leasing commercial property today.  Some of these aides will work more effectively for you depending on property type, precinct activities, and client profiles.  Develop your leasing toolbox as part of the professional services that you offer.

How to Find More Commercial Real Estate Landlords as Clients

There are plenty of things you can do to help landlords locally with their commercial property pressures and changes.  Look at your services and build a ‘bundle’ of solutions that can be used in improving investment alternatives and property outcomes.  The rule is simple when working with landlords, and the marketing process works in generating listing opportunity.

Resolve Landlord Problems

It is a fact that most of the owners of local investment properties want simple and timely resolutions for property problems.  That then is a marketing approach to be refined.  When you look at any asset in a precinct or location, you will usually see common problems that you can help with.

Consider these questions and the answers:

  • How will your investment services improve the outcomes available for a landlord?
  • Are your property services matched into the seasonal cycles of the property market in your city, and how is that working?
  • How do your property services compare to those services that are offered by the brokerage competition in the location?
  • Can you confidently say and show others that you have a ‘dominance’ in the investment property market?
  • What does commercial real estate success look like to a client and how can you help them achieve that?

Create Landlord Attraction

To resolve these questions, I have found that the following approach works quite well:

  1. TARGET LOCATIONS: Know your locations and precincts comprehensively so that you can talk confidently about prices, rents, supply and demand.  Location awareness lets you show the client just how you are important to their property challenge and resolving it in a timely way.
  2. DATABASE COVERAGE: Your list of prospects, buyers, tenants, business owners, and investors should give you plenty of leverage in your real estate services.  It is a known fact that when you talk to lots of local people regularly, you will find leads and changes that can convert to a property listing.  That’s where the database process becomes important.  Conversations every day will allow you to grow database depth and diversity.  Start your list and make sure that you are growing it each day through meaningful conversations.
  3. CENTRE ON BUILDINGS: Some buildings in a location create a lot of interest and or ‘churn’ in tenants and interest; local area marketing will show you where those buildings are.  Understand the better buildings and the better locations; you can then review the tenants in all those zones or properties.
  4. FOCAL POINT ON STREET COVERAGE: Our property ‘game’ can get confusing, and it is very easy to lose focus and do too many things with properties, clients, and prospects.  Just focus your business efforts on street and building awareness.  Soon that logical approach to the properties and assets will help you find the next local listing activity.
  5. HELP WITH THE STRESSES OF RENOVATION AND REFURBISHMENT: The older properties in your location may very well need change and upgrade.  Look for the buildings and provide a group of services for that very purpose.
  6. ACCENT ON LEASE PRESSURES: Some tenants will move on and away from an asset to another location, and vacancies will occur.  Have a forward-looking approach to tenants and leases.  Look for the vacancies before they happen.  Provide your landlords and tenants with a comprehensive and timely leasing solution.

With these things, you can match your specialised property services into the landlords in your location.  The commercial real estate business does not need to be complicated, but it does need to be specific in many respects.  Drill down into your location, the people, and the properties.  Opportunities will be found by those brokers and agents that take this approach to building their business.

5 Essential Sales Closing Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage, some brokers and agents are too eager to push a transaction forward to completeness or agreement. Their eagerness can ‘kill’ the deal.  Closing skills are required.

Most commercial real estate investors and business owners are both savvy and experienced when it comes to business negotiations, property transactions and the alternatives; patience is required on our part when it comes to encouraging negotiations and agreements. Logic wins the deal in every situation. (NB – you can get plenty of commercial real estate brokerage tips in Snapshot right here)

It is a fact that many property clients and prospects avoid making decisions under pressure and do not appreciate being placed in that situation. They like to absorb the facts, understand the opportunities, and make their decisions on their terms (not someone else’s).

Clients want to feel comfortable with the real estate transaction and the elements of the property as it is presented to them. On that basis, a process of pressure relief can be quite productive in getting a real estate transaction to finality. Use that process as you work with your negotiations.

Negotiation Strategies that Work

So how can you work with this idea and the negotiation strategy? Consider the following facts and alternatives:

  1. Pressure relief: There will always be pressure in a property transaction, so work with the client or the prospect to understand the pressure from their perspective; that will help you with positioning when it comes to the final negotiation. When you have that pressure related information, you can do more with the negotiation alternatives provided to the parties, and the ultimate negotiation targets. You will also know when to push back, slow down, compromise, and provide pressure relief. As part of this process, remember just to your client is within the transaction, and set your focus on their desired targets or outcomes.
  2. Stories to tell: Understand recent and upcoming property activities so that you have a few stories to tell as part of a property transaction. Those stories will help the client or the customer feel more comfortable when it comes to moving through the transaction and placing an offer at the right time. As your market share grows over time, you will have plenty of stories to tell then share as part of both sales and leasing activity.  You can also share your stories in the social media channels that you are using.
  3. Alternatives to the decision: A few alternatives offered within a negotiation will make things a lot easier for the client or the prospect in getting to a decision. You can work with alternatives relating to decisions factors such as price or rents, timing, settlement dates, due diligence, improvements offered, and documentation. Know all the variables from your clients perspective, and understand the desired outcomes of the tenant or the buyer as the case may be. There are always alternatives to help you in achieving a positive result as part of a sale or lease transaction.
  4. All the property facts: Make sure you have all the facts available or required of the property location, the asset, the transaction, and the known challenges. Make plenty of enquiries before you get to the final negotiation; documented all the facts that relate to the asset as part of the listing process. There will always be strengths and weaknesses relating to any property asset as part of the required sale or lease negotiation. You will have to work with those strengths and of those weaknesses to move the transaction forward in a timely way.
  5. Professional and accurate communications: Some properties are highly complex when you consider the building improvements, title details, tenancy mix, and cash flows. Review all your information through some different channels and people; ask plenty of questions. The facts provided by the client should be checked to avoid any inaccuracy or destruction to a negotiation later.

These elements can become strategically useful when negotiating a commercial real estate sale or lease transaction. You can refine your negotiation skills using these elements and opportunities.

It should be said that the longer you are in the industry as a specialist broker or agent, the more refined and developed your negotiation skills will become; use that to your advantage. You can certainly fast track the process through practice and role playing as part of your regular sales team meeting.

It should be said that the longer you are in the industry as a specialist broker or agent, the more refined and developed your negotiation skills will become; use that to your advantage. You can certainly fast track the process through practice and role playing as part of your regular sales team meeting.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Use in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

There are plenty of things that you can do with social media in commercial real estate today.  In saying that, there are rules to follow if you want to get reasonable results.  Most agents and brokers do not have a social media plan, and that is where things fall apart from a personal perspective. (NB – you can get plenty of commercial real estate tips in our ‘Snapshot’ program right here)

Social Profiles

So, you can and should use online social media tools as part of promoting yourself and your listings in commercial real estate brokerage.  There are lots of property things to talk about online in a professional way to help you build your profile.

When you think about the basics of what you do, hear, and see every day, there are factors and information that you can convey.  Here are some of the most common facts to use:

  • Sale prices from recent ‘public’ sales
  • Rents achieved in larger lease deals
  • Current levels of inquiry for property
  • Precinct changes
  • New development activity
  • Supply and demand for property

Every one of these local property topics will be a social media theme that can be expanded on as an article and then placed online.

So, what goes wrong here?  Many agents take the easy way out when it comes to their profile, listings, and articles online; they just place property adverts into their social media channels.  They do nothing more than that.

The issue here is that the listings are already on the portals and the websites, so the processing of the listings into social media channels is just an ‘overkill’ and mostly irrelevant.  Those agents ‘waste’ their time taking the easy way out with social media.

Use the Tools Online

We have all heard about the various ‘social tools’.  Some of those ‘tools’ are aligned more to ‘business’ and others to the ‘personal’ end of the spectrum.  If you are going to build your business profile online, then do it correctly from the start. Here are some rules to respect in this ‘online promotional process’:

  • The portals are only for property listings – all your exclusive listings should be on the portals. Open listings should not feature in your ‘online’ activities.
  • Websites are for listings, articles, editorials, and blogs – make sure that your brokerage website has all the ‘channels’ of communication open and active. The search engines like information that is useful and helpful.
  • Social media channels are for interesting and valuable local property information – provide information that is accessible and locally based. Have a few stories to tell about the area and the precincts.  Think about how a newspaper journalist would handle local property information.  Write your articles accordingly.

If you work the logic of each method correctly, then your property and personal marketing efforts can be far more successful.  Separate the strategies; that’s the rule.

Proven Ways to Jump-start Your Career in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

If you are starting a career in commercial real estate brokerage, then it is absolutely critical that you develop a personal marketing plan and skill development strategy at the earliest stages of your new job and career.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

You will come across many different and challenging characters as part of your business activities; preparation is the key to the process of improvement over time.

The professional skills and systems that you develop will take you through the challenges of the industry effectively and directly.  Practice is also a good thing to build into your business day.

 

The facts

Some clients are better than others, and some properties are better than others. You will also come across some very special properties with unique challenges from an investment or marketing perspective. Preparation is the key to progress. Your skills and your local area knowledge will need to be improved over time as the property market changes and shifts given economic sentiment and business activity.

To a great degree, many brokers and agents learn on the job, that is given the factors of property ownership, marketing, and investment that are unique to the location. That being said, professional skills and local area knowledge will always need to be improved over time at a personal level.

So you need a few strategies to kick-start your career and keep it on track towards the best possible results available. Set the rules and the strategies for yourself professionally. You can control your time and your focus. Don’t let others do that for you.

 

Specific strategies

So you need some specific strategies and actions to jump-start your career as a broker or an agent. You will need to work through the challenges of the location, the competition, and the available listings. Local area research will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the location from a property and client perspective, thereby giving you some ideas and some strategies to work with.

 

Proven ideas

Here are some proven and direct strategies to help you jump-start your career and shape it over time:

 

  1. Establish a personal marketing campaign – most of the business that you generate over time will come from your personal marketing processes. Fortunately, we have many different marketing tools available at our disposal today. Look at the ways in which you can promote yourself directly and indirectly to your targeted segments and the property owners in your location. Understand exactly who the decision makers and business owners are for the location. Make a direct approach and merge those people into your personal marketing initiatives.
  2. Specialize in a property type and location – set a specific zone of focus as your primary zone of business generation and prospecting. Use the geographical boundaries and the main roads to contain your primary prospecting territory. Inside that zone you should have at least 2000 or 3000 properties to work on and with. Over time you will get to know all of the property owners and all of the business proprietors in that precinct. That is why location specific prospecting is so important in our industry as is the number of 2000 to 3000 properties. Don’t spread yourself too far; better results come from location based prospecting. As part of that territory focus, choose the property types that offer the best opportunity in sales and leasing activity over time. From that point on-wards, match and monitor the factors of supply and demand in that segment and that territory.
  3. Start prospecting immediately – start connecting with new people in your location as soon as possible. The processes of prospecting are varied and can be shaped to your skills and location. Don’t take too long to establish your prospecting model; refine the results that you achieve in talking to new people locally. Over time you will soon understand the elements of prospecting that work for you and give you the better outcomes in both listing activity and client connections.
  4. Improve your presentation strategies through practice – most property presentations today are competitive by nature. There will very likely be a few agents chasing the same client for their property listing. Your presentation needs to be of the highest quality and most relevant to the client situation. That requirement takes care and consideration. Practice your listing presentations and client communication strategies. Role play the dialogues that you use given the variety of property situations for the location and the property types. Preparation and practice will always help you convert listings at a greater level. The same can be said for inspections and negotiation in both sales and leasing situations.
  5. Talk to new people and build strong client relationships – your database should be at the centre of your real estate business. Every day and each week you should be loading new people into that database after you have qualified them for potential property interest and activity over time. When you know you have connected with the right people, the investors, or the business owners, take the time to build strong and valuable relationships at a professional level in commercial real estate today. Local area information will always help you do that.

The five facts mentioned are simple and yet so important to the momentum you require in your commercial real estate career.

How to Build Credibility with Your Commercial Real Estate Clients

Your credibility as a commercial real estate agent or broker will be a big factor in how you convert local listings and client opportunities.

Our industry is one that is supported by personal contact and personal trust. Your credibility sits solidly within that definition.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Think about these questions.

  1. So how can you prove your credibility in a regular and ongoing way?
  2. How can you attract the interest of clients through a credibility equation or business strategy?

The answers are relatively simple.

Put yourself at the center of your marketing campaigns locally.

Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Drill down into the existing property market so that you understand comprehensively the pressures of change and churn as they may apply. There will be certain problems that most business owners or property owners are struggling with; identify those issues. You can be the solution to those problems. For every problem, there will be one or two solutions that you can apply to a quality listing or a quality client. Importantly you should look for solutions and provide definite recommendations. Good agents do exactly that.
  • There is no point in pitching and presenting your commercial real estate services without allowing the client to consider the variations of the prevailing market conditions and then helping them with specific alternative recommendations. Most clients like to have two or three alternatives to consider as part of property marketing, listing, negotiating, and settling. Make their decision activities easier. Build all of your recommendations for a client based on real market evidence, the facts of the property, and the pressures of the existing parties.
  • Always provide a few alternatives to a situation and then make your recommendations. Clients feel more comfortable in moving ahead when they have some choices that they can move through. Yes, the client may want a higher price than that which the market is providing, so you are the person to professionally help the client through those facts. And so what if they don’t listen? Walk away from the listing, and let some other agent or broker waste their time on the property and the client.
  • There will always be a clear and better way to close on a deal. You simply need to understand all of the facts as they exist and read between the lines. Understand the pressures that each party is working within and provide suitable solutions to motivate their interest. Learn more about the skill of negotiation and be prepared to show that you are the ‘top negotiator’.
  • The marketing approach for any exclusive listing today should not be generic. Put some personal effort into the marketing campaign showing your client how you will create more interest and attract more inspections. You will find that such a strategy will help you close more exclusive listings over time. Put personal effort into your prospecting focus and talk to more people every day.
  • Incorporate your database into your listing pitch and marketing strategy. Explain to the client how you will be using your accurate and up to date database in helping them; that database can be used throughout their property campaign and sale or lease requirement. Tell them how you will be identifying a shortlist of buyers or tenants (as the case may) be from that database. Show them an edited version of that shortlist as part of the listing presentation. It will be hard for a client to ignore a list of potential prospects to lease or buy.
  • Do not ignore the inspection process. Tell a client exactly how you will be taking people through the property so that the features of the asset can help you encourage or close on an offer or negotiation. In some cases, it is wise to take the client to the property and walk them through the inspection strategy deliberately and directly.

The top agents in the commercial real estate industry today know how to build their credibility and focus, to attract more clients and quality listings.

Get the equation right

These points mentioned above, should help you with the credibility equation and the conversion of new business.

You are a big part of your business success. Understand how you need to market your skills deliberately and directly to the right people in the right way.

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