How You Can Create Leverage and Relevance in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage, the sales team or sales force should have a number of strategies supporting their activities and new business drive.  Without those business tools, any listings and client conversions will be difficult to achieve and slow to develop.   Don’t waste time, take deliberate action every day.

Make no mistake, the commercial real estate business today is very competitive.  Those agents wishing to control and grow their real estate business will need special business systems supporting what they do and how they market themselves and their listings.  We all have choices.

Why are you special?  Your answers are important if you want to grow market share.  Here are some critical strategies today that can help you with client and listing coverage:

  1. Get in front of the people that need you – There is no great secret to the commercial real estate business and the industry overall. You have to get in front of the people that need you now or in the future, so that they can relate to your skills and relevance.  They have to remember you at the right time when ‘property’ becomes an active issue.  It takes months if not a few years for a client to move to the next stage of property choice and or action; when that happens, you want them to remember you and give you a call.  Establish a prospecting system that takes you closer to the right people in your location.
  2. Why are you relevant? – This is a simple question and yet the answer has to be very special to the client. So many agents and brokers come up with answers that are ‘self-focused’ with no real deep client significance or leverage.  They say things like, ‘I provide the best service’, ‘I know the market’, ‘I work for the client’, and ‘I work hard’.   The issue here is that none of those statements will have any great importance to a client or prospect; just about any agent will say the same thing when it comes to relevance.  It is far better to have answers that are deep and useful to the client such as, ‘The database I have created covers all local medium sized businesses in a 20-mile zone’, or ‘I have a list of businesses here and now that are looking to relocate in the next 6 months’.   There is a degree of client relevance in the latter statements.  It will be hard for a client to ignore an agent with that level of market coverage and control.  Use your database as a point of leverage.
  3. How can you attract and control your brokerage opportunities? – I have heard of many agents and brokers that keep spreadsheets and basic lists of the people that they know. In most cases those agents and brokers are not comprehensively growing their lists every day, and are failing to get back to the same people over time.  It is important to remember that in most new business opportunities you will never really know when a client or prospect will have a property challenge.  You have to rely on them to remember you and give you a call.  Keep in regular contact with all the people in your database and monitor them for property action and property pain.  Somewhere in that level of assessment will be a listing and or a deal.

 

There are plenty of listing opportunities out in the local area for you to action and move on.  Everything in our industry comes down to people and relevance.  Do you know enough people?  Are you relevant in every way possible?  If not, you have some work to do; get busy.

(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)

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Commercial Real Estate Brokers – The Right Things to do in Creating Real Investment Strategies

When you take on an investment client in commercial real estate brokerage it is likely that they will have problems and issues to address in their property portfolio.  You can help them with an array of strategies to lift property performance.  Ultimately that means fee and commission potential for you.

Don’t just focus on being the sales or leasing specialist in commercial real estate for your location; you can go a lot further into offering specific services and factors of property improvement.  Look at the challenges that some clients have with their properties.  Understand how you can be the best person to resolve those things.  Design your services accordingly.

Here are some ideas to help you with this:

  1. Property precinct studies – Track all the activity and property availability in your territory or location. Watch what is happening and how things are changing with supply and demand.  The changes in the precinct will give valuable indications of what could occur with prices, rents, and occupancy.  Ultimately commercial properties are in the main occupied by business tenants so also watch the levels of local business activity and where those businesses like to locate themselves.
  2. Searching for good quality tenants – The challenges with vacancies will always frustrate local landlords. If you keep in close contact with regional tenants, and particularly the high profile tenants, you will soon understand what their occupancy needs may be with location based business be it expansion or contraction.  Within your database ensure that you have all your tenants segmented so that you can look for those special businesses to locate into upcoming vacancies.  If you have a comprehensive tenant database for the location, it will be hard for landlords to ignore your professional services and offerings.
  3. Rental growth numbers – Within your zone and location, there will be shifts in lease rental by both type and amount. Certain areas will be more attractive from a leasing and tenant perspective, and you can identify the trends and the opportunities.  Chart the rental trends so you can show your landlord clients exactly how they can be part of the income growth patterns for the area.

When you work with landlords as investors you should be able to help them through key questions like:

  • Who are the best tenants for the location?
  • How can the net rental for the property be improved?
  • What are tenants looking for and how can those factors feed into the future of the property?

There are many things that you can do here to help property investors improve their property performance with both rental returns and capital value.

You can get our free eCourse on Commercial Real Estate Brokerage right here.

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Seller Paid Advertising Rules for Marketing Campaigns

In commercial real estate brokerage, the advertising and marketing process is a big part of enquiry generation.  The advertising process can be running at the same time that an agent is directly promoting a listing to the businesses and investors in the local area.

A good listing and particularly an exclusive listing should be directly marketed; since you control the listing, there is no other better way to create enquiry.  Things get a little bit ‘skewed’ however when an agent doesn’t have many people in their database to talk to about property listings as they come in.  Your database, its size and segmentation, and its growth are critical parts of commercial real estate enquiry generation and listing conversion.

Understand the relationships and important issues at play here.  Direct marketing and general advertising are both very important tools to be used with any good quality listing.  When you connect with local people about your listings you will find other local information and leads that you can work with into the future.

Exclusivity Really Matters

Take every exclusive listing and promote it directly and locally.  Then take the same listing and use seller paid marketing funds to comprehensively promote the property through advertising both online and offline.  Good agents convert advertising money from the clients that they service.  That is how they create more enquiry at a higher level than those agents that just list properties online and hope that something will come from the property listing.  The ‘list and hope’ method of marketing has no place in commercial real estate brokerage.

Exclusivity sits at the center of all of these things.  There is huge value in the exclusive listing process.  Are you up to the challenge of converting seller paid marketing monies?  Top agents convert marketing money.  That’s a fact not to be overlooked.

A Story of the Property Market

A young and perhaps relatively ‘new’ agent recently raised a point with me recently that exclusive listings are just not done in his city; he claimed that fact based on his experience and because ‘that’s the way things are’.  I then had to correct him and say that ‘he was very wrong’ and was quite likely not rotating and working in the best levels of the market with good listings and clients.

High quality listings are never marketed ‘openly’.  Any quality property is given exclusively to the best agent that can pull in the property enquiry.  An ‘ordinary agent’ listing average properties is never likely to know that or change their listing results.

If any agent is not converting ‘exclusively’, then it is not the market that is at fault, it is the agent.  Agents in that situation should look at their value and business strategy.  It is likely that they are not regarded as the best agents locally for the market segment and property type.

Seller Marketing Funds

So let’s say that you have converted seller marketing money.  Here are some specific rules to the process of directing such a campaign to convert better outcomes:

  1. Full Marketing Campaign – Spread your advertising spend across a period of time where you can focus your promotional momentum. Typically a marketing campaign should be over an 8 week period.
  2. Client approval – Have your client sign off and approve of the campaign and the advertising formats before you do anything. In that way any debate and disagreements about the core marketing message can be removed from the promotional efforts.
  3. Primary targets and Secondary targets – From local investigations you should have a very good idea of who your targets are for the property and where they are located. Split those targeted property segments into primary and secondary.  Spend most of your money in the primary segment of prospects.
  4. Get your money up front – If your seller has promised and committed marketing dollars to your advertising campaign, get that money upfront before you spend any time and effort in the campaign.
  5. Online and Offline balance – Understand just where your buyers for the property are located. From that information, drill down on a balance of promotional spending that attracts the people looking to purchase currently and into the future.  Understand and choose the right media channels that will help you get the message out there locally.
  6. Feedback from enquiries and inspections – Help your client understand just what is happening from the advertising spend. Tell them about the number of enquiries coming in and what the comments are from the inspections undertaken.  If anything you should be able to condition your client from the comments received from your inspections.
  7. Track enquiries on all similar properties – Sometimes one property will attract more or less enquiries than others by type and location. Look for the variations in property enquiry and shape your marketing campaigns for the best results.  Give the client plenty of reasons to move on your promotional recommendations.

So there are plenty of good things that you can do here with your advertising spend funded by the sellers of your listing (your clients).  Get the clients involved from the very start and keep them fully appraised of just how the promotions and marketing effort is working with their property.  That is what top agents do all the time.

You can get more commercial real estate marketing tips in our eCourse Snapshot right here.

Keys to Top Sales Team Performance Today

Some sales teams are built with focus to bring in the results.  Others are seen as just a group of people that have been given a name tag and a department within the overall business.  The performance between these two teams is radically different. (NB – you can get more commercial real estate tips in Snapshot right here – its free)

 

Sales Team Focus

The sales team is the life blood of the business (or should be).  When they are producing the results you get all of the following:

  • More clients
  • Referral business
  • Greater volumes of sales
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Dominant market share

I weak link in a sales team can slow or destroy the foundations of growth and client stability.  So what are the characteristics of a top sales team today?  Try some of these:

  1. They will have a clear understanding of the goals for the business and where they sit in the overall plan.
  2. They will understand how they can improve the business from their position in the market.
  3. They will have and accept key performance indicators both as a team and also as individuals to which they agree to strive and achieve.
  4. Objectivity will be the case in any team assessment as the year progresses.  Members of the team will accept guidance and objectivity.
  5. The team should be cohesive and committed to each other in building the results for the overall business.
  6. Whilst the team will have a leader, each person will understand that they are leaders themselves in what they need to do with their clients and territory.
  7. There will be a high degree of trust between members of the team, and where required the team will support each other in any client or sales requirements.
  8. A good sales team is flexible so that the overall goals are encouraged through the pressures of any single transaction or client connection.
  9. The members of the team will understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide backup to fill the shortcomings of each other.
  10. The team will have a strategic plan of action that they stick to in business and as part of ongoing team performance.
  11. Knowledge and service will be high on the agenda when working with and serving clients and prospects.
  12. Every team member will understand the priorities of growth and stability as it applies to the clients that they have.

To manage a sales team you need a leader of skill and drive.  A sales team is a unique business unit that is different than all others and that requires direction, and seeks respectful leadership promoting the core values of business.