commercial real estate training

Winning the Paper War in Commercial Real Estate Agency

Without a doubt, the amount of paperwork that we need to complete every day in the commercial real estate industry is significant.  As agents and salespeople, we need to set some rules regards the paperwork that needs to be done as part of our job.  When you control the process, it will be easier for you to control your market.

Accuracy in compiling some of that paperwork is quite important and could even threaten your commission or client relationship.  Many a client has tried to avoid commission through the opportunity of incomplete agency paperwork.

A typical agent will have various categories of paperwork and filing to keep under control.  Usually it will be a combination of the following:

  • Capturing all of the information regards the new listings that you are bringing in to the agency business
  • Documenting all of your prospecting activities and putting that information into the database
  • Keeping in contact with your existing clients relative to the existing listings and recent inspections
  • Sending out marketing material relating to current listings and the enquiry that’s coming in
  • Documenting offers and negotiations relating to sales and leasing situations
  • Closing on property transactions correctly and legally for your clients
  • Chasing up on existing property transactions with solicitors and accountants as the case may be
  • Sending out success letters throughout the local area relating to recent transactions
  • Sending out prospecting letters relating to the local area, businesses, and property investors
  • Keeping in contact with previous clients from closed and successful transactions
  • Internet and e-mail marketing of all of your existing listings

There are probably a few other things that you can add to this list relative to your particular area and agency business.  In simple terms, the average salesperson or commercial real estate agent is really busy most of the time and paperwork is part of that.  They do however have a choice as to what they do first each day and what they do in any particular order.

One significant rule exists when it comes to commercial real estate activity; you must document all of your negotiations and your discussions with critical people relating to property transactions and listings.  Many of the clients and customers that we negotiate with or serve will choose to forget or reconstruct some of our conversations to suit a property negotiation or circumstance.  Many agents and salespeople have been sued in such circumstances.  Keep good records and notes when it comes to each and every client, property listing, and transaction.

Top agents still understand that the paperwork needs to be done.  It’s just a matter of moving the paperwork to a part of the day where it doesn’t disrupt essential activities and prospecting.

Carry a notebook around with you at all times.  The notebook can be a simple supplement to your diary and capture the discussions and activities that you are having with your clients and prospects.  Each night the facts and issues in your notebook can be moved to the relative file or listing.  Each month the notebook can be closed off and kept for future reference or record.  Any important pages from the notebook can be copied to the relative file.  The system is so simple and yet so effective.

The advantage of this process is that the notebook will exist regardless of what happens to the file notes.  If the file goes missing, or further evidence is required regards a particular meeting or transaction, you will still have your notebook to fall back on and use as evidence in support of your business activities.  Top agents are very organized people and they will usually have very good records just like this to maintain their momentum.  You can do the same.

If you want some more tips on Commercial Real Estate you can get them in our Newsletter right here.

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.