commercial real estate training

How to be a Top Commercial Property Agent

When you work in commercial real estate, your personal skills should be optimised for better new business conversion and growth of market share.  On that basis, it pays to improve your personal skills through regular practice.

It is notable that many salespeople and specialists in the industry do not consistently practice elements their craft to improve on skills.  If they did ‘practice’, they would reach the ‘top of the market’ faster.  Self-improvement is the ‘fast track’ to the top.

So why do I say this and on what basis?  I am an agent and have been fortunate enough to work on some big and complex commercial and retail properties; I have also worked with some good and not so good people.

Most of us will specialise in one or more of the following:

  • Commercial property sales
  • Commercial property leasing
  • Commercial property management
  • Retail property leasing
  • Shopping Centre management

All of these things are quite specific and specialised.  They all require unique levels of market knowledge updated regularly.  In saying that, market knowledge will only get us through to some degree when it comes to working with clients and finding the business; your personal skills in property inspections, negotiating, leasing, and sales will help you significantly with your clients and market share.

Having worked with many agents and salespeople over the years, I know that most salespeople are very ‘ordinary’ when it comes to any of the six elements of required specialisation in our industry. That’s what I want to talk to you about now.

Those six elements are quite specific and all require strategy and skill development.  When you do this, you win more listings and convert more deals.  Here is a list of those 6 factors:

  1. Researching and prospecting the right people to approach in the local area should occur every day.  Those people should be the decision makers and the active players in the current property market.  Face to face meetings are really important in commercial and retail property.  Over time those relationships will be strengthened and that’s where the listings will come from.
  2. Presentation skills in the first contact with decision makers will make or break the future relations that you need.  In the first few minutes of your meeting, the prospect will determine whether you are relevant to them and their property needs.  That relevancy and need may be today or in the future.  Top agents start the connection and stay in the relationship for the long haul.  It may take months if not years to get a result from the relationship.
  3. Questioning and listing skills relating to your property specialty and service are very specific.  In every respect, you must appear to be the expert in what you do and what you know.  Relevancy and competency must be there when you talk to clients.  If you are not the ‘expert’ they will see it.
  4. Inspection skills at the time of listing and at the time of buyer or tenant ‘walk through’ can be refined and optimised by property type and location.  In this way the property inspection process reaches a new level of accuracy and relevancy.  Top agents know how to walk through a property, picking out the best things to talk about that will help the sale or lease (as the case may be).  Property information and facts will help you here.
  5. Negotiation skills are an obvious need in our industry.  It is very much the case that negotiation skills with most salespeople are ordinary and underdeveloped.  Developing negotiation skills takes effort and practice, and it does not happen overnight.  You can ‘fast track’ this with your business team as part of your weekly meetings and personal development processes.  Top negotiators are good for one single reason; they practice.
  6. After all of the above issues, you will still need to document the property transaction accurately during the offer stages, and when the negotiation is successful.  This then says that you must have a good command of the legal paperwork and documentation behind any property transaction.  Many salespeople fail to address this issue and create documents that are weak or not specific to the transaction intended.  Naturally, that will expose the agent and the client to the threat of litigation when something goes wrong.

It is remarkable how so many salespeople fail to improve their personal sales skills and business practices in our industry.  Strive to be the best agent in your area by specialising on a particular property type and property client.  In that way you can improve your relevance skills and drive far better market share faster.

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.