In commercial real estate today, we have to do more with less enquiry coming in. Every prospect that comes to us from a listing or a marketing campaign needs to be correctly qualified and then successfully directed to the right property. This takes skill. Every property enquiry should be optimised.
The property inspection process is therefore critical to moving the transaction ahead. We must ensure that the prospective buyer is comprehensively supported through the property inspection process so that we can get an offer that is fair and reasonable given the current market conditions.
Most property buyers today have little urgency to make a decision. They will look around the market, talk to other agents, and take some time to move to the stage of an offer on any property that they like. Our skills in this market today, are more important than previously.
So What Should You Do?
Qualifying a prospect should be undertaken as part of the initial inquiry. Find out what the prospect is looking for when it comes to property location, price or rental, and improvements. Ensure that they have the necessary financial backing to act in this property market today. Make sure that they have the ability to transact the property at the expected rental benchmark or price. Ask them about the other properties that they have seen and the other agents that they have spoken to. Hopefully they will give you a truthful answer!
Here are some tips to help the inspection process with your prospect:
- Ensure that you have all the facts about the property including income, expenditure, tenant mix, and improvements.
- If required, get the clients approval to undertake the inspection of the property at a particular time convenient to them and any tenants in the property.
- Before you take a prospect to the property (or hand over any information) have them sign a confidentiality agreement. You do not want information making its way to your competitors.
- Have a clear strategy to move people to and around the property. The features of the property should be comprehensively covered in the inspection.
- If the property involves tenants and a tenant mix, have the information at hand as well as the information relating to other competing properties, the supply and demand for space, and the market rentals in the area.
- Always be prepared to take an offer. That offer should be in writing in all cases. You have nothing to work with if the offer is verbal.
- Remember who your client is in the transaction. You are working for them when it comes to the offer, the inspection process, and the negotiation.
To help your inspection strategies when it comes to commercial and retail property, you can use a checklist that combines all the strategies that have worked for you on other properties locally. Be prepared and have your information ready.