In commercial real estate today, the abundance of agents in the property market means that most listing opportunities are a competition to win the business. Every agent invited to the listing presentation process with the client will put on their best pitch and strategy for the listing.
This can be good and bad, but the fact of the matter is that many agents tackle the listing process very generically; they are largely complacent and quite ordinary when it comes to target marketing and direct marketing. You can adjust your pitch and presentation to be quite specific to the property type, the client, and the location. When you do this your chances of converting the listing rise greatly.
If you are known as the local real estate agent of skill and relevance, you will get invited to more listing opportunities. All or most of your leads and listing invitations will come from your local market presence and personal networking. You cannot wait for the leads to walk into your agency; it doesn’t work that way in this market.
To be known for the right reasons is an unusual equation that requires planning on your part. Consider your local property market. What would make you the top agent? What would let people know that you are the best in a particular property type and location?
Here are some ideas to help you build your local brand:
- Signboard presence will always be the number 1 factor in territory dominance and market share. You cannot claim to be a top agent unless you have the majority of the signboards on all the top quality properties. Now I know that this is difficult to achieve, however dedicated networking and prospecting will get you there.
- The internet will bring you many leads and opportunities today. All of your property adverts on the internet should be optimised for the search engines and customers that are looking to buy or lease property. So how can you do this? Do a keyword search on your property type and local area. Do this in http://Google.com with their ‘keyword search tool’ to see what people are typing into the search engines today when it comes to looking for local property. Take a selection of those words (not too many at once), and feed them into your marketing material and online advertisements.
- Write a blog about commercial investment property in your area. The blog process will cost you virtually nothing to establish using http://wordpress.com or http://blogger.com . Over time you can fill the blog with regular market updates and property tips. Do not focus on listings, but do focus on helpful information about the local area. That simple internet marketing process will help build your personal brand well above the other competitors locally.
- Create an email newsletter that is supported by an auto responder. Put all of your clients into the system and keep in contact with them through the regular email market updates.
- Make lots of telephone calls every day. The telephone remains the most powerful personal marketing tool that we have. Use it well.
In today’s property market you really must be known as the best solution for the clients that you serve. If they can see your name and face in more locations it will help you rise to the top of your market faster.
In this commercial property market, you really do need to market yourself comprehensively and consistently to the clients and prospects that you deal with. Your competitors will be doing everything possible to undermine your listings, attract your clients, and interfere with your leads and opportunities. It’s a tough industry, but it is also very rewarding for those agents that can systemize their actions and keep up their focus.
There is nothing new here of course when I say that it’s a tough business world today; our industry is competitive. Before everything else in commercial real estate, you must be a good marketer of your skills and services. Every day you should be reaching into your database of contacts to consolidate your brand even further.
Here are some tips to help you consolidate your personal marketing plan as a top commercial real estate agent.
- From a marketing perspective, you will always get more leads and opportunities from quality listings. This then says that most of your listing efforts should be directed towards properties of quality and desirability. If you list low grade properties, you will attract low grade enquiry. Get to know the right people with the best properties locally, and network them regularly.
- Each listing that you take on should be a controlled listing. This means that your listings should be ‘exclusive’ by nature. You should have control of those listings for a reasonable period of time. Avoid open listings unless you really believe you can find the right person to take the property on. Open listings are generally a waste of time given that you have no control over the stock. In the open listing scenario, the clients are always listening to many agents at the same time and are therefore quite untrustworthy.
- Every quality controlled listing should be supported by a dedicated marketing program and vendor paid marketing funds. This then goes back to the point and the importance of exclusive listings. The equation is quite simple. When you control the stock, you control the enquiry, and therefore you can close on more successful transactions.
- A successful sales or lease transaction should be communicated into the local business community and the surrounding property owners. Any success that you have with a listed property is an excuse to spread the word of the positive result. Be known as the local real estate agent of success and results. Spread the message of your success locally. Most of your leads and opportunities will come from the local property market exclusively.
- Every quality listing and exclusive listing should be personally marketed into the surrounding property owners and business community. This means lifting the telephone to talk to the right people, and door knocking the streets surrounding the listed property. Use every listing as an excuse to talk to more people.
In this property market today, there is an abundance of stock and a shortfall of qualified enquiries. Some buyers and tenants cannot act in a market like this today. For this very reason, every listing that you bring into your books should be optimized for maximum enquiry and market penetration. Use that quality listing to get the message to the market.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter right here.
When it comes to commercial real estate sales and leasing, you really do need to consolidate your territory around you as the agent of choice. In most cases you will have many other agents in the same patch chasing the same listings. This then says that you should have total focus on your marketing and prospecting efforts.
Given the law of averages that applies to sales people today, most of your competitors will be fairly ordinary and underperforming when it comes to prospecting and territory building. Most commercial real estate agents lack a consistent and relevant plan of attack when it comes to building the local territory and market penetration. I guess they would say that they have too many other things to do.
This then says that systemized agents can consolidate their market faster and more effectively than their competitors. Whilst it is easy to say, is difficult to do; difficult in the sense that personal commitment is required on a daily basis to a plan of self-promotion and client contact.
You cannot list a property if the decision makers do not know who you are.
If the next year is important to you when it comes to quality of listings and growth of commissions, it is really important for you to now formulate your plan of attack when it comes to the listing territory that you control.
Here are some ideas to help you consolidate your market share and grow your listing opportunities.
- When one of your competing agents puts a signboard on a property, talk to all the adjacent property owners and business proprietors. It is quite likely that those adjacent property owners or business people may like to compete with the existing listing nearby. Whilst the competing agent should have already spoken to those groups, it is quite likely that they have not. With a little bit of effort, you can open the door of opportunity around all of the other agent’s listings in your area.
- Check out the history of property sales in the area over the last 7 to 10 years. The people that purchased property approximately four years ago and beyond are those people that are likely to again soon act when it comes to property sales and or leasing. Determine that group of people and establish contact in an ongoing and relevant way. Consistent regular contact will help you brand yourself as a relevant agent in the local property market.
- When you take a property or listing to the market, contact all of the local business proprietors personally together with all of the property investors. This personal marketing process will open the door on many other opportunities and leads. You need to get your name and face in front of more people to grow your market share.
- Every successful sale or lease transaction should be communicated into the local area personally and directly. This means placing telephone calls and letters to the right people and the business owners. When you create a successful transaction, it can help you consolidate your brand as a top agent.
Most of the business people that purchase and lease property today are locally based. They know the local area, and they also know what their clients require as to access and property type.
Keep your personal marketing program specific to a defined territory and property type. This will help consolidate your database and your local market knowledge.
You can get a lot more tips and ideas in our Agents Newsletter right here.
When it comes to your career in commercial real estate agency, you will sometimes feel the pressure of the market and the industry. It is very easy to panic when you have no listings and or commission coming in. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
There is no point in panicking when it comes to your job and your market share. If you feel the pressure of listings and commissions, it is simply a matter of developing a prospecting system and actioning it every day. Over about three or four weeks, you will soon see the market turn more favorably back towards you.
One of the biggest problems in our industry is consistency on the part of the salesperson to build market share. Each and every day top agents work towards consistency and systemized prospecting; you should do the same.
Success in our industry is largely created through ongoing personal contact with the correct people that matter in our industry. Over time those relationships build listing opportunity and better market share.
If you feel some degree of panic when it comes to your market share, listings, and commissions, it is time to establish a system to take yourself forward and out of the difficulty. Momentum and action taken immediately will help you lessen the frustration and panic you currently feel.
When you start moving towards a plan, and you stick to the process, you will soon see that the magnitude of the original problem was not as great as originally thought. You are in control, and you can resolve any pressures that you currently have. It is simply a matter of modifying your choices and habits. Systemize your day; that is the secret to progress.
Here are some ideas to help you move forward with this and build a better market share over the next 12 months.
- It is extremely important that you control your time on a daily basis. You are the only person that can do this. There will be demands on you from business colleagues, clients, the agency principal, and others that can destabilize your focus on a daily basis. Keep things simple. Understand what you must do every day, and do it regardless of any pressure from others. Take control of your time. Set aside the time that is required to do the key things to take you forward. Most particularly that will be prospecting and you should do that for approximately 2 or 3 hours per day.
- Start building relationships with the right people in your industry. Have a look around the local area so you can make contact with business leaders, property owners, and property investors. In the right market you can also add property developers to the list.
- It is a well-known fact that the degree, to which you believe you are in control, is the degree to which you will be successful. Successful people are in control each and every day. They make the right choices and take the right actions. They will not waste time with the wrong people or wrong circumstances.
The commercial real estate industry is one of the most rewarding and challenging of sales careers. You can meet some great people and earn a lot of money in the process. All of that being said, you really do need to selectively choose your actions and your key tasks each and every day. This is part of an ongoing personal marketing process.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter.
In commercial real estate the prospects and clients that we serve are quick to judge you. They will judge you by what you do and what you say. They will also judge you on what you do not do. For this reason it pays for you to be absolutely focused on positive connection and communication with all the people in your database and your client records. Systems and relevance will help you with all your connections and leads. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
Relationships Are the Key
The main reason we win listings is through relationships. Those relationships are with the right people locally. Commercial real estate agency is built around the trust that you establish with landlords, tenants, business leaders, and property investors.
I was recently talking with a fellow agent that was just moving from residential property into commercial property. The question he raised was ‘How do you establish your database and client base?’ The fact of the matter is that a system is required to take you forward as an agent in your local territory. Without a system of client contact your career will go up and down like a roller coaster.
Don’t make things hard on yourself with listings and commissions. You have chosen a career of massive opportunity; you just need to the required focus and momentum. Start today to deal with the contacts and database that you require. Expect that the process will take time, but the results will come.
Here are some ideas to help you deal with the leads and prospect list that you require.
- Business leaders will be a good source of business in one form or another. They may own or lease the premises that they are in; either way you can help them. Business owners and leaders are easy to find given that you can use the telephone book and door knock on a few business doors. These people are the easiest to network with and make contact. You should be talking to 20 business people per day. Ask the right questions and you will get some valuable information that you can do something with.
- Property investors will come to you from other marketing efforts, or perhaps the branding and marketing of your office or agency. Get to know these people and the type of help that they require. As a local investor they like to work with agents that really know the local area and how to tap into the deals. Even in the toughest of property markets there will always be property investors looking for good quality property or tenants.
- Property developers come and go from the market based on the supply and demand for leased space and property ownership. You can get good property business from them, however they require understanding and they should not be trusted until you have their name on a valid appointment to act. Property developers are very good at using agents without paying fees. Don’t fall into the trap of service without fees.
With these three groups of people you can develop your lead generation system and market share. Prospect into these groups every day; soon you will see your leads grow and the listing opportunity open up.
You can get more tips for commercial real estate agents in our Newsletter.
In this commercial real estate market today you must have a database to capture all of the contact detail that you create each and every day. Over time you will come to know or meet many hundreds of people. The more of those that you know on a personal level the better it will be for you as a ‘top agent’.
Here are some tips from our Newsletter….
In saying all of this I am a great believer in the fact that the database that you use should be personally managed. That means that you enter the data and access the database every time you have your meetings or make your calls. The information that you collect and load about your contacts must be accurate and up to date. This will only be achieved if you take ownership of the process.
Here are some tips to establishing the data about all of your contacts and clients:
- Constant contact is a very important part of the process. Every person in the database should be contacted at least once every 90 days without fail. For those people that are more active and relevant to the property market currently, you should be speaking to them every 30 days. When you do your numbers and base it on your working hours in the office, you will soon see that commitment to the process must be systemised.
- Most of your data entry can occur as you talk on the telephone, whilst other information can be entered at the end of the day when you have more ‘free time’.
- Split all of your data into groups. They will usually be vendors, purchasers, property investors, tenants, business owners, and property professionals. Those groups will then need to be split into property needs, prices, rents, areas, and timing. Not all software will do that for you; however choose the best package that you can afford. Importantly the software should allow you to export your data in a common file form such as a CSV file. You must be able to export your information to a common spread sheet easily whenever you want to.
- All of your contacts should be able to get an auto responder email from you. Make sure that the software you use integrates with some auto responder email service. That process will save you a lot of time in sending the right information to the right people when a new or fresh listing comes onto the market.
If you keep a good database and make more calls every day to new people, you will find the market open up for you in many different ways. It takes time, but you manage your time anyway; so you know where the secret is to agent success in this industry. Good luck with your systems.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter.
In commercial or retail property leasing, it is important that you are prepared for the property inspections that you take with prospects. You only have a short time to create the interest of the tenant prospect and move them to a lease offer.
Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
So what is the focus of the leasing inspection? It should be to create the interest of the tenant and remove any questions that they may have regards the property. To do this you have to be prepared.
Here are some leasing tools that you can use as part of the leasing inspection of vacant premises:
- Be aware of the competing properties in the local area. The prospective tenant is bound to have seen those properties with other agents or at least be aware of the space availability and the asking rent. You will have to know the differences in properties and why one rent is more relevant than another.
- The asking rents for your property should be in parity to the market rents locally for properties of similar type. Have you checked that out? Is your asking rent within the reality of the current market rents? How will you pitch the rent requirement to the tenant when they challenge you? How can you sell that rent package? You will need to have your answers ready.
- Take some measurement tools to the property. That will usually be a laser measurement tool to calculate distances, plus a measurement ‘wheel’ that you can use to walk around the property. It is important that you do not certify areas and distances as you are not a surveyor, however you can give approximations to the tenant so they know approximately what factors exist in the property.
- Always have a camera with you to take photos of relevant parts of the property. It is remarkable where those photos will come in handy in later conversation with tenants.
- Take a list of services and amenities in the property, together with fixed improvements that may be relevant and important to tenants in occupation. Some tenants are very interested in communications and power capability in the premises. Ensure that you have the information at your fingertips.
- When it comes to inspecting office premises, the tenants like to know about the finishes that are required in any fitout changes. If your property is a modern property with quality finishes, there will be some guidelines to apply here when it comes to negotiating tenant fitout design and standards. Get details of these things from the property manager or landlord.
- The plans for the property will show as built factors relating to structure, electrical, air conditioning, hydraulic, and lighting. The plans will also show you where the riser is in the building for the tenant to tap into the property services.
- Take notes of all representations made and comments given in a leasing inspection. Those comments could become critical in the ongoing lease negotiations.
- Lastly you should have a reasonable knowledge of the outgoings to be paid by the tenant in the property. Those outgoings will be impacted by the type of lease to be used. Those outgoings should be in parity with other properties of similar size and type in the local area.
When you are fully prepared, the leasing process and inspection becomes much easier. Top leasing agents are always prepared to give the right information in the property leasing inspection.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter.
When you look at a commercial or retail property for the first time, it is important to review the leases and the tenant mix. In a property with multiple tenants it can be a complex and daunting task. In such case the only way to really get the job done well is to use a checklist approach. When you follow a list process you can go through many leases and tenant situations with ease. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
So why would you want to check the tenant mix and the leases? You should be looking for occupancy issues that are relevant to each tenant and ensuring that those occupancy issues agree with what you are seeing in the property.
Here are some ideas to help you establish your lease and tenant mix review process. You can add to this list given your property type and location.
- Get the names of the tenants and make sure that they agree with the tenant positioning that you have observed in the property. What you are looking for is any situations of unauthorised or undocumented occupancy. As part of that process you could find some sub-tenants, assignments of lease, lease alterations, and many other changes within the property. They will all need to be checked out. Whatever issue you find, ask for the supporting documentation as proof of the current situation.
- Ensure that the lease description corresponds to the tenancy location and the permitted use for the premises. Is the tenant using the premises in accordance with the lease terms and conditions? When in doubt go to the lease for the details. Any sub-tenant or assignment situation should also be in compliance to the terms of the lease.
- Review all the leases for critical dates. They are the dates relating to things that have to be done between the tenant and the landlord. Most particularly they are rent reviews, options, lease expiry dates, renovation provisions, and insurance obligations.
- Check out the outgoings that should be paid under the terms of the lease for each tenant. Make sure that all outgoings charges and payments are in accordance with the leases in all respects.
- Make sure that the current rents for each tenant are in balance and accurate for the lease for each tenant. Ask about any arrears that could be outstanding and why that is the case.
- In a property with a large number of tenants it pays to look at how the overall property performs with the tenants in current locations. Look at the tenant clusters to see how they work. Some of those clusters may be impacted by relocations or renovations in the property.
The reviewing of the tenant mix is a hands-on issue that should be personally undertaken. It has to be done with great accuracy before you do anything else in the property. Learn to read and interpret property leases. You will also find that a checklist will help keep you on track.
Like to know more about leases and tenant mix? You can get more detail in our Newsletter.
When tenants are on the lookout for a good commercial property to lease they will visit or call many local commercial real estate agents as part of the research process. Rarely will the tenant work with just one agent.
So you have to get to the facts of their property need and what they are looking for. You also should ask about where they have looked for premises elsewhere and who they are working with currently. It is likely that they already have a significant amount of lease information about other properties available for renting locally; when you know what they have seen already, you will know how to pitch the available properties that you have on your books to lease.
Here are some questions to ask the tenants that are in the property market currently and looking for a property to lease:
- Who are you talking to? If you are talking to a business based client, who is the decision maker and what is the contact detail for them?
- In what location do they require the property or premises? That being the case, what have they looked at already and with whom?
- How big should the premises be? You will need to define that area in types of buildings and or areas of the property. For example office space, warehouse, showroom, car park, and hardstand. Different rents would apply in each area and therefore will influence the overall total lease package.
- What improvements should feature in the property and in what way will they use those improvements? Some of those improvements will be essential whilst others will be discretional.
- What is their rental budget for the premises? The budget will give you a guide as to what they can inspect and what is beyond their budget.
- There are different types of leases and rentals available when it comes to renting an office, industrial, or retail property. Some of your landlord clients will have already set their guidelines in that regard. Match the tenant to the property type and the lease terms and conditions that suit their requirements.
- What is the timing of the property changeover? That timing could shortlist some of the properties that you show the tenant.
- What will be the use of the premises? It may be that the local property zoning will need to be reviewed to ensure that the expected or required property use is allowed in the area.
- Where are they coming from now and is that property leased? You could get some reference from their previous landlord as part of the intended relocation.
- What other properties have they seen already locally? What agents are they working with locally? There is no point wasting too much time with tenants that have seen everything that is available for lease in the area. Selectively show them properties that suit. Be aware that they may have seen some properties with other agents prior to seeing you.
The more facts you can get from the tenant, the greater the chance that you can locate a property for them to lease. Leasing property is a good part of the industry to tap into. You will find lots of leads and commission opportunity if you ask the right questions.
When it comes to advertising and marketing a commercial investment property for sale today, the message has to be conveyed with accuracy and timeliness. The limited number of buyers available for the given property promotion means that every marketing campaign has to be specific and focused.
As commercial real estate agents, it is our job to provide the specialized marketing activity that this property market requires. Gone are the days of generic property promotion. Top agents thrive in tough markets. They do the right things at the right level for the best result.
We have to do more with less when it comes to marketing property today. The enquiries that we get from the typical advertising activity are limited in quantity and quality. The client needs to be conditioned for negotiating with limited levels of offering.
It should also be said that most decisions to purchase the property take longer to negotiate and finalise. It is in this property market that our skills as specialist commercial real estate agents become more important than ever before.
We simply have to be at the top of our game across all the stages of listing, marketing, negotiating, and processing. Every sale and every negotiation needs to be nurtured across the line. Complacency has no place in this property market today.
The advertising strategies that we adopt will help us generate the best enquiries possible in the prevailing market conditions. Here are some ideas to help you with that marketing activity.
- Check out the subject property fully to understand the best target audience that you should attract as part of the marketing.
- Walk through the property yourself to understand the features of the property that should be incorporated into the property inspection.
- Review any competing properties in the local area that will have an impact on your marketing campaign. Inspect those properties from the street so you understand what they have to offer and how they are being marketed.
- Check out the time on market factors that apply to the listings in your local area. Determine why those properties have not sold, and upgrade your strategies to offset any problems that could exist.
- Do a keyword search on the Internet search engines. Refer to the property type and your location. You will get a list of keywords that are currently being used by people looking for property purchase. Those keywords should be entered into your advertising material to boost the Internet exposure and click rate.
- When you have listed the property for sale, see it as an excuse to talk to all of the local property owners and business proprietors. In this way you will get a lot of leads and opportunities coming back to you.
- Every marketing campaign should be staged using vendor paid advertising funds across a period of time. Each week you should be checking your progress from the campaign so that you know where the best enquiry is coming from.
- Stay in contact with the client at all times so they know how the marketing is progressing and what enquiry is coming in. The same rule applies when it comes to inspections from any prospective buyers. A client that is fully briefed during the marketing effort is inclined to accept your recommendations when it comes to negotiation at a later time.
Give your full focus to the marketing effort with every listing. Over time that will help you improve your market share and database.
Get more tips on commercial real estate in our Newsletter right here.