The commercial real estate market of today has some challenges to deal with. In most cases it is a slow market or there is an abundance of unsold properties, and or vacant premises for lease.
The property market doesn’t disappear; it just changes. That change factor is what we as commercial real estate agents can help with. We become the ‘agents of change’ and can provide the right solutions for property investors, business owners, and tenants. People need our help in many different ways.
If you are finding that things are a bit tough at the moment for you as a Real Estate Agent, have a look at the way in which you are doing things. Today you need a ‘toolbox’ of solutions to help the clients and prospects in today’s property market.
Creativity and relevance are the two facts to aim for here. Are you creative in marketing your properties for sale or lease? Are you relevant as a top agent in this type of property market? Generic agents struggle in this type of market because they do not have the ideas and strategies active to solve property problems for clients.
So let’s give you some ideas to put into your agent toolbox for commercial real estate sales and leasing.
- Have all the market facts and information at your fingertips for the particular property type and deal that needs to be done. You cannot change the client’s perception without the right information.
- Check out all the competing properties locally before you meet with your client. Be very familiar with prices and rents that are being asked. Time on market assessments will also be of value in helping the client see what is going on today.
- Have stories of success with other local properties and listings that you can share. Most clients will listen to the experiences of other properties and clients.
- Have alternatives for the client to choose from. When alternatives are available, the decision to be made is less difficult. Most clients will choose the ‘middle ground’ alternative.
- When you list any property, set the rents and prices for today’s market. The client’s perspective on price or rent should be challenged if it is too unrealistic. You do not want to waste your time or theirs in the listing process.
- Provide the solutions that the market needs including personal marketing systems that will allow you to take the listing to the right people in your database and the right local property owners.
Help the parties make decisions. In many respects our clients and prospects are just looking for the right agent that can solve their issues quickly and effectively.
As an agent in commercial and retail property, you need to understand your local property market comprehensively and fully. In achieving this level of focus, you will find opportunities for leasing, sales, and property management.
The commercial property market is largely based on relationships. When you get to know a lot of people locally, the listings and opportunities start to evolve. That being said, these clients and prospects do need to trust you as the top agent of choice in the local area.
Here are some tips to help you get to know your local property market at the appropriate level.
- You will need to maintain a database of contact information. This is not something you should delegate to another person in the office. The fact of the matter is that the database is your foundation of business and goodwill. When you take personal ownership of your database, the information becomes more meaningful and relevant. On a daily basis you should be frequently moving in and out of your database to make calls and capture information. This then says that you will require the necessary computer information and computer hardware to do the job correctly.
- Split your area into zones of priority. Some of those areas will be very active and desirable from a business and client perspective. Review those areas so that you can understand and quote the levels of activity to the right people when you are presenting or pitching your services.
- Your property precinct, suburb, town, or city will have a property history that is real and relevant to your activities today. You should identify the types of sales, types of leases, time on market, levels of enquiry, and region demographics. That information should be relative to the last five years and be particularly accurate over the last two years. These figures will show you trends of opportunity and change. Top agents seize the opportunity and move their market focus as required.
- Get copies of the local development plans as they apply to commercial and retail property. Understand the differences between the property zonings and the property locations. A property location or zoning can have significant impact on the listing and marketing of any property.
- The supply and demand for commercial and retail property will change throughout the year. An oversupply of space will saturate the market with excessive vacancies and empty properties. You can stay ahead of this change by monitoring the new property developments that are being considered at the local council or municipality. Whilst a new property developments are an opportunity for listings and fees, they can also skew the market when it comes to pricing, rentals, and incentives.
- Check all the listings locally that are held with other agents and with private owners. Over time some of those listings will be an opportunity for change and perhaps listing with your agency. Whilst they remain available for sale or for lease today, they will give you an indication of what prices and rentals are doing.
- Network into your area on a daily basis. This means making the necessary cold calls and dropping into local businesses on a daily basis. Through this personal contact you will generate opportunity and fresh listings. Top agents are very visible to the local community of business owners and property investors.
You can’t win many listings by sitting at your desk. Desk time is actually downtime. You should only be sitting at your desk to make the necessary cold calls or to have meetings with the right people. Every other part of the day should be outside of the office meeting with people and checking on properties.