of the process can be improved so that the overall package can be regarded as highly relevant to the clients that we work with.
This strategy of process optimization will allow you to get traction and momentum in your market. It is interesting to note that many of your fellow competing agents will be rather ordinary when it comes to the various parts of the agency process. That is an advantage in itself.
Here are some other factors that can be structured into your professional services and improved to give you the competitive edge as a commercial real estate agent:
- When it comes to listing a property, the right information has to be gathered and checked. As you specialize within the industry, your value as an expert becomes real and relevant. Complex properties require top agents that understand the intricacies of the property package. Promote yourself as the expert relative to a particular property type; get to know all of the variables and factors that make a property attractive. Make sure that there are sufficient listings in the local area within the property type to allow you to gain market share.
- The listing of a property can take many hours if not days. The size of the property, the tenancy mix, the lease details, and the financial performance will all require investigation. The property improvements will require description and qualification. The legal identity and function of the property will need to be checked prior to any marketing commencing. I go back to the point that property specialization will help you with the experience and the profile of a top agent. The clients that we serve like to work with top agents that understand the property and the area comprehensively. Property marketing is not an experiment.
- Given the pressures of today’s property market, you cannot and should not take a generic marketing approach when it comes to a quality listing. A quality property should be exclusively listed. The exclusive listing should be matched to the market and the best method of sale or lease as the case may be. When those decisions have been made, the marketing package can be designed to reach into the property owners and business proprietors that may have an interest. Get personally involved with all of your marketing campaigns. Use each quality listing to talk to other property investors and business owners.
- Understand the local property market when it comes to the seasonal activity in both sales and leasing. Some properties are best released to the market at certain times of the year. The larger and more complex the asset, the greater the amount of care that needs to be taken when it comes to the structuring of the marketing campaign and its release to the local area. Track all of your marketing efforts so that you can understand the things that are working when it comes to attracting enquiries. Repeat the things that work so that every property enquiry is optimized on every exclusive listing.
These four things will give you the best traction when it comes to attracting buyers and tenants. If you are advertising or marketing the property today and simply cannot get the enquiries in the door, then something is wrong. Review your marketing campaign and adjust it to build momentum.
Keep a database relative to all the contacts and people that you talk to. Over time the database will build more momentum and opportunity for you. Keep talking to the people in the market. That is how you find the opportunities and clients to work with.
In commercial real estate agency, the sales pitch and presentation process is something that will hopefully occur quite frequently for you. On that basis you need to be ready to present your ideas and strategies at any time and on short notice. You never know when a client or prospect will want to talk to you about the market or the listing alternatives available when it comes to commercial real estate sales or leasing.
As a general rule, every agent should carry a complete and comprehensive marketing folder at all times with examples of property marketing solutions; those solutions should apply to leasing, sales, and property management.
Watch your competitors
In most property presentations situations today, you will be up against a number of other agents all seeking to attract the same listing into their agency. Those other agents will be using a variety of enticements and discounts.
It should be said that the provision of discounts to a client is not a good way to win a listing. Agents that cut corners on fees will generally cut corners on service. Given that the client wants a result with their property, cutting corners really doesn’t work. Adjust your pitch to suit that message.
You should win the listing based on your experience and relevance to the property type and the client. Your strategies and marketing solutions should be so comprehensive and relevant that the client can see no other alternative but to give you an exclusive listing. Build your presentation on that logic.
Discounts don’t work
The clients seeking a discount should be encouraged to understand the commerce of the deal and the marketing effort required by you as the agent. A few hundred dollars saved in commission is nothing compared to the better price that you can achieve for the client with a dedicated campaign that is personally conducted.
It is the quality of your presentation and pitching process that will help the client understand exactly what you are going to do for their property and its challenges. Your services need to be superior to that of the competitors locally. Be relevant and be different. Show the client why they need you.
Here are some tips to help you refine your presentation strategy when it comes to commercial and retail property.
- Check out all the competing properties in the local area so you can advise the client as to how the listing needs to be comprehensively marketed.
- The first four weeks of any marketing campaign are the most important. During this time you will need to connect with the defined target audience and create as many inspections as possible. Structure your marketing recommendations accordingly.
- Be aware of the current market conditions relative to the property type, and the seasonal sales or leasing pressures that can influence the starting of the marketing campaign. If you have a quality property to release to the market, it may pay you to consider the ideal time frames to do that.
- Use some sort of graphical display to illustrate to the client how you will move the listing forward. A Gantt graphing process is good for this application. You can show the client exactly how things are done and where those things will head over the coming weeks.
- As a general rule, every property should be exclusively listed. In that way you can create the correct amount of momentum, optimize the inspections, and negotiate directly with the client knowing all of the facts that are involved.
- Vendor paid marketing should be part of the exclusive listing process. Get quality photographs taken of the property to feature in all the marketing material created and used. Be aware of the opportunities that each marketing method provides. The Internet should feature in every campaign. In the first instance, it is the visual side of marketing that will attract more enquiry so use the best photographs wherever possible as part of your marketing effort.
When it comes to pitching for the commercial property listing, your strategies and ideas need to be well planned and optimized for the prevailing conditions and the property. Help the client see why your strategies are so important.
In commercial real estate agency, you can learn a lot from those lost deals and listing transactions. It is a fact that you will not win all the listings that you pitch for. It is well known that most agents will probably convert approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the listings that they pitch for. The ratio improves when you improve your skills as an agent and top performer. Practice can help you here.
It is important that we learn from both the good and bad things that happen as part of a commercial real estate career. Some things will be beyond your control; however others will be controllable at least in part.
Here are some ideas and questions to raise with clients as part of the business review process from lost deals and lost listings:
- In the case of a lost listing, understand where the weakness occurred. Sometimes it is a matter of a clash of personalities or poor service. Both of those things can be rectified before they become a problem. A top real estate agent should adjust to the requirements of the client and help them with the prevailing market conditions.
- Poor service in commercial real estate can happen for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it is because the agent is excessively busy, and at other times it is because the agent fails to connect with the client sufficiently and correctly. If you have an exclusive listing, the level of connection with the client should be escalated to the highest possible level. You should be talking to the client at least every two days if not daily. In the case of an open listing, the marketing and communication process with the client is far more random and discretionary. If the client has chosen the open listing process, then they should understand that they will only hear from you when an opportunity exists.
- If you are part of a competitive listing presentation, and you have lost a listing, you should ask the client to give you an overview of how that occurred and why your presentation was not up to standard. If you do not win the listing, it is largely because your strategies, recommendations, and presentation process was not up to scratch.
- Understand what you could have done better. Ask the questions of the client. What did the other agents do that were of attraction to the client.
- Look at the differences between agencies to understand if the winning agent was part of a busier agency or had a better market profile. Most clients will choose an agency that has a strong market presence and a comprehensive way of connecting with the right target audience.
- All too often we see that the presentation or proposal decision is usually made on the strength of client’s confidence in the sales person concerned. The final decision is not really about the size of your proposal for the comprehensive nature of the document. Many proposals are very similar. Take a serious look at the people involved in the sales presentation and how they connected with the client. Did you have a strong and substantial relationship with the client before the presentation? The other competing agents may have had that advantage.
In commercial real estate agency today, you will win some of the listings that you pitch on. Other listings you will lose for many different reasons. Try to investigate each process so that you can adjust your presentation strategy.