In commercial real estate, and most particularly with the property agents and brokers, sales team performance should be optimised throughout the year to adjust for the changes in property activity and regional demographics. In any period of 12 months, the market will change and on that basis similar changes will need to occur with prospecting, listing, negotiating, and marketing.
It is wise to have a process of tracking the key indicators in your property market. When you consider an average period of 12 months, most property markets have only 10 months of real activity in sales, leasing, and property management. Seasonal changes and market conditions will take up the other two months of downtime. Team performance needs to be suitably handled and adjusted within the agency to get the best results from 10 months of hard work.
Here are some ideas to help you improve your agency sales team performance:
- Top agents and brokers specialise in particular market segments. The segments may be geographical, or set by property type. Either way, specialisation is recommended. Specialisation process helps you cover the quality properties, key clients, and pockets of high level activity.
- Establish a prospecting model within the agency that can be tracked on an agent by agent basis. That will help you identify any weak links within the team. Some agents need help when it comes to prospecting, presenting, or negotiating. The tracking process will help you see those weaknesses and implement the necessary training and education programmes.
- Establish budgets that can apply to each agent or broker. The budget should be split into key indicators. Those indicators will normally be cold calling, meetings, door knocking, presentations, listings, exclusive listings, inspections, and closed transactions.
- Track the results that you get from every marketing campaign. The results that you get from an exclusive listing will be very relevant to your business activity. Open listings are not easily assessed in the same way given that the marketing of an open listing is random at best.
- At the end of each week, have the agency team provide a summary of activity including call numbers, meetings, listings, and inspections. You will soon see the differences between the members of the team and how effective they are when it comes to building their business.
When you track all of these numbers, you can see where the priorities lie when it comes to each agent and each broker in the team. Given that the property market changes throughout the year, adjustments will always be necessary at an individual level to ensure that quality listing stock is attracted to your business.
So what type of listings should you chase and attract? Quality listings create better levels of enquiry and will sell or lease faster. Over time that will improve your agency market share and commission opportunity.
Should you walk away from a low quality property listing? The answer is yes, if it will take you away from the other good properties in your area and sales or leasing territory. Commercial real estate marketing is a specific process needing effort and focus. Don’t waste your time.
If you have a need for a new commercial property manager or perhaps a retail shopping center manager, is the training process of a junior person worth it or should you employ an experienced person for the required role? You can go either way but the strategy is different and your choice will have to do with the demands of the portfolio and your existing property management clients.
Here are some basic facts to be considered:
- Some clients require special attention and information. The property that they own may be very complex or demanding. A junior property manager will struggle and over time can threaten the stability of your agency appointment. They can also make costly mistakes and involve the agency or brokerage in a litigation claim.
- A complex and large property will have high workload demands; on that basis the fee for management should be suitably high to reflect the time and task input by the brokerage and property manager.
- The landlords that you serve will have special reporting and communication requirements. Every property manager should understand the financial reporting systems as well as the tenant and lease management systems to help with the reporting to clients. Each day the systems will need to be accessed to see if any critical dates or lease events are happening. Early implementation of critical dates will keep things under control.
In saying all of these things it is worthwhile noting that experienced property managers will ‘short circuit’ and ‘fast track’ any new property portfolio appointment; they will know what to do and how to get the job done. So there is a balance here between the salary costs of an experienced person for the role, versus training a new person.
The tasks controlled by a good property manager are complex; they are best described as including these bigger issues:
- Understanding the focus of the client is high on the list. When you understand the client you can adjust the strategies associated with income and expenditure. The same will apply with leasing and tenant management. The client will have needs of cash flow and plans for the property that should be understood. The reports that are prepared for your clients will be specialised to the property and the client.
- Strong and positive tenant relationships will help a property perform financially and physically. The property manager needs to stay in touch with all tenants in a positive and ongoing way. It is not an easy task and requires good communication skills on the part of the property manager.
- The leases for the property underpin the income and expenditure performance. For this reason the property manager must keep a close eye on the leases and the tenant mix. Stay ahead of critical dates with rent reviews, options, renovations, and other special lease terms.
- The maintenance of the property will have an impact on the tenants, vacancies, customers, and landlord cash flow. The property manager should monitor those things and make the right recommendations.
Should you employ an experienced property manager to your team? The answer is always ‘yes’, so you can get the professionalism into your management systems and client relationships. When you have a couple of highly qualified property managers you can consider training juniors to rise up through the ranks.
You can get more commercial real estate training tips like this in our Newsletter right here.