When you work in commercial real estate brokerage you need plenty of quality listings, and then a buyer management system to support and encourage offers and sale contracts. If you choose the right listings, enquiries should come your way; every enquiry is an opportunity for the future and that is why the process should be well managed.
As a special note here, exclusive listings help you control buyers; open listings by contrast give you little control over the property, the client, and the buyer enquiry. So your primary focus should always be to attract and convert exclusive listings that you control as an agent or broker; if the listings are of quality, then you should have a good ongoing source of enquiry. That is where your database becomes really important, but more on that later.
Here are some buyer management ideas:
- Buyers are sometimes ‘liars’ (or selective information providers), and on that basis should be fully qualified before you do too much with them. Understand exactly who they are (including contact detail), what they want by way of property, how they have found you, and question deeply their ability to act on a property purchase. All of this has to happen before you do anything else. Expect the buyer to limit or manipulate the information they give you; careful questioning should solve that problem and get to the real facts.
- Have they seen other property locally? If they are working with other agents and are considering other property to purchase it is best to know about it up front. That is why ‘exclusive listings’ are so important; you control the listing stock and so any inspections are yours to create and control.
- What do they know about the local property market? That information is part of the qualification process. See what they know about competing properties, prices, and methods of property purchase (see what purchase method suits them the best).
- Are they a ‘hot buyer’? By ‘hot buyer’ I mean someone that has the ability to act and is motivated in some way to take immediate action. Find out what time frames they have to satisfy the property need as well as the critical ‘must have’ factors in property location, improvements, and property type. If they are ready to act on a purchase then they should rise to the top of the enquiry list, and a full review of your available listings should occur.
- Don’t show them too many properties at any one time; 3 or 4 are usually enough in any one property sitting. Too many properties inspected at one time will usually frustrate the buyer decision and deal momentum.
When you understand these things you can put some urgency into the property selection, inspection, and purchase process. That’s how you work with buyers of commercial property today.