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Getting Better Marketing Results for Commercial Real Estate Clients

To a large degree, the marketing results that you get today in promoting commercial real estate will help you with negotiations and client conditioning.  The property market is forever changing.

Seasonal inquiry will reflect in both the time on market for the listing, and pricing strategies.  The impact of seasonal marketing should also help you with the correct decisions when it comes to the method of sale.

In receiving the inquiry from your marketing campaign, you will soon know whether you are achieving the necessary volume of inquiry and the type of inquiry.  Don’t let a marketing campaign continue for too long without appropriate assessment and marketing or media changes.

You only have a short period of time where you can generate the necessary inbound inquiries to achieve inspections.  Here are some further thoughts when it comes to assessing the campaign for your quality listing:

  • If the volume of inquiry is too low, it will be necessary to recommend modifying and increasing the marketing package to capture more people.
  • If the type of inquiry is incorrect as to its demographics, you will need to adjust the marketing so that it reaches the right people more successfully.

At the end of the first week of the campaign, you should have seen significant results and obtained buyer feedback which will allow you to understand if you are reaching your marketing objectives and targets.  Depending upon the outcome from inquiries, you will make the adjustments as mentioned earlier.

It is important not to allow the marketing campaign to proceed without monitoring and without adjustment.  In most cases, the optimized promotion of a property will be for a period of six to eight weeks at the very start of the campaign.  Beyond that time the property listing will soon become stale and unattractive.  If the property has not sold during that initial promotional period, it is better practice to remove the property from public promotion for one or two months and then start again using a different strategy or method of sale.

It is standard practice with commercial property to seek vendor paid advertising with any quality listing.  This then gives the agent some guarantee that the client is serious about selling the property; it also helps the agent when it comes to controlling inquiry, creating inspections, and negotiating directly with the client.

It is essential to seek payment from the client for the advertising campaign prior to its commencement.  Many a client has delayed or avoided payment at a later time when it comes to marketing funds.  Don’t start to advertise until such time as the promotional money has been paid by the client and is held in the bank account.

As a basic strategy, keep in contact with the client on almost a daily basis from the start of the campaign to keep them fully appraised of promotional activity.

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Advanced Formula for Leadership in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Today

In commercial real estate, market leadership is a very important issue, and particularly so if you specialise in a property type within a location.  If you are like most agents you will have plenty of other competitive agents to work around and market against.  Through all of that ‘competitive noise’ your services must stand out as real and relevant to the market place.  That’s what the top agents of the market do.

When it comes to pitching and winning a listing, most of the clients that we serve want the best agent for the job; the marketing of any listing for sale or lease is not an experiment and the clients know that.  It is at that point where the ‘leadership equation’ becomes important.  Having spent many years in the property industry, I have seen and got to know many more agents than most people.  It is a fact that the truly great agents are few in number, whilst most other agents ‘ride the rollercoaster’ of the property market through many ups and downs.  Resilience is a good skill for an agent to have, but systemised action is far more important.

To develop true ‘market leadership’ an agent needs a ‘formula’ to work to that allows for factors of the market place, the property type, the location, and the current levels of enquiry.

Here are some facts and strategies that can help you reach your targets in the local area when it comes to listings and clients:

  1. Time – Be very conscious of your time and who you let take a ‘slice of it’ each day.  You cannot invent time so you must manage your own business day to get the best results from it; all your appointments, prospecting, marketing, client contact, negotiating and paperwork must fit into the working day.  Some things will be more important than others, and there will be plenty of daily pressures that can potentially shift your focus; be prepared for some real discipline in diary control and day management.
  2. Professional Services and Practice – If you want to be the best agent locally for the property type, then your marketing, property knowledge, and negotiation skills should be of the highest standards.  A top quality agent with a dominant market share stands out ‘head and shoulders’ above others due to a recognisable difference in listing quality and listing success rate.  To achieve that status, your can practice and refine your skills, improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths.  Practice is something that most agents forget about as soon as the market or the listings get a bit busy.  The opportunity is wide open for those agents that keep on practicing and improving their skills.
  3. Database – Your real estate database is the basis of creating personal new business and helping with commission growth.  It takes time to grow a good database and the daily updates are ongoing.  If you are struggling with new business now, it is time to look at your systems; the database should be at the centre of all of them.  Integrate and lift your prospecting efforts into your database.  Set the standards of daily prospecting that you should work to and start taking action.
  4. Marketing – Many agents would use only the most basic of marketing skills when it comes to property listings, and they do little beyond that when it comes to spreading the word about a new listing.  Today we have some very advanced marketing tools and systems at our disposal.  Every quality property and exclusive listing should be comprehensively marketed to produce the best outcome for the client and for the brokerage.  Pitch and sell your commercial real estate services on the basis of exclusive listings supported by a comprehensive marketing tools and systems.  In that way you will consistently create better results in sales and leasing activity, together with a shorter time on market.

Leadership in the commercial real estate market place is a strategic choice for top agents and top brokers.  You can build your systems using some of the skills above and others to take charge of the marketplace and become a real leader when it comes to property sales, leasing, and development.  Success comes to those who work hard to a plan and a process.

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A Busy Day in the Life of a Shopping Center Manager

A Retail Shopping Center Manager when compared to others working in our industry is perhaps the busiest person by job type and specialization.  The type of retail property and the size of the tenant mix will place a lot of pressures on work load and business processes for the Center Manager.  That is why property management fees and support team requirements are significantly higher in retail property when compared to that of office or industrial property.

Can you ‘hack’ the intensity of retail property performance and the specialization that goes with that?  If you can, then the retail segment is a good place to work and grow market share.

Let’s look at the average working day for a Shopping Center Manager.  They have plenty of things to do, and here are some of the most common:

  1. Tenant contact – Most tenants in a shopping center are of the smaller and individual type.  They thrive when the shopping center is performing well; they struggle when the reverse is the case.  For that very reason a good manager will keep in close contact with all the tenants in the tenant mix, and watch the integration of anchor and specialty tenants from a customer and client perspective.  They look for the strengths and weaknesses and work with both.
  2. Marketing – A good shopping center will be comprehensively marketed to the customers and the local demographic.  A market budget will certainly help that occur but the money for marketing has to be carefully controlled to the shopping seasons and the activities within the property.
  3. Competing properties – In any city or suburb it is likely that other landlords and Shopping Center Managers are attempting to draw on any good tenants that they find in other properties.  For that reason it pays for a Center Manager to have a tenant retention plan and leasing strategy to help minimize the vacancy factor.
  4. Tenant mix – A successful tenant mix is one that matches closely the customer requirements and anchor tenants in a property.  The larger the shopping center, the more complex the controls and choices become; there are then issues to consider with clustering of tenants, renovation and relocation issues, and market rents.
  5. Arrears – In the ‘real world’ of shopping center management it is the case that arrears will happen with some tenants from time to time; a lot depends on the success of the property and the permitted use or offering of the tenant.  Look for arrears and catch them early before they do too much damage to the property cash flow.
  6. Lease updates and critical dates – Every lease will have dates to watch.  Those dates will be critical from a leasing and rental perspective.  If the shopping centre has plenty of tenants to watch, then the critical date management process will be all that more complex.
  7. Landlord reporting and contact – Some landlords require intense reporting on a daily or weekly basis; the end of month reporting can also be complex and significant.  The Center Manager has to fully commit to the landlord reporting and contact process.
  8. Maintenance and Risk Management – In every property there will be maintenance issues to fix; to do that efficiently the Center Manager should have a reporting and response process to maintenance that takes into account the elements of urgency and damage potential as well as personal injury potential.
  9. Contractor – Some maintenance contractors are better than others when it comes to maintenance response, prices, skills, and knowledge.  It is not unusual for the contractors in a large shopping center to be assessed annually for the services they offer given the demands of the property.

From these things it can easily be seen that the Shopping Center Manager should have very special skills and good business systems.