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How to Ask Qualifying Questions in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Sales and Leasing

When it comes to working with any new client or prospect in commercial real estate, the quality of the questions that you ask will help you get to the point of the listing or marketing process effectively and directly. Direct questions will help you win new business, convert more transactions, and grow your commissions.


Many of the clients and the prospects that you talk to will initially be quite guarded or reluctant share too much information about the person situation. Trust is a part of client and prospect contact.  That being said, you really do need to drill down into the real facts of the property pressure they may be experiencing. The questioning process gets a lot easier when you understand local market activities including prices, rents, availability, and time on market.


One factor to remember here is that you are the property expert for the local area and on that basis you are entitled to ask direct and meaningful questions. If the client or the prospect is reluctant to share their complete property situation with you, then you should also be reluctant to give out too much information about listings and property facts locally.


Direct Qualifying Questions in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage


Here are some questions to use to help you identify property needs and opportunities with new clients and prospects:

  1. How have they found the property? – Always try to understand how new people have contacted you to make the initial property enquiry. Over time you will soon see the methods of marketing that are attracting the right levels of enquiry for you as the agent or broker. Have they reached you as a result of and Internet listing, the property advertisement, signboard, or a referral?
  2. What do they know about the local area when it comes to prices and rents? – Some tenants and property buyers have unrealistic expectations when it comes to prices and rents. That will usually be due to their lack of understanding when it comes to the local area. If you are working with a client or prospect with that problem, you will need to show them some other properties where results have been achieved at established market prices or market rents.
  3. What other properties have they seen locally with other agents? Most buyers and tenants will be working with other agents simultaneously to satisfy their property need in a timely way. On that basis you can never really be sure as to what properties they have seen recently, or what they may be negotiating on right now. Be careful when it comes to the prospects you work with and the potential connection with another agent. The inspecting party, be they a tenant, investor, or business owner, may very well share confidential property information inadvertently about your listings to the other agent.
  4. Do they have a budget relating to property choice and negotiation? – The budget that they have set when it comes to a property purchase or rental should be questioned. There are other issues to consider as part of the budget that the prospect may have overlooked. In the case of rental, they may not have considered the recoverable outgoings in addition to the rental structure. In the case of price, they may not have considered the associated costs of contract including taxes, moving costs, and any special applications that may apply to property use.
  5. What is the process that will allow them to make the property decision? – Every prospect business or investor will have a process of negotiation and decision. Make sure that you are talking to the decision maker where ever possible. If you are talking to a company as a prospect, they may have a Board of Directors that need to be included or involved in the final property decision. That Board of Directors may also meet irregularly and therefore the final property decision could be delayed. When you understand the pressures of time and decision, the negotiation for your client gets a lot easier.


So you can ask plenty of direct questions and qualify the prospects people that you work with in commercial real estate brokerage. Drill down into the facts of the matter when it comes to their property selection, intentions, decisions, and needs. Take plenty of notes when you work with these people so that any information they give you today can be proven or discussed in the future.

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5 Great Ways to Use Your Spare Time in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you get spare time in commercial real estate, the important thing is that you do something of relevance and importance to help you build market share. As a general rule, focus on connecting with new people, property investors, and business leaders.


As you get busier with listings and clients, the frequency of spare time tends to diminish. However, between meetings, or perhaps between property inspections you will always have some spare time to use in a positive way. Spend the extra 10 minutes or half an hour between meetings productively by creating connections and conversations with the right people.


Things consistently change in commercial real estate today. From time to time new leads and opportunities evolve from the relationships that you make and have with other people. Asking questions at the right time or connecting in the right way will help you build listing opportunity.


Most new business opportunities come from established relationships and ongoing conversations. It can take some months if not years for some clients to move to the next stage of property involvement or change. Help them understand that you are the right person for the job. Make sure that you are consistently available when they need you. Keep them fully briefed and appraised when it comes to regional and local property market activities, prices, rents, and upcoming quality listings.


Spare Time Checklist for Agents and Brokers


Here are some of the best ways efficiently use your spare time as a commercial real estate agent or broker:

  1. Make 10 direct cold calls – The telephone is the most convenient way to connect with your market whilst using your time effectively. Some top agents will deliberately set aside time every day to make cold calls, and they also make those calls between meetings.  You are never too busy to make more direct calls to clients and prospects.
  2. Door knock some local businesses – The local business community will be a great source of property market information, leads, and change. The business leaders locally will generally know more about local property issues than you do. They will understand the factors of changes that apply to neighbouring properties, businesses, and landlords.
  3. Send 5 marketing letters – In sending five marketing letters per day, you will have the chance to make direct follow-up phone calls later in the week. The idea here is that the marketing letters ‘open the door’ to the conversation that you can create over the telephone. A telephone conversation should lead to help you understand future property needs with the people that you talk to.
  4. Contact previous clients – Some clients that you have worked for previously may soon be looking for other assistance across sales, purchasing, property management, or leasing. Bring some versatility to the services that you provide. Be prepared to convert one level of business activity to another.
  5. Ask for referrals – There will always be referral opportunities available to the creative agent. If you have successfully serviced a client in a previous transaction, the referral conversation is easy and logical. Contact the people that you have worked with over the years, to see if they can refer you to other people and property activity. It is always a lot easier to create new business through the referral process.


Simple strategies like these can help you use your spare time effectively and efficiently. These simple activities can also assist when it comes to identifying property changes and client needs. Use the telephone to create relevant and real contacts with the best people in your local property market.