Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Property Developments are High Opportunity Listings

In commercial real estate brokerage, there will always be plenty of new business to convert locally when it comes to upcoming and current property development approvals.  Part of your prospecting model as a broker or agent should incorporate that focus on new developments, incorporating a real strategy and approach to the right people.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

What’s coming up?

When you tap into a new or upcoming local property development, the business that you achieve can be ongoing and the listings can be numerous.  A property development can incorporate a number of stages and premises to be marketed.  That being said the ‘front end’ work to a property development can be extensive and take time, so be prepared for that ‘down time’.  It is the longer term and bigger focus on the development outcome that is important; understand just how many listings and or commissions will come from the final project when it is active.  Is the project for you?

As a base strategy to get this concept underway, you will need to regularly visit the local planning office to understand where current and new property developments are being considered and will be located.  You can then inspect the property location and approach the property owner and or developer accordingly.  Get in early on any upcoming property development.

Local Planning Office

Visit the local planning office at least once per month to review the minutes of the planning committee or planning approvals board.  Understand how planning approvals are processed in your town or city, how long they take, and how the approvals documentation can lead you towards future listing opportunity.

Relevance is the key to converting leads and opportunities from and with property developers.  A property developer will be inclined to use the services of the top agent who can prove that they dominate the market segment, and achieve the best results in a timely way.  Is that you?  How can you display that?

Here are some ideas to help.  Remember the motivations behind any new property development and consider the following factors:

  • Time on market will be a factor of concern for any property developer. They will need to know how the time on market can be shortened whilst they are still achieving the best levels of enquiry for the new property development and or premises.  Show them how you will do that.
  • Vacant land in the local area will always be a good source of property development opportunities providing there is a relevant demand in the local area and the zoning for the property is suitable. Merge vacant land ownerships into your prospecting model.  Determine how long it takes to create a new property development, what could be involved, and how you can help the process and outcome for your investors and or developer clients.
  • Redundancy in local investment properties will happen at any time in any city or town. Some properties reach the end of their serviceable use, and you can work with that.  Businesses tend to move away from the older properties over time, and you can work with that.  Those older properties can become renovation opportunities or redevelopment sites.  Tap into the redundancy issues in your location.
  • Change of use and zoning use will occur locally. Look for the decisions and the changes of property zoning as they apply in your town or city.  A change of property zoning will usually create future property churn be it as a sale or leasing opportunity.
  • Business migration and change are factors that we can always tap into. Look for the segments of the business community that are under pressure and change.  Pressure factors can include business growth, expansion, contraction, or relocation.  Connect with the local business community to understand where those opportunities will be occurring next and what those businesses will need to do.
  • Property developers can be matched to local investors. You can be the creator of future of development business and property opportunity.  You can find the parcel of land, the appropriate developer, and the business investor to take this project forward.  Any new property development and redevelopment change will usually take two or three years to complete.  You can be the catalyst of matching the three main elements to create that project opportunity.  Work with the local property investors to understand where they are focusing and what they are looking for.  Find investors (with the funds backing) that can work with those property developers and then locate the parcel of land to suit.

You can attract property development business in commercial real estate brokerage.  Understand what is happening locally and then drill into the market segment.  Talk to the right people to open up the enquiry and leads for new property projects.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Commercial Real Estate Brokers – How to Amplify Your Commissions with a Good Database

The database system that you choose in commercial real estate will help you drive new business opportunity.  If you are looking for more listings and commissions as part of your business plan, then the database creation and nurturing process should be part of the plan.

Most agents and brokers struggle with the process of client contact and database creation.  They simply do not spend enough time on growing their business in this way.  When the property market gets slow or becomes tougher, a good database is the only way to move through challenging economic conditions and any market slowdown.

Who do you know?

You simply need to know a lot of people in a relevant and ongoing way, and a contact management system will help you interact with your clients are the right time with relevance.  They need to trust you as the expert of choice, and remember you at the right time when it comes to property help and assistance.

Here are some specific rules to help you establish your contact management system in your real estate brokerage:

  1. The correct information – the information that feeds into your database needs to be correct in every way. When the information is captured, that is the start of the contact management system, and you will be connecting with the same person in a number of different ways over time.  Accuracy and regularity feature as part of a professional contact management.
  2. Segment your database – given that you will be working with a number of different clients and prospects, you do need to segment the database into the various levels of opportunity and also within property types and locations. The contact management system that you choose should offer you that flexibility in a simple and direct way.
  3. Cloud based storage – you must be able to get to your information at any time, and then use your database from a number of different computer platforms. Cloud based storage and access will give you the flexibility that you need in commercial real estate brokerage.  Make sure that the storage and access points for the database are reliable and secure.  Given that the data you collate and collect over time will be growing significantly in frequency and volume, you should be using the software platform that is well proven and reliable.
  4. Determine how you will be connecting – there are many ways to keep in contact with clients and prospects today. As part of your connection pipeline, establish some rules and systems of contact.  Every stage or step within the pipeline process will be a professional advancement on the last point of contact.  Understand how you can use social media, emails, telephone calls, and meetings as part of regular ongoing contact.  Relevance will be important to help you connect with your clients professionally.  What can you do or add to the contact process that will help with this relevance?  How can you connect with more people every day?  What can you do or provide as part of the contact process to build the client relationship over time?

If you’re looking to improve your commercial real estate business both as an agent and within the brokerage, then have a solid and direct look at your database activities and systems.  If you are not connecting with a lot of people in a new and relevant way, then you have a few problems to address.  Build a database system that works for you and keep the process going in every way possible.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – A Custom Designed Strategy to Work with Commercial Property Investors

Every commercial property is unique and on that basis every property investor will have special challenges to work with their asset.  In every property location there will be special factors to consider and challenges to resolve.  You can be the specialist for the location to help investors through the challenges that they experience.  The value that you can offer through a set of comprehensive property services needs to be carefully considered and promoted.

Know the facts locally

To successfully work with commercial property investors, it is simply a matter of understanding what they are experiencing in the local property market and how you can be the solution that they need.  With particular clients you can drill down into the unique challenges of a single property, its ownership, and its location.

So how can you do this?  You can do an analysis of property performance and property opportunity.  You can provide a real property performance plan based on solid recommendations supported by strategy and opportunity.

What can you do?

As the local property specialist, you can add considerable value to the services that you provide your investor clients.  Specialise completely and thoroughly within your location and within a small number of property types.  That specialisation will be of great value to the clients that you serve.

Here are some of the most common challenges that you will strike with property investors today.  These particular issues all require solutions:

  • Timing – Many property decisions will be based around factors of timing. Time will impact property cash flow, rental, tenancy mix, and occupancy.  Ultimately over time there will be property based issues that will flow through to changes in capital value.  Understand the timing factors for your location when it comes to selling, leasing, and property upgrade.  When it comes to selling or leasing a property, you can show your clients the best strategies of timing matched to the challenges within the asset.
  • Financing – Some investors will need to change financing strategies and structures during the ownership cycle for a property. There will also be the need for property valuations to support mortgage funds.  Understand the duration of financing applies to the clients that you serve.  You will need to strengthen the tenancy mix and the rental income to improve and enhance the financing position.  The loan value ratio between advanced funds and property value is a ratio to watch.
  • Cash flow – The leases within the tenancy mix will support the rental cash flow. Can add cash flow be improved?  How does the rental cash flow matched to the prevailing market rentals?  You can do a rental assessment and compare the results of the assessment to other properties in the location.
  • Portfolio performance – When you delve into the factors of property performance for your client, you can cover off on matters of income enhancement, maintenance management, expenditure controls, tenancy changes, and lease changes. All of these things each year will flow to the end result of property performance.
  • Vacancy factors – How can you improve the occupancy rates within the property? How can you find the best tenants to strengthen the tenancy profiles and lease covenants?  A good property will be strengthened by the tenants in the mix.  Look at how you can encourage and shape the tenant occupancy over time.
  • Property maintenance – You cannot own an investment property without spending money. You can however develop a strategy of timing that takes into account known expenditure and the performance of the asset.  You can set a budget in place incorporating rates and taxes, repairs and maintenance, capital expenditure, and property renovations.  Understand the future of the asset and the maintenance that will be required to improve it over time.

There are some good things here that can be tracked and managed for your investment clients.  You can provide some stability and controls to enhance property performance over time.

Understand the asset for what it is, and look at how you can bring change and opportunity to the tenancy mix, rental strategy, lease documentation, and property value.  Your clients will appreciate the real strategies that you bring to the process of property ownership and investment.

Get the Snapshot eCourse

You can get more commercial real estate brokerage ideas in our Snapshot eCourse right here.

Commercial Real Estate Leasing Agents – Taking Effective Tenant Enquiry is Easy to Do

In commercial real estate brokerage, the tenant prospecting process is a good part of the leasing business where you can create plenty of leads and listing ‘churn’.  Tenants will tell you so much about their property occupation, the landlord, and the neighbouring properties and businesses.  Talk to tenants every day and you will find lots of new business leads and listing potential just waiting to be acted upon.

Local Source of Information

So it is a fact that tenants are very valuable to the commissions that you earn and attract as a broker or agent.  They are a huge source of market intelligence and business opportunity.  You can track them in your database.

As part of connecting with those tenants you really should have a thorough and complete questioning process that gets to all the key facts of their property occupation and any upcoming change requirements.  You can do that directly and effectively.  It’s easy when you know what to say and do.  You can develop a checklist to the process.

Get to all the tenant facts

Here are some of the main rules to the process:

  1. WHO ARE THEY?: Understand who they are from the outset of the initial approach or enquiry. Ask plenty of questions so that you know who you’re talking to and how to contact them again in the future.  If they will not provide you with the appropriate contact information, then limit what you tell them about the listing and or the property market.  Your information is valuable, and they should trust you from the outset of any conversation.  A tenant that does not trust you is likely to be concealing a few problems and or issues.  They are also likely to be talking to a number of agents in the location.  Spend time with the tenants that are open and honest in their conversations and communications.
  2. WHAT’S UP?: What do they have now? Understand where they are located currently as a business and what they may be looking for in the future.  Drill down on the facts of occupation including occupied area, business function, staffing needs, customer profile, lease terms and conditions, and landlord problems.  From some very simple questions you can understand where you can take the leasing enquiry and create the conversion that you need.
  3. TIMING?: When do they need to make the change? There will be some critical time frames that apply to the leasing and property occupation process.  Some businesses have a timeline to property change.  That timeline can be impacted by annual business cycles, industry trends, and financial cycles.
  4. SHOW ME THE MONEY!: Understand the budgetary constraints applying to the tenant and within the property type that they are targeting. Some tenants have very little idea about recent rental activity and lease occupancy within a location.  They may have high expectations when it comes to changing premises, but little understanding about the rental budgets applying to occupancy in the particular precinct or location.  Don’t forget to include in your review the appropriate levels of outgoings that apply to lease occupancy in addition to any rental strategy or budget.  The total amount of money will be something that the tenant should fully understand and comprehend before they start looking at properties.  Make sure they can afford the property that they are seeking.
  5. THE IMPORTANT THINGS?: Question the tenant about any specific property needs and conditions. Certain businesses have particular requirements relating to property use, security, communications, staffing, and customer interaction.  When you fully understand those specific and special needs, you can match the property more effectively.
  6. WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN?: Appreciate what property the tenant has looked at previously and currently. It is quite likely that they have been working with or talking to other agents and brokers in your town or city.  They will have seen other property listings and developed an opinion of the property market from that process.  Depending on what they have seen and when, you will need to adjust your property short list and inspection processes.

From these simple and yet valuable rules, you can take any tenant enquiry directly and effectively.  It is easy to do and when successfully undertaken will help you shortlist the required properties in the required locations.

You can get more tips for taking tenant enquiries in our eCourse Snapshot right here.

3 Negotiation Strategies to Improve a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Business Today

To be successful in commercial real estate brokerage you have to know how to negotiate through the challenges that you strike in prospecting, marketing, pitching, presenting, inspecting, and closing on your specialty property types.

It stands to reason that your negotiation skills are really important in what you do every day.  You have to ‘think on your feet’ as you hear about the other person’s concerns and perceptions in selling, leasing, or managing property.

Special Challenges

Some clients and prospects will present you with unique challenges as you move a property campaign or issue forward.  What you can do here to lift your conversions is prepare and practice your responses with the most common challenges.

Each week the entire sales or brokerage team can practice their responses to the common problems and issues that they find and strike each week.  They can share the issues that they find as part of client interaction and prospecting activity.  The team can learn from each other.  Through practice and sharing within the team, negotiation skills can improve.

Negotiation Skill Development

Here are some ideas to help you lift your negotiation skills as a team or as an individual:

  1. LOCAL PRESSURES: Be prepared to adjust your skills based on the pressures and the facts from today’s property market. Understand what’s happening with enquiry, current supply, and future occupancy predictions.  Look at the property and the local property market from the perspective of a tenant, an investor, and a landlord.  Assess the challenges in each case.  You can then do a swot analysis based on the challenges that you see today.  Share those challenges and your responses within the team.
  2. HOT TOPICS: There will be certain hot issues that are always rising to the top of a typical property negotiation. Those hot issues will be a negotiation practice priority when you are considering your skill development personally and within the team.  Issues can be specially considered such as the over pricing of a property, the failure to accept market conditions, or unrealistic expectations of the client or prospect from a negotiation.  When you look within the disciplines of commercial sales, leasing, and property management, there are always common issues that you strike in a regular and ongoing way.
  3. FEE SOLUTIONS: The fees that you learn and the commissions that you charge are also important factors of negotiation priority. Be prepared to pitch and sell your services in a comprehensive way and at a reasonable fee; that will involve negotiation practice and improvement.  Can you support and argue the value that you bring to a client from a fee perspective?  Ultimately the client just wants a good result in a timely way and they don’t want to pay too much for it.  Your fee argument and commitment should be built around an expectation of results.  As we all know, the cheaper services offered by less professional agents in the industry are ultimately counterproductive and time wasting for the client.

The message here is that you can do a lot for yourself and within the team when you practice your negotiation skills in a regular and ongoing way.  Take into account the existing factors of the property market and the pressures that you experience with your clients and prospects.  Practice your professional negotiation skills based on the challenges of the commercial property industry today.

You can get more negotiation tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokerage in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.