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Why Taking Notes is So Important in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage there will be plenty of things going on each day around you as you see to drive more business activity in sales and leasing.  If you are not careful in your business practices, small omissions and tasks will be overlooked and perhaps forgotten.

Common Factors to Control and Action Require Notes

Diligence on the job and specific task management systems will help you maintain a focus on the things that matter.  Take the sales process as an example.  Here are some of the most common issues that evolve each day from just doing your job:

  • Checking up on listing progress – How is your property listing progressing online and in the newspapers from an enquiry perspective? When you know the enquiry rates you will know what is working from a marketing viewpoint.  You can then ‘tweak’ your activities for each listing.  Better results can then occur from the quality properties you have on your books.
  • Talking to clients about their exclusive property listing – don’t let a listing sit on your books for too long without regular follow-up with the client. Tell them exactly what is happening with their property and how the buyers are responding to the marketing and the inspections.
  • Marketing updates and advertising changes – With some properties you will find that enquiry is limited; perhaps due to the property type or size of transaction. In cases like that you will have to specifically target your marketing and watch how the results are coming in.
  • Taking new people through your listings – Any property inspection you undertake with a qualified buyer is just the start of things; a degree of shaping and encouraging will be needed from any enquiry. You will have things to talk about and follow through on.
  • Taking calls regards property listings – When an enquiry comes in across the telephone there are matters to look into and come back on. Write things down and respond to the right people in a timely way.
  • Chasing information for those people recently enquired or inspecting – To keep any property transaction moving ahead it is essential that information is sourced and responses are made quickly.
  • Checking title and property detail – Some properties are quite complex when it comes to title detail and ownership structure. In many cases you will need to undertake a full and detailed review of the property structure and title information.  Look for factors of concern and question any missing information.  As you move through the checking process, make plenty of notes to help support further property investigation.
  • Completing accurate contract documentation – To cover off on contract creation and accurate documentation, you will need to check out the fullest of property detail, the names and addresses of the buyer and the seller, plus the intentions of the parties when it comes to contract settlement. From that point you can then consider the creation of contract documentation and all offers.
  • Following up on contract and settlement progress – When a contract has been created, it is the start of the process rather than the end of the negotiation. Every contract needs to be followed through to ensure satisfactory settlement progress.  Some property contracts are very complex and will require specific actions and activities of the buyer and seller before settlement occurs.  Always check up on the progress of your contracts and settlements.  Take notes when it comes to issues identified or discussions occurring with the parties.
  • Negotiation on a contract of sale – In any commercial property negotiation there will be points of discussion and disagreement to work through. Take notes as you progress through the property negotiation.  Good notes will help prevent future disagreement or dispute.  Those notes will also help you when it comes to any potential legal action that might evolve from the property transaction.
  • Submitting offers to the right people – When it comes to commercial property, some of the transactions involve a number of people on both sides of the contract sale and purchase. Numerous conversations will occur and offers will be negotiated; disagreements and misunderstandings can also evolve.  Conversations and meetings will move the property transaction forward and many things will be said.  Write things down to prevent any disagreement or dispute.  The notes that you take as part of the property transaction will help protect you in any potential legal action evolving from a disagreement.
  • Prospecting for new business with clients and business owners – When you are actively prospecting for new business and clients, plenty of leads and ideas will come your way. Load the information into your database and or task management system so that you respond to the opportunity at the right time and in the right way.  Don’t leave any lead or opportunity too long without taking the required action.  Timeliness is an important part of commercial real estate brokerage.

You can quite likely add to this list, as there are just so many things that happen each day.  As you talk to people keep a focus on moving a commercial real estate listing forward by tracking the tasks and the requirements of every conversation.

Mistakes and omissions cannot be made as you negotiate on a contract of sale; accuracy and timeliness are factors of importance in commercial real estate brokerage.  The threat of litigation is always close by in the case of any errors or omissions that could be made, as will be the disappointment of losing a listing or commission.  Focus on the correct tasks to keep your commercial real estate business pointing in the right direction.

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Traps to Look for In Listing Commercial or Industrial Property for Sale or Lease

Many agents specialise in just industrial real estate, be that sale or leasing.  That focus can be a good thing because the industrial segment can be quite unique when you consider the factors of large manufacturing and warehousing.

When you are listing a property that is industrially zoned or perhaps already has an industrial use, you need to get to the key issues of the property and how it relates to other industrial properties locally.  Comparisons will help you understand future opportunity and marketing potential for the asset.

Important Facts to Investigate

Here are some factors to investigate when assessing the potential of an industrial property from a sale or lease perspective:

  1. Zoning – There are differences in industrial zoning, and therefore the types of work, manufacturing, and or business that can be generated in an industrial site or warehouse. Check out the zoning regulations that apply to the location and the listing; understand what types of business and manufacturing can occur on the property.
  2. Orders or Notices – Some industrially located properties are impacted by factors of the environment and location. Ground water, soil toxicity, topography, and stored or manufactured chemicals are just a few factors that will impact the use and or occupancy of the property.   Ask about orders or notices that may have been issued to control the way things happen in the property.
  3. Warehouse and building floor area – There will be locations in the property that are used in a specific way. The configuration of those particular areas may suit or typify the standards of a particular industry; that means some of those areas could be redundant to the next property occupier.  Review the areas and understand them.  Typically you are looking at the spaces relating to warehousing, office, laboratories, storage, power plants, machinery, production, loading bays, and hardstand.  There may also be special requirements associated with the certification of plant and equipment such as cranes.
  4. Warehouse size and construction – Storage of goods today involves pallet stacking, forklifts, floor loading, and staging areas. Every industrial business will have factors that are quite special in the way they receive, move, and store goods.  Clear span warehousing will help with the logistical factors of goods movement, pelleting, and storage.   Modern warehouses tend to incorporate clear span design.
  5. Access – Most industrial businesses today require truck access and special loading and unloading facilities. The efficiency of the moving of goods can be a big part of cost control and customer service for any industrial business. A large loading dock and infrastructure will be helpful for many occupants of business types.

Given all of these things, a good industrial property will be situated in a location that is well supported by service infrastructure such as electricity, gas, water, roads, rail, and airports.   Why not do your full property assessments before you decide on the best way to market the industrial property to attract potential buyers and tenants?