How to Improve Listening Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In an average working week, as a broker or an agent, you will attend plenty of meetings with clients and prospects.  Your listening skills and meeting strategies will be tested; they should be refined and optimized for each situation that could evolve.

 

Improve your communications skills and your listening skills.  Strategically connect with ever more people in your location and with your property marketing activities.

 

Accurately listen as part of a property discussion or negotiation.  Watch what happens with all your conversations relating to commercial property, and know what is being said by the stakeholders. 

 

Take notes to support discussions and progress; send off an email soon after a discussion to detail the current position.  A full understanding will help you with your position of negotiation or the desired strategic outcome.

 

The Challenges of Negotiations and Clients

 

It is a fact that some clients will be more difficult than others when it comes to negotiation, listing, property documentation, and marketing.  The same levels of difficulty apply to prospects and the third parties to any transaction.

 

Through all stages of the property transaction, there will be issues to discuss and opportunities to create.  Improve your professional communications skills through practice and deliberation.  Set your communication systems in place to help you with prospecting, listing, and presenting properties.

 

Communication Rules

 

Here are some rules that can help you with all your listening skills, client connections, and negotiation opportunities:

 

  1. Where possible, choose the place and the time to meet with other parties as part of any property negotiation or inspection. Try to keep control of the discussion or negotiation through meeting location selection and timing.
  2. Check your property and listing information before you give it to others. Ensure that you have all the supporting documentation validated and ready to display or use in any inspection and or presentation.  Expect that you will get questions on property matters, so have your supporting information ready.
  3. Don’t just listen to the other person but watch what they say and observe how they do it as part of explaining their position or negotiating. The body language of the other party will give you some valuable indicators to work on progressing a transaction forward.
  4. Understand all the alternatives that can apply to the negotiation. Do the people or stakeholders in the transaction need to achieve an agreement, or can they walk away from the discussion?
  5. Take plenty of notes as part of a negotiation process and meeting or conversation. Your notes will help you in the future remember what was said and done or perhaps agreed.  Sometimes disputes occur between the parties in a property transaction, and your notes will be the only way to protect your position and recollection.
  6. Ask plenty of questions relating to a property and or client situation. When in any doubt, ask more questions. As you get the answers that you require, observe the other party in what they are saying and how they are saying it. Look for the problems of interpretation and message accuracy.
  7. Qualify any comments and restate the position of the other party. The stakeholders to a property transaction will have a position or belief so you will need to document that fact accurately and legally for the property and the client.  Don’t proceed with documentation until you know that all is correct.
  8. Any action that is agreed between the parties will need to be taken in a timely way. Timeliness is important and can sometimes be a ‘deal breaker’.  Know the legalities of the matter, and how you can document things accurately for the client’s position, their instructions, and the facts of the property.

 

Listen carefully and comprehensively as part of each property meeting and negotiation.  Establish your rules and your systems of communication control so that every negotiation can be directed and shaped towards the outcomes that the client requires.

How a Complete Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Practice Session Improves Knowledge and Skills

In commercial real estate brokerage there are a good number of things that require practice and refinement over time.  It’s a personal process that cannot be delegated.  It is the faster track to getting results in brokerage with listings and clients.  (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate course here)

 

So why is this so important?

There are many ‘top agents’ in a location be that a suburb, town or city, and they are all chasing the same new business across sales, leasing, and property management.  Your recommendations and solutions offered to your clients and prospects should be well considered and clearly displayed.  Your ideas have to be better than that of your competitors.  Can you stand out in that way now?

Your solutions have to be better than the others that are put to the client and that are available.  Expect the client to seek presentations from other agents as they work through their property challenge, and before they make a listing decision. 

Your pitch has to be better than the others that are out there; you should be perceived as the professional that people need.  Practice is required to achieve that status.  If you pitch your services comprehensively, the ‘exclusivity’ process is much easier.  Exclusivity is critical to market domination.

 

Practice your skills on key matters

Through your career in brokerage, you should practice your skills and strategies in a number of key disciplines.  You can put that practice into your real estate business through personal disciplines, team meetings, and role playing.  That specific practice will help you with deeper market confidence and better levels of communication; both are important factors when it comes to converting the client to your ideas and recommendations.

So let’s get this important business education underway.  Here are some strategies to help you get that practice incorporated into your real estate business:

  1. Listing pitch – Given the pressures of the current market, what are the better ways to list a property today to get faster outcomes in sales and leasing? That question has to resolved in any client presentation.  Your listing presentation can be supported by research, computer based aids, statistics, and case studies.
  2. Marketing solutions – Have some clear examples of other properties listed today and recently that have been taken to the market, and show the client exactly how the campaign and marketing process was critical to the challenge and the outcome reached.
  3. Negotiation alternatives – Every deal can be closed in a number of ways. Show the client how one negotiation stalled; also show them how another was resolved.  Put yourself into the solution as the facilitator of the positive outcome.  Stories will always help you with client communication.
  4. Vendor paid marketing – Show several examples of local property promotions where vendor paid marketing was the big difference in getting a positive outcome. As a general rule, vendor funded campaigns generally attract and facilitate more inquiry over the listing period, and the time on market is shorter when it comes to a positive result.
  5. Listing refresh – Package your presentation to allow you to refresh the advertising every 2 or 3 weeks. Don’t let a listing stay too long on the market.  Watch the trends of enquiry and tune your property advertising frequently.
  6. Client conditioning – How can you condition a client to the prevailing market conditions in your location? There are many different property challenges as there are clients.  Make sure that you can handle the most common client concerns in today’s property market.

So there are some real things that you can practice here.  Take the pressures of the properties that you work with, and practice your pitch and presentation recommendations.  That practice will help you stand out as the ‘agent of choice’ for the client and their property today.

A Simple System for Commercial Real Estate Marketing

When you have a property to take to the market you will have a number of options to consider as you reach out to the target market.  You can promote the property selectively and directly to the right people, or you could undertake a public campaign to the general market.  So a good degree of strategy is required to find the right buyer or tenant as the case may be.  Understand the listing and the client before you get started in designing your marketing campaign.

 

Drill Down on the Property Facts

 

You are the professional person to establish the promotional strategy, and then make the marketing campaign work.  You can do things generically, or you can drill down into the real facts of the market and the property; your choices here are critical to the end result.  Your marketing choices are really important to the resultant ‘time on market’ and price or rent achieved.  When you help the client understand those facts, the conversion of vendor paid marketing funds is a lot easier.

 

A property marketing campaign is a bit like a sales drive, and that process will be supported by the many promotional tools that we have today both online and offline.  Sometimes you can use gimmicks to attract the attention of the buyers and tenants in your target market, but the end resultant inquiry will usually be driven by the facts of the property zone and the listing itself.  It is a personal selling process.

 

Professional Systems in Commercial Marketing

 

You are the professional to take a property listing forward, so convert the listing exclusively for a good period of time, and then match the promotional campaign through a deliberate mix of advertising strategies including geographical concentration, marketing message, and target marketing.  Here are some ideas to help you do that:

 

  1. Understand the client first – What does the client want to achieve, and what must they achieve in the marketing of their property? You should understand those facts.
  2. Inspect the asset – When you comprehensively understand the asset, you can penetrate the targeted segments of buyers and tenants. Don’t do things generally.  Promote with focus and significance.
  3. Resolve problems and challenges – Every property will have issues; some of those issues will be real hurdles in the marketing and promotional process. Resolve those property problems before you go to market.
  4. Comparable properties – Check out the competition and the other listings in the location. See if there is any conflict with other properties in the region and adjust your marketing efforts to encourage inquiry given all of those other properties still on the market.
  5. Marketing alternatives – Understand the promotional tools at your disposal for the property and then make the right choices to get the property out into the location or target market of buyers or tenants.
  6. Focus the budget and the campaign – Achieve target market coverage. You can cross sell and promote all of your listings, providing you really understand the strengths of each of the listings; cross selling is a great concept in commercial real estate brokerage. When you work the target market comprehensively, there is a reasonable chance of gaining inquiry inertia and better results with all of your properties listed.

 

Take these marketing ideas, and apply them to your clients and commercial listings.  Upsell your services where possible and cross sell your listings where the inquiry allows; do more with less, that’s the rule.  There are good commissions to be converted in commercial real estate today; there are plenty of business owners and investors looking for a property resolve.

 

A blanket approach to your listing territory and your property segments will help you to get to know the right people in the right way.

(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)

 

How to Deliver High End Marketing Solutions for Exclusive Listings in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

The quality and focus of your marketing campaigns in commercial real estate will attract volumes of clients and prospects over time, providing you build quality and target marketing into your promotional processes.  Build your brand through your current marketing processes with all of your listings.

(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)

So the rule here is typically that ‘a quality focus in promotional activity generally attracts quality new business in local property’.  The best clients and investors locally like to work with the agents that have a market domination of the location and the property type.

Compare the competitors

Compare your marketing solutions to those used by your competitors:

  • Can you claim to be more relevant and real as an agent in your property activities?
  • Do your advertising efforts stand out as the best for the property type or the location?
  • Will people remember you at the right time?

Review and research your market position when it comes to your brokerage and your personal profile.  Examine where you are now in the order and ranking of local agents.  Drive a better profile.

Here are some ideas to help you stand out as a ‘go to agent’ for your location:

  1. Property and target market match – Always match your property to a target market before the campaign of promotion commences. Help the client understand the target market that you are chasing and why that is the case.
  2. Local area coverage and regional coverage – When you promote your listings, devote different strategies to the local area, versus the broader region. Vendor paid marketing funds should allow you to specialize your property coverage and penetration.
  3. Online marketing versus traditional marketing – You will need to mix and match your marketing to the online and offline media outlets and channels. Think about everything from the traditional signboard through to website coverage, and the industry portals.  Your exclusive listings should get special attention in that process.  Use the email marketing system as well as the more traditional approaches to listing distribution.
  4. Brochures and photographs – Some people like to review the local papers and or get a brochure in the mail, so photos and brochures are valuable in property marketing. Use them in directly marketing the listings that you have.  The direct marketing process has merit as long as you are taking the time to follow through with telephone calls and direct contact.  If you have spent the money in mail outs, then make the calls to see what others think of the listing and the brochure.
  5. Editorials – When you have a good quality listing coming to the market, get an editorial ready for release, and promote that editorial to the local papers and media outlets. If the property has a good history or local relevance, an editorial is a good strategy to use promotionally.
  6. Database – Use your database in your client and prospect discussions. Create a shortlist of people from your database to inspect a property as soon as it is released to the market for sale or lease.  It is hard for a client to overlook a relevant database of local contact.
  7. Feedback – Seek comments from the people that you take to your listed properties and hold inspections with. Allow their comments to shape your clients thinking and their perceptions of the property as it is being marketed.  This is called ‘third party conditioning’ and it is a valuable strategy in shaping a property for better listing and or negotiation outcomes.
  8. Reset and refresh your listing advertisements – Don’t let an advert for property remain unchanged for too long. Refresh your listing stock promotions with different promotional copy and feature points every 3 weeks or so.

These simple and yet direct strategies are valuable in delivering high quality property promotions.  They allow ‘high end’ coverage, and will attract better levels of inquiry.  Refine and revisit all of your commercial property promotions accordingly, with a real bias towards your exclusively listed assets.

Prospecting and Focus Facts in Commercial Real Estate

In todays program we cover 1. Ways to focus your prospecting and marketing, 2. Essential prospecting guidelines, 3. Priorities for a commercial broker or agent, 4. Great ways to use your spare time in brokerage. Commercial real estate training by John Highman.
https://www.hipcast.com/playweb?audioid=P81f502a2ea03d2fc7c48d0e3c041a24eZVh7QXpuY2B3VQ&buffer=5&fc=FFFFFF&pc=CCFF33&kc=FFCC33&bc=FFFFFF&brand=1&player=ap21

MP3 File

Major Change Initiatives for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Most years in commercial real estate will dish up a variety of market conditions.  You have to be versatile and driven as an agent or broker.  If something is not working for you, look for the signs and then implement change.  There are plenty of people to watch and use as role models.

(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 are the signs?

Top agents leave a trail of skills and information that you can replicate.  Watch what they are doing with their listings and marketing, and then pick the best activities for your own implementation.  Apply your own twists to a property initiative; there is no point in being ordinary in commercial real estate today.  Learn how to stand out as the person that commands the market and the enquiry.

Don’t struggle

If you are struggling in the market place, then create some major changes in your business and marketing efforts.  So how do you do that?  Try some of these for starters:

  1. When you take a property type and specialize in it.  You can monitor key performance indicators and weave those indicators into your client presentations and marketing recommendations. Real facts will help you connect with the client.  Show that you are a critical part of the marketing process.  Tell the client exactly what you will do if the client appoints you as the agent to resolve their property issue.
  2. Look deeply into your client relationships. Some of those clients will be well placed to take action on a quality listing.  Keep your VIP clients fully briefed on the best listings as they come to market.  There is nothing wrong with holding an inspection early in the campaign with your preferred and qualified clients.
  3. The email marketing process today is something that is part of the business. That being said, you can do it generically, or you can do it with relevance.  Why not send your campaigns with some focus or property type in mind?  Don’t send out too many properties of different types to everyone that you know.  Be more specific in segmenting your Email marketing efforts to business owners, tenants, landlords, and investors.
  4. Don’t just market your listings online; market yourself. In saying that I mean creating some valuable online property based information in a regular way that can help people.  The best way to do that is through a blog and a series of resources and articles shared on that blog.  You can then link your social media back to the blog, in that way showing your clients that you are significantly better than the other agents locally.

So there are some good things that you can do here in creating major change in your property and marketing efforts.  Don’t be ordinary in commercial real estate brokerage; strive to be different and relevant.

(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 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.