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Proven and Effective Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Tips

In commercial real estate brokerage, you will have plenty of challenges when it comes to finding quality listings and good clients.  In most locations, towns and cities, the competition is fierce when it comes to commercial real estate agents.  On that basis you really do need to have an effective prospecting model to implement at an individual level.

It should be said that most brokers and agents don’t do this very well.  On that basis the opportunities are significant if you can create and stick to a good prospecting model.  Create a habit around prospecting.

Here are some proven and highly effective prospecting and networking tips when it comes to agents or brokers winning new clients in commercial real estate today.  Compare these to your current strategies:

  1. Stick to a defined area when it comes to targeting properties and clients.  On a street by street basis you can move through the region and research the necessary property ownership details and business proprietors.  Don’t spread yourself too thinly when it comes to large areas and diverse property types.  Specialization will help you with finding listings and growing property knowledge.
  2. Devote 3 hours per day to the prospecting process.  The cold calling process should occur first thing every morning prior to any meetings or property inspections.  Make a priority to get your cold calls done prior to 11 am.  Your meetings and property inspections can occur after that time.
  3. Split your prospecting time into two distinct segments.  The first segment will be those people that you have spoken to before.  Regular contact here will allow you to tap into the opportunity when those people are ready to make a sale or a lease transaction.  The second group that you should speak to will be those that are totally new to your database.  Feed your database with fresh contacts and opportunities with new people.
  4. Track the results that you get from all of your prospecting activities.  Understand how your ratios are improving between outbound calls, meetings created, presentations made, and listings converted.
  5. Understand the differences between open and exclusive listings.  As a general priority, you should be targeting exclusive listings at every opportunity.  On that basis, track the numbers of listings in each case.  Show the client the differences in time on market when it comes to open listings and exclusive listings.
  6. Any property that is converted to a listing should be packaged for the current market conditions.  As you get results and feedback from inspections, you can make clear recommendations to the client regards pricing and marketing.  Over a period of weeks, the repackaging of a listing can increase inspection and negotiation opportunity.

So there are some very definite things that can be done to improve your listing conversions and commission opportunities.  The secret to making all of this work is to create a personal system of prospecting that you stick to every day.  Refine your activities to the current market conditions, and soon you will see the conversions you require.

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Technology Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers Today

Every commercial real estate broker or agent today should have a technology plan to help them build market share, and customer contact.  We have so many great tools available to assist with the process.

The essential focus here is to allow technology to simplify your business life and grow your market share.  Certainly it can do that, as long as you establish the plan and a process.  Make commercial real estate easier for yourself in so many ways.

Here are some specialized tips relating to technology and marketplace communication today:

  1. Every opportunity in all your conversations and meetings, capture the e-mail information and the mobile telephone information from the prospects and the clients that you talk to.  Get their approval and consent for ongoing contact.  Remember that in any client or prospect today is likely to bring the value over time.  It simply a matter of remaining in contact for the correct and well-timed opportunity.
  2. Understand the challenges that apply to e-mail marketing and e-mail communication.  Ensure that you do not breach the spam legislation that applies in each case.  You must have the consent of the person that you are connecting with.  You also need to allow them to easily opt out of the process if they choose to do so.  It is worthwhile noting here that a professional approach to communication will usually minimize the loss of people.
  3. You should have a plan that relates to cold calling and prospecting.  The telephone numbers that you use should comply with the local communication laws and the do not call register.  Understand the differences in laws that apply between telephoning a business, and telephoning an individual.
  4. You can get a wide variety of auto responders on the Internet today to help with your management of your database and your newsletter.  All of the auto responders are very user friendly and relatively cheap to use.  You can create a banner for the newsletter so that your branding is consistent to the image that you wish to spread.
  5. Establish your blogging platform so that you can write articles and provide information relative to the local property market and the industry trends.  As part of that process, you can obtain a domain name that can be pointed to your blogging platform.  Choose a domain name that is either relative to you individually, or relative to the property speciality and location.  A well-chosen domain name will help people find you.  On your blog, make sure that you have an entry point to your database and auto responder.  Write a blog so regularly so that the search engines start to notice your relevance and experience.
  6. Get involved with social media and use a number of platforms to do so.  Choose two or three platforms that can work for you.  Link your blogs back to your social media activity.  You can also link your quality listings back to your social media activity.  Every prospect or client should be invited to join your social media group.  Update your social sites regularly with meaningful and interesting information.

So there are many things here for you to do when it comes to technology and commercial real estate brokerage.  Use the technology to market yourself personally to the people that you can serve.

You can get more tips for commercial real estate brokers in our Newsletter.

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Classic Presentation Checklist for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

In commercial real estate brokerage today, every property and every listing can present unique challenges when it comes to the listing presentation.  In every case you will need to understand the property market, the client, and the listing so that you can match your recommendations to the clients required outcomes in selling or leasing the property.

A persuasive presentation is one that addresses the concerns of the client in a proactive and relevant way.  To achieve that, here are some recommendations that you can adopt or merge into your commercial real estate sales pitch strategy:

  1. Determine whether the property and the client are correctly matched to the levels of enquiry coming into your brokerage today for that property type.  Is the property so unique that it will have limited inbound enquiry?  If that is the case, you will need to choose the right method of sale or lease for the best possible outcome.  The duration of the exclusive listing will also need to be extended to support the special and diverse marketing process.  It is not unusual for unique properties to be on the market for many months and in some cases over 12 months.  To devote the right focus to that type of listing, exclusivity is required in such cases.
  2. Prepare and structure your proposal following a complete and comprehensive review of the property and the market place.  As part of that, understand the competing properties, the prices and rentals currently being achieved, and the levels of inbound enquiry.
  3. Present your recommendations to the client based on their needs in price, rental, timing, and outcome.
  4. Review the property for any weaknesses that will need to be addressed prior to the commencement of the marketing campaign.  In the case of investment properties, make sure that any weaknesses in the tenancy mix or existing lease documentation are addressed prior to commencement of the promotions.
  5. Check out the cash flow from an investment property with due regard for passing income, expenditure management, outgoings, and net income.  If the property is to be resold back into the investment market, the checks and balances need to be correct when it comes to investment performance.
  6. Property performance will need to be supported by proof and evidence.  You will need to ensure that all the elements of property activity, performance, and structure are available for scrutiny and due diligence.
  7. Talk to the customer at their level of understanding.  Lead them through the recommendations required for a property of that type in today’s market conditions.  Give reasons for your recommendations and evidence from the local market.

It is not hard to win a listing in today’s market providing you are correctly matching your listing and marketing recommendations to the property, the client, and the local area.  Local market knowledge and professional skill will help you complete and convert more commercial real estate listings over time.

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Database Ideas for Commercial Real Estate Brokers and Agents

In commercial real estate brokerage you need a good database.  When I say ‘good’ I am not referring to the complexity or brand of database.  What I am referring to is that of the accuracy and volume of data that you have collected.

There is no point running a database unless you keep the information up to date and accurate.  So many brokers struggle with that requirement.  You may have heard the saying, ‘rubbish in and rubbish out’?  That rule certainly applies in this case.  Keep your contact information up to date and accurate.

If you want to dominate your market, then you will need to contact plenty of new people each day.  If you prospect for 3 hours per working day (the recommended average), then half of that time should be devoted to new contacts, and the other half of the time should be devoted to current contacts.  Over time the pipeline of contact that you establish will help you with sales and leasing opportunities.

Over time your prospects and clients will be contacted many times; that is how you build market share and opportunities.  On that basis your customer contact system has to be flexible and accurate.  It also requires the personal involvement and accuracy of the agent or broker.

Here are some rules to help you with your prospecting and client contact systems:

  1. Split your prospecting time 50/50 between current contacts and new people.  That is how you will build new business.
  2. Focus on the process of ongoing contact.  That will mean telephone calls and emails to the people that you know in an ongoing way.  Record the results of your last points of contact so you can refer to earlier client situations and discussions.
  3. Get email addresses and the consent of the people that you are talking to about ongoing contact through email.  You can then set up an ‘auto responder’ for that process.  Not only is it economical, but also very convenient.  It will save you a lot of time.
  4. Build ‘trust’ over time with your clients and prospects by providing valuable local market information.  You can do that with listing sheets and sale or leasing updates.
  5. The ideal contact frequency to use with all of your clients and prospects will be your choice, however it has been proven that you will need to make valuable personal contact (telephone or meeting) at least once every 90 days.

So there are some key things to do here.  Establish your prospecting system efficiently so you can get results in your market and with the property owners or business proprietors that really do need your service.

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Better Listings are Just One Step Away

Better commercial real estate listings and clients are frequently ‘just one step away’ when it comes to growing your opportunities in commercial real estate brokerage.  That one step involves prospecting and questioning.

The last step to take will be the difference between a top agency and ordinary brokerage; however it is the step that is the hardest to take for many salespeople.  Without a prospecting and contact model, many agents struggle between the peaks and valleys of listing performance and commission income.

It takes about 3 months of effort to break into a new level or cycle of listing activity and market share.  Three months can be a long time for some brokers to focus and drive the prospecting model ahead.  From a ‘competitive’ position that can be an advantage to those agents and brokers that can get organised and stay focused.

So the last step to take is always ‘prospecting’ and that will be ‘getting in front of the right people at the right time’.  For that purpose, every agent or broker should have a solid system of client and prospect contact; that will help them stay on track on a daily basis.  The outcomes to a good contact system are usually better commissions, more clients, and quality listings.

When you reach out to talk to a new person about their property needs and they decline your services, remember that the listings are just one step away.  I go back to the point that extra step is there and it can involve:

  • Staying with the contact over a period of time
  • Asking the extra questions about sales, leasing, or property management
  • Checking out the adjacent properties and businesses in the area around a listing
  • Understanding the pressures of property performance, income, and lease management
  • Providing a ‘repositioning’ strategy behind the property issues and challenges
  • Knowing that other agents or brokers may be under-servicing the client
  • ‘For sale by owner’ listings can be a real headache for some clients

Many agents and brokers don’t win listings easily because they do not take the ‘extra step’.

To tap into this ‘pipeline of opportunity’, it is best to have a good database where you can track the information and the leads.  Every time you go back to a person for ongoing contact, make sure that you know what happened and what was discussed at the last point of contact.  The client or prospect will remember those facts and will be impressed by your diligence in process and understanding.

You can get more tips like this at our main website here on commercial real estate training.

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Simple Sales Territory Tactics for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

When you simplify commercial real estate brokerage, the results that you get come down to a small list of specific things.  It stands to reason that if you get these things under control, you can generate more business, commissions, and good listings for yourself.

Working your sales territory will be one of those things that can help you with results.  Many agents look at their territory too generically and therefore miss the point of how to win the business.  Specific focus is required.

Here are some ideas to get you started with this:

  1. Set your boundaries so that you know where to focus your efforts.  If you work a large territory, break it up into smaller segments and zones.  Create a map of the area and segment the territory into zones that can be colored for priority and focus.  Each zone should cover approximately 500 properties and or businesses.
  2. Understand the clients by type and size that you should be connecting with.  They may own or occupy quality properties within your territory.  Make a list of the clients and the properties, and highlight those properties or companies on your territory map.  Prioritise those clients for the business opportunity and profile they can provide you with.
  3. Systematically work the streets within each territory zone.  That will mean visiting the businesses to introduce yourself and leave your business card.  You can also contact the property owners directly by telephone or cold calling as part of that process.  The important issue here is that you remain organised and focused in the process.  Up
  4. If you have any property listings at this point in time, those listings will give you an excuse to talk to the other property owners and businesses in the same general location.  Some adjacent or nearby property owners may be wishing to relocate, expand, or contract.  Your current listings will help you identify those nearby clients and prospects that are looking to change.
  5. Look for the listings that are currently being marketed by your competitors.  You can market your services to the adjacent property owners and business proprietors.  Use your competitor’s listings productively in your prospecting and networking system.

To be successful in commercial real estate brokerage an agency, you simply need to understand your territory and work it methodically and systematically.  Most agents struggle with the discipline required.  Get that fact under control; your commercial real estate market share and listing potential can rise significantly.

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Advertising Strategies in Commercial Real Estate

city scene at sunrise

Advertising and marketing is the only way of getting many people interested in a commercial property in a short period of time. The more that people know about the property, the greater the chances of someone liking it, and wanting to buy. When you can get people to like a property, the higher the asking price can be, and the greater the potential for genuine enquiry.

Although some Commercial Real Estate companies pay for the advertising themselves (and the vendor gets what he or she pays for; little or no advertising and poor results).

Anyone could put their property to auction for a free market valuation, with an impossible reserve price and no intention of selling.

real estate prospecting
Commercial real estate prospecting system for agents and brokers

 

Getting the Marketing Message Right

Selling a commercial property is a business transaction and a joint effort. A vendor who spends money to make money is a genuine seller. The newspapers get the advertising money, in return for which the vendor receives AGENT SERVICE, EXPERTISE, LOYALTY AND BEST EFFORTS.

If a commercial real estate auction company paid for the cost of advertising for each property on their books, (say 200 properties) their classified and display advertising costs would be over $50,000 per month!  They would quickly go out of business.

 

Know Your Marketing Requirements

In choosing an advertising budget, the vendor should carefully consider what the advertising is required to achieve. The more advertising that can be done the better for the client; more people will know of the property and its availability.  Give the client some marketing campaign choices as you pitch for the listing and ask for vendor paid marketing funds.  When you take the comprehensive approach, it is hard for a client to ignore the marketing story and the need for them to commit to the promotional campaign.

THE CHIEF CONCERN OF A VENDOR SHOULD BE TO FIND A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF HOW TO GET FULL EXPOSURE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM PRICE FOR THE PROPERTY.

Individual advertising budgets in Commercial Real Estate are tailored for each property. Agent’s commission, legal fees and advertising costs are often paid for in just one higher bid at auction. (As a guideline, adequate advertising costs should be approximately 1% of the value of the commercial property being offered for sale).