How to Create a Successful Sales Plan in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate agency, you do need to create a successful sales plan for yourself personally.  In that way you can reach your target audience and create the market share that you require.  There will always be a lot of listings to attract and clients to serve.  It is just a matter of finding them.

So what will be your special market?  Will it be sales, leasing, property management or projects?  Some of these things cross over to others so versatility is required.

A sales plan for an agent is quite a specific thing.  It allows you to focus your efforts on a daily basis into the target market of property owners and property investors.  Whilst there are different ways to approach the matter, here are some tips to help you.

  1. Define your market location on a map.  Use geographical boundaries and freeways to establish the area in which you will focus all of your prospecting.  There will be certain pockets of activity that will be of high priority within that zone.  Look for the areas of growth where the properties and the tenants are desirable and active.
  2. Determine the type of property that will be your property specialty.  Ensure that there are plenty of listings available in that segment as well as future growth opportunities and property churn.  To understand those numbers, you may need to access the history of property activity in sales and leasing over recent years.
  3. Look at the local development plans and intended changes to the zoning of investment property in the business segments of the town or city.  Can you see pockets of growth supported by council or planning approval action?  On a monthly basis visit the local planning office to see what is happening with new developments and the release of land for new developments.
  4. Understand the ideal clients that you will serve.  Are they property investors?  Are they the local businesses and tenants in your town or city?  When you can clearly define the segments of clients that you act for, the prospecting model becomes much more specific.
  5. Certain properties and certain property owners will be of high priority to you locally given the level of activity that they create.  These clients will become a key focus in your prospecting model.  Establish contact with these groups of people and keep the contact going.
  6. Some clients and prospects will be of a low value to you over time.  You will need to determine the ‘cutoff point’ when it comes to ongoing interaction and service with a prospect.  Don’t spend too much time with lower value people that cannot use your services effectively and professionally.  Respect your time and your fees for service.

Track and measure your prospecting activity through the region.  Understand just how your efforts compare to that of your competitors.  Practice your dialogue and improve your prospecting model.  Over time you will then find more people to serve.

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.

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Sales Plan

In commercial real estate today a sales plan will help you stay on track with listings and clients.  It will also help you with market share and personal profile.  The best agents in the industry have a personal marketing plan that integrates into their sales plan.

It is interesting to note that the agents without a plan of this type usually struggle with commissions and income.  Their earnings then fluctuate enormously during the year.  Soon you see that the ‘peaks and valleys’ of personal performance then become all too frequent; many agents struggle rather than consolidate and grow.  Eventually they run out of time and money to establish their market share.  Get to the top of your market and stay there through deliberate effort and focus.

Here are five reasons why you should have a plan of this type:

  • A pipeline of opportunity will be built around your property specialty and location.
  • It will help you tap into new prospects and leads on a regular basis.
  • The clients that you have served over time will be opportunities for the future with referral business.
  • The quality of your listings will escalate as will the quality of properties that you take to the market.
  • Other agents will come to you as you will have the listings that generate the enquiry.

It is easy to see that the sales plan can have a significant impact on your listings and commissions over time.  In that way you can establish yourself as a top agent in your location and with your property type.

What does a good sales plan look like?  What are the objects of the process?  Here are some ideas to help you:

  1. The object of the process is to put you in front of relevant people that may need your professional service in the future.  The cycle of commercial real estate is quite long and for that reason you need to be prepared for the establishment of long-term relationships.
  2. Many of the people that you talk to today will not need your services currently.  They may however need your services over time and that can be some months if not years away.  Be prepared to build the relationships with the people that matter when it comes to business activity and property ownership.
  3. When you are connecting with more people on a regular basis, you will need points of relevance and information to use in the process.  That will include newsletters, social media, e-mail marketing, telephone calls, direct mail, and brochures.
  4. Understand the quality properties in the local area that should be the targets for your prospecting.  Identify the property owners behind each of those properties and establish an ongoing contact program with those people.  Getting in front of relevant property owners should be the first step to establishing ongoing contact.
  5. You will find that some of the people in the marketplace are or could be wasting your time.  Be selective with whom you relate to and why you do so.  In some respects, you build a filter of contact into your database and prospecting model.  Remove the people from the list that are wasting your time.
  6. Track and measure your contact systems so that you know when your prospecting model is improving.  You can and should improve your dialogue to help the ongoing contact process over time.  Practice will be required.
  7. A system of this type requires an action plan and consistent effort.  Many agents struggle with consistency.  The habits that you develop will help you build your market share.  Without habits, the whole thing is quite pointless.

A successful sales plan in commercial real estate agency and brokerage is quite a specific thing.  Your plan may be difficult to establish and different than the others in your office.  The point is, it must be successful and it must be implemented.  Understand what works for you and get the whole thing started.

Tips for Setting Goals and Targets in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency and brokerage you need personal goals and targets.  They show you the ultimate path to better clients and market share.

All of that sounds logical, and yet so many agents give ‘lip service’ to the process and never really get it going.  They let the days and weeks pass without much focus.  They let the business ‘happen’ rather than ‘directing’ it.  Over time this then means less listings and volatile commissions.

Let’s say something very positive here from the outset.  The commercial real estate industry is one of the most rewarding industries you can work in.  It does however require complete focus and directed action.  Those that don’t do that really do struggle.  Struggle then creates stress and a downward cycle of business.  You don’t need the pressure!

If you want to dominate your territory, town or city as a ‘top agent’, then goals and targets are required.  You can then set action plans and implement them every day.  That’s how you build market share and attract more listings your way.

Here are some goal creation considerations for agents and brokers:

  1. Look at the growth of property activity in your local area.  How has it changed?  What are the predictions for the future?  Are you able to tap into the growth segments?  What knowledge will you need to get into those segments of the market?  Positioning and targeting are critical issues in our industry.
  2. Assess your competition when it comes to local sales, leasing, and property management appointments.  How and why have they won that business?  Are they dominating their market for some reason?  Can you replicate their actions?  Can you be better?  Stand out as the better alternative in real estate agency.
  3. What marketing systems are being used locally with new and top quality listings?  Are the other agents marketing listings differently in any way?  Can you create a better marketing process in sales or leasing?  It is best to be different and direct when it comes to property marketing today.  Every property that you take to the market today has to stand out as a quality well marketed listing.  Put yourself and your listings into the process.  Stand out as a top agent that gets involved.  Take your exclusive listings to the market personally.
  4. What are the growth considerations in the local business community and the population demographic?  How can you work with that?

Given all of the above, take those facts and shape them into your prospecting and action model.  Set the right targets with exclusive listings, commissions, inspections, and clients.  You hold the keys for any success in your market.  Get active.  It’s a personal thing.

Opportunities with Commercial Real Estate Property Investors

In commercial real estate agency, the property investors that you know well and connect with regularly will provide you with lots of opportunists in sales and leasing activity.  That being said you really do need to know their focus and priorities when it comes to property ownership and overall performance.

The property market changes frequently and so will the plans of the people and clients that you serve.  A lease transaction today can be a sales transaction tomorrow.  The same extended business opportunity can occur from a lease deal to a property management appointment.  Understanding the client will help you find the right opportunities and leads.

Here are some questions to ask your clients and prospects.  Adjust the questions and concepts to suit the property type and local market that you control.

  1. What type of property do they prefer to own and in what location?  They may relate more to industrial, office or retail property.  Their preference will have an impact on your prospecting activity.
  2. What do they own now and how long do they intend to hold that investment property?  There are strategic differences between holding a property for the short term (5 years) versus longer.  Any leases that are negotiated in a property will be established with due regard for the investment holding period, the cash flow required from the investment, and any renovation or relocation needs.
  3. The income that you set for a property will be relative to the market rental in the property type.  What do they know about gross and net rent today?  What impact will incentives and vacancy factors have in the leasing process and returns over coming months and years?
  4. Will the property need renovation soon?  Some older properties will reach the end of their useful life as tenants look for better property improvements and locations.  A repositioning or renovation process will need to occur with older properties. Many property investors do not know how to position current lease negotiations for that.  Renovation and relocation clauses can be inserted into current lease negotiations with due regard for the upcoming property changes.  In such cases, the strategy of leasing really becomes very important.
  5. How are outgoings and expenses running for the property?  Are they comparable to the other properties locally of similar type?  Keep your clients property suitably positioned in a competitive way so that any lease can be attractive and viable for new tenants considering occupation.

Simple concepts like these will help you serve your clients professionally when it comes to tenant mix and leasing.  When you get the balance right, the income for the property can grow and the vacancy rates can fall.

Expect Rejection in Commercial Real Estate Prospecting – Improve Your Responses

In commercial real estate prospecting you will get lots of ‘push-backs’ as part of talking to new people.  Some call it the ‘rejection factor’.  Many agents take the rejection and use it as a reason to stop prospecting.

Show me an agent that doesn’t make the cold calls and prospect every day, and I will show you someone with low income and poor listings.  Get the message?

If you have chosen a career in commercial real estate, then be prepared to work hard at prospecting.  The requirement will never disappear; in fact, it will increase in importance.  Rise to the challenge and connect with more people.  That’s what prospecting is all about.  That is how you become a top agent.

So the message here is clear.  Understand that rejection is a part of connecting with new people and in finding new clients.  Some will not want to talk to you or meet with you, yet others will.  You need to find the right people that want to do something with property or are happy to stay in contact with you for the day that they need property help.

To make all of this work you have to create a solid and effective prospecting system that you do for 2 or 3 hours every day.  That’s the rule that you must stick to.  Over a period of 3 months your skills in the process will improve and your conversions will rise.  Soon you will have quality listings and the majority of them will be ‘exclusive’.  When you control your listing stock, the market has to come to you.  That is why ‘exclusive’ listings are so important to commercial real estate agents.

So what do people say to you when you prospect?  What are the standard ‘push-backs’?  Try some of these:

  • Not today thanks
  • Send me something
  • Call me back  next week
  • We already use someone else
  • Too busy to talk right now
  • We are just fine at the moment

You can most likely add to this list.  There are so many variations that you strike.  Most clients and prospects will ‘push-back’ at least twice in a prospecting or cold call situation.  You will hear versions of the above statements.

So what should you do?  You should be prepared for the rejection.  Practice your responses so you can keep the conversation moving ahead.  The advantage that you have is that you are the person that made the call; you can be totally prepared to connect in a professional way.

It should be said that your call should be made on the basis of a conversation and not a pitch.  Find out what the other person is doing now with property and what they could require in the future.  Make the calls and the ‘door-knocking’ work for you in that way.

How to Give Landlords Leasing Advice – Commercial Real Estate Agents

In commercial real estate agency, you will work with many different landlords.  They will have tenant and rental challenges.  You can be the leasing expert to help them.

Have you ever seen a landlord owner of a property that tries to lease the vacant premises themselves?  They usually put a sign up in the window and drop a few adverts in the local paper; they then sit back and wait for a result.  The vacancy then ‘eats its head off’ in lost rent and outgoings costs.  The ‘hope’ process doesn’t work well in commercial and retail property leasing.

So let’s say that you are going to approach one of these landlords to see if you can list the property for lease.  Only do so on the basis of an ‘exclusive listing’.  If you don’t do that, the landlord is likely to market the property and the vacancy around you.  Any tenants that show an interest may also try and get a lower rental from the landlord directly.  Protect your efforts and your commissions with wise listing processes.

You have real value that you can bring to a landlord in this situation.  As a leasing ‘expert’ you should have a comprehensive database of tenant contacts locally that you can refer the listing to.  Your database is very valuable when you pitch for listings.  Improve the value of your database by prospecting for tenants and buyers every day.  Sell your leasing services around your database.

Why is it that agents take on ‘open listings’?  It can be a method of quoting the property to your database if there is no other way of you getting a ‘foot in the door’.   That is the only reason you should take on an open listing.  Control your market with ‘exclusive listings’.  That is how you dominate market share.

The leasing advice that you give landlords as part of listing a property (or pitching for a listing) should include these issues:

  1. Define the target market specifically for the vacancy.  This will help you stand out as an agent of relevance.
  2. Show the landlord what is happening at the moment with rentals, incentives, leases and marketing.
  3. Get a list of competing properties together so the landlord knows what the asking rents are like locally.
  4. The time on market will vary from time to time during a business year.  Track that trend so you can give the landlord some solid recommendations regards property promotion and marketing.
  5. Ask for marketing funds to use in the property promotion.  Any landlord that is serious about marketing will participate in the request.
  6. Provide some marketing alternatives so the client can make some choices.

Your leasing recommendations should stand out as the best in the area.  Use your database to show the landlord that you have a few tenants to take to the property as soon as it is listed.