Top real estate agents are easy to identify. They do the things that other agents avoid; they know how to tap into opportunity and the right clients. The good thing here is that top agents a far fewer in number (2 in 10 is a typical ratio); there is plenty of room at the top of the real estate market for those agents that strive to get there.
So what do these top agents have that other agents do not? I could summarise it really simply and say that it is ‘commitment and the right processes’. They know what to do and they do it every day. Over time they understand what works for them and they do those things every day.
Here are some ideas to help you get started on the road to being a ‘top agent’. Whilst I will give you a basic system here and now, take it and refine it as you progress. Adjust the system to your market and your property type.
- At least one third of your working day must be devoted to prospecting. That ratio should not change and if anything it should increase towards 50%. Track and measure your prospecting efforts. Understand what works for you and how you can do more of it.
- How you think will impact what you do on a daily basis. On that basis protect your thinking and your processes from the criticism of others. You are the person in charge of your business day.
- Watch what the top agents are doing. Can you replicate their processes or improve them? Success as an agent comes from doing a few specific things very well; not lots of things in a random way. Determine the 5 things that will help you drive your business forward. Decide how you can do those things every day.
- Quality properties should be converted to exclusive listings. When you control the listing stock the enquiries will come to you. Whilst it is good to know lots of other people that require a property to buy or lease, the top agents focus on listings. Find and convert the listings.
- You should have a prospecting system that is easy to implement and stick to every day. Do the required call research each night so you are ready to make the cold calls the next day. Don’t waste prospecting time on research that can be done ‘out of hours’.
Find out what people are doing with property now and into the future. A good client contact today can be a valuable client in the future. Build on your contacts so they trust and remember you at the right time in the future. That’s how you become a ‘top agent’.
In commercial real estate, and most particularly with the property agents and brokers, sales team performance should be optimised throughout the year to adjust for the changes in property activity and regional demographics. In any period of 12 months, the market will change and on that basis similar changes will need to occur with prospecting, listing, negotiating, and marketing.
It is wise to have a process of tracking the key indicators in your property market. When you consider an average period of 12 months, most property markets have only 10 months of real activity in sales, leasing, and property management. Seasonal changes and market conditions will take up the other two months of downtime. Team performance needs to be suitably handled and adjusted within the agency to get the best results from 10 months of hard work.
Here are some ideas to help you improve your agency sales team performance:
- Top agents and brokers specialise in particular market segments. The segments may be geographical, or set by property type. Either way, specialisation is recommended. Specialisation process helps you cover the quality properties, key clients, and pockets of high level activity.
- Establish a prospecting model within the agency that can be tracked on an agent by agent basis. That will help you identify any weak links within the team. Some agents need help when it comes to prospecting, presenting, or negotiating. The tracking process will help you see those weaknesses and implement the necessary training and education programmes.
- Establish budgets that can apply to each agent or broker. The budget should be split into key indicators. Those indicators will normally be cold calling, meetings, door knocking, presentations, listings, exclusive listings, inspections, and closed transactions.
- Track the results that you get from every marketing campaign. The results that you get from an exclusive listing will be very relevant to your business activity. Open listings are not easily assessed in the same way given that the marketing of an open listing is random at best.
- At the end of each week, have the agency team provide a summary of activity including call numbers, meetings, listings, and inspections. You will soon see the differences between the members of the team and how effective they are when it comes to building their business.
When you track all of these numbers, you can see where the priorities lie when it comes to each agent and each broker in the team. Given that the property market changes throughout the year, adjustments will always be necessary at an individual level to ensure that quality listing stock is attracted to your business.
So what type of listings should you chase and attract? Quality listings create better levels of enquiry and will sell or lease faster. Over time that will improve your agency market share and commission opportunity.
Should you walk away from a low quality property listing? The answer is yes, if it will take you away from the other good properties in your area and sales or leasing territory. Commercial real estate marketing is a specific process needing effort and focus. Don’t waste your time.
It is an interesting question to ask in this property market. Exactly why are you a better commercial real estate agent for a client to use than some other agents locally? Why do you stand out as the best choice to take on the listing? The clients and prospects that you serve will be asking themselves those questions and they don’t want to make mistakes in getting to the answer. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
Here is what most agents say when it comes to providing the answer to their clients:
- We have all the experience with properties of this type
- We are top agents locally by far
- We have the best people on team that will serve you comprehensively
- We are part of a very big network of offices and your listing will be promoted across the network
- We know how to promote this property
- We have the results in the local area
- We know exactly what you want Mr Client
- We can do this your way without marketing funds and at a lower commission
- We are the best at getting results faster
Have you heard some of these before? If you say any of these things to a client you have to prove what you say. It is not sufficient to ‘throw out the line’ without any substance to back it up. The clients that you serve expect you to prove it.
It is no secret that the current commercial and retail property market is under some pressure in prices, rents, time on market, and negotiations. You have to do more with less when it comes to working and marketing a listing.
Do you treat your exclusive listings with the focus they deserve? Can you prove to the client that the exclusive listing process in your agency is quite special and unique to the point that it is exactly what they need to create the property enquiries and the inspections? As you can see from these questions, I am pushing you to think about the sales pitch and presentation that you use today, so you can make it highly relevant to the client and the property. When you do this the listings are far easier to convert.
New agents and salespeople in commercial real estate always find it difficult to attract and convert exclusive listings, and on that basis most of their listing stock initially is ‘open agency’. If this sounds like you, start to focus on improving your relevance and your pitch. Remove the ‘generic comments’ from your sales pitch and become very property specific. Provide marketing, inspection, and negotiation solutions that are matched to the property and the client. In simple terms, be very special.