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.

Attend Networking Events in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage you will hear many people refer to the opportunities gained with attending networking events.  Certainly that is the case.

So what are the best networking events that could you attend in your town or city?  Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Get involved with the local franchise council so that you connect work with franchise groups, franchisors, and franchisees.  They may have potential needs when it comes to property relocation, or leasing.
  • Solicitors and accountants are good sources of new business opportunity over time.  Most of these successful professional people have plenty of clients with property challenges and needs.  That being said, these solicitors and the accountants need to trust you and know your relevance as a top agent in the local area.  Relationships take time to build with these people but they can be very rewarding over the longer term.
  • The local property council or industry group will have networking events on a regular basis.  That being said, just about every one of your competitors will be at the same event passing out business cards.  All the more reason for you to be present and active on the day.
  • Get involved with the local municipal council and know the relative councillors, mayor, and planning officers.  They can tell you a lot about the local area when it comes to property changes and future activities.
  • The local small business community will have meetings and gatherings from time to time.  Understand the role that you can play as a local property specialist and how you can provide quality information to that small business community.  On a regular basis you can speak to them about property trends, prices, and rentals.  Small business owners invariably need a property to operate from as part of the business function.  They may also need knowledge and information relating to property purchase and leasing alternatives at a local level.

So the networking process is quite useful and is part of a strategic process for brokers and agents.

Take your local property knowledge and information to every networking event and opportunity.  Share information regards recent sales and leasing activity so that others may benefit from the trends of the market.  Soon you will see that others will come to you for help and guidance.