Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Property Developments are High Opportunity Listings

In commercial real estate brokerage, there will always be plenty of new business to convert locally when it comes to upcoming and current property development approvals.  Part of your prospecting model as a broker or agent should incorporate that focus on new developments, incorporating a real strategy and approach to the right people.

(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’s coming up?

When you tap into a new or upcoming local property development, the business that you achieve can be ongoing and the listings can be numerous.  A property development can incorporate a number of stages and premises to be marketed.  That being said the ‘front end’ work to a property development can be extensive and take time, so be prepared for that ‘down time’.  It is the longer term and bigger focus on the development outcome that is important; understand just how many listings and or commissions will come from the final project when it is active.  Is the project for you?

As a base strategy to get this concept underway, you will need to regularly visit the local planning office to understand where current and new property developments are being considered and will be located.  You can then inspect the property location and approach the property owner and or developer accordingly.  Get in early on any upcoming property development.

Local Planning Office

Visit the local planning office at least once per month to review the minutes of the planning committee or planning approvals board.  Understand how planning approvals are processed in your town or city, how long they take, and how the approvals documentation can lead you towards future listing opportunity.

Relevance is the key to converting leads and opportunities from and with property developers.  A property developer will be inclined to use the services of the top agent who can prove that they dominate the market segment, and achieve the best results in a timely way.  Is that you?  How can you display that?

Here are some ideas to help.  Remember the motivations behind any new property development and consider the following factors:

  • Time on market will be a factor of concern for any property developer. They will need to know how the time on market can be shortened whilst they are still achieving the best levels of enquiry for the new property development and or premises.  Show them how you will do that.
  • Vacant land in the local area will always be a good source of property development opportunities providing there is a relevant demand in the local area and the zoning for the property is suitable. Merge vacant land ownerships into your prospecting model.  Determine how long it takes to create a new property development, what could be involved, and how you can help the process and outcome for your investors and or developer clients.
  • Redundancy in local investment properties will happen at any time in any city or town. Some properties reach the end of their serviceable use, and you can work with that.  Businesses tend to move away from the older properties over time, and you can work with that.  Those older properties can become renovation opportunities or redevelopment sites.  Tap into the redundancy issues in your location.
  • Change of use and zoning use will occur locally. Look for the decisions and the changes of property zoning as they apply in your town or city.  A change of property zoning will usually create future property churn be it as a sale or leasing opportunity.
  • Business migration and change are factors that we can always tap into. Look for the segments of the business community that are under pressure and change.  Pressure factors can include business growth, expansion, contraction, or relocation.  Connect with the local business community to understand where those opportunities will be occurring next and what those businesses will need to do.
  • Property developers can be matched to local investors. You can be the creator of future of development business and property opportunity.  You can find the parcel of land, the appropriate developer, and the business investor to take this project forward.  Any new property development and redevelopment change will usually take two or three years to complete.  You can be the catalyst of matching the three main elements to create that project opportunity.  Work with the local property investors to understand where they are focusing and what they are looking for.  Find investors (with the funds backing) that can work with those property developers and then locate the parcel of land to suit.

You can attract property development business in commercial real estate brokerage.  Understand what is happening locally and then drill into the market segment.  Talk to the right people to open up the enquiry and leads for new property projects.

(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)

Energize Your Commercial Property Presentations

As a general rule in commercial real estate brokerage, every proposal that you put together should be benefit focused on the client. Show the client exactly how they will benefit from using your comprehensive services as a marketing specialist.

Use a Gantt chart to show the client the stages of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. This illustrative charting method is very effective when it comes to helping the client through a comprehensive and complex marketing process. It can also be a major point of difference in your proposal layout.

In today’s property market, the generic listing and marketing approach really doesn’t work. The competition in the marketplace is significant from other listings, and the experience and expertise of your competing agents and brokers will also place pressures on your listing conversions. Give the client some real reasons to choose you as the top agent of choice to solve their property pain.

It is worthwhile remembering that the client doesn’t want to be an experiment in marketing. They want their property to achieve the best levels of enquiry in the most effective and direct way. You hold the keys to the process and your proposal will need to clearly outline the strategies and recommendations.

Here are some tips to help you with constructing and submitting a proposal to sell or lease a commercial property today:

  1. Stand out as uniquely qualified to handle the property type in the town or city. You will need some testimonials and market evidence to help the client understand those situations and recommendations.
  2. Review the property for the strengths and weaknesses that will have an impact on the marketing campaign. The weaknesses may need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion. The strengths can be helpful when it comes to advertising layout and points of attraction.
  3. Determine the target market that will have a keen interest in the property type. Build your marketing campaign around the target market using specific points of difference and promotional processes that clearly tap into the target audience. Help the client understand those strategies and the reasons you are making the recommendations.
  4. Show the client how they will clearly benefit from utilizing your brokerage services and market coverage. Use your database as a point of difference when it comes to creating enquiry and spreading the message about the property. Create a shortlist of buyers or tenants as the case may be from the database; tell the client how you will be connecting into the short list of qualified parties as a priority as soon as the property is released to the market.

The focus of your proposal should be to attract the correct level of inquiry and generate inspections as soon as possible. When you get the inspections underway, you have something to work with and can then give the client feedback from those inspections.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Dont Be Hard Pressed for Listings this Year

It is a common event that some agents will be hard pressed for commercial real estate listings during a working year.  The problem develops when you are not prospecting correctly or enough.

The knee-jerk reaction is to go and get more listings and most particularly anything that you can find.  That is a big error; quality is the key to the process.  If you want to be a top agent, you must have quality stock.  Don’t waste your time on low quality listings.

Here are some tips to help you with your listings and the prospecting process for them:

  1. It doesn’t really matter that you have only a few listings.  What matters is the quality of those listings.  Quality can be many things but it usually relates to price, rent, location, availability, and improvements.
  2. I have seen many if not most top agents earn more money from fewer transactions each year.  This means that they are very selective to what they work on and when.
  3. Look at the cycle of the property market in your area.  Most markets will have a pattern to them.  Commercial and retail real estate will usually cycle in and out of the market every 5 to 7 years.  This is because the property investor or property owner needs to change.  This then says that you should identify those properties that were bought about 4 years ago.  They will be the next properties to come back into the market.
  4. Every time a competing agent puts a signboard on a listed property, use that listing as the chance to talk to nearby businesses and property owners.  Those nearby people may be seeking to compete with the other agents listing.  You are best placed to help them.
  5. The property market today will have trends when it comes to property choice.  As you advertise and promote more local property you will soon see what properties are desirable.  Selective prospecting will then be a priority.

Many times I have had agents ask me about best ways to get the details of property owners and make contact with them.  There are no easy short cuts to the process.  The best way to prospect is to consistently make it a part of your daily diary.  Two or three hours are what is required.  When you devote the time you will get momentum and that will eventually bring results your way.

You can get more tips for listing commercial real estate in our commercial real estate agent newsletter right here.