In commercial real estate brokerage the listing and selling process can almost be ‘robotic’ if you follow the rules and use a plan to move people through your ‘pipeline’. I am not inferring that the ‘robotic’ approach is negative; it is actually a great way to help your contact pipeline feed the listings to you and over time that means more market share. Here are some notes from our Newsletter this week.
Listing and selling commercial real estate today is really just simple communication. It is a matter of how ‘good’ you are at the stages and levels of interaction.
Let’s simplify the ‘pipeline’ for you. It works this way:
- Property and prospect research – this is in knowing how to find the right properties and people to work with. Research the market every night so you can get traction in better clients and listings.
- Prospecting activity – this is a regular daily requirement. There is no other faster way to build your market share. Put your prospecting time in your diary and implement the process each morning.
- Qualifying clients and prospects – some people that you talk to will be open and honest when it comes to their property requirements. Others may be less so open. Ask the right questions to get to the real facts of every property need or transaction.
- Meetings and presentations – they should occur every day as a direct result or prospecting new people. Target 2 new meetings per day.
- Listings – converting listings can be a special process. You must stand out from the competitors in your market.
- Marketing – this should be focused on the target market for the property and the region.
- Handling objections and negotiating – every property is different so be prepared for every negotiation.
- Documentation – accuracy is critical to help a deal move ahead
- Follow through on closed deals – don’t let a deal slow or get diverted due to inattention.
- Long term relationships – they will bring you the leads over time.
They are the simple things in commercial real estate that are all as important as each other. One stage leads to the next stage. It directly follows that you should be very good at all of the stages if you want to generate some quality listings and the better deals that go with that. If you are not doing so currently, then practice and personal improvement is required.
So the ‘robotic’ approach starts to appear when you have all of the stages working well and integrated into the other stages. When you look at the commercial property industry overall and in most locations, you can improve so many listings and commission opportunities when the separate parts of the process are ‘optimised’.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter right here.
Every day there will be plenty of things to do in your commercial real estate brokerage. The choices that you make in that regard will have significant impact on the results that you achieve. The key message here is that you should control your day and only do the things that are really important to growth of market share and commissions. Everything else needs to wait to the end of the day when the pressure is off.
Here are some things to consider and action on a daily basis to help you with your career in the industry.
- Check out the new property developments coming into the market. Go to the local planning and building approvals office at least once per month to check the new developments under consideration. The planning approvals of today will be the buildings of tomorrow. You can make a lot of commission working on a major new development for sale or for lease. When you locate the potential development, connect with the property developer or the property owner as required. Identify the trigger points that will help you convert a new project to a listing.
- Check the number of listings in the market today by doing a weekly count of signboards and Internet advertisements. Split those numbers into brokerages and agencies. Pay particular attention to the shifts in market share. Also look for the dominance of particular agents or brokers. Track the time on market for those listings. Look for the expiry dates of exclusive listings.
- You will find some listings that are being marketed by the relative property owners. In many respects, you will find that those properties for sale or for lease will stay on the market for a long time. Those property owners generally do not have the marketing skills or the resources to generate enquiry. That being said, their reason for the self-marketing is usually that they don’t want to pay commission. If you approach them for a listing, they will usually load their price or rental for the commission to be paid. This can be counterproductive and produce an overpriced listing; the property would have already been on the market for some time anyway. If you are going to work with property owners in this way, be prepared to push strongly for the rent and the price that the market will provide. You can walk away from the listing if the price or rental is unrealistic. In many respects, it is better to do that and waste your valuable resources and tarnish your image as a top agent.
So there are plenty of things to do when it comes to consolidating your market share. Keep a close eye on the market activity and track the results that you achieve. Top agents progressively grow their market share through diligent and directed action. That is why you should track your ratios and numbers.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.