Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Cold Calling – Coordinate Your Prospecting Systems

In commercial real estate brokerage, your cold calling systems should be coordinated to a plan and a process.  Over time you can then improve your actions as the plan requires.

Cold calling is a very specific process of agent actions tracked to results; monitor the things that you are doing and watch what is working for you.  When you know that your telephone calls are getting meeting conversions, then you improve them further; if meetings are hard to achieve then skill enhancement is required.

What systems do you have?

So what are the key factors to help you in coordinating and improving your prospecting model and cold call activities?  Try some of these:

  1. Why should someone listen to you? – There has to be a central message to your call process. Have a basic strategy to the call that is useful to the person you are calling.  Don’t make calls based on your needs, but focus on them; talk about the other person’s property and how something you are offering will be of use.  That could be a special report, perhaps an update on recent sales or leasing’s, or even a chart of property market trends that you can send them.
  2. Don’t push the other person – Too many agents push a conversation in cold calling. That generally doesn’t work. Polite professional telephone conversations get more results over time.  The important thing is that you have something of relevance to talk about.
  3. Understand your ratios with call conversations and outbound prospecting – When you track your numbers you can see what outcomes you are getting, and if they are fruitful. Whilst everyone will have a different set of numbers to work at over time, those numbers should be improving; that is why you should be making regular cold calls and watching the ratios.
  4. Create a pipeline of contact – When you connect with a person across the telephone in a positive way, they should then advance up the pipeline of marketing and ongoing contact. Over a period of time you then connect with ever more people in a positive and relevant way.

You can take these simple strategies and merge them into your prospecting and cold calling model.  Understand why someone should listen to you and provide relevance around that fact.  Grow your skills in cold calling so that your results improve and grow over time.  I go back to the point that you should track your ratios.

Why You a Better Choice as a Commercial Real Estate Agent Today

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.

Communication Skills in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate, questions form a big part of our interaction with clients and prospects.  Asking the right questions will help you move through the listing and marketing process with focus and momentum.

When you think about it there are a few phases to a commercial property process that are critical and that we are at the centre of.  Here are some of them:

  • Prospecting for new business and listings
  • Getting to know the right people for future property activity
  • Pitching and presenting your skills and services to the right people so you can attract the listings
  • Qualifying enquiries and people as they come to you for new business or a new property
  • Inspecting properties with the right people that have been vetted for relevance and ability to act
  • Negotiating and closing on sales and lease opportunities

All of these things involve some advanced questions and processes of communication.  You can never know too much about the process of communication.

It can be said that top agents are usually very good communicators.  They know what to say and do, and they practice their skills.

Your success in the commercial real estate industry depends on many things but two of the biggest are:

  • Your prospecting and networking strategy
  • Your rapport building skills and systems

Have you ever been involved with a salesperson that took your business but clearly did not want to have anything much to do with you?  They invariably leave a bad taste or experience, and you will usually spread the word at your disgust.

Salespeople with ‘stinking attitudes’ do not deserve business or customers; over time these salespeople do not survive.

Bad news will always be spread by clients and customers that did not like your attitude and or service.  They will do their upmost to tell others not to trust you and or you agency.

So let’s go back to the fact that questions are critical to rapport building and communication with your clients.  Here are my ‘rules of engagement’ when it comes to clients and customers.  Use questions to address these things:

  1. Seek to understand their needs fully before you offer suggestions of the market or the approach to sales or leasing.
  2. Get to know the property requirement in all respects before you give an opinion of marketing and target market.
  3. Get involved with the clients ‘thinking’ so you know how to help them.
  4. Offer real market suggestions given the local area and the competing properties
  5. Be a real strategist that can bring high relevance and momentum to a good property in a quality area.

Commercial real estate is not overly complex; it just requires salespeople that align to the client and the property.

Top Agent Tip – Non Stop Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate today, the abundance of agents in the property market means that most listing opportunities are a competition to win the business.  Every agent invited to the listing presentation process with the client will put on their best pitch and strategy for the listing.

This can be good and bad, but the fact of the matter is that many agents tackle the listing process very generically; they are largely complacent and quite ordinary when it comes to target marketing and direct marketing.  You can adjust your pitch and presentation to be quite specific to the property type, the client, and the location.  When you do this your chances of converting the listing rise greatly.

If you are known as the local real estate agent of skill and relevance, you will get invited to more listing opportunities.  All or most of your leads and listing invitations will come from your local market presence and personal networking.  You cannot wait for the leads to walk into your agency; it doesn’t work that way in this market.

To be known for the right reasons is an unusual equation that requires planning on your part.  Consider your local property market.  What would make you the top agent?  What would let people know that you are the best in a particular property type and location?

Here are some ideas to help you build your local brand:

  1. Signboard presence will always be the number 1 factor in territory dominance and market share.  You cannot claim to be a top agent unless you have the majority of the signboards on all the top quality properties.  Now I know that this is difficult to achieve, however dedicated networking and prospecting will get you there.
  2. The internet will bring you many leads and opportunities today.  All of your property adverts on the internet should be optimised for the search engines and customers that are looking to buy or lease property.  So how can you do this?  Do a keyword search on your property type and local area.  Do this in http://Google.com with their ‘keyword search tool’ to see what people are typing into the search engines today when it comes to looking for local property.  Take a selection of those words (not too many at once), and feed them into your marketing material and online advertisements.
  3. Write a blog about commercial investment property in your area.  The blog process will cost you virtually nothing to establish using http://wordpress.com or http://blogger.com .   Over time you can fill the blog with regular market updates and property tips.  Do not focus on listings, but do focus on helpful information about the local area.  That simple internet marketing process will help build your personal brand well above the other competitors locally.
  4. Create an email newsletter that is supported by an auto responder.  Put all of your clients into the system and keep in contact with them through the regular email market updates.
  5. Make lots of telephone calls every day.  The telephone remains the most powerful personal marketing tool that we have.  Use it well.

In today’s property market you really must be known as the best solution for the clients that you serve.  If they can see your name and face in more locations it will help you rise to the top of your market faster.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Landlord Leads and New Business Opportunity

In commercial and retail property sales and leasing, regular contact with local landlords will help you with growing your market share, and improving your commissions.  Landlords require expert assistance when it comes to quality investment properties.  They cannot do everything themselves (although they may think that they can).

Most landlords only have a spattering of knowledge when it comes to the bigger issues and challenges of commercial property ownership and property performance.  Consider some of the following that you know and that landlords do not:

  • Market rentals for property type and location
  • Enquiries by local tenants for new space
  • Occupancy costs relating to property types
  • Leasing strategies in today’s property market
  • Relocation and renovation strategies
  • Income improvement processes for leasing property today
  • Incentive strategies to create more property enquiry
  • Marketing strategies for challenging property situations
  • Franchise tenant leasing and occupation

You can be an expert in all of these things.  It is that expertise and knowledge that landlords require and you can market yourself around.  Local property information will always be of interest to the landlord’s that you talk to.

Relationships

Over time the relationship that you establish with local property landlords can be strengthened through regular contact, but also through the provision of relevant information and specialized services.  Here are some strategies to help you in that process:

  1. Keep the landlords up to date with information about the changes to vacancy factors in the local area.  Throughout the business year, vacancy factors will change relative to the property type and the supply and demand of new space locally.  Track these numbers and make them available to your good clients or prospects.
  2. Given that the property market will change throughout the year, you can provide market updates relating to investment property, market rentals, lease strategies, vacancy rates, time on market, and local business sentiment and activity.  All of that information should be at your fingertips as the local commercial real estate specialist.  You can produce a research paper on those facts; that paper can be directly distributed and be made available from your website as an enticement to join up to your newsletter or mailing list.
  3. Any new property developments approved through the local planning office can challenge the owners of existing properties in the same general location.  You can keep those landlords up to date with information regards other new property developments and the progress of the development.  It is a prime opportunity to help them minimise their vacancy factor as the threat of the new property grows through its construction and project leasing phase.
  4. You can provide a tenant retention strategy for the landlords that you serve.  A good tenant retention plan will incorporate lease strategies, tenancy mix solutions, relocation and refurbishment plans, and vacancy management.  Charge a fee for the process.
  5. Any of the properties that you market locally for sale or for lease can be communicated to the other landlords that you know, in case they have an interest in monitoring or participating in the local marketing campaign.  They may even have an interest in property acquisition and portfolio growth.
  6. When any property is listed in the local area, personally connect with all of the local business proprietors to tell them of the upcoming listing.  The same process should apply with all local property owners.  This thorough networking approach will show your professionalism in the industry and position you as the local top agent specialising in the property type.

Keeping in contact with landlords will always produce good opportunity over time.  Establish your system of contact and keep it moving ahead.  Make sure that all the local landlords know you as the expert that you should be.

Commercial Property Agents – Sales Strategies That Work and Why You Need Them

When it comes to marketing and selling a commercial or retail property today, you really do need to have a solid strategy to take the property forward and create the best enquiry.  With less property enquiry and buyers around, you must have a focus of doing more with fewer enquiries that are coming in off the marketing efforts that you adopt.

It should be said that the best way to market a commercial or retail property today is through an exclusive listing process.  In this way the agent can focus on creating the best enquiry for the property.  Any client that wants to ‘open list’ their property is really wasting their time and yours (if you take the listing).  Top agents do not take ‘open listings’ for this very reason.

Here are some rules that should be applied to the sales process for commercial and retail property today.

  1. Choose a method of sale that activates the market.  A timed method of sale such as Auction or Tender may be the best way to go.  In this way your enquiry will be optimised.  This process also helps you build your database of leads.
  2. Vendor paid marketing will be part of the listing process today with almost all exclusive listings.  The vendor should commit reasonable funds to the marketing effort.  Top agents know how to sell ‘vendor paid campaigns’, so you should know how to do this too.
  3. When a property is marketed comprehensively into the local area you can capture other opportunity locally.  One good property listing is a great excuse to talk to many other people and business leaders.  Use your listings to open the door on other opportunity.
  4. Every listing will have a target market.  The success of the marketing effort will be largely based on how you attract that target market to you.  Given that the property market is so challenging at the moment in many locations, make your marketing effort stand out as unique and high profile.   This will also help grow your list of qualified buyers.
  5. Local property investors are always on the look-out for good property to invest in.  Purchase decisions depend on price.  Ensure that you price your properties keenly with relevance to the prevailing market conditions.
  6. Local business owners are always interested in current properties for sale or rent.  Every listing that you take to the market should be personally marketed to each local property investor.  Send a brochure into the business community and follow it up with a personal telephone call.
  7. Time on market will change throughout the year.  Make the time of property promotion part of your overall advertising effort and strategy.

A commercial property can sell at any time; the results that you get in any sale or advertising for sale come down to matters of pricing and promotion.  If something is not selling, then take a serious look at how you are promoting the property and at what price.

Industrial Property Sales – The Importance of the Liquidity Factor

 

When you work in industrial property sales there is a thing called the ‘liquidity’ factor.  It is quite relevant to the property type and has an impact on the marketing campaign that you will need to create and run.  A high ‘non-liquidity’ factor could radically change the way you market and sell a property.

Meaning?

So what does ‘liquidity’ and ‘non-liquidity’ mean?  It is the ability to move the property and sell it.  Depending on the property this may be easy or difficult.  A lot depends on the industrial property size and uniqueness.

  1. A property with a high ‘non-liquidity’ factor will be difficult to move and sell.  There will be clear reasons why this is so.  The property will be so unique in size and type that it will attract only a small number of buyers.  The risk that the property presents will limit buyer interest.
  2. A property with a high ‘liquidity’ factor will be easy to sell.  This industrial property would be ‘main-stream’ in size and highly flexible in usage.  From an investors perspective there will be low risk.

So the more specialised the industrial property in design, size, and usage, the more difficult it will be to sell.  This is a common factor in industrial property given the way the property is designed or used.

An example may be a ‘cold store’ industrial property that is leased as an investment to a tenant for a long period of time.  Whilst the lease may be attractive to an investor from a cash flow perspective, the uniqueness of the property could scare off many investors if and when the property comes up for sale.

Assessment?

So the ‘liquidity’ factor is something that you assess in setting up the marketing of the property, as well as pricing the property.  If the property is likely to be very difficult to sell, it may be better to market the property confidentially and directly to specific companies and investors that have a special interest in that property type or location.  A property with a high ‘non-liquidity’ factor will likely be difficult to price, understanding that there will be few comparable properties to establish a pricing benchmark.

Recommendation

As part of establishing a price and marketing plan for the property, do a ‘liquidity assessment’ for the client.  It will be a point of difference in your agency service and may even be a trigger for gaining the listing appointment.