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Tips to Improve the Sales Process in Commercial Real Estate Agency

of the process can be improved so that the overall package can be regarded as highly relevant to the clients that we work with.

This strategy of process optimization will allow you to get traction and momentum in your market.  It is interesting to note that many of your fellow competing agents will be rather ordinary when it comes to the various parts of the agency process.  That is an advantage in itself.

Here are some other factors that can be structured into your professional services and improved to give you the competitive edge as a commercial real estate agent:

  1. When it comes to listing a property, the right information has to be gathered and checked.  As you specialize within the industry, your value as an expert becomes real and relevant.  Complex properties require top agents that understand the intricacies of the property package.  Promote yourself as the expert relative to a particular property type; get to know all of the variables and factors that make a property attractive.  Make sure that there are sufficient listings in the local area within the property type to allow you to gain market share.
  2. The listing of a property can take many hours if not days.  The size of the property, the tenancy mix, the lease details, and the financial performance will all require investigation.  The property improvements will require description and qualification.  The legal identity and function of the property will need to be checked prior to any marketing commencing.  I go back to the point that property specialization will help you with the experience and the profile of a top agent.  The clients that we serve like to work with top agents that understand the property and the area comprehensively.  Property marketing is not an experiment.
  3. Given the pressures of today’s property market, you cannot and should not take a generic marketing approach when it comes to a quality listing.  A quality property should be exclusively listed.  The exclusive listing should be matched to the market and the best method of sale or lease as the case may be.  When those decisions have been made, the marketing package can be designed to reach into the property owners and business proprietors that may have an interest.  Get personally involved with all of your marketing campaigns.  Use each quality listing to talk to other property investors and business owners.
  4. Understand the local property market when it comes to the seasonal activity in both sales and leasing.  Some properties are best released to the market at certain times of the year.  The larger and more complex the asset, the greater the amount of care that needs to be taken when it comes to the structuring of the marketing campaign and its release to the local area.  Track all of your marketing efforts so that you can understand the things that are working when it comes to attracting enquiries.  Repeat the things that work so that every property enquiry is optimized on every exclusive listing.

These four things will give you the best traction when it comes to attracting buyers and tenants.  If you are advertising or marketing the property today and simply cannot get the enquiries in the door, then something is wrong.  Review your marketing campaign and adjust it to build momentum.

Keep a database relative to all the contacts and people that you talk to.  Over time the database will build more momentum and opportunity for you.  Keep talking to the people in the market.  That is how you find the opportunities and clients to work with.

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Time Management Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In commercial real estate today, you have to set some rules in time management and then stick to them.  Your time is the greatest resource that can help you move ahead.

It is a fact that many agents struggle with the whole time and control process.  They give in to the pressures of clients, peers, listings, and the office.  Exactly who is in control here anyway?

So why do you need to control your time?  For one simple reason; everyone around you will want some of your time, and at the end of the working day you could have achieved very little that is important to your business growth as an agent.

So here are some time management tips:

  1. You will know that there are 3 things that really matter as an agent.  They are your prospecting, your clients and your listings.   Everything else revolves around those 3 things.  Setting priorities in your working day is therefore really important.
  2. Create key habits that can allow you to get to the 3 things mentioned earlier.  Habits are critical to taking you forward; it is the things that you do every day that will change your business outlook and market share.
  3. The circadian cycle or biological clock says that you are most effective between 7 am and 11 am.  There is also a second window of time between 3pm and 6 pm that is useful.  How do you use your resources in these windows of time?  Quite clearly you should be doing your prospecting during the early part of the day.
  4. When you start something you are good for about 2 hours before you will want a break.  Build short breaks into your working day so you can keep up the momentum.
  5. When you get into something new, it takes about 20 minutes to lock into the issue and get some momentum.  If someone interrupts you, the clock resets.  This is the single most common reason for lack of focus in a busy real estate office; people are distracting each other most of the day.  They then cannot get the traction and focus on important things.
  6.  A computer based diary is convenient, but a written daily diary is essential if you want to focus your efforts.  It is a fact that people need to write things down to figure out a way of doing them.  A daily dairy will help you do that.
  7. Prioritize everything that you do.  Only do the important stuff first.  Don’t let small and convenient things take you away from the issues that matter.

So how are you going to do all of this?  With focus and diligence you can get there.  It’s all up to you.

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How to Successfully Cold Call in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency today, the cold calling process is critical to the market share that you require and commissions that you create.  You cannot avoid the process if you want to rise to the top of the market.

That being said, it is interesting to note that the cold calling process is something that many agents avoid with a great passion.  Call reluctance is a real problem in the industry.

Top agents that work in the industry know that you have to make the calls to get the business.  The strength and size of your database is fundamentally important to the commissions that you create.  Each day you should be phoning into your database to make contact with the right people.  You should also be creating new contacts and leads to help that database grow.

Here are some tips to help you in establishing a cold call prospecting system as part of your commercial real estate career.

  1. From the very start of the process, you will have some mental hurdles to address and overcome.  Call reluctance is a big problem until such time as you see results and momentum from your efforts.  It takes about three or four weeks of hard work to break through this barrier.  Creating a habit to the call process is quite important.  Only a habit will take you through the barrier of call reluctance.
  2. Determine the ideal property type and geographical area in which you should centre your prospecting efforts.  Each night you will need to do the necessary research to find new people to call the next day.  Don’t waste your precious calling time on research.  The research can be done the night before.  Keep up your momentum with calls and avoid in any distraction or diversion.  In a period of 2 or 3 hours you should be making 50 outbound calls.  You will not get through to 50 people as part of that process, but you should get through to about 20 or so people.  From that rate of connection you should create 2 meetings with people that have a genuine interest in commercial real estate agency activity.
  3. Track your ratios of calls to connections, connections to meetings, and meetings to business opportunity.  The ratios are really important to keep you on track and also to show you what is working.  When something starts to get traction, you improve the process through practice.
  4. Confidence and dialogue are two important parts of making the calls.  Both of those factors are personally controlled and can be improved.  What you can do here is practice your call conversations and scripts as part of rising each morning and in preparation for the working day.  Over a period of a few weeks, the call conversation and connection will significantly improve.
  5. Use a database program that has significant flexibility to capture the information that you come across.  That will include a property type, location, price ranges, contact details, ongoing meetings and connection results, and future needs.  Make sure that the database program can integrate with an e-mail newsletter and also a direct mail merge.
  6. Your confidence in making the calls will be significantly boosted if you choose to stand up as part of the calling process.  It is a known fact that the conversational ability of people improves greatly when you are standing on two feet and moving around.  Use this advantage to help you improve your call connections.

For an agent to be successful in commercial real estate, they need to be focused on growing their market share and their database.  Use some of these factors above to help you get the momentum and traction that you require from direct call contact.  Over time you can improve these things to a system that works for you.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Choosing the Best Method of Sale Today

In commercial real estate today, there are alternatives to be had when it comes to marketing and selling a property.  As the local specialist commercial real estate agents, we can provide the right solutions to tap into the current levels of enquiry and momentum from the market.

Part of our sales pitch and presentation process should be to show the clients exactly what is going on locally and how they can be part of it.  Throughout the year the property market is under change in prices, and enquiries, and marketing alternatives.  If anything that makes the property market extremely interesting for us as agents to work in and create opportunity from.

This then says that we should help the clients choose the best method of sale given their property type and location.  Here are some tips to help you choose the right method of sale:

  1. Understand where the current property enquiry is coming from and at what frequency.  What are the buyers looking for when it comes to improvements and location?  There will be particular price ranges and quality factors that influence the amount of enquiry that you get.  It should be said that a quality property will normally attract good enquiry in any market.
  2. Review the property currently to ensure that you totally understand the weaknesses and strengths that the property presents.  Some of those weaknesses may need to be addressed as part of the sale process.  You don’t need hurdles and challenges when it comes to a property inspection process.  Get the landlord or property owner to spend some money on the property prior to the commencement of marketing.
  3. If the property is being sold as an investment, take time to review all of the leases and the tenancy mix.  It may be that some of those leases need to be renegotiated for extended.  Investment properties are usually sold when they offer future income opportunity and capital growth.  The leases in the property today a part of that equation.  It is our job to make the income and the lease profiles stack up when it comes to timing of sale.
  4. Take a look around the local area today to see what other competing properties remain unsold.  Also take a look at their method of marketing and form an opinion as to the inquiry they may be getting, and the success of the campaign for each listing.  Adjust your method of sale and marketing initiatives to improve on any other competing properties in the local area.
  5. The chosen method of sale should also have some relevance to the methods of marketing that you are to adopt, and the required timing of sale, or settlement of the property.  These three factors come together when it relates to choosing a method of sale.  As a final note, it should be said that the client for the property should be providing vendor paid marketing funds.  Today and that is the rule and not the exception.  Get those funds paid upfront prior to the commencement the marketing campaign.

From these points it can easily be saying that your choice of method of sale will have a lot to do with the level of enquiry that you achieve.  Make your choices based on the market today and what the market is looking for.  Help your client understand those choices as part of listing the property.

You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

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Marketing Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

When you take a commercial property to the market today, the message about the property has to be clear and precise.  There are limited levels of enquiry coming from most marketing campaigns given the current economic climate.  This means that you have to do more with less.

It should be said that this is not a seller’s market, not a buyer’s market, but it is an agents market.  We as property agents are well placed to encourage enquiry and connect with the right people.  Your database is a key factor in this process.

We can produce the right momentum in marketing through developing a direct promotional strategy for each listing.  The days of generic marketing are well gone.  Specific campaigns create far more enquiry than the traditional generic approach.

When you take on a new listing, be very specific when it comes to structuring the marketing campaign and attracting the right target audience.  It should also be said that the exclusive listing process in this market is far more effective than an openly listed property.

If the client chooses to openly list their property, tell them about the weaknesses of the process and the longer ‘time on market’ factors that normally apply.  Most clients don’t like to be an ‘experiment’ when it comes to marketing; they want results and the exclusive listing process is the only way to do that with some control and reasonable success rate.

Here are some tips to help you with establishing a successful marketing campaign and correctly promoting a commercial property for sale or for lease.

  1. There is a significant difference between direct and indirect marketing today.  The generic approach involves indirect marketing and most particularly advertising in the newspapers, placing a signboard on the property, and listing it on the Internet.  This will only produce limited enquiry.  With commercial property you must take the direct approach in addition to the more traditional promotional processes.  The direct approach says that you need to get into the local area and take the listing to all of the property owners nearby, the local businesses, and the industry professionals.  In this way you will attract more leads and opportunities.  Talk to more people; that is the rule today and not the exception.
  2. The best method of sale or lease should be chosen for the property, the local area, and the target market.  The method that you choose should encourage enquiry, inspections, and negotiation.  Momentum is the key to getting a good result in commercial property marketing today.
  3. At the time of listing the property, undertake a comprehensive inspection with the client.  Move through the asset together so that you can identify strengths and weaknesses that will need to be addressed as part of the promotion and the advertising.  Any weaknesses should be carefully assessed and dealt with prior to the commencement of campaigning.

It is in property markets like that which we have today where the marketing process becomes more important than ever before.  Attracting enquiry and converting more inspections is central to attracting offers and closing negotiations.

If you want to be a top agent in this market, take a serious look at your marketing efforts, and your listing processes.  Everything needs to work in harmony.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – The Fortunes in Getting to Know Your Commercial Property Market

As an agent in commercial and retail property, you need to understand your local property market comprehensively and fully.  In achieving this level of focus, you will find opportunities for leasing, sales, and property management.

The commercial property market is largely based on relationships.  When you get to know a lot of people locally, the listings and opportunities start to evolve.  That being said, these clients and prospects do need to trust you as the top agent of choice in the local area.

Here are some tips to help you get to know your local property market at the appropriate level.

  1. You will need to maintain a database of contact information.  This is not something you should delegate to another person in the office.  The fact of the matter is that the database is your foundation of business and goodwill.  When you take personal ownership of your database, the information becomes more meaningful and relevant.  On a daily basis you should be frequently moving in and out of your database to make calls and capture information.  This then says that you will require the necessary computer information and computer hardware to do the job correctly.
  2. Split your area into zones of priority.  Some of those areas will be very active and desirable from a business and client perspective.  Review those areas so that you can understand and quote the levels of activity to the right people when you are presenting or pitching your services.
  3. Your property precinct, suburb, town, or city will have a property history that is real and relevant to your activities today.  You should identify the types of sales, types of leases, time on market, levels of enquiry, and region demographics.  That information should be relative to the last five years and be particularly accurate over the last two years.  These figures will show you trends of opportunity and change.  Top agents seize the opportunity and move their market focus as required.
  4. Get copies of the local development plans as they apply to commercial and retail property.  Understand the differences between the property zonings and the property locations.  A property location or zoning can have significant impact on the listing and marketing of any property.
  5. The supply and demand for commercial and retail property will change throughout the year.  An oversupply of space will saturate the market with excessive vacancies and empty properties.  You can stay ahead of this change by monitoring the new property developments that are being considered at the local council or municipality.  Whilst a new property developments are an opportunity for listings and fees, they can also skew the market when it comes to pricing, rentals, and incentives.
  6. Check all the listings locally that are held with other agents and with private owners.  Over time some of those listings will be an opportunity for change and perhaps listing with your agency.  Whilst they remain available for sale or for lease today, they will give you an indication of what prices and rentals are doing.
  7. Network into your area on a daily basis.  This means making the necessary cold calls and dropping into local businesses on a daily basis.  Through this personal contact you will generate opportunity and fresh listings.  Top agents are very visible to the local community of business owners and property investors.

You can’t win many listings by sitting at your desk.  Desk time is actually downtime.  You should only be sitting at your desk to make the necessary cold calls or to have meetings with the right people.  Every other part of the day should be outside of the office meeting with people and checking on properties.

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Results Mean Everything in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate today the clients that we work with want one thing and that is in one word ‘results’.  It is the common thread that runs through everything in commercial real estate sales and leasing.

Every client will have different criteria when it comes to ‘results’, however the fact of the matter remains that ‘results’ are the lever to client satisfaction and referrals.  Top Agents focus on what I call the ‘results factor’.   They aim for the results that will bring the best opportunity for the client and close the deal at the best possible outcome.  When the client is happy, ongoing business will come towards you over time.  Top Agents grow their business on the successes that they create for their clients.

It is no secret that the commercial and retail property industry is a bit of a challenge at the moment; that being said, results are still very possible and the agent can set up the circumstances for the client to find them.

When you list a property, get to the bottom of what the client sees as the ‘result’ that they require.  A degree of honesty will be required on their part to share what they ultimately require.  That honesty will only exist in an ‘exclusive listing’, but is unlikely to achieve when it comes to an ‘open listing’.  In an ‘open listing’ clients tend to hold back from the full and honest facts of the sale or lease.  From the very start of the listing the agent has to ‘read between the lines’ with a client that is less than open and free with all the property information.  Perhaps I generalise, but it is a common problem that impacts the marketing effort for many commercial real estate agents.

To help you get to the bottom of what the client sees as the best ‘result’, here are some thoughts to take you forward and create successful listings:

  1. What is the best timing of the sale or lease?
  2. What factors exist in the property that could slow down a transaction?
  3. What is the price or rent that the client sees as the lowest they can afford?
  4. When can the client commit to the marketing program?
  5. Will the client provide vendor paid marketing funds?
  6. What can the client commit to when it comes to preparing the property for sale or lease?
  7. What will be the best method of sale that can help the client get the best levels of enquiry today?
  8. What will be the best rental and incentive to attract tenants to the property and inspect the premises?

Get to the real facts of the property and the clients situation.  When you do this you can be a commercial real estate agent that brings in the ‘results’.  Top Agents do that all the time.

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Commercial Property Agents – Use Checklists to Develop Your Sales Pitch and Presentation

In commercial real estate you need a top sales pitch to help you convert more business than the competing agents that you are up against.  In many respects you will only have 30 minutes with the client to convince them that you are the best agent solution to take their property to the market.

So many agents just ‘wing it’ when it comes to the sales presentation.  If you want to win more business the best thing you can do is create a great presentational model that is built on a ‘checklist’ approach.  Over time this will help you stay on focus and allow you to refine your approach when you find extra things that will work for you.  Soon the whole process of pitching and presenting will be so efficient and focused you will be winning more business of the quality that you require.

Your property market is something that you should know very well.  This knowledge and relevance has to get to the client in the presentation.  It can help you convert the business in a powerful way.  They need a local agent and that can be you.

Here are some ideas to help you build a presentational process and checklist that can really work well.

  1. Engage the client with relevant questions at the start.  To do this you should have comprehensively inspected the property and the general area.  In this way you can talk to the things that are important in the marketing campaign.
  2. Competing properties will impact your marketing campaign.  Show the client where those properties are and tell them of the pressures those properties present to the subject property.
  3. Every client will have issues and concerns.  You have to find them and the only way to do that is through questions.  Each question you ask should be taken to the next level when you sense that the client has some facts of relevance.
  4. Give facts about the market based on real evidence.  Those facts are likely to influence price, rent, marketing, methods of sale, and methods of lease.
  5. Tell the client where you see the campaign heading and why.  Clients like to see that we have a solid set of solutions and not just a generic approach to helping them.  Be very specific to the property.
  6. As a general rule, always seek vendor paid marketing and exclusive listings at all times.  These two facts will help you build market share and that is what you need to make your career strong and successful.
  7. Do not be afraid to walk away from a listing.  If the client is unrealistic or centred on facts that cannot work, do not waste your time in helping them. Let some other agent struggle with the difficult client.

Simple facts like these can help your presentational model and sales pitch greatly.  As the base of your presentation improves, you can modify the checklist approach so that you are moving to the next level of listing conversions.  Top agents do this all the time.

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Commercial Property Agents – Do You Have Enough Time in Your Day?

In a busy commercial real estate agency, it is very common to hear that the salespeople are running out of time to get the key issues under control and the daily tasks undertaken.  In most cases, the reality of the situation is that some salespeople lack the organisation and focus to stay on track.

Your time is a valuable resource.  It is in fact the most important resource that you apply to your business day as a commercial real estate agent.  Utilising time efficiently and effectively is a key personal skill that will help you attract more business, negotiate more effectively, and close more deals. 

That being said, far too many agents and salespeople let the unimportant things derail their focus and daily activity.  Quite soon they will see that they are losing market share and listing opportunity.  Beyond that point, things become a bit desperate.

The reality of this situation and problem is quite simple.  Every salesperson should determine the key things that are important to their business.  Those three or four key things should occur every day

regardless of anything else that tends to derail the time management process.  When you set your priorities on the right things, the results start to happen.  That is how you get to the position of top agent in your local area.

The degree to which you believe you are in control as a real estate salesperson, is the degree to which you will be successful in the industry.  Control brings confidence and that in turn helps you find the business, present the properties, and negotiate the deals.  So, I then go back to the factor that you must be under control to build your market share.  It is a personal process.

Here are some tips to help your focus and results, on a daily basis.  Over time these simple things can improve your business profile and elevate you to the position of top agent.

  1. Devote two or three hours each day to deliberate and direct prospecting.  Use the telephone for the process, given that you can contact many business people inside that two or three hour period.  Use the business telephone book for this purpose; it is easy to access.
  2. When you have finished your prospecting processes, get out into your market and observe the competing listings.  Talk to the local business people personally.  You should be dropping your business card into at least five businesses per day each day.
  3. In most circumstances, commercial and retail property works to a cycle.  On average, it is very common for a property to go through a sale or lease cycle every 5 to 7 years.  That can mean a new tenancy, or a new property.  It is simply a matter of finding those properties that were purchased approximately 4 years ago, and to then start contacting the property owners and businesses on an individual basis.

When you open the door of contact, remain in contact with those people for the ongoing future months and years.  Build your contact cycle on a period of 90 days repeating.  Consistent contact builds relevance and reliability.  That is exactly what business owners and property investors are looking for in a commercial agent.

These three simple things above will help you build market share quickly and effectively.  That being said, there is a lot of hard work in the process, however the rewards are great.  Isn’t that why you entered the industry?