You can win more local property business if you are a ‘target marketer’ for a location. The clients that we serve in commercial real estate like to have the best agent with the best market coverage working for them in every way possible. Random actions and the generic approach to the real estate business no longer works. A top agent needs to be specialised and targeted in the actions and marketing efforts.
A good agent has to have some special processes of driving the real estate listings out into the property market and to the tenants or buyers as the case may be; not just relying on advertising online and in the newspapers to do that. Only the ‘open’ listings of the market dictate a generic approach to marketing and client contact.
Think about your property listings now. Split your listings into the two groups of ‘open’ and ‘exclusive’. Your ‘exclusive’ listings should take priority in just about everything that you do as a broker or agent. Review your marketing efforts and your client contact processes between the two listing types. Are you connecting your listings to the right ‘target audience’? Can you improve those connections?
Marketing Strategies that Really Matter
Let’s get to the facts of how and why targeted property promotions really work. Put your exclusive listings into the process. Here are the most important skills of a target marketer in our industry today:
- Providing the deep and relevant facts – with every listing, take the time to explain to the client exactly how their property sits in the local area by way of price, marketing, and potential enquiry. Do a SWOT analysis so that the client can fully appreciate how you can help them resolve their property challenge in a timely and meaningful way.
- Understanding how to reach the right audience – every listing will have a target audience of tenants or buyers as the case may be. Show the client exactly how you will connect with that audience in a deep and meaningful way. Put yourself into the connection process so that you are the real point of difference when it comes to finding the right people to inspect and negotiate on the listing.
- Creating momentum with property listings – take every listing and create momentum across enquiries, inspections, and negotiations. Soon the people in the local property market will understand that you are the agent of choice when it comes to creating churn and activity with a listing.
- Understanding how to inspect a property to show all the features comprehensively and thoroughly – with all of your exclusive listings, develop a special inspection process to feature the property in both layout and improvements. Create an inspection strategy and explain to the client exactly how that will work in encouraging offers from the right people.
- Building and segmenting a database for comprehensive property enquiry – your database can and should be at the centre of your real estate business. Each and every day you should be creating conversations with the VIP clients within the database, and adding new people to the list. It is a special skill to be refined and developed over time. If you are looking for new clients and new listings now, then review your database activities and your client list. How regularly are you connecting with those people in a relevant way? The top agents of the market know how to drive enquiry and interest from their database and their client list. Put your client list at the centre of your business so that you can find the right listing activity and the right buyers or tenants at the time of change and opportunity.
So the message here is that you can be a target marketer covering the specialized segments of the commercial property industry. In your town or city, review the best segments of the industry and the property types that will offer you the ongoing opportunity that you are looking for.
Look at how the property market is changing in your location and position yourself into the zone as the industry specialist. Market yourself accordingly in comprehensive ways. Let the local business owners and property investors see that you are the industry specialist that they will need when the next property challenge evolves. Help them remember you through deliberate and direct marketing activities.
The commercial property market is always changing, and the shifts and swings each year will move from buying to selling, as well as owning to renting. Property developments also come and go from the market based on expected growth in a location.
Somewhere in those changes you will find property opportunity to work with the right clients and prospects. The foundation of your real estate business will come from your database and the people that you are connecting with on a regular way.
(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)
Some clients are very active on property matters for the long term, whilst others are irregularly moving in and out of the industry. Have you categorized your clients and prospects? Who are the clients that will be doing things soon? When you know the answers to these questions, you can take some direct action and move on some leads and property requirements. Timing is everything in our industry ‘game’ so understand just where your clients and prospects sit in the timing cycle of change and activity.
Check your client list
So let’s look at your database and location now. How well do you know your property market now? Where are the next opportunities arising? Have a think about these questions and answers:
- Where is the vacant land currently that could be the subject of a new development in the future? Whilst property development will come and go from the momentum of the market, future demand will eventually ignite a new building or property complex. Watch for the zoning changes that could lead to a property release and new development.
- What are the classes of property that seem to be creating the most inquiry now and into the future? A regional assessment will help you pick a few property classes that seem to have most of the interest from the market.
- What can you do with investors to open up some buying and selling activity? Some investors are very aware of the need to grow or shift certain property holdings in their respective portfolios. You can achieve some real momentum in knowing what these owners are thinking and planning for.
- What are the local businesses looking for when it comes to property occupation? There will be parts of your town or city where businesses like to occupy premises. Look at the trends and pick those areas.
These 4 simple facts allow you to optimize market conditions in commercial property. Stay close to the transaction momentum and the current listings in your territory. Listen to what people are saying and identify what they are thinking; pay special attention to investors and local business people. Within those groups you will find the future property deals that you are looking for.
(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)
In commercial real estate brokerage you have one or two directions to take. You can let the property market come to you with any leads or opportunities, or you can go out there and find the new business that is available. The latter is preferable.
Get involved with connecting with new people every day. Put prospecting at the top of the list when it comes to new business activities in your daily diary. Don’t let any person or career pressure divert your activities away from new business prospecting.
A common problem
All too often you see brokers and agents avoid the requirements of new business generation. They soon lose market share and fail to convert commissions. Here are some facts to be remembered about commercial real estate brokerage:
- MOMENTUM: It takes about 3 to 6 months of dedicated prospecting activity to generate some listing churn and commission flow. Many agents and brokers struggle to maintain the required prospecting momentum and organisation. That can be an amazing opportunity for the small segment of people that can keep things under control.
- KEEP THINGS MOVING: When the new business starts to evolve, don’t stop prospecting. It is very easy to slip back into a situation where commissions and listings are hard to achieve. Avoid the peaks and troughs of the industry by continually prospecting regardless of the business that you are currently generating. Understand the lead times between prospecting, client contact, listing conversion, and negotiating. I go back to the point that a time frame of about 3 to 6 months exists in the industry as an average business cycle.
- CONTACT LIST: The database that you create is perhaps the most important business tool that you will use. Protect your database and its information. Keep in regular contact with all the people within the database so that you know when they move to a point of action or challenge when it comes to local property.
- IMPORTANT CONTACTS AND PEOPLE: The relationships that you strike with clients should be nurtured and encouraged in a relevant way. Provide local property information freely and directly to the clients and prospects that you have identified. Free local property information will always be of interest to property investors, business owners, and industry professionals.
So the secret here is to develop a proactive approach to commercial real estate brokerage. There are always plenty of opportunities to be found, nurtured, and converted.
Local property investors and business leaders are always on the lookout for assistance when it comes to leasing, sales, and property management activity. Get involved with the people in your property community and maintain ongoing relevant contact so that you can build your database and grow your market share.
You can get more proactive tips and ideas in commercial real estate brokerage right here in our eCourse.
When you know what is going on in the commercial real estate market, you can adjust your business efforts into the things that show opportunity. You can also avoid the parts of the property market that are slowing and time wasting.
The best property agents focus on the best parts of the market; that’s the rule. By monitoring a few categories of activity you can see your place and efforts in the bigger picture. If you are a sales agent, that process is really important.
Look for these things
Here are some property factors to chase and monitor in your local town or city:
- Signboard counts – It is a valuable process to add up all the signboards on properties locally on a monthly basis. Differentiate between ‘open’ and ‘exclusive’ listings when you do that as there is a real difference between each from a market share perspective.
- Internet listings – Go through the internet listings each month on the same basis as the signboards. Understand how many listings there are for each brokerage and agent. Soon you will know exactly who the top agent is for the area from an ‘exclusivity’ perspective.
- Vacancy factors – The level of vacant property locally will be a good ‘barometer’ of business sentiment. Understand what is happening in the local business community as that will impact property ownership and occupancy.
- Time on market – How long does it take to shift a listing with a sale? Some listings are better than others so you will need to differentiate on quality of property as you assess these numbers.
- Prices per unit of area – When something sells, understand the price from the perspective of property type, location, and unit of area. From those numbers you can compare transactions across your region. Soon you will see the active and popular locations for investment and business occupation.
- Enquiry rates – It is always good to know what people are looking for when it comes to local property. Are the levels of property enquiry going up or are they falling? You can also relate that question to property types and locations. When a person enquires about a property, find out how they located you and what they are looking for by way of property.
- Best marketing methods – Some marketing methods are more successful than others. When you do a monthly marketing assessment from inbound enquiry you can determine exactly how you should market new listings and for what reasons.
- Best methods of sale – Understand the best sale methods for attracting buyers and creating inspections. It is likely that any quality property should be directed to a time based sale method such as auction, or tender. Put a bit of ‘urgency’ in the method of sale so that the buyers that are interested actually have to make a decision and take action by a close off date.
Do there are some good things that you can do here with tracking sales activity locally in commercial real estate. When you know what is happening in the property market, you will be able to take action on the most rewarding parts of the property market.
When you list a commercial property today on an exclusive basis, you really do need to focus your efforts from the point of listing onwards to achieve the best results for the client. Don’t waste time during the campaign and make sure that you optimise your efforts of promotion from the very start.
Know what has to be done with every exclusive listing when it comes to pulling in the target market and listing enquiry. Ensure that the client has given you sufficient vendor paid marketing funds to achieve that level of promotional momentum.
Exclusivity Really Matters
When you have converted a property exclusively, the stages of promotion should be set out and actioned in a timely way. Make every moment count when it comes to creating enquiry and converting inspections.
How can you do this? You can split the campaign up into three distinct levels of momentum. They are:
- STAGE 1: The initial two weeks where you are releasing a property to the market and the target audience. During this time it is quite important to spread the word comprehensively across the local property zone or precinct applicable to your buyers and tenants. You really do need a marketing campaign to understand how you will reach the right people in the right way from all of your promotional efforts.
- STAGE 2: The next four weeks will be critical to lifting the levels of inspections and enquiry and encouraging any offers. Any potential negotiations should be occurring during this time. If the offers are not coming in, then it is a matter of looking at pricing the property differently or changing the method of sale or lease.
- STAGE 3: If the property has not sold or leased or during the previous two stages, then there are issues which need to be addressed. That is where a rethink or a different plan needs to be achieved in the marketing of the listing. Don’t let the property become stale and stagnant on the market. Stage 3 is the adjustment phase if the property is not creating real interest or inspections. Changes have to be made to lift levels of enquiry.
As indicated, split the property campaign into a number of weeks and stages of promotion. Change the campaign during that period of time based on the levels of enquiry that you are achieving.
Every exclusive listing should be placed on market and promoted to a strict time frame and task regime; in that way you can ensure the best outcomes are achieved. That is why exclusivity is so important for each individual agent or broker if they want to grow market share and potential income. Don’t waste your time on open listings unless you really need them.
Monitor the Property Campaign
Every moment of a property campaign should be monitored and optimised to achieve the best inbound levels of enquiry; refresh the listing appropriately based on feedback and inspection results. Understand why exclusivity is so important when it comes to promoting commercial property for sale or for lease. Exclusivity allows you to focus your efforts and commitment to the client and the property. Over time that means better results.
Ultimately a successful property promotion allows you to achieve greater levels of inbound enquiry, inspections, negotiations, and closure. Eventually that allows greater commissions and a growing level of market involvement for you at a personal level.