Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Tips – Things to do in Tracking Commercial Real Estate Sales

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Email Marketing Attracts Good Enquiry So Use It

Have you ever got an email from someone that was unclear, confused or full of grammatical errors?  In commercial real estate brokerage, the emails that we send should be of the highest quality in all respects.

Low quality communications are usually ‘deleted’ faster than you can imagine.  They are typically not read beyond the first sentence.  If you want to have any chance of converting new business from email marketing and communications, your messages should be accurate and specific.

Email Frequency

We typically send out lots of emails every day as part of connecting with prospects, clients, and colleagues.  If anything, the volume of emails that we send is growing.  Quality in the email process is really important.

It is not unusual for a top agent to be sending out 40 direct emails per day with specific client or prospect communications; you can add to that number a few hundred or perhaps thousand emails from marketing based auto-responders.

Rules to Electronic Marketing

The quality of your email and written message is a direct reflection on your business skills and communication intelligence.  Consider these factors in your email marketing campaigns and or general business emails:

  • Property updates – If you are sending out property information make sure that it is up to date and accurate. Generic property information doesn’t work in our industry.
  • Personal facts – Always ensure that you have the person’s name and title correct for the purpose of sending the email. Any errors with addresses and names made will ‘kill’ your message and content.
  • Contact information – Provide your contact information so it is easy for the other person to connect with you. Include your email, website, mobile telephone, and social media connections.  Give the other person some alternatives in reaching out to you.
  • Informational – If you are providing attachments, convert them to pdf so that the formatting is stable and presentable. A pdf will usually get to the other end or person with accuracy and integrity.
  • Spell check – Get a spell check done automatically as part of message creation. You can set the email client program to do that for you automatically.
  • Timing – If you are sending a marketing based email it is generally more effective to send it around the middle to end of the week. Certainly avoid sending marketing emails from Saturday to Monday (inclusive) as most people have other interests away from business on those days.
  • Length – Long emails are generally not read in entirety. Your message should be contained in just 3 or 4 paragraphs.  Adults don’t like to read long and complex marketing emails.  The ‘deletion’ button is the common approach to lengthy emails.
  • Images re-sized – If you are sending photographs then make sure they are re-sized for dispatch. Compress the image size so it can send easily across the internet.  There are plenty of image based programs that let you create smaller file sizes for images.
  • Headings and highlights – If you have something specific to say then you will have a need for heading simplicity and highlighting of key issues within the message. Understand the important points that you want the other person to note.  Highlighting those points in a particular color is helpful with some important communications.
  • Hyperlinks – Check out your hyperlinks before you send the message.
  • Follow-up calls – If you are sending out marketing type emails, then you should be making follow up calls.
  • Title or topic relevance – If you are sending out emails as part of a marketing process, choose your key words and images with relevance and care. Professional photographs and message copy will always help open conversions.

The email process in commercial real estate is specific and direct.  Make sure you have all the elements of the communication process under control and optimized.

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – A Fresh Approach to Time and Task Management in Listing and Marketing

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.

Commercial Real Estate Brokers – How to Comprehensively Present and Pitch for a Property Listing

If you’re looking to win more commercial real estate listings and particularly those that you can convert to successful contracts and leases, have a serious look at your listing presentation and the points of difference that you promote as part of the presentation.  Why are you special?  Why are you better than the other agents?  In simple terms you need to stand out as the top agent for the job.

Are you average or generic?

Far too many agents and brokers approach the listing process generically with little preparation and no strategy.  A client then has little to choose from when it comes to better ideas and looking for a positive outcome.  What can you do that is different and relevant to the property promotion?

A listing presentation is not all about providing discounted commissions and seeking low marketing funds.  Discounts don’t attract results.  The client has to spend money to make money, be it as part of a sale or a lease transaction.  Your job in the property presentation is to help them see why that is important.

What does the client want?

The client wants results and the listing presentation you make should be designed to convey all of the correct facts in the right way.   Help the client see exactly how you will connect with the right property people in the market in a timely way; those who will have a potential interest in the listing and occupancy or investment.

Here are some ideas to help your property presentation and listing pitch with the client, and to help them with interest and involvement:

  1. Split the campaign into time frames – A property promotion should be staged so that responses can be tracked and adjustments can be made. The stages are best set to the immediate property release (2 weeks), the inspection and negotiation stage (4 weeks), and the repositioning phase (4 weeks).  You only need to move into the repositioning phase if the property has not created sufficient enquiry or inspections.
  2. Explain exactly who the buyers or tenants for the property will be – Clearly set out who the buyers and tenants for the property listing will be, and then tell the client exactly how you will reach directly into those segments of people or businesses.
  3. Show what competing listings are doing locally now – Use photographs to show the client the other local listings that are on the market now and explain what has been happening with enquiry in each case. How will your clients listing stand out around those other listings?  What can you do in the property promotion that is special?
  4. Show specific tasks critical to the momentum – You are the property specialist and on that basis you should have some good ideas as to how you will make the listing stand out locally. Put yourself into the campaign with specific tasks and property market investigations. What can you do in the campaign that will create plenty of enquiries?  Split those important tasks into your request for an exclusive listing.  Put those tasks onto a time line for the client to understand what you will do, when it will be done, and why that is so.
  5. Get the client involved – There are things that the client can do as part of the property marketing campaign; get them involved. They could for example give you a summary of property history and ownership that would be of interest to the local community of investors or business owners.  Interesting information will help your marketing campaign and your inspections.

These 5 simple strategies will help your listing presentation stand out as comprehensive and relevant to the property market today.

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Success Backed Up By Direct Planning

Brokerage activities in commercial real estate can be enhanced greatly by planning set targets for growth, and in taking specific actions at a team and personal level.  To get anywhere in sales or leasing it is wise to put in place those systems early in any brokerage career or in the establishment of a new real estate office.

Plans can be implemented across client activity, marketing, and listings.  Each week or month the set plans and trends can be assessed for progress.  They say that any agent or broker that is not working to a plan is wasting their own time if not that of the brokerage; the observation is very real and correct.

Know Your Property Market

Here are some tips to setting the right type of plans and progressing comprehensively as a real estate agent in your location:

  1. Competitors: Understand all of the competitors in your location for both property speciality and market share. Check out all of the listings that they may have on the market today.  Understand if the time on market factor with each and every listing seems to be short or long when it comes to the properties they are marketing and promoting today.  Determine who out of all the agents in the location seems to be the most successful in achieving results and for what reasons.  Can you approach the property marketing process with greater momentum or effectiveness?
  2. Commission strategies: When it comes to a sale or a leasing appointment, there will be averages in the location that apply to the commission calculation. Some property owners will have certain expectations on the commission to be paid for any sale or lease.  Whilst you should not be the cheapest agent or broker in the location, the commission rate that you charge should be correct and within the averages for the amount of work to be applied.  It directly follows that you should show the client how you will be tapping into the local property market and resolving their current challenge relating to property; that is where the commission equation for the work applied becomes very important.  Most clients will be prepared to pay a reasonable commission for a top service; your listing presentation needs to comprehensively cover that concept; differentiate between your services applied to open verses exclusive listings.  Any client making a listing decision based entirely on discounted commission is not the client that you neither require nor should act for.
  3. Points of difference: To compete aggressively in any commercial property marketplace, it is necessary for you to provide a significant and real point of difference to your clients from their perspective. Your point of difference has to attract their attention and help them resolve the sale or lease challenge that they currently have.  What can you do that is significantly better or different than that of your competitors?  What processor or strategy can give you the competitive edge in today’s property market locally?  You will need to do a full market assessment to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every agent or broker and how you can move into that market.

 

These three simple points of strategic planning will help you understand the factors of the commercial property marketplace that will be challenging or full of opportunity.  From that point of understanding you can make some decisions and start to implement your business plan in commercial real estate brokerage.  One final comment should be made here and remembered; any plan that you create today in commercial property should be tracked and adjusted over time.  Things do change over time and you need to see that requirement when it happens; be flexible and adjust.

There will be shifts and changes in the commercial real estate market throughout the year.  Your plan and approach relating to listings, clients, negotiations, and market share should be adjusted accordingly.  When you have a strategic plan that is well under way, you can track the results and see the changes that are required as the market matures and changes.

Commercial Real Estate Brokers – Your Goals and Targets Should Energise You

Do you know what targets and goals are all about?  In commercial real estate brokerage the targets and goals that you set should energise you to take even more action and refine your processes for better results.

Why is that? It takes time for an agent to establish market share and listing dominance; the only way that consolidation of market share will happen quickly is through taking ever more action on the things that matter.  Understanding the important things to work on can be a bit daunting initially but soon you recognise your individual strengths and weaknesses as an agent and then you can work with them.

Progress Every Day

When you track your targets you can see how you are progressing each day and each week.  At the end of each month your key performance indicators in listings, commissions, and time on market can be assessed for progress.

So there are ‘big targets’ and ‘little targets’ to work to in commercial real estate brokerage.  The little targets feed the bigger ones, and everything is based on action every day.

Don’t Make This Mistake

A real estate broker recently said to me that he was struggling with routine and doing the things that really mattered to his business.  When he started each working day he was letting the pressures of clients and listings dictate what he was to do first up in the day.  That then meant over time that he was overlooking any factors of growth and new business creation.  Inevitably he was struggling with new business and any exclusive listings were few and far between.

Energise Your Real Estate Business

So let’s set some rules for energising your real estate business:

  • A full one third of every working day should be set aside for new business generation. That ratio is non-negotiable; it simply must happen.
  • The morning first thing when you get to the office is the best time to do some cold calls and telephone contact to prospects.
  • Track the calls that you make outbound in number so that you can understand progress in connections and conversations.
  • When a telephone call converts to a meeting, understand why that is so and attend the meeting with a reason or target in mind. Perhaps that target may be to win a listing or stay in touch with that person for the longer term when they need professional real estate help.
  • Don’t chase after unqualified prospects or any listings that are of low quality. Ask all the relevant questions possible to get to the real reasons that you can help someone with investment, tenant mix, property performance, or locating new property locations.  If you are in any doubt about a client or a listing, it is better to move on and let someone else waste their time.

Progress is everything in commercial real estate brokerage.  Any top agent will tell you that they are very selective on what they do and who they talk to every day.  They closely control their time and tasks.  Can you do the same?

Need help in commercial real estate brokerage prospecting?  You can get many more tips in our e-course right here.

Lessons from a Start-up Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

I once witnessed a new mid-range brokerage in a capital city try to ‘start-up’ in the midst of the global financial crisis.  It is a story worth sharing.  There are some lessons worth remembering for new people entering the industry.  So here is the story.

The brokerage was trying to break into the established CBD and suburban commercial property market as an ‘independent’, and in doing so compete with established real estate franchise names and larger corporate real estate groups.  The industry was already catered for comprehensively by some very experienced people and brokerages.  So why did the industry ‘need’ another independent brokerage?

As part of commencing business they needed to find good people to join the brokerage, and tried to ‘lure’ them in by offering big salary bases to be ‘topped up’ by commissions.  This of course meant that the overheads for the start-up business were very high from the outset; without a reasonable property management portfolio to bring in some cash, problems could and did soon develop.

It is worthwhile noting that proven performers in other agencies and brokerages were approached to see if they could be enticed to move across to the new business.  They didn’t move across to this new brokerage; they simply were not interested.  Perhaps the ‘GFC’ had a bit to do with their decisions?

The only agents working in the new brokerage were inexperienced, and new to the location or the industry; they are what I would have called ‘really green’.  On that basis they could not bring real systems of value and momentum to the business.    On a scale of 10, most of the agents in the brokerage were only a 4 or 5 by level of skill and commitment.  Yes, I know people can improve but there was still another issue stifled personal improvement.  The team leader principal was relatively inexperienced in commercial real estate brokerage and certainly was not much good when it came to ‘team leadership skills’.

So this I am sure you will agree is a ‘bit of a mess’, and it was for quite some years and still remains a problem brokerage of little industry profile.  A reasonable property management portfolio eventually rescued the business to bring in some income stability.  Sales and leasing activities however remain really average, so the really big commissions never really eventuate.

Here are the main issues that you can learn from:

  1. Leadership problems – The leadership model was erratic and emotional.  It was hard for the team members to build traction and confidence.  One week they were being praised at the team meeting, and the next they were being ridiculed.  You can’t build a good real estate business without encouraging and nurturing the team in a positive, constant, and ongoing way.
  2. Listing stock – The listing stock was always random by type and ‘open’.   There were very few ‘exclusives’ coming in.  The property owners had little reason to agree to ‘exclusivity’.  That was largely because the individual agents were not experienced in selling and pitching for exclusivity and obtaining vendor paid marketing funds.
  3. Zone of focus – The listings for the brokerage business were all over the city.  That prevented a growth of market share and did not help when it came to referring buyers and tenants onto other properties.
  4. Prospecting systems – Most if not all of the agents had little momentum with regularly prospecting and pitching for new business.  Just about all of the listings came in by ‘luck’ and certainly most of the listing stock was of little quality.

You can learn a lot by looking at the negatives in this story.  You can reverse the 4 factors mentioned and easily see what needs to be done to establish and improve a great brokerage business in commercial real estate.