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3 Negotiation Strategies to Improve a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Business Today

To be successful in commercial real estate brokerage you have to know how to negotiate through the challenges that you strike in prospecting, marketing, pitching, presenting, inspecting, and closing on your specialty property types.

It stands to reason that your negotiation skills are really important in what you do every day.  You have to ‘think on your feet’ as you hear about the other person’s concerns and perceptions in selling, leasing, or managing property.

Special Challenges

Some clients and prospects will present you with unique challenges as you move a property campaign or issue forward.  What you can do here to lift your conversions is prepare and practice your responses with the most common challenges.

Each week the entire sales or brokerage team can practice their responses to the common problems and issues that they find and strike each week.  They can share the issues that they find as part of client interaction and prospecting activity.  The team can learn from each other.  Through practice and sharing within the team, negotiation skills can improve.

Negotiation Skill Development

Here are some ideas to help you lift your negotiation skills as a team or as an individual:

  1. LOCAL PRESSURES: Be prepared to adjust your skills based on the pressures and the facts from today’s property market. Understand what’s happening with enquiry, current supply, and future occupancy predictions.  Look at the property and the local property market from the perspective of a tenant, an investor, and a landlord.  Assess the challenges in each case.  You can then do a swot analysis based on the challenges that you see today.  Share those challenges and your responses within the team.
  2. HOT TOPICS: There will be certain hot issues that are always rising to the top of a typical property negotiation. Those hot issues will be a negotiation practice priority when you are considering your skill development personally and within the team.  Issues can be specially considered such as the over pricing of a property, the failure to accept market conditions, or unrealistic expectations of the client or prospect from a negotiation.  When you look within the disciplines of commercial sales, leasing, and property management, there are always common issues that you strike in a regular and ongoing way.
  3. FEE SOLUTIONS: The fees that you learn and the commissions that you charge are also important factors of negotiation priority. Be prepared to pitch and sell your services in a comprehensive way and at a reasonable fee; that will involve negotiation practice and improvement.  Can you support and argue the value that you bring to a client from a fee perspective?  Ultimately the client just wants a good result in a timely way and they don’t want to pay too much for it.  Your fee argument and commitment should be built around an expectation of results.  As we all know, the cheaper services offered by less professional agents in the industry are ultimately counterproductive and time wasting for the client.

The message here is that you can do a lot for yourself and within the team when you practice your negotiation skills in a regular and ongoing way.  Take into account the existing factors of the property market and the pressures that you experience with your clients and prospects.  Practice your professional negotiation skills based on the challenges of the commercial property industry today.

You can get more negotiation tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokerage in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.

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Improving Sales Team Performance in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate, and most particularly with the property agents and brokers, sales team performance should be optimised throughout the year to adjust for the changes in property activity and regional demographics.  In any period of 12 months, the market will change and on that basis similar changes will need to occur with prospecting, listing, negotiating, and marketing.

It is wise to have a process of tracking the key indicators in your property market.  When you consider an average period of 12 months, most property markets have only 10 months of real activity in sales, leasing, and property management.  Seasonal changes and market conditions will take up the other two months of downtime.  Team performance needs to be suitably handled and adjusted within the agency to get the best results from 10 months of hard work.

Here are some ideas to help you improve your agency sales team performance:

  1. Top agents and brokers specialise in particular market segments.  The segments may be geographical, or set by property type.  Either way, specialisation is recommended.  Specialisation process helps you cover the quality properties, key clients, and pockets of high level activity.
  2. Establish a prospecting model within the agency that can be tracked on an agent by agent basis.  That will help you identify any weak links within the team.  Some agents need help when it comes to prospecting, presenting, or negotiating.  The tracking process will help you see those weaknesses and implement the necessary training and education programmes.
  3. Establish budgets that can apply to each agent or broker.  The budget should be split into key indicators.  Those indicators will normally be cold calling, meetings, door knocking, presentations, listings, exclusive listings, inspections, and closed transactions.
  4. Track the results that you get from every marketing campaign.  The results that you get from an exclusive listing will be very relevant to your business activity.  Open listings are not easily assessed in the same way given that the marketing of an open listing is random at best.
  5. At the end of each week, have the agency team provide a summary of activity including call numbers, meetings, listings, and inspections.  You will soon see the differences between the members of the team and how effective they are when it comes to building their business.

When you track all of these numbers, you can see where the priorities lie when it comes to each agent and each broker in the team.  Given that the property market changes throughout the year, adjustments will always be necessary at an individual level to ensure that quality listing stock is attracted to your business.

So what type of listings should you chase and attract?  Quality listings create better levels of enquiry and will sell or lease faster.  Over time that will improve your agency market share and commission opportunity.

Should you walk away from a low quality property listing?  The answer is yes, if it will take you away from the other good properties in your area and sales or leasing territory.  Commercial real estate marketing is a specific process needing effort and focus.  Don’t waste your time.