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.
There are always opportunities to be found in commercial real estate brokerage. To get the best results in your business and brokerage locally you should create a plan and strategy to take you forward. A successful commercial real estate brokerage will usually be the
At any time of year the property market will offer opportunity in sales, leasing, and property management; the trick is to find it. The strategy that you use helps you find that opportunity. So let’s consider some resources that you can put into your plan.
- The register of property owners for your location – Using the register you can identify people and companies that own local property.
- The business telephone book – Always remember that the local businesses will occupy or own the property in which they are located. Asking the right questions will get you to the ownership facts that you require.
- The internet – Using your computer you can search down opportunities in business types, companies, and other listings. Look for activities and changes. Find out the names of the leaders of each business and approach them directly for a property related discussion.
- Websites and industry portals – Always track the listings coming and going from the industry portals. In tracking that information you can understand the time on market factors and the best ways to advertise quality listings. You can also determine just what seems to be selling or leasing and why that is the case.
- A street directory of your location and city – Simple street maps of the area will keep your attention focused in streets and precincts. You can use a highlighter pen to track the streets and areas that you are focusing in or have been in as part of your prospecting and door knocking model.
- Blog strategies – Blogs are wonderful business tools. The great news here is that they are essentially free and the only thing you require to get one going is time. You can write things and you can show photos of your local town or city. The main idea behind a blog is that it is designed to be helpful and informational. Search engines like information and that is why blog strategies work.
- Social media – You should create a few social media strategies to use. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are all good tools to use in commercial real estate brokerage. There are others that you may know about, but don’t use some obscure social media platform that others have not heard about before. To encourage people to join your online social media efforts, use a platform that people understand.
- Your database program – A great database program will help you stay on track with new leads and clients. Most of the listings that you find will come from your database and the efforts you apply to making calls and contacts. If you want a lot of leads and listings, your database and how you work it will be the indicator and tool of success. How many people do you have in your database now? How often do you talk to those people? Good questions require specific answers; be honest with yourself.
- Your telephone – Technology today supports us comprehensively in so many ways. Get the best telephone deal possible so you can make many calls to your contacts and clients. Integrate SMS, email, and social media tools into your telephone. If your database is cloud based, then integrate the database into your smartphone.
- Your business card – Whilst this may be the last item on the list, it is the most important. If you give your business card out every day to new people, opportunities will come to you over time. Most people keep business cards. It is a simple and effective way of connecting with local people and building your relevance as an agent. How many business cards can you give out each day? How many business cards did you give out yesterday? Develop a strategy to get your business cards into the local area.
I am going to suggest here that as an agent or broker you do not need to have any other resources to find new business. Everything that you require as an agent or broker can be found by using these resources effectively and directly.
You can get more tips for commercial real estate agents here in our bulletin.
Relevant market data in commercial real estate can help you with property presentations, prospecting activities, and negotiations. As the real estate agent or broker in your local area property knowledge and information will help you close more listings and facilitate more transactions.
Whilst most clients think that they own a high quality property commanding a good price or rental, the facts of the matter can be far from the truth. Local property market information will help you position the client’s property for better levels of enquiry and negotiation.
Here are some facts that will help you stay ahead of local property market activity:
- Track the number of sales occurring in the local area by property type. Focus on the local area and your property specialty. Determine the averages that apply to sale prices per square metre or per square foot. That information will be helpful when it comes to pricing other listings.
- Watch the trends that apply to leasing and renting commercial and retail property. Industrial property may also feature as part of that analysis. Leasing strategies and rental levels provide the basis for property investment today. The ratios between net rent and property value provide a yield or capitalization factor. That number will change throughout the year based on the supply and demand locally and within property types. Oversupply will typically see prices fall against rental income. That will improve the yield ratio to encourage any sale. In undersupply situation, prices typically rise against passing income and rental. That then produces a lower yield for the property investor. It directly follows that you should track supply and demand factors that exist within your property type and within your town or city.
- Market rentals will shift and change throughout the year. Over an extended period of time you will soon see patterns to any rental growth and leasing incentives. In any oversupply of vacant space you will see that the incentive levels will grow to attract more tenants to a property. The levels of incentive will conversely fall away as the vacancy levels decrease in the local area. Look at the patterns that apply to market rent within the property type and your specialty. Understand the reasons why tenants lease a property today locally.
- There will be changes to the business community regionally and locally. Those changes will have impact on business sentiment and occupancy costs. Some segments of the business community will be more active and successful when it comes to levels of trade and sales. When you can identify a successful business segment, focus your prospecting efforts within that segment and with those businesses. Any successful business over time will require relocation or expansion to other property. Get to know the local business owners for this very reason.
- New property developments come and go from the market. The ratio between supply and demand, together with the availability of vacant land locally will activate some property developers to consider new projects. A property developer will only consider a new project or building construction when they can see that the demand exceeds future supply. They will also look for reasonable levels of profit from the project based on expectations of rental and price.
So you can see the reason why it is necessary to stay ahead of market activity in commercial and retail real estate. Property trends in rentals and prices will help you see new business leads and clients to serve. One other key factor to remember in gathering property information is that of specialization. As an individual agent you cannot serve every market and every type of client. Specialize personally within a segment of property and within a location so that you can become a top agent.
You can get a big adrenaline rush with cold calling in commercial real estate brokerage especially when you score a few meetings with prospects and new people. That is what the call process is all about; meeting new people and establishing ongoing contact. That’s how commercial real estate really works.
The telephone is a massive source of opportunity for brokers and agents. Use it well and you will find that all of the following are quite possible:
- Reaching out to local property owners and business leaders that may have a current and future property need.
- Talk to others about local listings, prices and rents. Many people like to know about industry changes and property listing changes in the local area.
- Every current listing is a good chance to ask others about what they are doing currently with their property and how things may be changing for them.
- Following up on people that you have spoken to before as part of property marketing and listing activity.
- Establishing a core group of ‘VIP’ prospects and clients that you should be remaining in contact with continually.
Simple things like this will help you find the sales and leasing opportunities. If you are struggling now with commission income or exclusive listings, start making more telephone calls and put your prospecting model back on track. It’s quite a simple equation; talk to more people in a relevant way. Ask the questions and track the responses.
Here are some rules that will help you with all of this:
- If you are going to make a lot of calls in ‘one sitting’, stand up during the call contact process. It will help you with voice, dialogue, and confidence.
- Find a quiet room to make the calls. This is really important when you are prospecting. There is nothing more distracting to the other person on the line than hearing conversations and distractions in the background; they soon know that they are being called by one of a number of salespeople as part of cold calling. The immediate response is then to decline the call or end the conversation quickly.
- Get a headset so you can be ‘hands free’ as you make the calls. Soon you will be using your hands as an extension of conversation and that will also help the call conversions.
- Every morning when you first arise, spend 20 minutes or so giving your voice some verbal flexibility and tonality practice. You can do that by reading a book aloud. This simple tactic will help you a lot for cold calls later in the morning.
These four simple things will help you a lot when starting a telephone canvassing and cold calling program in commercial real estate. They will help with the momentum and focus that you require.
In commercial real estate brokerage, you will have plenty of challenges when it comes to finding quality listings and good clients. In most locations, towns and cities, the competition is fierce when it comes to commercial real estate agents. On that basis you really do need to have an effective prospecting model to implement at an individual level.
It should be said that most brokers and agents don’t do this very well. On that basis the opportunities are significant if you can create and stick to a good prospecting model. Create a habit around prospecting.
Here are some proven and highly effective prospecting and networking tips when it comes to agents or brokers winning new clients in commercial real estate today. Compare these to your current strategies:
- Stick to a defined area when it comes to targeting properties and clients. On a street by street basis you can move through the region and research the necessary property ownership details and business proprietors. Don’t spread yourself too thinly when it comes to large areas and diverse property types. Specialization will help you with finding listings and growing property knowledge.
- Devote 3 hours per day to the prospecting process. The cold calling process should occur first thing every morning prior to any meetings or property inspections. Make a priority to get your cold calls done prior to 11 am. Your meetings and property inspections can occur after that time.
- Split your prospecting time into two distinct segments. The first segment will be those people that you have spoken to before. Regular contact here will allow you to tap into the opportunity when those people are ready to make a sale or a lease transaction. The second group that you should speak to will be those that are totally new to your database. Feed your database with fresh contacts and opportunities with new people.
- Track the results that you get from all of your prospecting activities. Understand how your ratios are improving between outbound calls, meetings created, presentations made, and listings converted.
- Understand the differences between open and exclusive listings. As a general priority, you should be targeting exclusive listings at every opportunity. On that basis, track the numbers of listings in each case. Show the client the differences in time on market when it comes to open listings and exclusive listings.
- Any property that is converted to a listing should be packaged for the current market conditions. As you get results and feedback from inspections, you can make clear recommendations to the client regards pricing and marketing. Over a period of weeks, the repackaging of a listing can increase inspection and negotiation opportunity.
So there are some very definite things that can be done to improve your listing conversions and commission opportunities. The secret to making all of this work is to create a personal system of prospecting that you stick to every day. Refine your activities to the current market conditions, and soon you will see the conversions you require.