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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Get Focused to Create a Better Market Share and Grow Your Commissions

In commercial real estate agency today, we all know that the property market is a bit of a challenge. That being said, there is still a lot of listing and commission opportunity to be had by the real estate agents that get organised and focused on the right tasks relative to their market and location.  It is a daily process.  Top agents do it all the time.

You could say that the whole process involves being ‘mentally prepared’ for each and every day that you step up to the ‘plate’ and strive for a ‘home run’.  When the personal thought processes support your action, many more results are possible.

There is a cycle in this commercial real estate industry and it goes something like this:

  1. Start the day with prospecting for 3 hours
  2. From your prospecting effort you will create new meetings
  3. From new meetings with new prospects you will find business opportunity
  4. New business opportunity leads to quality listings
  5. Quality listings produce better enquiry than average
  6. Quality enquiries are what we need for a top database and property sale or leasing conversions
  7. Keep in touch with the businesses locally.  They will tell you so much about the local area and what is going on.

So the mental preparation process is critical to the ‘chain of events’ and the outcomes that you seek in the commercial real estate industry.  You could say that sales, leasing, and property management is a bit like a sport and you are the team captain, coach, and player.  Your mindset has to suit each role and keep you on track to top performance and new business generation.

Have you ever watched a person play a sport and in doing so you can see that something is wrong with them?  They seem to have a down attitude and it gets worse as the game progresses.  That is a prime example of ‘mindset and focus’.  For those of us that work on commission, the mind has to support your efforts.  A good dose of focus is required before you get to the office or start your commercial real estate prospecting.  A great attitude will help you greatly.  Align your thinking to the task at hand; rise to the top of the market.

  • Understand what has to be done
  • Set your priorities
  • Take action every day
  • Know what your market is and where it is located
  • Build strong relationships and keep connecting

The commercial property market will change throughout the year and sometimes for a few years at a time.  Importantly you should be focused with all of your actions, prospecting, and marketing.  Over time that will help you rise to the top of your commercial real estate market.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate prospecting, you can get them at our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Key Factors to a Commercial Real Estate Agent Presentation

In commercial property today, just about every listing will go to some form of competitive pitch or sales presentation process.  This then says that you will be up against a number of other agents in the process.  You will only have a short period of time to convince the client that you are the best agent of choice and relevant to their property needs.

There are some key factors to incorporate into your sales presentation to ensure that the client really appreciates the value that you bring to the process.  Here are some of those key factors to help you structure your next sales pitch or presentation.

  1. At the early stages of the presentation, ensure that the client can see that you totally understand the property and or their current situation.  Go through the elements of the property as you see them today, and restate to the client the focus or the requirement that they currently have.
  2. Every property will have distinct features and improvements that are relevant to a target market.  Be quite specific in establishing that target market to the client, and give them some solid recommendations relating to how you will attract the enquiry from the market.
  3. It directly follows from the previous point that the property marketing campaign should be quite specific to the listing and the prevailing market conditions.  Give the client some distinct recommendations and alternatives when it comes to property marketing.  Get away from the generic advertising and promotional campaign.  Give them something specific that they can see that is different and unique to your approach.
  4. Every client likes to be ‘special’ when it comes to engaging your agency and services.  They like to know that you are committed to them in the listing, marketing, and negotiation process.  They are three distinct stages that all have elements of engagement and specialty.
  5. You cannot achieve the levels of commitment to the client without having an exclusive listing.  Make sure the client understands how an exclusive listing works and the types of feedback and interaction they will receive.  If they still choose an open listing, then it is really just a matter of whether you really want the listing.  Open listings will detract your focus from other exclusively listed properties.  The client needs to understand that.  If they are genuine in the listing process, they will choose an exclusive listing.
  6. Any strategy involving an open listing is really a waste of time for both the client and for you.  Top agents will walk away from open listings.  You cannot control your market, the enquiry, and the property promotion when it comes to an open listing.  It is no secret that today most properties take time to sell or lease.  The commitment and the marketing effort can only be directed through an exclusive listing.
  7. When it comes to connecting with the client as part of the presentation, some elements are not negotiable.  Most particularly they are your market knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm for the property situation.  All three of these factors need to be correctly conveyed to the client so that they know that they will be making the correct choice when it comes to signing off on the listing with you and your agency.

At the end of any presentation, it is critical that you ask for the business.  Top agents always ask for the commitment from the client as part of the close of the sales pitch.  Don’t give the client an opportunity to avoid the process and seek further time to call and connect with other agents.  Ask for the business.

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Tips to Focus Your Commercial Real Estate Marketing Efforts

When it comes to the marketing of commercial property today, the focus that you create through the campaign will help you build the enquiry rate and the inspection profile.  It directly follows that a well-constructed campaign will give you a lot of leads and opportunities, regardless of the current and existing property market.

The fact of the matter is that far too many commercial properties are generically promoted and advertised.  The features of each and every property should be identified and optimized in each marketing campaign.  Those features should consistently flow through all elements of the marketing campaign.

Here are some tips to help the strategy behind your next marketing effort and property listing.

  1. What are the best days of the week to advertise commercial property locally?  To some degree, the answer will depend on the attributes of the property and the target market.  Commonly it is found that property marketing is more effective between the days of Wednesday to Saturday on a weekly basis.  The fact of the matter is that you should know what days are better for your property promotion activity.
  2. Defining the target market will help you with the layout of the advertising campaign, the features to be promoted, and the channels of media that you want to use.  In most cases, the Internet will be high on the list of marketing alternatives.  It is both convenient and economical to use the Internet as part of the campaign; to gain maximum penetration on Internet based adverts use keywords associated with the property type and location.  You can get these keywords from search engine research on a weekly or monthly basis.  In that way you will stay ahead of the enquiry trends to the search engines and utilise the correct words as part of your advertising format.  Most people enquiring regards properties for sale or for lease will go to the Internet first before they lift the telephone and talk to local property agent.  Keyword optimization will help you with your enquiry rates from each property listed on the Internet.
  3. Professional photographs are critical when it comes to property promotion.  If you want your advertisement to stand out efficiently and effectively, devote part of the vendor paid advertising campaign to professional photographs.  Professional photographers know when to take the photographs, and how to make the property features stand out.
  4. Inspection feedback to the property owner should occur after every property inspection.  This is both a conditioning process and also a communication advantage when it comes to helping the client see the trends of the local property market today, and how they will need to adjust their thoughts on price or rent as the case may be.  This naturally assumes that you are getting inspections from your advertising.  If this is not the case, have a serious look at your property promotional strategy and revisit the plan for any modifications that can occur.  There are reasons why enquiries do not come to you.  Resolve those reasons quickly and effectively at the earliest possible time in any property promotion.
  5. Test and measure every marketing campaign on a twice weekly basis.  This will normally be on a Wednesday and a Friday.  Observe the results that you get from every media channel and property advertisement.  Test and measure the layouts together with the placement of media.  In your location, some promotional processes will be more effective than others when it comes to commercial and retail property.  Make the right choices, and the enquiry will come to you regularly and directly.

When the property market is slow and tough, the marketing process becomes even more critical.  Every property listing that is exclusively promoted should be subjected to scrutiny and strategy throughout the entire campaign.  In this way you will be a top agent producing the best results from every listing on your books.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Lease Renegotiations are Fee Opportunities

In commercial real estate today, there are some significant opportunities for lease renegotiation.  Some tenants would seize the opportunity for a rental reduction or lease adjustment in exchange for some benefits back to the landlord.  This then says that you can through this process stabilise the tenancy mix, and rebalance the property for the longer lease term.

When the business community is under some pressure in regards to trade or occupancy, the lowering of the rental over the short term is a satisfactory exchange for other lease terms and conditions that will have benefit for the landlord.  The pressures on tenants and businesses today will not remain so forever.  A lower rental for 12 months can give you tenant stability through difficult times, whilst preparing the property for greater capital gain or future sale.  This is what lease strategy is all about and these are the ideas that we can give our clients to help them with tenant and lease optimisation.

Lease renegotiation opportunities are normally structured into a tenant retention plan.  That tenant retention plan would identify the tenants that are critical to the future of the property, and then seek to retain these tenants for the long term.  Things should be done to assist them to remain in occupancy conveniently and economically.  The landlord therefore benefits by tenant and rental stability.  There is however the need to achieve a tradeoff and benefit for the landlord if you are to give the tenant a benefit today.

Here are some ideas that can apply to the landlord benefit process.  This is assuming that you achieve or provide an adjusted lower rental for the tenants in occupancy.

  1. Get the tenant to exercise their option in the property early.  By exercising the option, the landlord knows that the tenant will remain in occupancy for the longer term.  That is the base benefit.
  2. You can adjust the terms of the existing lease so that the prevailing make good conditions are more beneficial to the landlord at the end of the lease term.  You can obligate the tenant to undertake further renovation works if they choose to leave the premises at the end of lease.  This then prepares the premises for alternative occupancy with a new tenant, at a lower cost to the landlord.
  3. Any lower rental today, can prepare the tenant for a higher rental at some stage in the future.  This assumes that the business can be seen to be successful in coming years and months.  The lower rental today provides the tenant with breathing space for generating income and repositioning their business. Over time they can likely achieve a better ability to pay the rent.
  4. Any longer lease term provided to the tenant today should include a renovation requirement.  They can be obligated to renovate the premises in a particular way at a certain time.  Normally leased premises require renovation every five years.  That renovation can include painting, carpeting, and cosmetic upgrades.  A suitable agreement can be struck with the tenant and appropriately documented as part of an agreement for a lower rental today.

It is in property markets like this where we can be assisting the landlords to reposition their property and stabilize the tenancy mix.  That is the high value of experience and knowledge in commercial and retail real estate that we can apply to help our clients at this time.

 

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Commercial Property Agents – Prosposal and Presentation Strategies You Must Use

In commercial real estate, it is frequently necessary to create and submit proposals for the sale and lease of properties.  Every property owner or potential client will have special needs and conditions to feed into the proposal structure.  That being said, the proposal to sell or lease a commercial property should be quite specific and not generic.

Generic proposals are no more than an advertising document.  They rarely win the business.  Clients and property owners today require proposals that are quite specific to the trends of the current market and the needs of the particular property.  Your competitors will be on the mark to attract the business, so your proposal must be very good in all respects.

Top commercial agents prepare proposals that are unique and special when it comes to resolving the particular property challenge of the client.  Here are some tips to help the process.

  1. At the front of every proposal document, there should be an executive summary that clearly brings all the critical elements together in one short page of dot points.  Simplicity is the key to converting any proposal to a successful transaction or listing appointment.
  2. In most cases, a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should be relatively short and specific.  Bulky documents are to be discouraged.  In the case of ordinary properties, most proposals will only need to be about 15 to 20 pages in length.  That being said, it is interesting to note that many agents will create bulky documents of double that size simply to talk about generic property trends and their relevance as a local agent.  The key to winning any proposal is to be specific in what you say and give solutions based with clear recommendations.  At every opportunity, talk about the property and the solutions that are available.
  3. The proposal should specifically talk to the local property market today and the trends that are clear and apparent.  Tell the client how those trends will have impact on the property marketing process and negotiation.  This will have significant benefit at a later time when any potential prospect has been identified and commences negotiation on the property.
  4. In every proposal document, it is wise to clearly restate the client’s requirements of sale or lease so that any misunderstandings are removed from the presentation or pitch.  This then aligns the agent to the intentions of the client and the requirements of the property.  Clarity is important.
  5. The target market for the property should be defined and quantified.  That target market will be the focus of the marketing campaign to be described in the document.  The particular target market should be summarised in both the levels of current enquiry and types of enquiry.  The particular property will have property improvements that may suit the marketing campaign and the target market.  Those improvements should be featured as part of the marketing campaign.
  6. The marketing campaign that is documented in the proposal should have two or three alternatives and budgets.  That will allow the client to formulate a decision based on expenditure and the recommendations of the agent.  Invariably when the client has a choice regards marketing costs, they will usually choose the middle ground in each case.
  7. Every proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should have a fee base that is competitive but not discounted.  When it comes to selling or leasing commercial property, fees should be one of the last considerations when it comes to choice of agency.  An experienced and qualified agent will add far more value to the sale or lease process than any discount that is offered as part of the proposal or sales pitch process.  Top agents sell their skills and relevance as specialists to solve the concerns of the client.  When this is done well, the requirements for any discount are well forgotten by the client.
  8. In some respects, and with certain large or special properties, it will be necessary to clearly define the experience of selected staff in the marketing of the property.  This becomes quite important when you consider marketing larger and complex investment properties.  Top agents have more experience and will usually feed that experience into every proposal document.
  9. As part of every proposal, it is wise to give the client some graphical display relating to the time line of sale or lease.  There are many stages to move through before the property will achieve a successful outcome.  Many clients do not understand those stages and the importance of them.  When undertaken correctly, this graph or graphical display can show the client the clear relevance of your people and your agency in solving of the property pain.

So these are some of the main items that can apply in the creation of a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property.  You can add to these items based on locational factors and particular important issues attributable to the property.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Cold Calling Frustration

Many commercial real estate agents find the cold calling process very frustrating.  They generally have a lot of reluctance to the entire concept and will avoid it at every opportunity.  The fact of the matter is that cold calling really works; it does however require personal skill and correct focus.

If you can develop a cold calling process that works for you as a commercial agent, you will find more prospects and better quality listings in the local area.  Generally you will find them faster and more effectively than the competitors and other agents in your area.  Isn’t that what the industry is all about?

To beat the cold call reluctance problem, there are a number of key factors to help you get the system underway.  Here are some tips to help you establish your prospecting model using the telephone:

  1. Perhaps the biggest single issue to get under control is that of creating a new habit.  The cold calling process has to be a new habit in your daily diary.  After many years of doing business in a different way, you now need to change processes to ensure that cold call prospecting features in your business system.  This single factor can take some weeks to achieve.  Habits take time to modify and improve.
  2. The successful prospecting process is actually built on a conversation; it should not be built on the pitch.  There is no point in pitching for something unless you know there is a need.  Given that most calls made will be to people who have not spoken to before, you will really not know if they have a need or a requirement in commercial real estate.  Questions are the key to creating a conversation.  The conversation is the key to understanding future opportunity.
  3. Many salespeople make the common error of driving the conversation from the first point of contact and talking about what they do.  The conversation, if you can call it that, quickly becomes single sided.  The people that you are approaching over the telephone soon understand that they are being subjected to a poorly skilled salesperson.  The general result is that the call will be terminated within the first minute.  The successful mindset of the call contact concept is that of questioning to see if the other person has a requirement.
  4. Some of the best agents are great conversationalists.  They don’t pitch.  They know that the conversation correctly formulated, will open the door for future opportunity.
  5. Define your territory and property type so you can focus your efforts in prospecting.  When you do this, you methodically move through the streets and the businesses to identify commercial real estate opportunity and intentions.  Some of the people you talk to will be tenants in occupation, whilst other people may own the property outright.  Either way you can help them at the right time.

Generally speaking, the prospecting process is not that hard.  It is just a mindset that holds back salespeople from attempting the skill development required.  Challenge yourself, change your mindset, and improve your client contact system.

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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?

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Technology Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

Technology in commercial real estate today can be an advantage but also a weakness.  There are so many tools for us to use and yet so many of them are poorly used.  Any real estate agency can then be improved if technology is correctly applied across the business.  Gone are the days of the commercial real estate salesperson keeping their records and contacts in the back of their diary.

Typically the technology systems and tools available to us today will include:

  • Mobile telephones
  • SMS Technology
  • Cloud based database systems
  • Email auto responders
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Social media
  • Websites

So the list can go on and will change from time to time as new technology is developed and implemented.  It is important that the tools we use are not a cheap substitute for a face to face connection and meeting.

Commercial real estate sales and leasing is really built around personal relationships and ongoing contact with sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords.  Rarely will you win a new business opportunity with someone that you have not met before.

So how do you find these prospects in your local area?  Diligent hard work and good research tools will get you there.  That being said, there is no easy shortcut when it comes to building your list of prospects and clients.  Identify the key people in your marketplace and the important properties of good quality.  When you list and sell and lease quality listings, the enquiry will come to you in a major way.  That is how top agents build their market share and consistently maintain that level over time; they start from a base of quality listings on an exclusive basis.

So let’s go back to the issue of technology.  It is remarkable how so many salespeople overlook the diligence and accuracy required for the maintenance of a database.  There is no point in having a database unless the information is up to date and well maintained.  Consider the following questions:

  1. Who will be entering the data into the database at the end of each day?
  2. How will the data be reviewed and upgraded?
  3. Who will be extracting the leads and opportunities from the database over time?
  4. Who will get the benefit of the lead or the opportunity from the database?
  5. Who are owns the information inside the database?  This is particularly relevant when it comes to the termination of employment of particular salespeople.

A good database system that is accurate and up to date will allow you to record the necessary telephone numbers and E mail contacts for all qualified prospects.  Someone in your office will need to check the integrity of that information over time and keep it up to date.  It is very common to come across a real estate agency with a huge number of contacts that are really so old that they are irrelevant.  It is quite effective to have one central person placed in charge of the database implementation system.  Salespeople should be filling the system at the end of each day with the results from each and every telephone call and meeting.  In this way the customer base for the business will grow and the potential market year similarly.

When a CRM System or database is well maintained, you can integrate into it layers of different contact including e-mail, newsletters, auto responders, social media, and website feeds.  That being said, shortcuts should not be taken when it comes to making the ordinary telephone calls, prospecting, and face to face meetings.  Nothing will replace the advantage of getting together with the client and building a relationship over time.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate agency practice, you can get them in our free Newsletter.

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Time Management Skills for Commercial Property Agents

One of the biggest problems in commercial real estate agency is getting organised for your business day and keeping to your time management plan.  So many things happen every day as an agent that can easily distract you; distraction leads you down a path that generally wastes your time.

Your commission and your quality listings depend entirely upon your ability to stick to the essential tasks that will bring you results.  Clarity is required to determine the key issues that make all the difference in your business.

Lots of people will want part of your business day.  They include:

  • Clients need to be kept up to date
  • Prospects will require networking
  • People calling from your advertising and marketing efforts
  • Inspecting new properties and new listings with buyers and tenants
  • The boss will want to call meetings with the team
  • Other Agents, etc

Some of these people are more or less important than others.  You can make the assumptions and set the priorities.  The most successful agents and top agents that I have worked with will protect their time allocations, and their time commitments with both themselves and other people.

There are just three or four things that will make all the difference in your career and real estate business.  Those three or four things need to be done every day.  Top agents will do those things to stay on top of their market and maximize the opportunities that are available.

Here are some strategies to help you with your business activities and time management procedures:

  1. Create a list of things to do every day.  Prioritise those things into the essential tasks and the general tasks.  The essential tasks should be done every day without fail.  One of those tasks will be prospecting with new people.
  2. To help you in this process, you can create a mind map of critical issues that relate to your agency and your activities.  On most days, you will only ever achieve four or five things of great importance.  The rest of the time will be taken up with general issues and general problems.  Do not confuse the issues of great importance with general problems.  It is far too easy to get distracted and you are the only person that can make the decision regards your actions and tasks.
  3. Plan your day the night before so that you are well organized before you reach the office.  When you reach your workspace or desk, you should already have a list of things to take you into the essential tasks and the critical issues.
  4. Top agents tend to use a focusing system on the essential tasks for the business day.  You can do this with a simple spread sheet and a tick box process.  Every day you simply pick up the spreadsheet and move through the critical items are required to be actioned.  You do this before anything else.

The commercial real estate industry offers significant opportunity for organised and active salespeople.  Your degree of success will depend upon your ability to focus on the critical issues that are most important to your commissions and listings.

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How to Create a CRM Database in Commercial Property Agency Today

In today’s marketplace the Real Estate  Agent needs to be technologically supported as both an individual and an  office.  Good database software is the  only way to support ongoing customer relationship management and control your  accounting processes.

Whether your office is focusing on property  Sales, Leasing, or Property Management, you will need database software to  support your activities.  If you  diversify further into the disciplines of business sales or commercial, the  needs of your database software will need to be further enhanced to satisfy the  unique conditions and activities of those transaction types.

Before we go further with this topic, we  will say that you need to be very comfortable with using computers as regular  business tools for your business today.   The more that you do this and the more effective you are at it will be  critical to your future real estate success.

So what Database is Best?

Essentially there is an array of database  software alternatives available.  These  can be generally acquired through retail outlets or by purchasing online.  Most of these generically available products  are very good software packages but have not been specially shaped for the Real  Estate industry.

This then means that you must spend some  time on the software to shape it to your particular needs.  In most cases this will not be a problem for  the person familiar with software technology and computers.  If however this is an issue for you, then  you’ll need to seek expert assistance from a consultant to install and shape  the software for you.

A good choice of software for your database  will save you time and help you keep on top of the opportunities.  This means more clients and commission.

You will need software that tracks the  prospect and the series of interactions that you have had with them.  The software will, at the most basic end of  the usage spectrum, also need to:

  • Mail merge to letters and  emails
  • Integrate with ‘Microsoft  Outlook’ or your email client
  • Integrate with your mobile  phone synchronization
  • Create diary recalls of  critical issues and the next contact event
  • Contact detail
  • Property detail
  • Recording of all correspondence
  • Allow you to classify the  prospect to the type of property they want or have, and their capabilities and  needs in that regard
  • Allow you to make notes of  conversations and meetings with the person
  • Flag urgent and critical issues  of response or opportunity