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)
As a general rule in commercial real estate brokerage, every proposal that you put together should be benefit focused on the client. Show the client exactly how they will benefit from using your comprehensive services as a marketing specialist.
Use a Gantt chart to show the client the stages of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. This illustrative charting method is very effective when it comes to helping the client through a comprehensive and complex marketing process. It can also be a major point of difference in your proposal layout.
In today’s property market, the generic listing and marketing approach really doesn’t work. The competition in the marketplace is significant from other listings, and the experience and expertise of your competing agents and brokers will also place pressures on your listing conversions. Give the client some real reasons to choose you as the top agent of choice to solve their property pain.
It is worthwhile remembering that the client doesn’t want to be an experiment in marketing. They want their property to achieve the best levels of enquiry in the most effective and direct way. You hold the keys to the process and your proposal will need to clearly outline the strategies and recommendations.
Here are some tips to help you with constructing and submitting a proposal to sell or lease a commercial property today:
- Stand out as uniquely qualified to handle the property type in the town or city. You will need some testimonials and market evidence to help the client understand those situations and recommendations.
- Review the property for the strengths and weaknesses that will have an impact on the marketing campaign. The weaknesses may need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion. The strengths can be helpful when it comes to advertising layout and points of attraction.
- Determine the target market that will have a keen interest in the property type. Build your marketing campaign around the target market using specific points of difference and promotional processes that clearly tap into the target audience. Help the client understand those strategies and the reasons you are making the recommendations.
- Show the client how they will clearly benefit from utilizing your brokerage services and market coverage. Use your database as a point of difference when it comes to creating enquiry and spreading the message about the property. Create a shortlist of buyers or tenants as the case may be from the database; tell the client how you will be connecting into the short list of qualified parties as a priority as soon as the property is released to the market.
The focus of your proposal should be to attract the correct level of inquiry and generate inspections as soon as possible. When you get the inspections underway, you have something to work with and can then give the client feedback from those inspections.
In commercial real estate agency it is wise to plan your prospecting efforts and actions. On an average working day many different things will put pressure on your prospecting. Unfortunately many agents will drop the prospecting activity for the slightest reason. Over time that single choice will have a major impact on the way they grow their business and market share.
So you have some choices here:
- You can grow your real estate business and market share through directed effort each day on a client, property, and street by street basis, or
- You can randomly make calls and contacts if and when time permits.
The comfort zone is a big challenge for many agents and it will slow their listing chances and commissions given half a chance. When time gets tough, keep prospecting and stick to your plan.
To solve all of these issues it is best to have the prospecting plan that gets you in front of more property investors and business owners. It has to be specific and relevant to your property market and sales or leasing territory.
Not everyone that you talk to will want to do business with you or even discuss property issues; that is quite OK as you really should not waste you valuable time on people that do not have a need or and interest. Talk to more people and build your skill in doing so. Over time that one single fact will help you in so many ways to become a top real estate agent.
Many new brokers and agents to the industry struggle with finding clients and prospects to talk to as part of prospecting. The soon know that growing market share and commissions depends on one thing only and that is prospecting; when they get focused on it they also soon know that prospecting is a complex and dedicated process.
Here is a prospecting plan for you. Expect it to be a challenge to your diary and daily activities.
- Get to know the streets and businesses in your primary sales and leasing territory. On a street by street basis, identify the property owners and the businesses in occupancy. Talk to both. Find out what they are doing in property now and in the future.
- Review the other listings in the area that are listed with other agents. Use those listings as reasons to talk to other property owners and businesses in the same street and general location.
- Check out the old sale records for your region. Find those property owners that purchased property about 3 or 4 years ago. On average those property owners are going to be the next to come back into the market in some form or another. Connect with them for that process.
- Every property listing that you have on your books will be an excuse to talk to other businesses and investors. Use your quality listings in this way. Over time your current listings will give you more leads and information to act on.
- Walk the streets in your property precinct. You will find and see information that you can work with. Take plenty of business cards with you to leave at the reception desks, and with the business owners that you see or drop into.
- Use the telephone to make plenty of cold and warm calls to your market and business owners. Track your progress and your calls with a good database.
Prospecting in commercial real estate does not need to be hard but it does need to be systemised. In that way you can steadily improve your market share.
You can get more commercial real estate training tips in our Newsletter right here.
It is a common event that some agents will be hard pressed for commercial real estate listings during a working year. The problem develops when you are not prospecting correctly or enough.
The knee-jerk reaction is to go and get more listings and most particularly anything that you can find. That is a big error; quality is the key to the process. If you want to be a top agent, you must have quality stock. Don’t waste your time on low quality listings.
Here are some tips to help you with your listings and the prospecting process for them:
- It doesn’t really matter that you have only a few listings. What matters is the quality of those listings. Quality can be many things but it usually relates to price, rent, location, availability, and improvements.
- I have seen many if not most top agents earn more money from fewer transactions each year. This means that they are very selective to what they work on and when.
- Look at the cycle of the property market in your area. Most markets will have a pattern to them. Commercial and retail real estate will usually cycle in and out of the market every 5 to 7 years. This is because the property investor or property owner needs to change. This then says that you should identify those properties that were bought about 4 years ago. They will be the next properties to come back into the market.
- Every time a competing agent puts a signboard on a listed property, use that listing as the chance to talk to nearby businesses and property owners. Those nearby people may be seeking to compete with the other agents listing. You are best placed to help them.
- The property market today will have trends when it comes to property choice. As you advertise and promote more local property you will soon see what properties are desirable. Selective prospecting will then be a priority.
Many times I have had agents ask me about best ways to get the details of property owners and make contact with them. There are no easy short cuts to the process. The best way to prospect is to consistently make it a part of your daily diary. Two or three hours are what is required. When you devote the time you will get momentum and that will eventually bring results your way.
You can get more tips for listing commercial real estate in our commercial real estate agent newsletter right here.
The commercial real estate market of today has some challenges to deal with. In most cases it is a slow market or there is an abundance of unsold properties, and or vacant premises for lease.
The property market doesn’t disappear; it just changes. That change factor is what we as commercial real estate agents can help with. We become the ‘agents of change’ and can provide the right solutions for property investors, business owners, and tenants. People need our help in many different ways.
If you are finding that things are a bit tough at the moment for you as a Real Estate Agent, have a look at the way in which you are doing things. Today you need a ‘toolbox’ of solutions to help the clients and prospects in today’s property market.
Creativity and relevance are the two facts to aim for here. Are you creative in marketing your properties for sale or lease? Are you relevant as a top agent in this type of property market? Generic agents struggle in this type of market because they do not have the ideas and strategies active to solve property problems for clients.
So let’s give you some ideas to put into your agent toolbox for commercial real estate sales and leasing.
- Have all the market facts and information at your fingertips for the particular property type and deal that needs to be done. You cannot change the client’s perception without the right information.
- Check out all the competing properties locally before you meet with your client. Be very familiar with prices and rents that are being asked. Time on market assessments will also be of value in helping the client see what is going on today.
- Have stories of success with other local properties and listings that you can share. Most clients will listen to the experiences of other properties and clients.
- Have alternatives for the client to choose from. When alternatives are available, the decision to be made is less difficult. Most clients will choose the ‘middle ground’ alternative.
- When you list any property, set the rents and prices for today’s market. The client’s perspective on price or rent should be challenged if it is too unrealistic. You do not want to waste your time or theirs in the listing process.
- Provide the solutions that the market needs including personal marketing systems that will allow you to take the listing to the right people in your database and the right local property owners.
Help the parties make decisions. In many respects our clients and prospects are just looking for the right agent that can solve their issues quickly and effectively.
When it comes to commercial real estate sales and leasing, you really do need to consolidate your territory around you as the agent of choice. In most cases you will have many other agents in the same patch chasing the same listings. This then says that you should have total focus on your marketing and prospecting efforts.
Given the law of averages that applies to sales people today, most of your competitors will be fairly ordinary and underperforming when it comes to prospecting and territory building. Most commercial real estate agents lack a consistent and relevant plan of attack when it comes to building the local territory and market penetration. I guess they would say that they have too many other things to do.
This then says that systemized agents can consolidate their market faster and more effectively than their competitors. Whilst it is easy to say, is difficult to do; difficult in the sense that personal commitment is required on a daily basis to a plan of self-promotion and client contact.
You cannot list a property if the decision makers do not know who you are.
If the next year is important to you when it comes to quality of listings and growth of commissions, it is really important for you to now formulate your plan of attack when it comes to the listing territory that you control.
Here are some ideas to help you consolidate your market share and grow your listing opportunities.
- When one of your competing agents puts a signboard on a property, talk to all the adjacent property owners and business proprietors. It is quite likely that those adjacent property owners or business people may like to compete with the existing listing nearby. Whilst the competing agent should have already spoken to those groups, it is quite likely that they have not. With a little bit of effort, you can open the door of opportunity around all of the other agent’s listings in your area.
- Check out the history of property sales in the area over the last 7 to 10 years. The people that purchased property approximately four years ago and beyond are those people that are likely to again soon act when it comes to property sales and or leasing. Determine that group of people and establish contact in an ongoing and relevant way. Consistent regular contact will help you brand yourself as a relevant agent in the local property market.
- When you take a property or listing to the market, contact all of the local business proprietors personally together with all of the property investors. This personal marketing process will open the door on many other opportunities and leads. You need to get your name and face in front of more people to grow your market share.
- Every successful sale or lease transaction should be communicated into the local area personally and directly. This means placing telephone calls and letters to the right people and the business owners. When you create a successful transaction, it can help you consolidate your brand as a top agent.
Most of the business people that purchase and lease property today are locally based. They know the local area, and they also know what their clients require as to access and property type.
Keep your personal marketing program specific to a defined territory and property type. This will help consolidate your database and your local market knowledge.
You can get a lot more tips and ideas in our Agents Newsletter right here.
When it comes to your career in commercial real estate agency, you will sometimes feel the pressure of the market and the industry. It is very easy to panic when you have no listings and or commission coming in. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
There is no point in panicking when it comes to your job and your market share. If you feel the pressure of listings and commissions, it is simply a matter of developing a prospecting system and actioning it every day. Over about three or four weeks, you will soon see the market turn more favorably back towards you.
One of the biggest problems in our industry is consistency on the part of the salesperson to build market share. Each and every day top agents work towards consistency and systemized prospecting; you should do the same.
Success in our industry is largely created through ongoing personal contact with the correct people that matter in our industry. Over time those relationships build listing opportunity and better market share.
If you feel some degree of panic when it comes to your market share, listings, and commissions, it is time to establish a system to take yourself forward and out of the difficulty. Momentum and action taken immediately will help you lessen the frustration and panic you currently feel.
When you start moving towards a plan, and you stick to the process, you will soon see that the magnitude of the original problem was not as great as originally thought. You are in control, and you can resolve any pressures that you currently have. It is simply a matter of modifying your choices and habits. Systemize your day; that is the secret to progress.
Here are some ideas to help you move forward with this and build a better market share over the next 12 months.
- It is extremely important that you control your time on a daily basis. You are the only person that can do this. There will be demands on you from business colleagues, clients, the agency principal, and others that can destabilize your focus on a daily basis. Keep things simple. Understand what you must do every day, and do it regardless of any pressure from others. Take control of your time. Set aside the time that is required to do the key things to take you forward. Most particularly that will be prospecting and you should do that for approximately 2 or 3 hours per day.
- Start building relationships with the right people in your industry. Have a look around the local area so you can make contact with business leaders, property owners, and property investors. In the right market you can also add property developers to the list.
- It is a well-known fact that the degree, to which you believe you are in control, is the degree to which you will be successful. Successful people are in control each and every day. They make the right choices and take the right actions. They will not waste time with the wrong people or wrong circumstances.
The commercial real estate industry is one of the most rewarding and challenging of sales careers. You can meet some great people and earn a lot of money in the process. All of that being said, you really do need to selectively choose your actions and your key tasks each and every day. This is part of an ongoing personal marketing process.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter.
Have you ever come across a commercial real estate client that thinks their property is worth more than what the market will deliver? I would say just about 90% of clients fall into that category when first taking their property to the market.
It takes a while for reality to ‘kick in’ when it comes to property marketing. Unfortunately the first few weeks of any property marketing effort are the weeks of getting results and enquiry; if the property is priced too high during that time, the client (and you) can be wasting a lot of time and money.
The important thing is that you help them understand what is really going on out there and what they can do to work within it. It should also be said that you should not take the listing onto your books if the client will not listen to reason and the price is well away from market. You do not want to be known as the agent that lists and cannot sell or lease. Results are important in this industry.
Here are some facts:
- Property prices do not go up forever. They will sometimes slow, stagnate, decline, or reverse. The property market is based on a cycle of change and churn. Our opportunity is in serving clients and helping them with that change. As agents we need to know how to handle ‘change’ and help our clients do the same. Do not struggle with the changes in the industry; work with them. Know that they are a fact of the market and then design some solutions to help your clients through those changes when it comes to selling or leasing property today.
- New properties coming on the market will command more interest than older properties. For that very reason you must watch the other property developments that are coming up. Prices and rents offered will change the ‘game plan’ when it comes to existing properties today.
- Property enquiry will change during the year between the factors of property type, value, rent, time on market, and improvements. Every listing should be matched into the prevailing market conditions.
- Selling and leasing commercial and retail property can be quite seasonal. For this reason you can pick the best marketing solutions for the time of year. Marketing of commercial and retail property today is quite important; the tools that we have available are diverse and powerful. Choose the right tools to capture and grow the property enquiry. Drop the generic marketing campaigns. Be specific in how you promote your listings and make every marketing effort count.
So, all of this says that we should make sure at the very start of our services that we correctly guide and assist the clients that we work with. When you list at the right price, your chances of better enquiry and eventual sale are much higher. The client wants help in moving their property. Tell them how you can help them do that and give solid proof as to the prevailing market conditions. Give them the confidence and the reasons to use you as the preferred agent to take the listing on.
In commercial real estate, you need a prospecting model if you want to be successful. It is a very simple message and fact, but very complex task to initiate for some (although it does not need to be so). The sooner you develop the process, the quicker you will get results in commissions and listings.
In any commercial real estate team, it is easy to see the difference between the agents that regularly prospect and those that don’t. The difference will be in quality of listing stock, and conversions to closed transactions.
Establish Your Prospecting Process
The prospecting process is unique to you yourself as an individual and property specialist, and your territory with its property types and property investors. To get your system going, it is necessary to establish some rules relative to the local area and the property types. First and foremost, you should understand the following factors:
- Set some boundaries relating to the primary area of focus in your region. You cannot be an agent for everybody and cover every location. The commercial property market is just so specialized that the knowledge required across different areas will be difficult to achieve and maintain. It is better for you to become an area specialist and perhaps even a property specialist within the area.
- With all of the available property types locally, determine the property types that will be of high demand into the future. There is no point in you specialising in something that has little activity or reducing market share.
- Get to know the history of property sales and leasing activity throughout your local region. The historic trends in property sales, rental returns, business demographics, and population growth will influence the future of your commercial real estate market. Ensure that your market has the expansion and churn factors that you require for property change over, sales, and rental. The history of property activity is in fact a timeline. The time line will show you where the opportunity will arise over coming months and years.
Within any local area, you will find groups of prospects that offer real commercial real estate opportunity on a regular basis. Getting closer to those groups will help you with further listings and further inquiry.
Most particularly the top priority groups that will feed you with listings include the following:
- Franchise business groups seeking new property positions as part of their business model will always be on the lookout for good property locations. Every franchise group will have unique requirements of property selection and occupancy. For this very reason, approach them individually and get to know their selection process and terms of acquisition. When it comes to leasing, they will usually have a standard form of lease to support their franchise business model. They will also have particular requirements of demographics relative to the local area, the population, and exposure.
- Solicitors with clients that have property challenges or needs will need your help. Whilst solicitors may know how to transact property, they usually need assistance when it comes to liquidating a property or acquiring a new one. Local market knowledge will help them greatly with this process, and you can be the source of that experience when it comes to the local property market.
- Accountants with clients and property investors that require property solutions are a always out there looking for specialised property assistance and local market knowledge. This is where you can be of high value to them as they work to resolve their client’s property problems.
Every existing property listing is an opportunity to talk to other property owners and business proprietors. In this way you can expand your market intelligence and relevance as a property specialist.
When you work in commercial real estate, you really do need a top prospecting model to help you grab market share. The faster that you do this the better it will be for your career.
The most successful top agents, still prospect every day to keep the pipeline of opportunity pointed in their direction. If you are struggling with listings, now is the time to look at your prospecting system and refine it to something that is strong, and results driven.
I like to think of prospecting and cold calling as a ‘jet powered’ process. It is a bit like preparing for an overseas trip on a large airliner. You do all of the preparation work, you then turn up at the airport; you take your seat on the plane and then prepare for the ‘push in your back’. The engines build to maximum thrust and then you power down the runway.
The analogy really works when you look at commercial real estate sales and leasing. The preparation work has to be done; without that preparation you will not take off, it’s that simple.
Some agents are still sitting on the ‘runway’ when it comes time to turn on the ‘engines’, and some have returned to the terminal. Perhaps they have thought that a more local destination may be more realistic in a taxi! Perhaps they decide to walk home!
In this industry you get back that which you put in. The results and the market share are out there to be grabbed by those salespeople that ‘push’ themselves. Develop that ‘thrust’ when it comes to moving forward.
Experience says that prospecting will take you forward in a major way in commercial real estate. Every salesperson in any location should have a prospecting model that works for them. It will be a combination of a few different things that they do quite successfully every day.
Here are some tips to help your prospecting model:
- Devote 2 hours each day to prospecting. In the first instance this can be done on the telephone as part of a systemised cold calling process. The calls produce the meetings and that’s the way to make it all happen.
- Make your prospecting a daily event that you track in numbers of calls out, meetings, listings, and inspections. Every number that you track will help you move ahead.
- Expect that some of the things that you do will be ‘dead ends’, and that is just fine. Learn from the things that did not work for you and find those things that do work for you. Importantly you should be taking forward steps every day.
If you need more listings or you want some more commissions, now is the time to look at your business and prospecting model. If you are not getting your ‘fair share’, then the answer lies ‘within. When you adjust your systems and processes you will find better outcomes are possible.