Finding Robust Market Conditions in Commercial Real Estate

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:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

Energize Your Commercial Property Presentations

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Planning Your Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Has These Advantages

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Dont Be Hard Pressed for Listings this Year

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Great Opportunity for Commercial Real Estate Agents in this Property Market Today

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.