The commercial real estate market can be very competitive at the best of times. Many agents and brokers will be chasing the same listing and attempting to influence the client towards their marketing solution and property package. For this reason you may only have one chance to attract new business and the client to your brokerage. Your sales pitch or presentation needs to be of the highest quality.
So here are five effective ways to improve the client connection and potentially win the listing. Compare these strategies to what you are doing currently. Small improvements can bring big results.
- Clients today know when they are talking to a top agent that dominates the market segment or the location. Every presentation or sales pitch should be designed around those facts. If you miss out on a listing, it can largely be due to the fact that you have not sufficiently convinced the client of your relevance for the property and their marketing situation. A client or a prospective client will not turn their back on the recommendations of a top agent. It really doesn’t matter what relationships exist between the client and your competitors. If you specifically sell your marketing package at a high level, the relevance and the recommendations are hard for the client to avoid or overlook.
- When you present to the client, be totally absorbed in the strategies recommended and the requirements of the client. Every sales or leasing situation can be quite unique. Drill down into the facts of price and rent as the case may be. If you provide any recommendation around the price or the rental, show clear market evidence to support those facts. Also comment regards the best way forward for the client given the current market conditions.
- Show the client exactly what you will be doing to help them with their property challenge. Also show them the stages required to move ahead. You can do that through a simple Gantt chart that itemizes the marketing preparation, marketing campaign, inspection strategy, and negotiation approach. The visual approach of a Gantt chart will help you significantly with any sales pitch or presentation for the listing.
- When any of your competitors put a signboard on a property in your local area, canvass the surrounding property owners and business proprietors. It has been proven many times over that some nearby property investors and business owners are likely to compete when it comes to dealing with their property challenges. You can be the agent or broker to help them with the process of competing; you can list their property. The momentum gained from the nearby competitors listing will give you leverage in packaging your property listing. You can adjust your methods of sale or lease accordingly, together with the necessary pricing package to attract better levels of enquiry.
- Put yourself into the promotion of any exclusive listing. Any exclusive listing should be secured for a reasonable period of time together with vendor paid marketing. As part of that process, you can then commit to the marketing effort by canvassing local business owners and property investors. It directly follows that any quality property listing will give you many reasons to talk to others.
The commercial real estate brokerage process doesn’t need to be hard or difficult. It does however need to be simplified and direct. Get involved with your clients and your property listings so that you can attract more enquiries and create more inspections. Over time those two factors will help you build market share and potentially dominate your market.
When it comes to selling or leasing any commercial, industrial, or retail property, the more specific that you are to the location and property the easier it is to attract attention and negotiate. To do something with this you need property specific data. It is very difficult for the negotiating party to refute or dispute valid information from the local market.
So, the message here is quite clear that you will need to create and maintain relevant property information that you can use in any negotiation locally. Here are some ideas to help you with that:
- Track the activity of prices within your property speciality. The prices can be related to land, improvements, and location. Take those numbers and trend them over a period of time using a simple line or bar graph. The visual approach can be very powerful when it comes to any client or prospect presentation.
- When it comes to selling any property, there will be a preferable method of sale. That sale method will be based on industry results and activity, the property type, and demand. Select the best preferable method of sale when it comes to every property presentation and sales pitch. Ensure that the client clearly understands your reasons for that particular choice. Use graphs and charts to show them how one method of sale is proving to be more successful than others.
- Given the previous point, you can and should track the levels of rental that apply within the property type. Rental variations can be and usually are a bit more challenging from the analysis point of view. You will need to address and assess the rental types such as gross rental, net rental, incentives, and market rentals. Understand what is leasing and for what reason. Business sentiment in the local area and your town or city will have a lot to do with leasing enquiry and lease conversions. What types of leases are being negotiated today and for what reason?
- Understand the supply and demand for investment property and business premises. To track that activity you can monitor the new planning approvals being processed at your municipal council. Also look for any changes to property zoning and property use.
- The supply of vacant land will have an impact on the creation of new property developments. New property developments are considered when the population and the business demographic are within a growth phase. In some towns and cities, the supply of vacant land is restricted. On that basis a change of property use and redevelopment will be more likely. Staying close contact with property developers and the business community to identify any future needs and changes within property demand.
The property promotion process is quite specific if you want to win an exclusive listing. You can show the client quite clearly how specific that is when it comes to their property challenge with any sale or leasing. Use local market information and comparable evidence through charts, graphs, and historic trends to help prove your point.
When you specialise within a property type, this information display is quite important. The specific approach to the property type in any listing presentation will help you greatly in conversions.
In commercial real estate brokerage today, every property and every listing can present unique challenges when it comes to the listing presentation. In every case you will need to understand the property market, the client, and the listing so that you can match your recommendations to the clients required outcomes in selling or leasing the property.
A persuasive presentation is one that addresses the concerns of the client in a proactive and relevant way. To achieve that, here are some recommendations that you can adopt or merge into your commercial real estate sales pitch strategy:
- Determine whether the property and the client are correctly matched to the levels of enquiry coming into your brokerage today for that property type. Is the property so unique that it will have limited inbound enquiry? If that is the case, you will need to choose the right method of sale or lease for the best possible outcome. The duration of the exclusive listing will also need to be extended to support the special and diverse marketing process. It is not unusual for unique properties to be on the market for many months and in some cases over 12 months. To devote the right focus to that type of listing, exclusivity is required in such cases.
- Prepare and structure your proposal following a complete and comprehensive review of the property and the market place. As part of that, understand the competing properties, the prices and rentals currently being achieved, and the levels of inbound enquiry.
- Present your recommendations to the client based on their needs in price, rental, timing, and outcome.
- Review the property for any weaknesses that will need to be addressed prior to the commencement of the marketing campaign. In the case of investment properties, make sure that any weaknesses in the tenancy mix or existing lease documentation are addressed prior to commencement of the promotions.
- Check out the cash flow from an investment property with due regard for passing income, expenditure management, outgoings, and net income. If the property is to be resold back into the investment market, the checks and balances need to be correct when it comes to investment performance.
- Property performance will need to be supported by proof and evidence. You will need to ensure that all the elements of property activity, performance, and structure are available for scrutiny and due diligence.
- Talk to the customer at their level of understanding. Lead them through the recommendations required for a property of that type in today’s market conditions. Give reasons for your recommendations and evidence from the local market.
It is not hard to win a listing in today’s market providing you are correctly matching your listing and marketing recommendations to the property, the client, and the local area. Local market knowledge and professional skill will help you complete and convert more commercial real estate listings over time.
In commercial real estate agency, your sales pitch and presentation should be of the highest quality. It should be practiced regularly on different property types and in different property situations so you can attract the right listings to your agency.
Here are some facts to remember:
- Quality property listings will attract a greater level of direct enquiry from the market, and therefore you will have more inspections to work with.
- Average listings take a lot longer to move due to the lack of enquiry or poor interest from the market.
Given these facts, your presentation has to attract and convert the best listings. That’s how top agents get the results from the market; they focus on listing quality before anything else. Even if a quality listing is overpriced, it will still attract greater enquiry and that will give you something to work with for the client.
Most of the listings and clients that you target will be chased by other agents locally. Rarely will you have the opportunity to pitch for a listing entirely on your own. Your sales pitch needs to be well planned and staged. Here are some ideas to help you do that:
- First impressions are really important. Take pride in how you dress, appear and carry yourself when meeting a commercial real estate client or prospect for the first time. It takes about 1 minute for a person to assess you visually and form an opinion on your relevance. The commercial real estate industry is one of professionalism and on that basis a ‘business image’ is required.
- Be aware of the age and experience level of the people that you are connecting or working with; they may be far more experienced in business than you are. They may have expectations that are high and demanding.
- The client expects you to be skilful in the issues that they want resolved. On that basis you should have a ‘professional selling attitude’ that they appreciate and know will help with their property challenge. Confidence should show in what you say and do.
- Practice your dialogue and speech so you are ready to show confidence in every client or prospect situation. If this is difficult for you now, make ‘role playing’ a part of your weekly sales meeting. Create a quality in what you say and how you do it. Let the client see that you can handle any property negotiation or debate professionally. Master the right words for the right situation.
- Ask the right questions in any contact situation. It helps if you have a checklist relative to your property type and marketing situation.
- Show that you have a real knowledge of the property situation and task ahead for the client. Give them some confidence that you are indeed the ‘real deal’ when it comes to moving through their property challenge.
Your presentation or sales pitch in commercial real estate will get a lot easier when you follow these simple and yet effective rules.
In commercial real estate agency, the sales pitch and presentation process is something that will hopefully occur quite frequently for you. On that basis you need to be ready to present your ideas and strategies at any time and on short notice. You never know when a client or prospect will want to talk to you about the market or the listing alternatives available when it comes to commercial real estate sales or leasing.
As a general rule, every agent should carry a complete and comprehensive marketing folder at all times with examples of property marketing solutions; those solutions should apply to leasing, sales, and property management.
Watch your competitors
In most property presentations situations today, you will be up against a number of other agents all seeking to attract the same listing into their agency. Those other agents will be using a variety of enticements and discounts.
It should be said that the provision of discounts to a client is not a good way to win a listing. Agents that cut corners on fees will generally cut corners on service. Given that the client wants a result with their property, cutting corners really doesn’t work. Adjust your pitch to suit that message.
You should win the listing based on your experience and relevance to the property type and the client. Your strategies and marketing solutions should be so comprehensive and relevant that the client can see no other alternative but to give you an exclusive listing. Build your presentation on that logic.
Discounts don’t work
The clients seeking a discount should be encouraged to understand the commerce of the deal and the marketing effort required by you as the agent. A few hundred dollars saved in commission is nothing compared to the better price that you can achieve for the client with a dedicated campaign that is personally conducted.
It is the quality of your presentation and pitching process that will help the client understand exactly what you are going to do for their property and its challenges. Your services need to be superior to that of the competitors locally. Be relevant and be different. Show the client why they need you.
Here are some tips to help you refine your presentation strategy when it comes to commercial and retail property.
- Check out all the competing properties in the local area so you can advise the client as to how the listing needs to be comprehensively marketed.
- The first four weeks of any marketing campaign are the most important. During this time you will need to connect with the defined target audience and create as many inspections as possible. Structure your marketing recommendations accordingly.
- Be aware of the current market conditions relative to the property type, and the seasonal sales or leasing pressures that can influence the starting of the marketing campaign. If you have a quality property to release to the market, it may pay you to consider the ideal time frames to do that.
- Use some sort of graphical display to illustrate to the client how you will move the listing forward. A Gantt graphing process is good for this application. You can show the client exactly how things are done and where those things will head over the coming weeks.
- As a general rule, every property should be exclusively listed. In that way you can create the correct amount of momentum, optimize the inspections, and negotiate directly with the client knowing all of the facts that are involved.
- Vendor paid marketing should be part of the exclusive listing process. Get quality photographs taken of the property to feature in all the marketing material created and used. Be aware of the opportunities that each marketing method provides. The Internet should feature in every campaign. In the first instance, it is the visual side of marketing that will attract more enquiry so use the best photographs wherever possible as part of your marketing effort.
When it comes to pitching for the commercial property listing, your strategies and ideas need to be well planned and optimized for the prevailing conditions and the property. Help the client see why your strategies are so important.
In commercial real estate today, there is no need to complicate the sales pitch or presentation for the listing. Keep things simple in all respects. That being said you still need a plan to get the message through.
Most property owners and investors want the clear facts and solid recommendations that can help them with the property challenge. That is why generic pitches are a total waste of time. A full 95% of the presentation should be about the property and the client as you know it. The other 5% can be about your business and the relevance you bring to the listing.
To create a presentation about the property at such a high level you really do need to know the local property market and the trends over recent time. You should also know the subject property and the strengths and weaknesses of the improvements and location as you see them.
Here is a summary of approach to plan your presentation. Given the property type and the needs of the client, structure your presentation around the base model of:
- Tell them briefly who you are and why you are there (only do this if they do not know much about you and keep it very short)
- Tell them about the facts that you will be covering and why (overview only)
- Give them the facts. Tell them about the key issues in clear and concise points (substantial and detailed information)
- Give them relevant recommendations and alternatives (people like to have choices) relating to the previous point.
- Tell them what you have told them and summarise it (short summary)
- Ask for the business (be prepared for the answers you could get!)
As you move through these stages the client will give you an indication of their focus and concerns through questions and comments. When you can see what they are concerned about you can open up on the relevant points. Local property market knowledge can help you here.
The best listing pitch today needs to take into account the challenges of the property market locally and then regionally. Understand the pressures that people are operating under and then adjust your skills and knowledge around those facts.
It takes time to list, promote, negotiate, and close on a commercial or retail property. The business owners and the property investors that we work with are quick to enquire but slow to make a decision. That is why you need to be at the top of your game to encourage the enquiry momentum and property transaction.
Most clients and prospects in commercial and retail real estate want to make a decision, but they will only do so when the right facts and strategies are provided to them. If you fail on a listing or sales pitch, it is because you have not fully aligned yourself and your pitch to the client or prospect; that is the simple fact.