Systems in commercial real estate agency set you free and help you build your career. Without systems you will struggle as an agent. So you cannot be ‘out of control’ if you want to improve as an agent.
It is the regular things that you do every day that build habits and those habits help you build market share. Top agents are those that work in a controlled and focused way. You can do the same.
If you believe you are out of control in your career today, take a look at the things you should be doing and what you are actually doing now. Therein lies the answers that you need to resolve market share and productivity problems.
Here are some facts and systems that you can merge into your business model.
- Researching new prospects should be done every day; you need fresh people to talk to. The best time to do that research is in the evening when the pressure is off. We can all use the internet and use it as a prospecting and research tool. It is likely that you can access your database from home as well. Use remote technology to your advantage.
- Prospecting should happen at the same time each day. Given that most people get distracted as the day progresses, prospecting is best done in the morning first thing. Avoid morning meetings for this very purpose (I know this will upset some agency principals). Long morning meetings are a terrible waste of time.
- Presentations for listings should be practiced. Hopefully you are a specialist agent in a local area and property type. This will make your presentations a bit easier and you can refine them accordingly.
- Marketing campaigns should be focused on the needs of the property and the client. Given that there are so many unsold and vacant properties on the market today, it is critical that you make every marketing campaign a good one. Be specific in the way you are reaching your target audience. Get personally involved in your marketing efforts.
- Property inspections should occur only after the prospect has been qualified. Make sure that they are the right people for the property before you take them to it. Develop a system of property inspection that features the listing correctly and comprehensively. Make every property inspection great with the right preparation.
- Negotiations and client connection go hand in hand. Keep the client up to date with all property events, marketing, inspections and negotiations. An informed client is much better to work with. It is notable that top clients should be served by exclusive listings.
- Database systems should support your ongoing growth of market share. You cannot delegate that process. It is a personal one that you should take ownership of.
So now you can see how important systems are to a commercial real estate agent. If you want to succeed in this industry, take a look at your systems (or lack of them) and make them better.
In commercial real estate today, the abundance of agents in the property market means that most listing opportunities are a competition to win the business. Every agent invited to the listing presentation process with the client will put on their best pitch and strategy for the listing.
This can be good and bad, but the fact of the matter is that many agents tackle the listing process very generically; they are largely complacent and quite ordinary when it comes to target marketing and direct marketing. You can adjust your pitch and presentation to be quite specific to the property type, the client, and the location. When you do this your chances of converting the listing rise greatly.
If you are known as the local real estate agent of skill and relevance, you will get invited to more listing opportunities. All or most of your leads and listing invitations will come from your local market presence and personal networking. You cannot wait for the leads to walk into your agency; it doesn’t work that way in this market.
To be known for the right reasons is an unusual equation that requires planning on your part. Consider your local property market. What would make you the top agent? What would let people know that you are the best in a particular property type and location?
Here are some ideas to help you build your local brand:
- Signboard presence will always be the number 1 factor in territory dominance and market share. You cannot claim to be a top agent unless you have the majority of the signboards on all the top quality properties. Now I know that this is difficult to achieve, however dedicated networking and prospecting will get you there.
- The internet will bring you many leads and opportunities today. All of your property adverts on the internet should be optimised for the search engines and customers that are looking to buy or lease property. So how can you do this? Do a keyword search on your property type and local area. Do this in http://Google.com with their ‘keyword search tool’ to see what people are typing into the search engines today when it comes to looking for local property. Take a selection of those words (not too many at once), and feed them into your marketing material and online advertisements.
- Write a blog about commercial investment property in your area. The blog process will cost you virtually nothing to establish using http://wordpress.com or http://blogger.com . Over time you can fill the blog with regular market updates and property tips. Do not focus on listings, but do focus on helpful information about the local area. That simple internet marketing process will help build your personal brand well above the other competitors locally.
- Create an email newsletter that is supported by an auto responder. Put all of your clients into the system and keep in contact with them through the regular email market updates.
- Make lots of telephone calls every day. The telephone remains the most powerful personal marketing tool that we have. Use it well.
In today’s property market you really must be known as the best solution for the clients that you serve. If they can see your name and face in more locations it will help you rise to the top of your market faster.
In commercial real estate the prospects and clients that we serve are quick to judge you. They will judge you by what you do and what you say. They will also judge you on what you do not do. For this reason it pays for you to be absolutely focused on positive connection and communication with all the people in your database and your client records. Systems and relevance will help you with all your connections and leads. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
Relationships Are the Key
The main reason we win listings is through relationships. Those relationships are with the right people locally. Commercial real estate agency is built around the trust that you establish with landlords, tenants, business leaders, and property investors.
I was recently talking with a fellow agent that was just moving from residential property into commercial property. The question he raised was ‘How do you establish your database and client base?’ The fact of the matter is that a system is required to take you forward as an agent in your local territory. Without a system of client contact your career will go up and down like a roller coaster.
Don’t make things hard on yourself with listings and commissions. You have chosen a career of massive opportunity; you just need to the required focus and momentum. Start today to deal with the contacts and database that you require. Expect that the process will take time, but the results will come.
Here are some ideas to help you deal with the leads and prospect list that you require.
- Business leaders will be a good source of business in one form or another. They may own or lease the premises that they are in; either way you can help them. Business owners and leaders are easy to find given that you can use the telephone book and door knock on a few business doors. These people are the easiest to network with and make contact. You should be talking to 20 business people per day. Ask the right questions and you will get some valuable information that you can do something with.
- Property investors will come to you from other marketing efforts, or perhaps the branding and marketing of your office or agency. Get to know these people and the type of help that they require. As a local investor they like to work with agents that really know the local area and how to tap into the deals. Even in the toughest of property markets there will always be property investors looking for good quality property or tenants.
- Property developers come and go from the market based on the supply and demand for leased space and property ownership. You can get good property business from them, however they require understanding and they should not be trusted until you have their name on a valid appointment to act. Property developers are very good at using agents without paying fees. Don’t fall into the trap of service without fees.
With these three groups of people you can develop your lead generation system and market share. Prospect into these groups every day; soon you will see your leads grow and the listing opportunity open up.
You can get more tips for commercial real estate agents in our Newsletter.
Every marketing campaign today in commercial real estate should be carefully considered to help attract the right level of qualified enquiry for each property listed for sale or lease. With limited enquiry from some property types and in some locations, the enquiry that comes in off any advertising or marketing effort is really special and should be optimised into your database and ongoing contact system.
As a general rule, marketing campaigns in commercial real estate should be vendor funded. All exclusive property listings should feature a vendor funded marketing campaign of reasonable flexibility. In this way you will collect better enquiry from all quality properties that are taken to the market.
The simple fact of the property market today is that you cannot easily build your profile as an ‘expert’ off the back of low profile property marketing; think ‘big’ and promote ‘big’ (that is why you need vendor funds for the campaigns).
The top agents of the property market make sure that the local prospects and business leaders know that they are out there and available to help. Every quality property is to be promoted heavily into the local area; that is the zone or precinct that will produce further listings for you at some stage in the future. Quality marketing campaigns are noted by others and will help you build your relevance as the property expert that you are (or want to be). There is no glory in being the ‘secret agent’ of your city or town. Get your profile out at every opportunity on every quality listing marketing campaign.
Enquiry base and database
Top agents work their enquiry base extensively into the future. Any buyers or tenants that missed out on a listing, or that inspected a listing that was not suitable, should be contacted regularly into the future to ensure that any other similar property that arises can be communicated to them.
Keep the ‘doors open’ when it comes to prospects and business leaders in the local area. Systematic prospecting will help you there.
Here are some rules that can be applied with any property that is taken to the market for sale or lease:
- The campaign should be set for a period of time, and that can be 6 to 8 weeks in most cases. During that time you can reach the target audience and track the results that you get. If enquiry is slow or not reaching the targets that you expect, it pays to adjust the campaign quickly; the process of ‘test and measure’ is really important when it comes to property marketing today. Track your enquiry results.
- Look for the methods of marketing that appear to be working more than others today in your area. That says that all enquiries that come in to your office should be sourced back to the place where the person saw the property advertised or the details of such. When you ask the right questions you will get facts that can help you with other properties.
- Every property should be marketed extensively at a local level. When it comes to businesses and property investors, they tend to buy and rent the property that they understand and that is usually a property that is located in the local area.
- Competing properties will always be a factor to consider in any marketing campaign. Get details of all properties in the same location or of the same property type that could compete with your listing. It may be that your campaign has to be adjusted to suit the pressures applied by these other properties.
- Every person that you talk to and every property inspection that you take across a listed property will help you understand just what people are looking for and when they want it. These factors or requirements can change seasonally so be aware of the property enquiry situation today and how it is adjusting throughout the year. Most ‘commercial real estate marketing years’ are just 10 months in duration; the rest of the year is downtime with holidays and seasonal changes. You have 10 months each year to make your listing and commission quota; all the more reason to focus all of your efforts when the business is ‘on’.
What level of enquiry is coming in at the moment for leasing and for sales situations with your listings? What are those people looking for? How much time does it take to convert the average quality listing to an inspection and a successful transaction? Key questions like this will help you with the tuning of the advertising campaign.
Top agents are usually great marketers of commercial and retail property. They get the message out. You can do that as well; make the effort to be the best in marketing of all property listings. Take the steps to improve all of your market campaigns today. In the long run that will help you improve market share and commissions. Your quality listings will give you real profile as a top agent with a dominant market share.
In commercial real estate agency, you really do need to understand the property market and the segments that you work with. In this way you can track the trends and opportunities for more commissions and listings.
Top agents tend to systemise there approach to the market, the properties, the clients, and the listings. Here are some tips to help you with that:
- Choose a part of the market that you are interested in and around which you can show knowledge and expertise. Top agents tend to be experts in a particular segment of the market. In this way they can comprehensively quote prices, rentals, marketing strategies, and time on market. Knowledge will always help you convert listings from presentations.
- When you have defined your property type, you can determine the region geographically that you will work within. There is no point spreading yourself too thin across many suburbs or townships. Market share only comes from the market dominance of intense marketing and signboard presence.
- Research the key properties and the key property investors within your defined region. Ensure that there is sufficient stock available for you to focus on throughout the year.
- Look at the history of property transactions inside your defined region or focus territory. That history over the last three or four years will have relevance to the future opportunities and sales that are available. Typically a commercial or retail property will transact in one form or another every 5 to 7 years. If you focus on properties that were purchased, sold, or leased about four years ago, they are likely to be the next properties that come on the market in your region.
- Understand the current trends that apply to pricing and rentals. Add to that the factors of time on market that currently apply to existing listings. Inspect any comparable properties in the area within your property speciality. All of this information will help you with client connections and presentations.
- Within your region there will be groups of property investors and business owners that are frequent and high value prospects when it comes to commercial and retail property. Put together a hit list of contacts that you will focus on for regular prospecting and meetings.
The commercial and retail property market is largely based on quality and long term personal relationships. Top agents and salespeople build relationships with the right people, understanding that listings and transactions will be possible at some stage in the future. These top agents maintain the contact with the right people, and provide valuable market information as they proceed through their pipeline of opportunity. How big is your pipeline?
Get to know your market intimately, so that you can build the right knowledge in preparation for meetings with clients and prospects. Selling and leasing commercial and retail real estate is not an experiment; it is a deliberate and focused process using the best information and market intelligence available.
If you want more tips and ideas to help your commercial real estate sales or leasing career, join our Newsletter right here.
If you are starting a commercial real estate business or perhaps you are to be working in one as a salesperson, the key to building brand and identity is in getting lots of signboards into your territory and onto the best listings. Your name is everything when it comes to finding and converting the business. People must know you as a local property expert; signboards give that perception.
Whilst this may seem a bit obvious, the fact of the matter is that it is largely overlooked as a base strategy in building market share.
Signboards on property listings are the cheapest form of advertising, and yet the most effective in your local area. Given that most of your sales and leasing deals will come from your local area, the signboards are really important.
So what can you do to start a signboard strategy? Try some of these:
- When you get an exclusive listing, make sure that you also get vendor paid advertising and place a very good signboard on the property.
- Target the quality properties in your area that really drive the enquiry. When you attract the enquiry from the market, you can convert more of the deals.
- Look at all the redundant properties in the area that could be prime spots for redevelopment. Identify the owners and see if a project can be possible in the site. Project sales and leasing brings massive market dominance over time.
- Vacant land in your area should be identified and the owners spoken to. It is likely that a signboard could be placed on the property.
- Any listings with other agents that have been on the market for some time are likely to come up for expiry soon. Talk to the property owners to see if they are receptive to another agent taking over the listing.
- Should you take on ‘open listings’? It is a hard question to set a fixed answer. Over time you should eventually avoid open listings as they are largely uncontrollable stock and the clients are hard to work with; essentially they will listen to and work with any agent that spins them a story. Desperation does not drive your market share.
- Maintain your signs with a signage upgrade strategy so that the signs are replaced and freshened up monthly. In this way they will send a quality message to the local property owners and business proprietors. There is nothing worse than a faded, neglected, or graffiti covered sign on a property.
Your property market opportunity will be built on solid foundations of action and planning. Nothing of relevance comes from random focus and action. Start your planning process and build on the steps that you need to take.
If you want more tips on commercial real estate, you can get them in our Newsletter on this site.