In commercial real estate agency, you really do need to understand what is going on in the marketplace and then make some solid choices at a personal level to improve your prospecting and deal activity. Everything comes down to a personal level and process in our industry. Success has little to do with the agency that you work for.
Outsiders and new agents to the industry are tempted to think that commissions and listings come easily. Nothing could be further from the truth. The quality and the growth of your business will come from personal focus and momentum. The choices that you make on a daily basis, and the actions that you take in prospecting and marketing will drive your business forward. The agents that struggle in the industry are those that have little or no system when it comes to business generation and market share.
Here are some strategies to help you initiate a business plan as a commercial real estate agent. Consistency in focus and the actions that you take every day are the keys to getting momentum and traction with your market share. Here are the ideas to help you:
- Understand the condition of the market today in deal activity, competing agents, and future growth. Look for the opportunities in sales leasing and property management activity. Understand where you fit when it comes to those three distinct disciplines.
- Choose the property type that you understand and can relate to. That may be in office, industrial, or retail property. The clients that we work for require specific expertise when it comes to resolving a problem with a quality property. The marketing and inspection process with any listing is not an experiment. It requires specific knowledge and expertise to tap into the right target market.
- Determine the cycles of the local property market when it comes to leasing and sales turnover. You can do that by reviewing the history transactions through the region. In most markets, a commercial or retail investment property will change hands or be upgraded at least once every seven years. It takes that long for the appropriate capital gain to occur or the client to reach the next stage of portfolio change and growth. Be sensitive to the cycles, and start prospecting the right people inside their property cycles.
- Start prospecting on a daily basis ensuring that you’re talking to new people as well as current contacts. The whole process should take you about 2 or 3 hours per day every working day. In a very short period of time you will find some new business opportunity. When that occurs, keep the prospecting process underway. That’s how top agents grow market share.
- When a competing agent puts a signboard on a property, it is an opportunity for you to talk to the property owners and business proprietors in the immediate and adjacent vicinity. This then says that the marketing processes of a competing agent give you leverage when it comes to building your market share. It is a fact that nearby property owners and business proprietors like to compete rather than cooperate with a nearby property sale or lease transaction.
- When you list a property, personally market the details of the property to the local region of property investors and business owners. This involves door knocking and telephone calls. From this process you will identify other opportunities to work on in the future. Pay particular attention to the immediate property location and the streets around the subject listing. Walk the streets and knock on the door’s to introduce yourself and the upcoming listing. Ask questions and talk to more people; it is amazing how much information you will extract from the market when you do this.
Building your market share in commercial real estate agency is a simple and yet ongoing process. You should have three or four solid strategies underway such as those above to help you connect with the right people and build the right relationships.
In commercial real estate agency today, develop some personal strategies to help build market share. Most of the successes created in the industry are personally generated. Your employer and real estate agency has little to do with the process. It’s all up to you.
Many salespeople join the industry thinking that the apparent opportunity for listings and good commissions will help them rise to the top of the market fairly quickly. Reality sinks in after two or three months; the industry can be quite a challenge for new agents; prospecting and networking is required each and every day. It takes deliberate effort and hard work at a personal level to rise to the top of the industry. That’s what all top agents do. You can do the same, however it is your choice to proceed in a systemized and deliberate way.
Here are some strategies to help you establish a solid market share as a real estate agent, and grow the opportunity for further commissions and listings.
- Understand the growth potential of the market. Your local property market should be defined geographically so you know exactly where you can focus your prospecting efforts. Within that geographical zone, research the necessary growth segments of the market to focus on. There is no point in you specializing in something that has little growth potential.
- Check out your property precinct to see what is working when it comes to sales and leasing activity. Certain methods of sale and certain methods of leasing will be much more successful than others in today’s property market. Understand what works, and then merge those strategies into every listing presentation and sales pitch that you do.
- Check out the competing properties in the local area to see how long they had been on the market. Understand why that is so, and avoid the errors of those other agents and those other properties. Top agents know how to promote and market properties efficiently and effectively. They don’t like to waste time.
- Observe and track all of the good agents in your local area. Find those top agents that seem to be dominating market share and see what they are doing as part of that process. You can learn a lot from other top agents simply by watching their activities when it comes to prospecting, marketing, client selection, and promotional activities.
- Signboard presence through the local area will help you personally when it comes to market share. You should have plenty of signs in the local area on quality listings. There is a real difference to be noted here, and that is the difference between open listings and exclusive listings. Open listings are generally a waste of time, and the same can be said for putting your signboard on any openly listed property with many other agent signboards. The signboards that will create a strong personal brand and professional image are those that are placed on exclusive listings. Sell your services on the basis of an exclusive listing that you can control for a number of months. Then devote the required effort on creating enquiry and getting inspections underway.
- Most of the listings that you pursue will be done so on the basis of a competitive sales pitch and presentation. There will be plenty of other agents chasing the same listings. That being said, your presentational strategy and relevance has to be finely tuned and of the highest quality. Approaching a listing generically usually results in an open listing if any listing at all. When you specifically focus on a listing and provide real and relevant strategies to the client, they cannot help but seriously consider your commercial real estate services and potentially take an exclusive listing with you. A client that wants the best agent will need to take an exclusive listing with that agent. The promotion of property today is not an experiment. Good results come from top agents taking an exclusive listing over a quality property. They then apply all of their efforts into the marketing campaign and inspection strategy.
Success in the commercial real estate market is not a random event. It is generally well planned and facilitated through deliberate systems and actions on the part of each and every agent. Only the best agents rise to the top of the market and that will be only through their personal processes and strategies. You can do the same. The market opportunity awaits you action.
The most successful salespeople in commercial real estate are the highly visible salespeople. They are known through their local area and every deal that they do is well publicised into the region. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
Success breeds success in our industry. Use every commercial real estate deal and listing as a reason to talk to more people and grow your database. Those salespeople that struggle usually fall into one of two categories:
- They are not talking to enough prospects and clients on a regular basis, or
- They are unskilled when it comes to the industry and the property types that we work with
The great and most notable thing about the industry is that it rewards those salespeople that work with focus and consistency. We have to be of relevance to our market, and you cannot specialise in everything within the industry. Choose your property type and territory and then prospects with great precision inside that area each and every day.
You can gain more visibility with some commonly available tools and systems. You can mix and match these to suit your efforts and market. Here are some ideas to help you with that:
- If you are comfortable speaking in front of a lot of people, you can offer your speaking services to community groups and business groups. You can talk about the local property market and the trends of development. Everyone has an interest in property in one way or another.
- Write articles about your local property market and the trends that you are seeing. The articles can be sent to Newspapers as editorials, or posted online in a blog that you could establish to talk about your property market.
- Every person that you talk to should be entered into your database. From that database you can send Newsletters via mail or email. Auto responders are a good way to keep the process moving ahead.
- Use your business card everywhere. It is perhaps the most effective method of contact for building relationships with new people.
- Direct mail letters and brochures are still very effective, albeit more time consuming and costly than email. If you send a direct marketing piece through the mail about your property market, take the time to call the person about 7 days after the mail would have been received.
Personal marketing is all about visibility. It is your job to promote yourself each and every day. Prospects and clients will take your services when they trust you and respect your relevance to them. To be relevant the marketing process is ongoing and consistent. Are you ready for the challenge?
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter for Agents.
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.
In today’s property market, we have marketing systems to support our personal branding and our property listings. These are two distinctly different challenges when it comes to marketing. The properties will come and go from the market, however your personal brand needs to consolidate and grow.
So let’s look at some different aspects of marketing and the challenges to be handled.
When it comes to property marketing, you will be competing against other properties, the market trends, and other agents. Through all of this, you need to attract the right level of enquiry and then qualify that enquiry for potential conversion. Given that the property market currently is rather challenging, every marketing effort must be specific, direct, and effective.
The ultimate goal of every marketing campaign should be to establish enquiry from the target market. When you get enquiry, you can create inspections. Over time the enquiry that you create will allow you to improve your database of qualified prospects; those qualified prospects can go into your database for regular ongoing contact. That is exactly what top agents do and how they create better transactions from the market over time.
To correctly market a property today, you need sufficient funds and a dedicated marketing campaign. Vendor paid marketing should be the rule and not the exception. That being said, you should also ask for an exclusive listing to allow you to spend the necessary time in marketing the property for the clients that you serve.
The property market today requires real effort on the part of the agent. That effort can only come through exclusive listings. Those exclusive listings also allow us to build our market share and database of qualified prospects.
Here are some factors to incorporate into a property marketing plan:
- Determine the features relative to the subject listing. Those features and improvements will dictate the target audience. The advertising that you create should be directed at the target audience with a consistent message relative to the property.
- You will need to determine those three or four factors that create the interest relative to the property today. Those three or four factors will need to feature in each and every advertising or media channel used. Consistency is the key when it comes to property marketing. Every advertisement should send the right message consistently, given that the same person may see the property in a number of different media channels. Eventually the right message could very well encourage the person to lift the telephone and make an enquiry.
- Understand the differences between the different types of marketing today, and use the ones that are most successful for your property type and local area. In most cases, newspaper advertising is becoming less relevant to the commercial property industry. Direct marketing and internet marketing are taking over as the tools of choice when it comes to creating property enquiry.
- Research the keywords that are used on the search engines relative to your property location and property type. Those keywords can be easily researched and then incorporated into your property advertising and marketing. That will therefore allow each advertisement to be tuned to the requirements of property enquiry today.
- As part of the property marketing effort, use plenty of professionally taken photographs in the advertising and in the brochures. You can always see when those professional photographs are used. The placement of the property on the Internet will also be enhanced by quality professional photographs. Most commercial salespeople and agents do not have the knowledge and experience to take photographs from the right angle or the time of day. You only have one chance to market the property, and on that basis the photographs need to help you in every way possible. The cost of getting the photography done is minimal when you consider the value of the property and the potential sale price or rental.
When it comes to marketing any commercial property today, create a plan relative to the client, the area, and the property. Drive that plan in a way that encourages enquiry. It is the enquiry that you want and that will help you with conversions.