Commercial Real Estate Agents – Get Focused to Create a Better Market Share and Grow Your Commissions

In commercial real estate agency today, we all know that the property market is a bit of a challenge. That being said, there is still a lot of listing and commission opportunity to be had by the real estate agents that get organised and focused on the right tasks relative to their market and location.  It is a daily process.  Top agents do it all the time.

You could say that the whole process involves being ‘mentally prepared’ for each and every day that you step up to the ‘plate’ and strive for a ‘home run’.  When the personal thought processes support your action, many more results are possible.

There is a cycle in this commercial real estate industry and it goes something like this:

  1. Start the day with prospecting for 3 hours
  2. From your prospecting effort you will create new meetings
  3. From new meetings with new prospects you will find business opportunity
  4. New business opportunity leads to quality listings
  5. Quality listings produce better enquiry than average
  6. Quality enquiries are what we need for a top database and property sale or leasing conversions
  7. Keep in touch with the businesses locally.  They will tell you so much about the local area and what is going on.

So the mental preparation process is critical to the ‘chain of events’ and the outcomes that you seek in the commercial real estate industry.  You could say that sales, leasing, and property management is a bit like a sport and you are the team captain, coach, and player.  Your mindset has to suit each role and keep you on track to top performance and new business generation.

Have you ever watched a person play a sport and in doing so you can see that something is wrong with them?  They seem to have a down attitude and it gets worse as the game progresses.  That is a prime example of ‘mindset and focus’.  For those of us that work on commission, the mind has to support your efforts.  A good dose of focus is required before you get to the office or start your commercial real estate prospecting.  A great attitude will help you greatly.  Align your thinking to the task at hand; rise to the top of the market.

  • Understand what has to be done
  • Set your priorities
  • Take action every day
  • Know what your market is and where it is located
  • Build strong relationships and keep connecting

The commercial property market will change throughout the year and sometimes for a few years at a time.  Importantly you should be focused with all of your actions, prospecting, and marketing.  Over time that will help you rise to the top of your commercial real estate market.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate prospecting, you can get them at our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Leverage Your Lists and Make More Commission

In commercial real estate agency today, we tend to overlook the value of the lists that we have in our office or in out possession.  Lists can help focus our efforts when it comes to new business and commission.

When talking about lists, it is interesting to note that many commercial real estate agencies have a database that is well out of date.  The results of any marketing into the database are therefore quite sporadic at best.

If you want results in our industry, take a look at the lists that you are working with and the accuracy of the information contained therein.  Develop a good list process yourself, and work it on a daily basis.  It is essential that you develop a habit when it comes to maintaining your lists and your client relationships.

The problem with databases and lists is that they need to be maintained.  Many salespeople prefer not to do this work themselves.  The result is that no one person then takes ownership of the database and the value of the process falls away.

Whilst I may be generalising, I would say that at least 75% of the commercial real estate salespeople that I have made contact with over time have databases that are sporadic at best, and in most cases quite random.  You cannot build your commercial real estate business around a sporadic database.

Top agents tend to have lists that are completely up to date and worked on a daily basis.  They know the people in the list and make sure that regular contact is maintained.  After each contact process, the list is updated with accurate information.

Here are some ideas to help you build momentum and accuracy in your list process:

  1. In most cases, your personal list of contacts should be no more than 1000 people.  Beyond that point it is very hard to keep contact with the right people at the right time.  It is the quality of the 1000 people that makes all the difference in your career and industry.  When you focus your connections into a group of this size, you will generate commercial real estate business.  The key point is to focus your efforts of connection and communication on a regular basis to the right people.  They need to know you as the expert that you want to be.  In this way you can build your top agent profile over time.  Regular contact sends the right message.
  2. You do not need to have a complex software program to support your cold call prospecting or client networking.  You simply need something that works for you.  Certainly there are some great software programs out there that can help you build very productive customer relationship models.  When it comes to choosing the right program, I would prefer something that is simple to use and convenient.  Access to the database anywhere by the mobile telephone and or a laptop computer would be an essential part of the list building process.
  3. It has been proven that a regular contact process to the right people will produce significant new business opportunity.  That contact cycle should be at least once every 90 days.  After that time people tend to forget you.  When you make contact with clients and prospects, have some simple connection process and information that you can send on to them as part of the connection follow-up.  You are the property expert, and they need to see that.

Leverage is one of the most important things to work with in commercial property and investment real estate.  It is a people based industry and your success will be based on the size of your network, and the relevance of your skills.  That is why your list is so important.  If you are struggling in the property market now, take a serious look at your database and its relevance to today’s market.  Start working on your database and the industry will open up for you.

Build an Empire with Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

When it comes to your career in commercial real estate, nothing will fast track your results faster than a good prospecting model.  This then says that a prospecting model should be established into your daily business activities.

Prospecting for new business is quite a specific task and very specialized.  It should be regarded as something that requires practice and directed effort.  It takes about 2 or 3 hours each and every day to develop a good solid prospecting model.

This should also say that prospecting should be undertaken before anything else is done within the commercial real estate office.  If all salespeople within a commercial real estate agency did this, the volume of listings and the quality of enquiry would be far higher in just about all cases.  That will make the market share for the office more significant.

Quality listings and quality properties produce good enquiry.  It’s in tougher markets like this that we have today that we need a solid enquiry base coming from qualified prospects.  This is where your database will become highly important as part of your business activities.

Here are some ideas to help you with your prospecting activities and system.

  1. Determine a specific territory of prospecting.  That will contain the necessary numbers of properties and businesses that will produce the required commission that you want.  Make sure that the historic activity in the area has been significant and will remain so into the known future.
  2. Get to know all the local property owners of significant and important properties in your territory.  It does take time to identify property ownership structures and particular property owners; that being said, it still needs to be done and should be merged into your prospecting model.  Tackling property owner at a time is a good strategy to adopt in growing this market share as part of your prospecting system.
  3. The local businesses and business community will provide a significant volume of enquiry for you.  They will tell you so much about the local area and also of their property requirements.  In many cases they may own the property in which they are located.  They could also be tenants and on that basis they will require further leasing assistance at a later time.  Currently they may provide you with details of the landlord for any direct enquiry and networking.
  4. Go through the old sales records in your local region.  On average, most commercial and retail property will change hands in every 5 to 7 years.  That being said, the cycle can be a good source of future listing opportunity.  You simply need to identify the right people who have purchased or sold commercial real estate about four or five years ago.  They will again be entering the property industry in some way or form quite soon.
  5. Older lease transactions may still be current with business tenants.  They will however soon be reaching the end of the lease and require assistance in locating another property.  Every business in your local area should be entered into your database for the opportunity that it provides.  That being said, the tenants of today are also requiring local property market information.  You can be the expert to provide that.

To make your prospecting model work, a process of constant contact should occur.  The commercial real estate industry is built around trust and personal connection.

The first approach to a prospect, property investor, or business proprietor should be the simple beginning of a long-term relationship.  Over time you should be establishing meetings with those people and opening the door with property assistance at the right time.  Those being said do not forget about property referrals and referral relationships that exist with people that you already know.  Top agents do this all the time.

Best Shot Commercial Real Estate Market Intelligence – Talk to Local Businesses

In today’s commercial property market, the tenants in your local area will tell you a lot if you ask the right questions.  For that very reason you should merge local tenants and businesses into your prospecting activities.

Any local building with multiple tenants should be merged into your call canvassing program.   Providing the owner of the building is not a client of your agency through some other business relationship, there is great advantage to be had by calling down all the tenants on a regular basis.

You can ask the business owners and managers questions such as:

  • Do they own the property?  Property ownership may be an opportunity for a sale and lease back at some stage in the future.
  • Do they lease the property?  If that is the case they will have lease change over issues and lease expiry dates coming up.  Most tenants have no idea about the availability of leased premises in the local area or the current market rentals.
  • When will their lease expire?  If you know this date you can provide market information to them in the year leading up to the lease expiry.  They may be prime tenants for relocating.
  • Do they have local storage needs?  Existing businesses can sometimes be under some pressure to expand storage or relocate staff into nearby local properties.  Ask the questions to see what pressures of occupancy may exist.
  • What type of business are they?  This will have bearing on the type of property and the improvements required in leased occupation.
  • Some businesses have a significant lead time to relocate given the way in which they operate and the plant and equipment that they may use in that business process.
  • What labour force requirements do they have?  The location of the business should be convenient for labour sourcing and access.
  • Some businesses need to be near public transport or have a significant onsite car park for staff and customers as part of business operations.  Find out what the business requires in case a special property in the local area could come onto the market one day.
  • Ask the business owner about the landlord of the property (if they are a tenant).  If you can identify the landlord, you can approach them at a later time regards leasing and property requirements.

In addition to all of the above, the tenants know a lot more about the local area than you do, and the right questions about other businesses in the street may very well turn up a property opportunity.

The best way to gather this information is to call by local businesses on a daily basis.  It takes time, but if you do between 5 and 10 a day, you will get valuable leads to work on.

Beneficial Local Leads and Opportuntities for Commercial Property Agents

If you keep in contact with the local businesses in your area, you can uncover some significant property opportunity for your commercial real estate agency.  The process of contacting businesses is far easier than chasing down the property owners in your region.  A good prospecting model should involve both processes in balance.

It is the local businesses and the decision makers behind those businesses that can tell you what is going on in their region and their street; they can also tell you what they may be looking for in regard to future property activity.  It is easy to find local businesses, and it is easy to make contact with them.  The business telephone book is a valuable asset to grow your database.

Given that the local businesses are essentially the backbone of property occupancy, part of your database should be deliberately constructed for local business networking and the market intelligence that you gather.  Some of those businesses will be tenants, whilst other businesses will be owner occupiers.  Either way, there are property needs and challenges from time to time that they will need help with.

You can approach local business proprietors in two different ways.

  1. You can cold call them as part of your prospecting model on a daily basis.  This process is quite successful and worthwhile merging into your networking program.  Contacting 40 businesses a day is quite easy when you use the business telephone book.
  2. You can personally canvass the business streets and business locations as part of a ‘drop-in’ prospecting activity.  Getting your face in front of business proprietors in this way will help you gather significant market intelligence.

It should also be said that any significant property with multiple tenants will be a good opportunity for new business prospecting.  Many top commercial real estate agents will pick a large CBD building with multiple tenants and work through the list of tenants until they know what every tenant requires by way of occupancy and when their lease expires.  The direct approach works just about every time.

Many business owners and corporations do not have the experience or the expertise when it comes to commercial or retail property investigation and relocation.  For this very reason, they require local market assistance; you can be the source of this very valuable market intelligence.  Special property services may also be required such as tenant advocacy, or buyer’s agent.

Businesses and larger corporations will generally utilize these specialized services with the right agency.  They then become your client and will be paying your commission.  It is perhaps the reverse process to the normal sale or lease transaction, however it is quite productive and rewarding from an agency perspective.  You simply need to change your perspective on the transaction to help the business owner or corporation find the right property locally with the correct improvements.

The way to make this process work is to establish an initial base of contact with the right decision makers in every local business.  Over time, you can reconnect with these people and encourage a meeting at the right time.  Trust and information will help you open the door on future property requirements.  It may take three or four telephone calls every couple of months before you get to the right decision maker with a face to face meeting.

These business owners and business managers will appreciate local market intelligence and feedback when it comes to property rentals, property availability, and property prices.  As a strategy in connecting with these people, you can create a single page brochure that you can leave with them detailing the recent property activity and results.

How Commercial Agents Can Market Commercial Property Today

The marketing of a commercial property today needs to be quite specific and unique.  The attributes of the property, the prevailing market conditions, and the requirements of the property owner will all have some bearing on the marketing campaign to be created.

Gone are the days of a generic marketing campaign.  To be fair to every commercial property taken to the market today, the exclusive listing process is highly important together with vendor paid marketing.  In this way you will attract the right levels of enquiry to convert inspections and eventually negotiate on a closed transaction.

Here are some tips that can be applied to the marketing process so that you can achieve a high level of well qualified enquiry.

  1. Inspect and review the subject property in a comprehensive way.  Do so with due regard to the existing levels of improvements and the attraction factors that the property provides.  If you were a buyer or a tenant for the property, what would attract you to make the property enquiry that is required?  What would trigger you to lift the telephone and contact the agent?
  2. When you completely understand the subject property, you can look through the local area for any competing properties that may still be on the market.  You can also look for any existing properties that may have been recently sold or leased.  Get details of any recent sales or rentals that have impact on your subject property.  This local information will be invaluable when it comes to client conditioning, and future negotiation.  The buyers and tenants that are in the market today will understand the availability of other nearby property and the prices or rentals as the case may be.
  3. Given the two previous points, you can now consider the ideal target market that will apply to the subject property.  From that target market, you can construct an ideal and comprehensive marketing plan.  I go back to the point made earlier, where the landlord or property owner should be required to give vendor paid marketing funds to you as part of the marketing effort.  It is quite normal for one per cent of the expected sale price to be the contribution required of the property owner towards the marketing campaign.  It is very wise to get these funds paid in advance into your trust account or client advertising account as part of the preparation for marketing.
  4. Determine the duration of the marketing campaign given the known target audience and the complexity of the property.  How long will it take you to reach the target audience and activate the right level of enquiry?  In most circumstances, this can be achieved in a period of eight weeks.  For this reason, most marketing campaigns can be focused on an eight week time frame, with suitable adjustments during that time frame as enquiry comes in.  You will know during that period if the right messages are being conveyed to the local business community and target market.
  5. If the local property market is saturated with similar properties of similar type, then you will need to adjust the marketing campaign after the initial eight week period.  If the property is to remain on market for an extended period then a secondary strategy will be required.  That being said, the initial eight week marketing focus should have created some form of substantial enquiry for you to establish market feedback and potentially some offers.
  6. Mix your marketing efforts across a number of media types and media strategies.  We all know that the Internet has a major role to play when it comes to the marketing of commercial and retail property today.  In your local area, you should know the strategies that work best when it comes to marketing property and generating enquiry.

From the earlier comments made above, you will have noted that the exclusive listing strategy is a key component of marketing commercial and retail property today.  A good exclusive listing marketing campaign will always create more enquiries and hence give you a better chance of converting a lease or a sale as the case may be.

When you work with and on exclusive listings you will be building a database of well qualified buyers and tenants in your location and industry.  Over time this will lift your conversion factors and potential commissions.  If the property owner wants to list their property openly across a number of agencies, it can be a complete waste of time from your perspective.  Some top agents will not normally work with open listings for this very reason.

Automating Your Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Model

In commercial real estate today and in your agency, it is necessary to have a good selection of quality listings.  Quality listings will always create solid enquiry in any market.  It is those quality listings that will help you with dominating your territory and converting more commissions.

It is an observed fact that low quality listings produce poor enquiry.  It is much harder to build your market share and listing opportunity as a commercial real estate agent from poor quality listings.  That being said, it is also the case that open listings produce poor quality commercial real estate activity.  As a priority, pursue exclusive listings for a lengthy period of time with all of your clients.  In this way, you will control market enquiry and convert more transactions personally.

So here are some rules that should apply to the prospecting process in helping you with your market share and future commercial real estate business opportunities.

  1. Get to know your territory intimately.  That will mean on a street by street basis and or property by property basis.  Your territory should not be too large or too complex.  You cannot be a commercial real estate specialist to everybody and every property type.
  2. Identify the existing properties on the market today and their time on market.  There will be reasons for properties not selling or not renting.  In each case you should review the competing properties and competing agencies to understand the errors in marketing and the poor performance of some of the salespeople involved.  Over time you can market yourself around weaker agencies and properties that have not been correctly promoted.
  3. Prospecting should be undertaken on a daily basis for at least 2 or 3 hours.  That should be the number one activity in your diary regardless of anything else.  When you set this rule and stick to it, you will achieve more market share and market intelligence.  Over time this will have a major impact on your commissions.  Cold calling should feature as a main component of your prospecting efforts.  This requires special diligence and commitment, but the rewards are many.
  4. Get to know the businesses throughout your local territory.  Those local business proprietors will understand and potentially help identify for you the changes to property in the local area.  Over time those businesses will also be looking for alternative premises to lease and or rent.  Those businesses can also be a great source of sale and leaseback activity.
  5. It is very easy to approach businesses as part of your prospecting model.  On that basis it should occur every day.  You will gain valuable market intelligence from the process.  It is somewhat harder to identify property owners and approach them.  That is mainly because they hide behind company structures and property trusts.  Create a list of prime properties in your region so that you can gradually work through the potential property ownership structures and identify the right people to talk to.  It will take time, however the results are significant.

While this list is not finite or complete, it will give you the foundation for the prospecting process to commence.  The commercial real estate industry is very much personally orientated and built on relationships.  Over time you must build relationships with key people, business proprietors, and property investors.