Strategies to Build Better Market Share in Commercial Real Estate Agency

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.

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

Myths About Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency today there are too many ‘myths and rumours’ around generated by agents that are the ‘poor performers’.  They are usually the agents that are looking for excuses for their inaction or poor outcomes in listings or commissions.  The market is the market, and we cannot change that; we can however take the right action to suit the situation.

Today’s commercial property market is something that requires understanding and adjustment certainly, but good commissions can be had by active and professional commercial real estate agents.  You need to know what to look for and how to tap into it.  Action it then required.

So what is it about all those ‘myths’ that we keep hearing about?  I guess you would have heard some of these comments from your fellow salespeople and competing agents:

  • There are no buyers around to purchase
  • The client will not listen
  • Tenants don’t want to move
  • Property listings are hard to get
  • There is no enquiry coming in from advertising
  • The client wants too much money
  • Other agents are taking my listings
  • Business is slow
  • It’s time to take a holiday

The property market changes and on that basis we need to change.  Every year there will be challenges with prices, rents, enquiry, listings, and clients.  The fact of the matter is that poor agents without a good database of clients and prospects to talk to will struggle.

Those agents that have continually built a great group of contacts will always have fresh business.  Certainly client conditioning will be required as the market changes condition, but today is an ‘agent’s market’ and on that basis we need to act.

Find those good listings and tap into them.  Quality listings will always create better enquiries in any market.  If you are not getting enquiries coming in, then take a look at your listings.  If you have poor listings then have a look at your prospecting efforts.  Everything is linked.

It is a fact that top agents attract the business in all markets.  The quality listings will go to them most of the time. So how did they reach this level of success and listing attraction?  They did the ‘hard work’ with prospecting and connecting with fresh people that are interested in commercial real estate.

The property cycle in commercial real estate is quite long.  It takes months if not years for some clients to act on a property issue.  This then suggests that you need to be building the right client relationships from the very start and keep the ‘door of contact’ open with the prospect.  That’s how you become a top agent.  Work hard and the business will come.  Forget about those ‘myths’ that low quality agents like to circulate to support their inadequacies.  Make your mark on the commercial property market.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Focus Your System for Sales Success

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Grab Their Attention in Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

Today your efforts as a top commercial real estate agent just have to grab the attention of the market.  You must prospect with system and effort.  In this way you can build more opportunity around you in listings and clients.

There is no point in being the best local agent if the market knows nothing about you.   You might be the specialist that everyone needs today, but the message has to get out to the people that need you.  Your personal marketing plan has to do this.  It is an ongoing process and effort, but the rewards are there for the agents that work hard at it.

Here are some prospecting tools and systems that will help you in commercial and retail real estate agency today.

  1. Previous sales in the area are a great source of opportunity today.  What you do here is to go back in time to about 3 years ago.  Look for the sales and lease deals beyond that point.  They are going to be (on average) the next transactions to come into the market.  Commercial real estate is built on a cycle of ownership and leasing.  Work out what the cycle of time is and prospect in front of the cycle.
  2. Other agent’s boards give you the opportunity to talk to local property owners in the immediate vicinity of that board.  They may like to compete with the current listing.  They are more likely to do that with a competing agent such as you.
  3. Your signboards will build profile across the market.  Make sure that your name and contact details are on as many boards as possible.  Ensure that all your exclusive listings have special signboards of high quality.  Standard signboards should only be used on open listings.
  4. Business owners locally know more about the area than you do.  Get to talk to them and see what their property needs are.  Ask them about the business and property changes locally.
  5. For sale by owners are always targets for us.  In most cases these owners should be left to struggle for some time until they feel the pressure of the market.  The fact of the matter is that most buyers and tenants would prefer to deal with an agent as part of any negotiation on a property.
  6. Cold calling and door knocking is a daily requirement in our industry.  Make sure that you devote 3 hours to the process every day.  I will say that many agents hate it for a variety of reasons; this makes it better for the people that can do it.
  7. Use a good database software program to capture your contact activity and plan your email newsletters and ongoing call contact.

All of this takes systems on the part of the salesperson.  When you get these things under control, the property market starts to open up for you.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – The Fortunes in Getting to Know Your Commercial Property Market

As an agent in commercial and retail property, you need to understand your local property market comprehensively and fully.  In achieving this level of focus, you will find opportunities for leasing, sales, and property management.

The commercial property market is largely based on relationships.  When you get to know a lot of people locally, the listings and opportunities start to evolve.  That being said, these clients and prospects do need to trust you as the top agent of choice in the local area.

Here are some tips to help you get to know your local property market at the appropriate level.

  1. You will need to maintain a database of contact information.  This is not something you should delegate to another person in the office.  The fact of the matter is that the database is your foundation of business and goodwill.  When you take personal ownership of your database, the information becomes more meaningful and relevant.  On a daily basis you should be frequently moving in and out of your database to make calls and capture information.  This then says that you will require the necessary computer information and computer hardware to do the job correctly.
  2. Split your area into zones of priority.  Some of those areas will be very active and desirable from a business and client perspective.  Review those areas so that you can understand and quote the levels of activity to the right people when you are presenting or pitching your services.
  3. Your property precinct, suburb, town, or city will have a property history that is real and relevant to your activities today.  You should identify the types of sales, types of leases, time on market, levels of enquiry, and region demographics.  That information should be relative to the last five years and be particularly accurate over the last two years.  These figures will show you trends of opportunity and change.  Top agents seize the opportunity and move their market focus as required.
  4. Get copies of the local development plans as they apply to commercial and retail property.  Understand the differences between the property zonings and the property locations.  A property location or zoning can have significant impact on the listing and marketing of any property.
  5. The supply and demand for commercial and retail property will change throughout the year.  An oversupply of space will saturate the market with excessive vacancies and empty properties.  You can stay ahead of this change by monitoring the new property developments that are being considered at the local council or municipality.  Whilst a new property developments are an opportunity for listings and fees, they can also skew the market when it comes to pricing, rentals, and incentives.
  6. Check all the listings locally that are held with other agents and with private owners.  Over time some of those listings will be an opportunity for change and perhaps listing with your agency.  Whilst they remain available for sale or for lease today, they will give you an indication of what prices and rentals are doing.
  7. Network into your area on a daily basis.  This means making the necessary cold calls and dropping into local businesses on a daily basis.  Through this personal contact you will generate opportunity and fresh listings.  Top agents are very visible to the local community of business owners and property investors.

You can’t win many listings by sitting at your desk.  Desk time is actually downtime.  You should only be sitting at your desk to make the necessary cold calls or to have meetings with the right people.  Every other part of the day should be outside of the office meeting with people and checking on properties.

Top Commercial Real Estate Agent Proposal – Laws of Attraction

In commercial real estate today, the proposal that you provide to the client is at least 50% of your business winning strategy.  The other 50% is your ability to connect and communicate the right message to the client about the property and the local property market.

This then says that your proposal structure should be carefully considered and crafted to suit the situation.  Generic proposals are really a waste of time.

You need to make your strategy and offering stand out as the best solution to the client given the challenges that they face today.

Here are some ideas to help your client proposal structure in sales, leasing, or property management.

  1. At the very front of the document you should have an executive summary.  That part of the document can only be inserted after the proposal has been put together, and after you have completed the necessary recommendations and strategies.  That being said, the executive summary is perhaps the most important part of the document to focus the client on your ideas and recommendations.  The summary should be no more than two pages in length and should be structured around clear dot points.  The executive summary can make your sales pitch and presentation far more effective and relevant.
  2. The length of a proposal document can vary depending on property complexity.  You should however give preference to simplicity in layout and a document that is easy to understand, read, and interpret.  Many clients will not read past the first few pages of the proposal document.  Most proposal documents should be no more than 25 pages in length.  Many will be less than 12 pages in length.
  3. It is important to clarify the facts about the property and the challenges that the client faces.  That should occur early in your document layout so the client understands that you are on their wavelength.
  4. Provide details of the local property market together with competing properties, prices, rentals, and time on market.  This information will give you a solid base to recommend marketing strategies and sales or leasing alternatives.
  5. Every client likes to make some choices and have some control.  For this reason your recommendations should have two or three alternative choices for the client to consider.  Invariably they will usually choose the middle recommendation that is neither too expensive nor poorly structured.
  6. Some clients will have definite concerns regards the local property market today, and where their property sits in relation to that.  Develop a question and answer process to insert into your proposal where you can handle those troubling factors that the client has raised with you.
  7. Provide a a graphing process to show the client the way you will take them as part of the marketing campaign.  A Gantt chart is the best graph to use.
  8. The fee structure will form an important part of the document and is usually placed towards the rear.  That being said, you should structure your fees competitively but also realistically for the amount of work involved in the listing or appointment.

There is always a basic structure to a proposal, but the main part of the document will always be focused on the property.  In this way you show relevance to the client as the top agent with the right skills to help them solve the property problem.

Commercial Real Estate Agent – Property Listing Analysis to Win the Deal

When looking at a commercial property for the first time, it is best to have some form of property analysis report or checklist that can help you cover the required issues relative to the property type and location.  Here are some tips from our Agents Newsletter.

When you analyze all of the local property information correctly, it gives you confidence when it comes to the listing pitch and presentation with the client.  The client wants specific information and needs to know that you have completely reviewed the property and the opportunities that the property presents to the market today. You know the market better than they do.

Know the commercial property trends

Today we find that the industry is under significant change and the trends are more difficult to pick or plan for.  As agents we can understand the market today better than the client.  Most clients in your local area desperately need the assistance of a quality commercial real estate agent to help them with their property liquidation or transition.

Every listing pitch or sales presentation with the client has to be of the highest quality and totally relevant to the subject property in every respect.  Many competing agents will be chasing the same listing with their own version of a marketing approach and the listing strategy.  For this very reason, you need to be at the ‘top of your game’ when it comes to local market information and the listing strategy.

Real Property Analysis

Your thoroughness in the process of property analysis will give the client some significant comfort in considering you as the best agent to list the property.  Here are some more ideas to help you with your comprehensive property and marketing report.

  1. Describe the property and its improvements comprehensively.  That will include the age, history, improvements, services and amenities.  If any risks exist in the current local area, they will need to be factored into your recommendations and report.
  2. Tell the client about the current levels of enquiry that exist for that asset and property type today.  Reference to your database will help the client understand what is really going on in the market today.
  3. You need to show the client that you totally understand the strengths and weaknesses that the property brings to the market today.  The strengths can be fed into your marketing strategies and recommendations.  They will also help you define the target market for the asset.  The weaknesses on the other hand will need to be addressed when it comes to property promotion.
  4. Detail the locational factors that apply to the property and include the details of competing properties that are available in the same location.  Check out all of the competing listings to understand their methods of marketing, and the reasons they may be still on the market today.  If any errors exist in those other listings, you do not need to repeat them when it comes to your client’s asset.
  5. When considering a marketing strategy, price, or rental, the factors of income, expenditure, and property outgoings will have an impact on the levels of enquiry that you will get.  Consider how these financial factors will be merged into your marketing efforts and what impact they may have.
  6. Review all the leases in the property to understand the differences between each lease and the impact that each lease has on the income stream for the asset.  In many respects, the lease profile and tenancy mix within an asset will have greater impact on the potential enquiry and price.  Do some comprehensive research on these factors, before you make your final marketing recommendations to the client.
  7. Vacancies in a property will be of some concern to most prospective property buyers and will have impact on the marketing program.  Similarly some leases or tenants will need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion.  Provide the client with a leasing solution for any outstanding vacancies.
  8. The tenancy mix should be reviewed for strengths and weaknesses.  Factors of vacancy may need to be resolved prior to the commencement marketing.  Outstanding matters of negotiation with current tenants may also need to be resolved prior to the commencement of promotion.

All of these factors lead to some solid recommendations of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating.  Let the client see that you really do know how to address the challenges of the current economy, and the challenges of the asset.

You can get more tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents in our Newsletter.