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.

Marketing Plan for a New Commercial Real Estate Office Today

In commercial real estate today, it pays to undertake the necessary market study before you open the commercial real estate office for trading.  Preparation will help you attract the right market of clients and prepare the right resources to drive your business forward.  Your marketing plan should form part of your business plan.

A successful commercial real estate office will be built from a fine balance of resources, and the right people.  Regrettably is somewhat hard to get good people to work in the industry at a high level for a long period of time.  It is notable that there are fewer top agents in comparison to ordinary agents.  The ratio is probably 2 in 10.

This leaves the opportunity wide open for ordinary agents to move to the top of the industry providing they establish solid performance systems.  The proprietors of real estate agencies and businesses require top agents to give stability to the agency and grow the commission base.  Whilst it sounds obvious, it is harder to achieve.  The proprietors of commercial real estate agencies are always on the lookout for top agents or those people that can be shaped into that level of performance.  It takes a person with a particular mindset and drive.

Here are some tips to establishing your marketing plan for your commercial real estate office:

  1. Determine the size of your market geographically.  Ensure that the area is realistically comprised of quality properties and potential clients.  Within that region, you can identify the history of transactions over the last few years.  Ideally you will be looking for an area that is under change or expansion.  Given that the commercial real estate industry is based around local business occupancy, you should also incorporate the review of local businesses into your initial market study.  Look for an area that has a vibrant business identity and future.  Look for an area that has an abundance of quality properties or vacant land to be so.  Look for and area that is growing or active.
  2. Within your defined territory, identify the property types that will produce the necessary commission for your business.  It may be that those properties require staff specialisation.  That is certainly the case when it comes to retail property and retail leasing.
  3. It is somewhat easier to build a new commercial real estate office from a base of industrial property sales and leasing.  That is simply because the property type is basic and straightforward.  It is also easier for you to apply relatively inexperienced staff to that property type.  Over time they can then graduate into Office Property and eventually Retail Property if that strategy seems suitable and the market opportunity exists.
  4. The size of local properties will dictate the size of commission.  That being said, it is necessary to target the right quality listings in the right locations from the moment that you open your doors as an agency.  Exclusive listings will produce better quality commissions over time.  Initially you may find it hard to encourage exclusive listings, although the attempt should not be overlooked.  Initially you will probably need to accept open listings and have your salespeople work on that general stock.  When you eventually achieve greater market churn and success, it will be easier to convert exclusive listings given that you will then have a track record.
  5. Undertake a competitor analysis throughout the region.  Some of those competitors will be more successful than others.  Identify the reasons for that success and determine the points of difference relative to each agency and salesperson.  How will your agency compete against those competitors?  What can your agency do as part of attracting new business?  How can you pitch for listings against the established local agencies?

So these are some key ideas that can be merged into your commercial real estate marketing plan.  Other local area factors should also be considered and merged into the plan.

Before you open the doors of your new real estate office, ensure that you are fully aware of the strategy that needs to be implemented and the staff involved in the process.  You can then create your staff attraction process to find the right people for the business.

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.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Incredibly Easy Prospecting Model and Timeline

In commercial real estate, you need a prospecting model if you want to be successful.  It is a very simple message and fact, but very complex task to initiate for some (although it does not need to be so).  The sooner you develop the process, the quicker you will get results in commissions and listings.

In any commercial real estate team, it is easy to see the difference between the agents that regularly prospect and those that don’t.  The difference will be in quality of listing stock, and conversions to closed transactions.

Establish Your Prospecting Process

The prospecting process is unique to you yourself as an individual and property specialist, and your territory with its property types and property investors.  To get your system going, it is necessary to establish some rules relative to the local area and the property types.  First and foremost, you should understand the following factors:

  • Set some boundaries relating to the primary area of focus in your region.  You cannot be an agent for everybody and cover every location.  The commercial property market is just so specialized that the knowledge required across different areas will be difficult to achieve and maintain.  It is better for you to become an area specialist and perhaps even a property specialist within the area.
  • With all of the available property types locally, determine the property types that will be of high demand into the future.  There is no point in you specialising in something that has little activity or reducing market share.
  • Get to know the history of property sales and leasing activity throughout your local region.  The historic trends in property sales, rental returns, business demographics, and population growth will influence the future of your commercial real estate market.  Ensure that your market has the expansion and churn factors that you require for property change over, sales, and rental.  The history of property activity is in fact a timeline.  The time line will show you where the opportunity will arise over coming months and years.

Within any local area, you will find groups of prospects that offer real commercial real estate opportunity on a regular basis.  Getting closer to those groups will help you with further listings and further inquiry.

Most particularly the top priority groups that will feed you with listings include the following:

  1. Franchise business groups seeking new property positions as part of their business model will always be on the lookout for good property locations.  Every franchise group will have unique requirements of property selection and occupancy.  For this very reason, approach them individually and get to know their selection process and terms of acquisition.  When it comes to leasing, they will usually have a standard form of lease to support their franchise business model.  They will also have particular requirements of demographics relative to the local area, the population, and exposure.
  2. Solicitors with clients that have property challenges or needs will need your help.  Whilst solicitors may know how to transact property, they usually need assistance when it comes to liquidating a property or acquiring a new one.  Local market knowledge will help them greatly with this process, and you can be the source of that experience when it comes to the local property market.
  3. Accountants with clients and property investors that require property solutions are a always out there looking for specialised property assistance and local market knowledge.  This is where you can be of high value to them as they work to resolve their client’s property problems.

Every existing property listing is an opportunity to talk to other property owners and business proprietors.  In this way you can expand your market intelligence and relevance as a property specialist.

Handling the Sales Pitch and Presentation in Commercial Real Estate Agency

When it comes to building your business as a commercial real estate agent, you will frequently be pitching and presenting for property listings against other agents in your local area.  Most property owners will seek presentations from four or five agencies as part of the preparation for listing their property.  In most cases, you will only have a short opportunity to connect with the property owner and present your strategies of marketing, selling and or leasing.

This then says that the presentation and pitch process that you utilize with your listings is really important.  Many agents tend to provide discounts as part of the enticement process for attracting the new listing.  Whilst this may seem somewhat sensible to attract the business, the reality is that any short cuts and discounts will have an impact on your marketing program and your income.  It should also be said that discounting commission is not a sensible idea in this property market when hard work it required to convert the average deal and get it across the line.

Here are some tips to help your sales pitch and presentation process in commercial real estate agency.

  1. Be prepared to show the client some real and valuable points of difference in your service.  Most agents use only generic comments such as good staff, knowledge, market share, and duration in the market.  When it comes to pitching and presenting, these generic comments have little value in converting the listing.  Your points of difference need to be real and specific to the needs of the client.  This then says that any presentational process should be well planned and optimized for the property and client in question.
  2. Visit the property before hand, and take approximately 50 photographs of the property and the surrounding area.  These photographs can be used digitally on a laptop computer or iPad as part of the property presentation.  It is surprising how powerful a simple running photo-slide show of random photographs can be in a property presentation.  The client will always show interest in their property and that is what the photographs relate to.  Forget about using anything else on the computer, the client will only relate to their property and that is why you use property photographs.
  3. The best property presentation is a conversation or connection with the client on a number of levels.  It is best to bring together all of the senses as part of the property presentation.  That will mean visual, sound, and touch.  To achieve this, you have your laptop computer loaded with property images, you have your verbal presentation with points of difference, and you have a property proposal to provide to the client for review (keep it short and to the point).
  4. Engagement is really important when it comes to the sales pitch or presentation.  Engagement means connection and conversation.  The top agents of the industry know how to engage and converse in a meaningful way.  Local property knowledge and market trends will help you do this.  Tell the client what the inquiry is doing, and what people are looking for.  Demand an exclusive listing; do not take an open listing on the clients terms.
  5. Every property listing will involve both a strategy, and a marketing campaign.  Both of these should be specifically designed for the subject property and quite unique given the trends of the local property market.  In this way you can help the client see how you will attract the correct levels of inquiry from the selected target market.  When the client believes that you are the best solution for their property challenge, it will be easier to convert the listing on an exclusive basis.

Over time you can improve your presentational processes through practice and the development of specific marketing tools.  On average, the top agents of the industry tend to win more listings per property presentation.  They do it because they can connect to the client more professionally than the competitors.  It is a simple process, however it does require practice.

Checklists for Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate Agency

When it comes to making cold calls in commercial real estate, you need some form of checklist to help you with progressing the conversation in a relevant way.  Most of the people that you call will have no interest or need when it comes to property sales or property leasing.

However some other people do have a need, and on that basis you should have a questioning process to help you move towards a meeting with these qualified people.  Systemise everything when it comes to a cold calling model in your commercial real estate business.

Here are some rules to help you establish a checklist in the cold calling prospect process.

  1. The best way to get a cold calling system up and running is to start from an initial base of telephone numbers in the business telephone book.  The local businesses will have some relationship to property either as a tenant or as a property owner.  On that basis they become targets for information and ongoing contact.
  2. In most cities and towns, you will have a significant group of local businesses that can be fed into this call contact system.  When you initially approach them it is simply a matter of understanding if they have a need or an interest when it comes to commercial property.  They will be requiring the services of an experienced property agent at some stage in the future.  Your job is to identify if that need is sooner or later.
  3. It is very hard to pitch your services across the telephone.  It is far more effective to strike a conversation, arrange a meeting and establish the personal contact.  Commercial real estate is quite complex when it comes to leasing sales and property management.  On that basis, your priority in making calls should always be to establish a meeting first and foremost.
  4. As part of the call contact process, ensure that you have a good database to use in capturing the information identified and found.  That database should categorise people into suspects, prospects, and clients.  It should also categorise people into business owners, property owners, tenants, and property developers.  Take control of your information with these categories.

The checklist process in making direct calls to businesses and property related people should have due regard to your local area.  There are certain things in your local area that will be important to property owners and business proprietors.  Here are some ideas that can be added to your contacting system and questioning process:

  • Are they a tenant in the location?
  • Do they own the property for the business?
  • Are they aware of other property changes locally?
  • Do they have needs of expansion or contraction for the business?
  • Is relocation something that would help them?
  • When do they consider property change?

All of this information will help you with the valuable market intelligence that you require.  Over time your database can become a significant point of difference and advantage in building your commercial real estate market share.

Commercial Property Agents – Use Checklists to Develop Your Sales Pitch and Presentation

In commercial real estate you need a top sales pitch to help you convert more business than the competing agents that you are up against.  In many respects you will only have 30 minutes with the client to convince them that you are the best agent solution to take their property to the market.

So many agents just ‘wing it’ when it comes to the sales presentation.  If you want to win more business the best thing you can do is create a great presentational model that is built on a ‘checklist’ approach.  Over time this will help you stay on focus and allow you to refine your approach when you find extra things that will work for you.  Soon the whole process of pitching and presenting will be so efficient and focused you will be winning more business of the quality that you require.

Your property market is something that you should know very well.  This knowledge and relevance has to get to the client in the presentation.  It can help you convert the business in a powerful way.  They need a local agent and that can be you.

Here are some ideas to help you build a presentational process and checklist that can really work well.

  1. Engage the client with relevant questions at the start.  To do this you should have comprehensively inspected the property and the general area.  In this way you can talk to the things that are important in the marketing campaign.
  2. Competing properties will impact your marketing campaign.  Show the client where those properties are and tell them of the pressures those properties present to the subject property.
  3. Every client will have issues and concerns.  You have to find them and the only way to do that is through questions.  Each question you ask should be taken to the next level when you sense that the client has some facts of relevance.
  4. Give facts about the market based on real evidence.  Those facts are likely to influence price, rent, marketing, methods of sale, and methods of lease.
  5. Tell the client where you see the campaign heading and why.  Clients like to see that we have a solid set of solutions and not just a generic approach to helping them.  Be very specific to the property.
  6. As a general rule, always seek vendor paid marketing and exclusive listings at all times.  These two facts will help you build market share and that is what you need to make your career strong and successful.
  7. Do not be afraid to walk away from a listing.  If the client is unrealistic or centred on facts that cannot work, do not waste your time in helping them. Let some other agent struggle with the difficult client.

Simple facts like these can help your presentational model and sales pitch greatly.  As the base of your presentation improves, you can modify the checklist approach so that you are moving to the next level of listing conversions.  Top agents do this all the time.