As a general rule in commercial real estate brokerage, every proposal that you put together should be benefit focused on the client. Show the client exactly how they will benefit from using your comprehensive services as a marketing specialist.
Use a Gantt chart to show the client the stages of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. This illustrative charting method is very effective when it comes to helping the client through a comprehensive and complex marketing process. It can also be a major point of difference in your proposal layout.
In today’s property market, the generic listing and marketing approach really doesn’t work. The competition in the marketplace is significant from other listings, and the experience and expertise of your competing agents and brokers will also place pressures on your listing conversions. Give the client some real reasons to choose you as the top agent of choice to solve their property pain.
It is worthwhile remembering that the client doesn’t want to be an experiment in marketing. They want their property to achieve the best levels of enquiry in the most effective and direct way. You hold the keys to the process and your proposal will need to clearly outline the strategies and recommendations.
Here are some tips to help you with constructing and submitting a proposal to sell or lease a commercial property today:
- Stand out as uniquely qualified to handle the property type in the town or city. You will need some testimonials and market evidence to help the client understand those situations and recommendations.
- Review the property for the strengths and weaknesses that will have an impact on the marketing campaign. The weaknesses may need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion. The strengths can be helpful when it comes to advertising layout and points of attraction.
- Determine the target market that will have a keen interest in the property type. Build your marketing campaign around the target market using specific points of difference and promotional processes that clearly tap into the target audience. Help the client understand those strategies and the reasons you are making the recommendations.
- Show the client how they will clearly benefit from utilizing your brokerage services and market coverage. Use your database as a point of difference when it comes to creating enquiry and spreading the message about the property. Create a shortlist of buyers or tenants as the case may be from the database; tell the client how you will be connecting into the short list of qualified parties as a priority as soon as the property is released to the market.
The focus of your proposal should be to attract the correct level of inquiry and generate inspections as soon as possible. When you get the inspections underway, you have something to work with and can then give the client feedback from those inspections.
What is the value that you bring as an agent to a client in commercial property today? It is an interesting question for a client to ask when it comes to an agent selling, leasing, or managing commercial real estate.
Most agents would say one or more of the following:
- We know what we are doing
- We have good people
- We understand the property market
- We have done some great deals recently
- We sold (or leased) other properties like this recently
- We know how to market the property
The sad fact of the matter is that when they have said these things, they go no further. They do not back up their claims with detailed proof.
If you say anything to a client about your relevance or skill as a local commercial real estate agent, be prepared to expand on the issue and talk about it comprehensively and directly. Show the client some proof of why your statement is so important to their property position or need.
Here are a couple of ideas to use when it comes to showing the client that you really are the right agent for the job of marketing the property:
- Use a Gantt chart that shows the steps that you will be taking in marketing the property and converting the result that they need. Have different Gantt charts for the process when it comes to sales, leasing, and property management (commercial or retail).
- Define the target market in such a way that you are clear on exactly how you will connect with the right people and help them understand the property market.
When you pitch or present to a client, don’t discount your services and lower your marketing fees for the sake of attracting the client’s attention. Offer real and relevant marketing solutions that are so good that the client cannot ignore you. Sign them up on an exclusive listing.
In commercial real estate agency, your sales pitch and presentation should be of the highest quality. It should be practiced regularly on different property types and in different property situations so you can attract the right listings to your agency.
Here are some facts to remember:
- Quality property listings will attract a greater level of direct enquiry from the market, and therefore you will have more inspections to work with.
- Average listings take a lot longer to move due to the lack of enquiry or poor interest from the market.
Given these facts, your presentation has to attract and convert the best listings. That’s how top agents get the results from the market; they focus on listing quality before anything else. Even if a quality listing is overpriced, it will still attract greater enquiry and that will give you something to work with for the client.
Most of the listings and clients that you target will be chased by other agents locally. Rarely will you have the opportunity to pitch for a listing entirely on your own. Your sales pitch needs to be well planned and staged. Here are some ideas to help you do that:
- First impressions are really important. Take pride in how you dress, appear and carry yourself when meeting a commercial real estate client or prospect for the first time. It takes about 1 minute for a person to assess you visually and form an opinion on your relevance. The commercial real estate industry is one of professionalism and on that basis a ‘business image’ is required.
- Be aware of the age and experience level of the people that you are connecting or working with; they may be far more experienced in business than you are. They may have expectations that are high and demanding.
- The client expects you to be skilful in the issues that they want resolved. On that basis you should have a ‘professional selling attitude’ that they appreciate and know will help with their property challenge. Confidence should show in what you say and do.
- Practice your dialogue and speech so you are ready to show confidence in every client or prospect situation. If this is difficult for you now, make ‘role playing’ a part of your weekly sales meeting. Create a quality in what you say and how you do it. Let the client see that you can handle any property negotiation or debate professionally. Master the right words for the right situation.
- Ask the right questions in any contact situation. It helps if you have a checklist relative to your property type and marketing situation.
- Show that you have a real knowledge of the property situation and task ahead for the client. Give them some confidence that you are indeed the ‘real deal’ when it comes to moving through their property challenge.
Your presentation or sales pitch in commercial real estate will get a lot easier when you follow these simple and yet effective rules.
Have you ever come across a commercial real estate client that thinks their property is worth more than what the market will deliver? I would say just about 90% of clients fall into that category when first taking their property to the market.
It takes a while for reality to ‘kick in’ when it comes to property marketing. Unfortunately the first few weeks of any property marketing effort are the weeks of getting results and enquiry; if the property is priced too high during that time, the client (and you) can be wasting a lot of time and money.
The important thing is that you help them understand what is really going on out there and what they can do to work within it. It should also be said that you should not take the listing onto your books if the client will not listen to reason and the price is well away from market. You do not want to be known as the agent that lists and cannot sell or lease. Results are important in this industry.
Here are some facts:
- Property prices do not go up forever. They will sometimes slow, stagnate, decline, or reverse. The property market is based on a cycle of change and churn. Our opportunity is in serving clients and helping them with that change. As agents we need to know how to handle ‘change’ and help our clients do the same. Do not struggle with the changes in the industry; work with them. Know that they are a fact of the market and then design some solutions to help your clients through those changes when it comes to selling or leasing property today.
- New properties coming on the market will command more interest than older properties. For that very reason you must watch the other property developments that are coming up. Prices and rents offered will change the ‘game plan’ when it comes to existing properties today.
- Property enquiry will change during the year between the factors of property type, value, rent, time on market, and improvements. Every listing should be matched into the prevailing market conditions.
- Selling and leasing commercial and retail property can be quite seasonal. For this reason you can pick the best marketing solutions for the time of year. Marketing of commercial and retail property today is quite important; the tools that we have available are diverse and powerful. Choose the right tools to capture and grow the property enquiry. Drop the generic marketing campaigns. Be specific in how you promote your listings and make every marketing effort count.
So, all of this says that we should make sure at the very start of our services that we correctly guide and assist the clients that we work with. When you list at the right price, your chances of better enquiry and eventual sale are much higher. The client wants help in moving their property. Tell them how you can help them do that and give solid proof as to the prevailing market conditions. Give them the confidence and the reasons to use you as the preferred agent to take the listing on.
When it comes to pitching for the commercial real estate listing, you really do need to have up to date information about the prevailing market conditions. In only this way can you shape the thinking of the client to create a marketable property.
Most commercial real estate listing opportunities today are quite competitive. Other agents will be attempting to influence the thinking and decision facilities of the client. Enticements such as marketing and commission discounts are quite common. The fact of the matter is that any discount provided to the client is a false economy. They really want results, and discounts do not generally provide the right results. You need to show them that fact.
Agents that provide discounts are driven from a different motivation, and are less likely to have the client as a high priority in their business and marketing effort.
What’s Your Value and Commitment?
One of the targets in your sales pitch or presentation for the listing should be to show the client real value and commitment when it comes to shortening their time on market, and achieving a positive outcome.
Top agents do not discount their services given that they are property experts, and they sell their expertise effectively and directly. Most clients do not want to be an ‘experiment’ in property marketing. They want the best people with the best strategy and the right level of confidence to take the listing forward. That is how you sell yourself.
So how can you put all of this information together? Here are some tips that can be applied to your presentation or pitch for the listing.
- Give the client some solid information about the local area when it comes to time on market, prices, and competing properties. These facts will be quite specific to the property type and the subject listing. Given that the existing property market can be quite difficult at the moment, show the trends and shifts in the market through some form of graphical display. The last two or three years will provide some industry trends that the client cannot refute. Evidence is everything when it comes to listing the property.
- Show the client that you really understand the property type in every respect. Give them some history of other properties that you have worked on that are similar. Tell them of the strategies that were adopted when it came to marketing, inspections, and negotiations.
- The improvements in the existing property listing will attract a particular target audience. Defining the target audience to the client will help the listing process. Tell the client how you will be attracting the enquiry from the recommended marketing processes.
- Feedback is everything in this property market today. Most listings will only generate a small amount of enquiry and the agents will have to convert the enquiry as quickly and effectively as possible. This means that the client should be conditioned and prepared for true market conditions as you see them today. If the property market is slower or difficult, then the client needs to understand that fact.
- When you look at your local property area and territory, there will be some properties that sell or lease more effectively than others. Determine the criteria that will create that positive result. Show the client how their property will need to fit inside the criteria.
- Every property will have a preferred method of marketing and a preferred method of sale. The same principle applies when it comes to leasing. Solid recommendations need to be made to the client so that they do not make any mistakes when it comes to those factors.
- Make sure that the method of marketing is correct for the property type and the location. You should get vendor paid marketing funds as part of the process. Also focus on the exclusive listing process so that you have the commitment of the client to a lengthy period of time on the agency appointment, and your preferred marketing campaign.
- If you are the best agent in the local area, they will not hesitate in giving you an exclusive listing. Sell your expertise and relevance to the property and to the client at every opportunity. That will be key part of your sales pitch and presentation.
- Tell the client how you will be inspecting the property with any enquiring parties. Give the client a distinct strategy relating to the inspection and the improvements on the property. Tell the client how you will be featuring certain aspects of the property to influence the inspecting party.
- Lastly it should be said that every client should be prepared for the potential negotiation that should follow as a direct result of the right property marketing. Give them the complete facts relating to the local area and the local market so that the future negotiation will be supported by that conditioning process.
Pitching and presenting for a commercial or retail property listing does not have to be hard or difficult; it just needs to be based on facts. Sell your services based on facts.
When you systemise the listing process in commercial real estate today, you can improve the quality of the listing, the marketing, and the future negotiation. The best listing process involves a checklist procedure. Commercial real estate agents should optimise the listing process in this way.
Today we find that most listings are competitively tendered between several agencies. This means that your sales pitch for the listing may be the only opportunity for you to convert the business. Everything has to be prepared and aligned for the sales pitch and presentation process.
A good listings system will involve questions, checklists, and a gathering of the relative facts. When this is professionally done, the client cannot help but be impressed with your thorough and detailed approach.
Clients like to choose the agent of skill and experience. The only way you can help them do this is through displaying your comprehensive property procedures as part of the sales pitch and listing presentation.
Here are some ideas to help you establish the listing process and improve on your listing conversions. This can be the start of your listing system.
- The gathering of property facts will be the start of the entire process. That will be the information relating to the property itself, improvements, the property owner, the general precinct, and any leases or tenants in occupancy.
- Inspect the property prior to the meeting with the client. If you can meet the client on site, this will be even more productive and help the eventual sales pitch or presentation process.
- Get the history of the property and ask the client about their reasons for sale or lease today as the case may be. They will have specific needs in taking the property to the market today, and you need to know what they are. This will then help your final listing pitch and negotiation.
- Most properties today will be impacted by encumbrances, property interests, rights of way, leases, adjoining properties, tenants, risk, permitted use, and other things such as property improvements, design, and building compliances. Many of these facts will be influenced by the property type and the property location.
- Some precinct or geographical issues such as flooding, services and amenities, highways, transport, car parking, and raw materials may also have an impact on the property occupant for the property owner. It is important that you observe and question everything relating to the property.
- When a client takes their property to the market they will have an ultimate goal or target to satisfy. That fact will influence the listing process, the marketing, and the negotiation when it occurs. Work through these issues with the client so you can get to the real facts of the property as it is today and their needs.
The listing process should be highly professional. This will then help your ongoing business opportunities.
The commercial property presentation today for sales and leasing has to be quite specific to the challenges in the property market. Every client that we present to should be under no misunderstanding when it comes to the prevailing market conditions. It is your job to tell them exactly how the market reacts at the moment to properties similar to that owned by the client.
The property sales pitch or presentation therefore needs to be comprehensive and specific to the property type. When you do this correctly, you will achieve a listing that is matched to the market and a client that is receptive to the required ongoing marketing and negotiations.
Here are some tips to help your property presentation process today.
- As a first stage of the client connection, it’s desirable to meet the client on site and go through the property together. This then allows you to ask questions of the client relating to the property history, the usage, and their motivations for sale or lease today.
- Following that property inspection, ask the client for at least 24 hours of time to allow you to research the prevailing market conditions, and provide the best recommendations to resolve their property challenge. Use that time to correctly structure the strategies and recommendations that should be put to the client. Be quite specific and not generic when it comes to those factors and your final proposal or recommendation.
- At the start of the actual presentation, explain to the client the prevailing market conditions as you see them relating to the property and it’s location. Provide evidence from competing properties on the market today as to time on market, pricing, and best methods of sale or lease as the case may be.
- Over the last two years, there should be some market evidence relating to the achieved prices and rentals for that property type. Whilst each property result will depend on improvements and location, it is worthwhile graphing the property market trends when it comes to results, prices, and rental. Make sure you have inspected each comparable property so you can relate the facts to the client from a personal level.
- Be prepared to tell a few stories relating to other clients and market situations. It is surprising how stories will gain the attention of the client and help your presentation overall.
- As part of the presentation, use plenty of digital photographs on your laptop computer. Those photographs can be rolling automatically as a slide presentation whilst you talk to the client about their property. Most of those photographs should be of the clients property, the surrounding locations, and competing properties. In this way the client will be connecting with their property and your conversation. Avoid slides with any words. Pictures will help grab the clients attention.
Top agents today take deliberate effort when it comes to the property presentation and connecting with the client. Everything needs to be specific in content and accuracy. Expect the other competing agents to do their very best to derail your property presentation. You will not have a second chance to meet with the client, so every presentation needs to be the best.
In commercial property today, just about every listing will go to some form of competitive pitch or sales presentation process. This then says that you will be up against a number of other agents in the process. You will only have a short period of time to convince the client that you are the best agent of choice and relevant to their property needs.
There are some key factors to incorporate into your sales presentation to ensure that the client really appreciates the value that you bring to the process. Here are some of those key factors to help you structure your next sales pitch or presentation.
- At the early stages of the presentation, ensure that the client can see that you totally understand the property and or their current situation. Go through the elements of the property as you see them today, and restate to the client the focus or the requirement that they currently have.
- Every property will have distinct features and improvements that are relevant to a target market. Be quite specific in establishing that target market to the client, and give them some solid recommendations relating to how you will attract the enquiry from the market.
- It directly follows from the previous point that the property marketing campaign should be quite specific to the listing and the prevailing market conditions. Give the client some distinct recommendations and alternatives when it comes to property marketing. Get away from the generic advertising and promotional campaign. Give them something specific that they can see that is different and unique to your approach.
- Every client likes to be ‘special’ when it comes to engaging your agency and services. They like to know that you are committed to them in the listing, marketing, and negotiation process. They are three distinct stages that all have elements of engagement and specialty.
- You cannot achieve the levels of commitment to the client without having an exclusive listing. Make sure the client understands how an exclusive listing works and the types of feedback and interaction they will receive. If they still choose an open listing, then it is really just a matter of whether you really want the listing. Open listings will detract your focus from other exclusively listed properties. The client needs to understand that. If they are genuine in the listing process, they will choose an exclusive listing.
- Any strategy involving an open listing is really a waste of time for both the client and for you. Top agents will walk away from open listings. You cannot control your market, the enquiry, and the property promotion when it comes to an open listing. It is no secret that today most properties take time to sell or lease. The commitment and the marketing effort can only be directed through an exclusive listing.
- When it comes to connecting with the client as part of the presentation, some elements are not negotiable. Most particularly they are your market knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm for the property situation. All three of these factors need to be correctly conveyed to the client so that they know that they will be making the correct choice when it comes to signing off on the listing with you and your agency.
At the end of any presentation, it is critical that you ask for the business. Top agents always ask for the commitment from the client as part of the close of the sales pitch. Don’t give the client an opportunity to avoid the process and seek further time to call and connect with other agents. Ask for the business.
In commercial real estate, it is frequently necessary to create and submit proposals for the sale and lease of properties. Every property owner or potential client will have special needs and conditions to feed into the proposal structure. That being said, the proposal to sell or lease a commercial property should be quite specific and not generic.
Generic proposals are no more than an advertising document. They rarely win the business. Clients and property owners today require proposals that are quite specific to the trends of the current market and the needs of the particular property. Your competitors will be on the mark to attract the business, so your proposal must be very good in all respects.
Top commercial agents prepare proposals that are unique and special when it comes to resolving the particular property challenge of the client. Here are some tips to help the process.
- At the front of every proposal document, there should be an executive summary that clearly brings all the critical elements together in one short page of dot points. Simplicity is the key to converting any proposal to a successful transaction or listing appointment.
- In most cases, a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should be relatively short and specific. Bulky documents are to be discouraged. In the case of ordinary properties, most proposals will only need to be about 15 to 20 pages in length. That being said, it is interesting to note that many agents will create bulky documents of double that size simply to talk about generic property trends and their relevance as a local agent. The key to winning any proposal is to be specific in what you say and give solutions based with clear recommendations. At every opportunity, talk about the property and the solutions that are available.
- The proposal should specifically talk to the local property market today and the trends that are clear and apparent. Tell the client how those trends will have impact on the property marketing process and negotiation. This will have significant benefit at a later time when any potential prospect has been identified and commences negotiation on the property.
- In every proposal document, it is wise to clearly restate the client’s requirements of sale or lease so that any misunderstandings are removed from the presentation or pitch. This then aligns the agent to the intentions of the client and the requirements of the property. Clarity is important.
- The target market for the property should be defined and quantified. That target market will be the focus of the marketing campaign to be described in the document. The particular target market should be summarised in both the levels of current enquiry and types of enquiry. The particular property will have property improvements that may suit the marketing campaign and the target market. Those improvements should be featured as part of the marketing campaign.
- The marketing campaign that is documented in the proposal should have two or three alternatives and budgets. That will allow the client to formulate a decision based on expenditure and the recommendations of the agent. Invariably when the client has a choice regards marketing costs, they will usually choose the middle ground in each case.
- Every proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should have a fee base that is competitive but not discounted. When it comes to selling or leasing commercial property, fees should be one of the last considerations when it comes to choice of agency. An experienced and qualified agent will add far more value to the sale or lease process than any discount that is offered as part of the proposal or sales pitch process. Top agents sell their skills and relevance as specialists to solve the concerns of the client. When this is done well, the requirements for any discount are well forgotten by the client.
- In some respects, and with certain large or special properties, it will be necessary to clearly define the experience of selected staff in the marketing of the property. This becomes quite important when you consider marketing larger and complex investment properties. Top agents have more experience and will usually feed that experience into every proposal document.
- As part of every proposal, it is wise to give the client some graphical display relating to the time line of sale or lease. There are many stages to move through before the property will achieve a successful outcome. Many clients do not understand those stages and the importance of them. When undertaken correctly, this graph or graphical display can show the client the clear relevance of your people and your agency in solving of the property pain.
So these are some of the main items that can apply in the creation of a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property. You can add to these items based on locational factors and particular important issues attributable to the property.
A sales pitch in commercial real estate can be a challenging process especially when you are up against other agents competing for the same property when the market is saturated with listings or agents. You do not know what the competitors are doing or saying and how they will pitch for the listing.
The best way to do a commercial real estate presentation is to start from a base of information about the clients need as you see it, and then ask questions to get their opinion on key issues. In this way you have their attention and you can show them that you really do know what they need or what the market can do for them.
Here are some other ideas to feed into your sales pitch:
- Questions create momentum in your presentation. For this reason it pays to consider and prepare for the right questions that will have real relevance to the presentation. You could include in those questions what the client has done with the property over recent time and what their intentions may be to move ahead with it now. Ask them about their biggest challenge now in moving the property, and what they see as the best outcome. From this information you can open up the discussion about the local market and current levels of enquiry.
- Local market knowledge will give you confidence to move through challenges that may be presented to you by the client. In most cases the client will not know much about the current market and the results that have been coming out of it.
- Understand the customer and their current property problem. Let them see that you relate to their concerns and show them how you will move matters forward. Your pitch is not really about you and your skills; it is about them and their property pain. Identify the pain and then provide the relief with real strategy.
- Hone your critical skills and practice them regularly. If you have any weaknesses, deal with them in role play and personal improvement. Sometimes your greatest weakness as a salesperson is the only thing that is holding you back from a great leap forward in your business and market share.
- Do not close or negotiate too early in the pitch process. Far too many sales people do this. It sends the wrong message to the client. Desperation does not do well in a sales presentation today.
- Use the right resources and have them available at your fingertips. There is nothing worse that pitching for a listing and not having all of the right tools to take you forward.
Follow up all presentations professionally and efficiently. Some clients will not make a choice on agent for a few days. Make sure they see your professionalism in winning and losing a presentation. Brand yourself as the best agent in a professional way.