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.