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Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – A Custom Designed Strategy to Work with Commercial Property Investors

Every commercial property is unique and on that basis every property investor will have special challenges to work with their asset.  In every property location there will be special factors to consider and challenges to resolve.  You can be the specialist for the location to help investors through the challenges that they experience.  The value that you can offer through a set of comprehensive property services needs to be carefully considered and promoted.

Know the facts locally

To successfully work with commercial property investors, it is simply a matter of understanding what they are experiencing in the local property market and how you can be the solution that they need.  With particular clients you can drill down into the unique challenges of a single property, its ownership, and its location.

So how can you do this?  You can do an analysis of property performance and property opportunity.  You can provide a real property performance plan based on solid recommendations supported by strategy and opportunity.

What can you do?

As the local property specialist, you can add considerable value to the services that you provide your investor clients.  Specialise completely and thoroughly within your location and within a small number of property types.  That specialisation will be of great value to the clients that you serve.

Here are some of the most common challenges that you will strike with property investors today.  These particular issues all require solutions:

  • Timing – Many property decisions will be based around factors of timing. Time will impact property cash flow, rental, tenancy mix, and occupancy.  Ultimately over time there will be property based issues that will flow through to changes in capital value.  Understand the timing factors for your location when it comes to selling, leasing, and property upgrade.  When it comes to selling or leasing a property, you can show your clients the best strategies of timing matched to the challenges within the asset.
  • Financing – Some investors will need to change financing strategies and structures during the ownership cycle for a property. There will also be the need for property valuations to support mortgage funds.  Understand the duration of financing applies to the clients that you serve.  You will need to strengthen the tenancy mix and the rental income to improve and enhance the financing position.  The loan value ratio between advanced funds and property value is a ratio to watch.
  • Cash flow – The leases within the tenancy mix will support the rental cash flow. Can add cash flow be improved?  How does the rental cash flow matched to the prevailing market rentals?  You can do a rental assessment and compare the results of the assessment to other properties in the location.
  • Portfolio performance – When you delve into the factors of property performance for your client, you can cover off on matters of income enhancement, maintenance management, expenditure controls, tenancy changes, and lease changes. All of these things each year will flow to the end result of property performance.
  • Vacancy factors – How can you improve the occupancy rates within the property? How can you find the best tenants to strengthen the tenancy profiles and lease covenants?  A good property will be strengthened by the tenants in the mix.  Look at how you can encourage and shape the tenant occupancy over time.
  • Property maintenance – You cannot own an investment property without spending money. You can however develop a strategy of timing that takes into account known expenditure and the performance of the asset.  You can set a budget in place incorporating rates and taxes, repairs and maintenance, capital expenditure, and property renovations.  Understand the future of the asset and the maintenance that will be required to improve it over time.

There are some good things here that can be tracked and managed for your investment clients.  You can provide some stability and controls to enhance property performance over time.

Understand the asset for what it is, and look at how you can bring change and opportunity to the tenancy mix, rental strategy, lease documentation, and property value.  Your clients will appreciate the real strategies that you bring to the process of property ownership and investment.

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Congratulate and Involve Your New Commercial Real Estate Clients

When it comes to gaining new clients and listings within commercial real estate brokerage, every new client should receive a direct telephone call from the sales manager or the principal of the brokerage as soon as the listing is signed up.  In this way the client will understand the value that you place on them when it comes to providing professional service, feedback, and growing the client relationship for the long term.

In simple terms as the team leader of the business you can congratulate the client for using the services of your agency and to encourage them to connect if any problems develop.  This then allows for the differences in agent performance and gives real control when it comes to client service.  The team leader can monitor the client relationship so that the clients business is preserved and encouraged in a positive way.

Spending more time on the client relationship at the ‘front end’ reaps the rewards later when it comes to client conditioning and any negotiation that may be required when it comes to any sale or leasing situation.

Here are some ideas to help you connect with the client professionally at the start of and throughout the property marketing campaign:

  1. As soon as the listing has been agreed to and signed, the sales manager or agency principal should make the phone call direct to the client thanking them for the business and encouraging ongoing communication if required.
  2. Depending on the size of your team and your business it can be valuable for the team leader to meet the client in the first week of the property campaign.  The face to face connection is valuable when and if things become difficult in moving the property to a sale or a lease.
  3. At least once a month the team leader can communicate again with the client as part of the maintaining the connection process.  Some listings will stay on the books for a very long time for any number of reasons and on that basis this connection will help preserve the focus of the client and to encourage them to remain positive in the protracted marketing or negotiation process.
  4. Providing the client has given you an exclusive listing for the property then the levels of service to be provided should include regular reporting of campaign and negotiation progress by the telephone, in emails, and by summary at the end of each week.

Within larger agencies the client experience will vary from agent to agent for any number of reasons; make sure you know the agents that are not good with client service and communication and take steps to intervene where necessary.

The team leader can be a ‘standard’ to hold the client experience at a level of control and allow positive feedback.  If the individual agent ‘under performs’ then the team leader will soon know about it and take steps to fix it.