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Getting Better Marketing Results for Commercial Real Estate Clients

To a large degree, the marketing results that you get today in promoting commercial real estate will help you with negotiations and client conditioning.  The property market is forever changing.

Seasonal inquiry will reflect in both the time on market for the listing, and pricing strategies.  The impact of seasonal marketing should also help you with the correct decisions when it comes to the method of sale.

In receiving the inquiry from your marketing campaign, you will soon know whether you are achieving the necessary volume of inquiry and the type of inquiry.  Don’t let a marketing campaign continue for too long without appropriate assessment and marketing or media changes.

You only have a short period of time where you can generate the necessary inbound inquiries to achieve inspections.  Here are some further thoughts when it comes to assessing the campaign for your quality listing:

  • If the volume of inquiry is too low, it will be necessary to recommend modifying and increasing the marketing package to capture more people.
  • If the type of inquiry is incorrect as to its demographics, you will need to adjust the marketing so that it reaches the right people more successfully.

At the end of the first week of the campaign, you should have seen significant results and obtained buyer feedback which will allow you to understand if you are reaching your marketing objectives and targets.  Depending upon the outcome from inquiries, you will make the adjustments as mentioned earlier.

It is important not to allow the marketing campaign to proceed without monitoring and without adjustment.  In most cases, the optimized promotion of a property will be for a period of six to eight weeks at the very start of the campaign.  Beyond that time the property listing will soon become stale and unattractive.  If the property has not sold during that initial promotional period, it is better practice to remove the property from public promotion for one or two months and then start again using a different strategy or method of sale.

It is standard practice with commercial property to seek vendor paid advertising with any quality listing.  This then gives the agent some guarantee that the client is serious about selling the property; it also helps the agent when it comes to controlling inquiry, creating inspections, and negotiating directly with the client.

It is essential to seek payment from the client for the advertising campaign prior to its commencement.  Many a client has delayed or avoided payment at a later time when it comes to marketing funds.  Don’t start to advertise until such time as the promotional money has been paid by the client and is held in the bank account.

As a basic strategy, keep in contact with the client on almost a daily basis from the start of the campaign to keep them fully appraised of promotional activity.

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Spotting Phoney Commercial Real Estate Enquiries

In commercial real estate agency you will get enquiries for properties coming to you each and every day.  Some of those enquiries will be genuine whilst others will be phoney.  With practice you can pick the phoney ones quite easily.

The golden rule in taking telephone enquiries for your listings is that you do not give out information without the full details of the person who has contacted you.  You should also limit the information that you give over the telephone, so that you can encourage a meeting and fuller property detail later.

Some of the people in our industry are not particularly ethical or honest.  Anything you say can be used later to some advantage; limit what you say on the telephone.  Meet the people first.

So why would someone make a phoney property enquiry?  Here are some of the common reasons:

  • The most common problem is with other agents checking out the listing and the property details.
  • Adjoining owners wanting to know more about the property just to compare it to their property.
  • Other property owners wanting to get details so they can put their property on the market at more favourable terms and conditions.
  • Business owners or tenants wanting property details so they can negotiate with the property owner direct at a better deal.

From this short list it is easy to see why exclusive listings in our industry are so important.  With exclusive listings you can control the enquiry, the client, the property, and the negotiation.  If by contrast you have an open listing, most control is gone.  With an open listing you are relying on the ethics and honesty of the client; you are also relying on the strength of you agency agreement.  If your agency agreement has ‘holes in it’, expect the client to find them and perhaps avoid paying commission.

So what do you do when someone makes a telephone enquiry about a listing?  In simple terms you ask questions and note the answers.  You never know when those answers will be required to take matters further.  Here are some ideas to use in taking enquiries:

  1. If the person has a number displayed on your telephone as they speak to you, write the number down.
  2. Get a name and a telephone number from the person at the start of the conversation.
  3. Ask them how they found out about you and the property.
  4. Find out what they are looking for and if they are coming to you from another local property.
  5. Within reason, limit what you tell them about the property, so you can encourage a meeting on site or in your office.
  6. If the property and its detail are sensitive, tell the person that you will require a confidentiality agreement to be signed before much more detail is given.
  7. Get an email address so you can send them a brochure.
  8. Ask the person if they will allow you to keep their details in the database for ongoing contact.
  9. Get a meeting established.

Keep control of the conversation and your listing.  If the other person is not free and open with you, limit what you say and provide across the telephone.  Keep records of all telephone enquiries and use them in conversation with the client as a market update and part of marketing feedback.