Every quality listing in commercial real estate brokerage should be the subject of a comprehensive and specific marketing plan. When the elements of the property are matched to the levels of enquiry, the prevailing property market conditions, and the client, the marketing plan is likely to produce the better results from the selected target market.
Most high quality listings today are the subject of a competitive tender involving a number of brokerages and agents. You may only have a short period of time or one brief opportunity where you can present your promotional ideas and marketing strategies to your client.
Your presentation, the listing pitch and the marketing plan will need to be of exceptional quality and relevance to attract the interest of the client and convert the listing. It is very likely that the best agent will win the listing based on recommendations, commitment, and confidence.
The Best Way to Set Out Your Marketing Ideas
Here are the elements of a property marketing plan in commercial real estate brokerage. These ideas will help you prepare your professional marketing plan:
- The title page – give the property and identity through the use of a title. That title should be specific to the property and where possible incorporate the history of the property. It is quite likely that the local property owners and business proprietors recognise the property in a particular way. That image or recognition can be incorporated into your marketing plan.
- Use professional property photographs – the front of your proposal or marketing plan should feature a professional photograph. That strategy should continue through the document. Most clients will be drawn to the proposal that features the asset in a creative and professional way. Through your marketing submission, you can add a number of professional photographs taken at different times of day, of different parts of the property, and use photographs that enhance the strengths of the asset to the target market.
- An executive summary – at the front of the document, make sure that you are using an executive summary to pull in all the features of the asset and the intended marketing campaign. The executive summary should be no more than one page in length and feature a number of dot points as part of the layout. You want the executive summary to attract the interest of the client and refer them further into the document for greater detail.
- A table of contents – simplify your marketing proposal with a table of contents so that the client can refer to the correct parts of the document as part of the review.
- A preference for simplicity – keep your marketing document simple and informative. Avoid bulky submissions that complicate the marketing process. Help your clients see the promotional strategy to be used with the target market. The best way to do that is through the use of a Gantt chart displaying the different marketing strategies and the timing process to be applied.
- Property analysis and recommendations – show the client that you really understand the property and its position in the prevailing market conditions. Summarise the property as you see it today and provide details of comparable property market activity in the location. From that information you can make specific recommendations towards a target market, the enquiries, and the inspections.
- The marketing plan – from the target market, you can specifically apply strategy to the marketing plan when it comes to the choice of the right media, the timing, and the expenditure. Help the client see exactly how you will be spending the money and why that is so. Show the client that you are in control of the property marketing process and the feedback to be encouraged.
- Implementation and control – make it easy for the client to formulate a decision and move ahead with their marketing challenge. If there are any problems within the property that need resolving prior to promotion, provide specific solutions and ideas to help that occur. Make it easy for the client to see the best way forward with their property challenge based on the attributes of the asset and the local property market.
Taking all of these things into account, you can make your marketing proposal stand out as specific and special with any good quality commercial real estate listing. Make it easy for the client to select your services as the agent of choice in resolving their property challenge.
When it comes to taking an inquiry from a tenant in commercial real estate, it pays to have a comprehensive checklist or process to support questioning and to track the requirements of the tenant.
So every property inquiry is likely to be quite unique given that every business and corporate tenant will have special factors of occupancy to take into account; every enquiry should be matched to the required property across a number of criteria.
Here are some ideas to help you determine exactly what the tenant is looking for:
- Before you say too much and give away valuable listing information, understand exactly who you’re talking to, get their contact information, and ask plenty of questions to understand how they have reached the point of calling you. Sometimes you will find that the inquiry is actually being made by another agent or broker within your town or city. It is questionable in that case whether you would tell them too much about the listing.
- If the person approaching you will not share their contact details and property requirements openly and honestly, then it is best to restrict the information that you provide across the telephone.
- Find out if they have been inspecting other properties locally with the other brokers and agents. That fact can frustrate your discussions, negotiations, and property introductions.
- If the inquiry appears genuine then it is time to arrange a meeting, and potentially an inspection of the property. The ‘face to face’ process in our industry is really important.
- The tenant may be operating a business in another location. You can inspect that other property to understand space requirements and fit out design. You can also understand how they interact between business units.
- Ask the tenant about their customer interaction and resource requirements. Both of those factors are likely to impact property choice, design and location. They also may create special needs when it comes to car parking, property exposure, and the future need for expansion or contraction.
- The services and amenities in any property will be of interest in a lease choice or tenant negotiation. Find out what the tenant needs when it comes to communications, access, power, water, gas and air conditioning.
- The quality of property will impact design and layout. That will also flow through to environmental efficiency, and building operating costs. A landlord of a property today should be very careful when it comes to property outgoings. Excessive outgoings are likely to deter or derail a lease negotiation.
- Rental and outgoings budgets should be questioned and understood as part of taking the property inquiry. Some tenants have unrealistic expectations of just what they can get for the rent to be paid, when it comes to property choices in certain areas or locations.
So there are some specific things that you can question and resolve as part of taking any leasing requirement or inquiry. Be prepared to drill down on all the right facts before you arrange a site inspection with any tenant. Qualify the tenant for the listing or the inquiry in a comprehensive way.
When it comes to commercial or retail property management today, the income for the property should be optimised given the particular property, the landlord, the property market, and the financiers. In saying that, income in a commercial property is a number of things, all of which require careful strategy and planning.
Here is a list to help you understand some of that income:
- Rent paid by the tenants in the property and under the terms of the lease. That rent will be for occupied premises or ‘demised premises’ as outlined in a lease document.
- Outgoings recovery from the tenants under the leases and given the types of rent paid in the property (gross or net).
- Extra rental for special factors such as car parking, antennas on the roof, storage areas, signage, or licenced areas external to the lease.
- Net income will be impacted by the expenditure in the property. For this reason the income management plan of a property actually involves a close look at the property expenditure.
- Some of the outgoings in a property will be recoverable from the tenants. That will usually be for consumable services such as cleaning, electricity, water, or gas. The process of recovery really depends on the property and how services are established for the tenants to use and access. Importantly you should look for the recoverable consumables in the income stream and understand what they are for. The lease for the tenant will usually give details of that recovery.
- Arrears in a property will be reflected on the monthly tenant rent invoices. Check out the rent invoices for any outstanding items. If arrears exist, find out what they are for and how they occurred. Some tenants conveniently ignore unusual charges in their rent statement. After a few months it is really hard to know what the original charge was for.
- Rent reviews are a factor that improves rent charges for the landlord (in most cases). Every lease is different and on that basis should be checked for upcoming rent reviews. Understand how those rent reviews are to be implemented and when that is to occur. Time may be of the essence for that event to occur.
- Remittance of money to the landlord is part of income management. Each month or even twice monthly, the landlord should receive money from the rental payments in the property and with the tenant mix. The balance of funds become challenging when the vacancy factors in the property start to rise.
You can add to this list based on the landlord and the property. As real estate agents, our job is to optimise the income given the prevailing factors of the property and the market.