How to Improve Listening Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In an average working week, as a broker or an agent, you will attend plenty of meetings with clients and prospects.  Your listening skills and meeting strategies will be tested; they should be refined and optimized for each situation that could evolve.

 

Improve your communications skills and your listening skills.  Strategically connect with ever more people in your location and with your property marketing activities.

 

Accurately listen as part of a property discussion or negotiation.  Watch what happens with all your conversations relating to commercial property, and know what is being said by the stakeholders. 

 

Take notes to support discussions and progress; send off an email soon after a discussion to detail the current position.  A full understanding will help you with your position of negotiation or the desired strategic outcome.

 

The Challenges of Negotiations and Clients

 

It is a fact that some clients will be more difficult than others when it comes to negotiation, listing, property documentation, and marketing.  The same levels of difficulty apply to prospects and the third parties to any transaction.

 

Through all stages of the property transaction, there will be issues to discuss and opportunities to create.  Improve your professional communications skills through practice and deliberation.  Set your communication systems in place to help you with prospecting, listing, and presenting properties.

 

Communication Rules

 

Here are some rules that can help you with all your listening skills, client connections, and negotiation opportunities:

 

  1. Where possible, choose the place and the time to meet with other parties as part of any property negotiation or inspection. Try to keep control of the discussion or negotiation through meeting location selection and timing.
  2. Check your property and listing information before you give it to others. Ensure that you have all the supporting documentation validated and ready to display or use in any inspection and or presentation.  Expect that you will get questions on property matters, so have your supporting information ready.
  3. Don’t just listen to the other person but watch what they say and observe how they do it as part of explaining their position or negotiating. The body language of the other party will give you some valuable indicators to work on progressing a transaction forward.
  4. Understand all the alternatives that can apply to the negotiation. Do the people or stakeholders in the transaction need to achieve an agreement, or can they walk away from the discussion?
  5. Take plenty of notes as part of a negotiation process and meeting or conversation. Your notes will help you in the future remember what was said and done or perhaps agreed.  Sometimes disputes occur between the parties in a property transaction, and your notes will be the only way to protect your position and recollection.
  6. Ask plenty of questions relating to a property and or client situation. When in any doubt, ask more questions. As you get the answers that you require, observe the other party in what they are saying and how they are saying it. Look for the problems of interpretation and message accuracy.
  7. Qualify any comments and restate the position of the other party. The stakeholders to a property transaction will have a position or belief so you will need to document that fact accurately and legally for the property and the client.  Don’t proceed with documentation until you know that all is correct.
  8. Any action that is agreed between the parties will need to be taken in a timely way. Timeliness is important and can sometimes be a ‘deal breaker’.  Know the legalities of the matter, and how you can document things accurately for the client’s position, their instructions, and the facts of the property.

 

Listen carefully and comprehensively as part of each property meeting and negotiation.  Establish your rules and your systems of communication control so that every negotiation can be directed and shaped towards the outcomes that the client requires.

Comprehensive and Direct Listening Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Convert Results

In commercial real estate brokerage today you will frequently be negotiating with property owners, tenants, and business owners across a number of different strategies and property requirements.  The best negotiation outcomes are achieved through skill development and will be a combination of a number of things including conversation, feedback, listening skills, and presentation.

Improve your negotiation and listening strategies

Over time you can improve your strategies with each element of commercial real estate negotiation, however you can fast track your negotiation skills through practice and personal development.  Here are some ideas to help you with listening skills in any presentation, listing pitch, or negotiation:

  1. Choose the right place – wherever possible, choose the correct circumstances and the right place for the negotiation. Remove distractions from the process and the place.  As a general rule, always negotiate directly one on one and in a face to face environment.  Privacy is essential and confidentiality should be preserved.  Get away from noisy situations, congestion, and other people.  Choose the right place for the negotiation based on the parties and the property.
  2. Timing is important – whilst you may have a lot of things to say as part of the property negotiation, the timing of the process is very important given that you want other people to listen, interpret, and agree. If you believe the other person is under a degree of time pressure, then choose another time to extend the conversation into deeper issues and potential results.  You want them to listen to you and absorb your recommendations in the right way.  You want them to give you feedback as part of that process, and in moving towards a potential agreement.
  3. Look at the other person – as part of the property negotiation, presentation or discussion, ensure that you are completely committed visually to the other person, watching them as they talk and explain their position. Acknowledge what they’re saying, and restate any information that may require a further qualification or interpretation.  You will also see elements of body language as they speak to help you fully interpret what they are saying.
  4. Control your emotions and feedback – don’t overreact emotionally as part of the property discussion and communication. Show your foremost respect of the other person and what they’re saying through controlled feedback and lower levels of emotion.  You can be quite confident and involved in the property communication or negotiation, but you do not need to be emotional.  Emotional involvement drives irrational comment.  That can be a great danger in any property discussion and can be misinterpreted.  Be patient and don’t interrupt when it comes to connecting with the other person.

Simple strategies like these can help you with client communications and property presentations.  They can help you with lifting your conversions and negotiation results.  Over time these factors can be practiced and improved.

On a final note, every commercial real estate negotiation should be documented with appropriate notes.  Those notes can help you at a later time refer to the critical elements of the discussion and the outcomes.