It is a good idea to keep score in commercial real estate, so you understand where you’re heading when it comes to listing conversions, meetings, and transaction. In his podcast today, you can learn how to track your activities, and most importantly the activities that matter. Take the ideas in this podcast and grow your business through deliberate and direct tracking of your KPI indicators.
When you think about it, there are plenty of things that you can watch when it comes to your activities each week and each day in commercial real estate. Those indicators will include outbound calls, meetings, inspections, and negotiations. All of those things lead to commission opportunities over time.
Listen to the podcast to understand how you can improve your activities each day with the things that matter in brokerage.
In commercial real estate brokerage, it is very easy to get swamped with daily events and reactive issues. Many people will want a slice of your time. If uncontrolled, this can lead to a downturn in listings and market share. In simple terms, you need to implement a system that allows you to stay ‘ahead of your game’ in commercial real estate.
The rewards in the industry are many, providing you stay on track and implement the correct system. It is a personal process that cannot be delegated. Here are my top seven tips to help you stay ahead of your game as a top agent or broker.
Start the day with focus. Each evening you should be preparing for the following day by planning your time and the key issues that need to be done. Identify the four or five key issues that will have maximum impact on your client base, listings, and market share. Those things should be a high priority in your daily action plan. Get all of those things done before you do anything else. When you feel in control, you get more things done. On that basis, control your diary at an obsessive level.
Understand the high value of prospecting and growing your database. Devote approximately 2 or 3 hours to prospecting and client contact. Split that time equally between new contacts and established contacts. Track all of the conversations, the meetings, and the presentations that you make, so that you can see when your ratios and numbers are improving.
As a general rule, focus on exclusive listings more than anything else. The exclusive listings will allow you to build market share, focus your inspections and negotiations, and service the client comprehensively. The agents that struggle in the marketplace are typically those that have difficulty with converting exclusive listings. You simply must control the listing stock.
There is a big difference between being proactive and reactive in the industry. At least 40% of your day needs to be proactive and in that case should be directed towards prospecting, marketing, and client contact. Unfortunately you cannot remove the reactive element of the industry given that you will be working with many different people who will impose on your time. That being said, take the necessary steps to control the impact and limit the exposure that you have to other people’s priorities. Manage your time accordingly.
Every listing can be extensively promoted, and then adjusted to the market conditions. When you have sufficient marketing feedback on a particular listing, you can make the recommendations to the client that will shift the enquiry rate and the inspection results. Don’t take too long to get to the point of repositioning.
Review all of the listing stock locally including those listings that belong to your competitors. When they place a signboard on a property, make contact with all the other businesses and property owners in the region surrounding it. They may like to compete with the other listing in the same street.
In your town or city, you will find that commercial property ownership is typically for a period of 5 to 10 years. At or during that time, the property owner is likely to expand their portfolio, or replace the property asset with another larger property. When you track the cycles of sales from the region, you can identify the best clients to work with for upcoming property activity.
When you look at a list like this, there are plenty of issues to action and matters to get under control. I go back to the point that you really do need to be proactive and not reactive in this industry. Spend at least 40% of your day getting involved in proactive issues and strategies. Soon the commercial real estate market will open up with opportunity in both listings and future clients. Stay on track to your plan.
In commercial real estate brokerage, you will need to change your sales strategy from time to time as the market adjusts to economic pressures and financial activity. In any period of 12 months, your market share and property type activity will fluctuate between sales, leasing, and property management. For this reason, the sales team needs to adjust strategically with the presentations and proposals that they put forward.
Make no mistake, the new business opportunities are always out there in commercial real estate. It is just a matter of understanding how to reach into the market and identify the right people to work with. Certainly the proposal or pitch in your team will need to change from time to time based on market conditions.
Your success as a commercial real estate agent or broker depends on your flexibility to adjust to prevailing market circumstances. Here are some ideas to help with that:
Be aware of the brand impact that you have in the market. The brand will be both for the brokerage itself, and also the agents individually. Can the brand be improved? How does it compare to the existing competitors in the local area?
In an ideal world, you will be looking for increasingly activity across sales, leasing and property management. The quality of activity needs to be assessed from time to time. Good listings will give you better results and improve your market share. It should also be said that the exclusive listings should be part of that process. The agency team needs to be prepared for pitching their services at an exclusive listing strategy.
Review the quality of the listings that you are working with. Quality does not need to necessarily reflect in price, but rather it should be the quality that attracts enquiry. The quality listings attract the buyers and the tenants that can act in these market conditions. Generally speaking the quality of the property will be in cash flow, size, location, current usage, and future usage.
The best methods of sale and lease that apply throughout the year will change. Ensure that the brokerage team is working with the most appropriate marketing solutions for the clients that they serve.
There will be the opportunity for repeat business and referral business from the customers that you have served over the years. There should be a VIP customer program within your business that encourages referral opportunities.
Understand and promote the linkage between sales results, and leasing and property management opportunities. One thing can lead to another. When one transaction has been completed, prepare for the next property challenge that the client may be heading towards.
Some clients have factors of investment focus and targeted portfolios. They need certain property types, cash flow, tenants, and locations to make their investments work correctly. Your top agents should be working with a select group of VIP clients to ensure that their property needs are well served within your brokerage.
In looking at all of these factors, review the last two years of listing and commission performance. Look for the market segments that have worked for your brokerage and identify any trends that could be shifting or changing. Will you need to change your property focus or staff profiles and activities? Be prepared for the change when you see it.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses that will need to be addressed as part of ongoing business operations. A successful commercial real estate agency or brokerage is usually one that is highly aware of and flexible to the trends in the market. They make the adjustments quickly and effectively. Tracking your business on a weekly and monthly basis across all business segments will be required.
In commercial real estate today a sales plan will help you stay on track with listings and clients. It will also help you with market share and personal profile. The best agents in the industry have a personal marketing plan that integrates into their sales plan.
It is interesting to note that the agents without a plan of this type usually struggle with commissions and income. Their earnings then fluctuate enormously during the year. Soon you see that the ‘peaks and valleys’ of personal performance then become all too frequent; many agents struggle rather than consolidate and grow. Eventually they run out of time and money to establish their market share. Get to the top of your market and stay there through deliberate effort and focus.
Here are five reasons why you should have a plan of this type:
A pipeline of opportunity will be built around your property specialty and location.
It will help you tap into new prospects and leads on a regular basis.
The clients that you have served over time will be opportunities for the future with referral business.
The quality of your listings will escalate as will the quality of properties that you take to the market.
Other agents will come to you as you will have the listings that generate the enquiry.
It is easy to see that the sales plan can have a significant impact on your listings and commissions over time. In that way you can establish yourself as a top agent in your location and with your property type.
What does a good sales plan look like? What are the objects of the process? Here are some ideas to help you:
The object of the process is to put you in front of relevant people that may need your professional service in the future. The cycle of commercial real estate is quite long and for that reason you need to be prepared for the establishment of long-term relationships.
Many of the people that you talk to today will not need your services currently. They may however need your services over time and that can be some months if not years away. Be prepared to build the relationships with the people that matter when it comes to business activity and property ownership.
When you are connecting with more people on a regular basis, you will need points of relevance and information to use in the process. That will include newsletters, social media, e-mail marketing, telephone calls, direct mail, and brochures.
Understand the quality properties in the local area that should be the targets for your prospecting. Identify the property owners behind each of those properties and establish an ongoing contact program with those people. Getting in front of relevant property owners should be the first step to establishing ongoing contact.
You will find that some of the people in the marketplace are or could be wasting your time. Be selective with whom you relate to and why you do so. In some respects, you build a filter of contact into your database and prospecting model. Remove the people from the list that are wasting your time.
Track and measure your contact systems so that you know when your prospecting model is improving. You can and should improve your dialogue to help the ongoing contact process over time. Practice will be required.
A system of this type requires an action plan and consistent effort. Many agents struggle with consistency. The habits that you develop will help you build your market share. Without habits, the whole thing is quite pointless.
A successful sales plan in commercial real estate agency and brokerage is quite a specific thing. Your plan may be difficult to establish and different than the others in your office. The point is, it must be successful and it must be implemented. Understand what works for you and get the whole thing started.
In commercial real estate agency and brokerage you need personal goals and targets. They show you the ultimate path to better clients and market share.
All of that sounds logical, and yet so many agents give ‘lip service’ to the process and never really get it going. They let the days and weeks pass without much focus. They let the business ‘happen’ rather than ‘directing’ it. Over time this then means less listings and volatile commissions.
Let’s say something very positive here from the outset. The commercial real estate industry is one of the most rewarding industries you can work in. It does however require complete focus and directed action. Those that don’t do that really do struggle. Struggle then creates stress and a downward cycle of business. You don’t need the pressure!
If you want to dominate your territory, town or city as a ‘top agent’, then goals and targets are required. You can then set action plans and implement them every day. That’s how you build market share and attract more listings your way.
Here are some goal creation considerations for agents and brokers:
Look at the growth of property activity in your local area. How has it changed? What are the predictions for the future? Are you able to tap into the growth segments? What knowledge will you need to get into those segments of the market? Positioning and targeting are critical issues in our industry.
Assess your competition when it comes to local sales, leasing, and property management appointments. How and why have they won that business? Are they dominating their market for some reason? Can you replicate their actions? Can you be better? Stand out as the better alternative in real estate agency.
What marketing systems are being used locally with new and top quality listings? Are the other agents marketing listings differently in any way? Can you create a better marketing process in sales or leasing? It is best to be different and direct when it comes to property marketing today. Every property that you take to the market today has to stand out as a quality well marketed listing. Put yourself and your listings into the process. Stand out as a top agent that gets involved. Take your exclusive listings to the market personally.
What are the growth considerations in the local business community and the population demographic? How can you work with that?
Given all of the above, take those facts and shape them into your prospecting and action model. Set the right targets with exclusive listings, commissions, inspections, and clients. You hold the keys for any success in your market. Get active. It’s a personal thing.
When you work in commercial real estate agency, you should start your day strongly and with focus. Get as much done as you can before other disruptions start to take over (and they will).
It is a fact that things in commercial real estate agency will happen daily that you do not expect. That being said, there are still key things that you need to do every day to improve your market share and client connections. If you overlook these things, you will soon have less commission coming in and you will also be missing on the quality listing stock.
So to start strong every day, you need a plan and a process. Action is everything in our industry and directed action can allow you to form habits. It is the habits that will take you forward as a professional in our industry.
Here are some ideas to help you with effectiveness and focus as a commercial real estate agent.
It is easier to control the start of the day than it is to control the whole day. If you can control 1/3 your day, you can be quite successful and effective as an agent. Plan your activities so that your working day can and will be under your control from 7 am. to 11 am. Don’t let others change or modify your diary before 11 am.
Prospect every morning from 8 am to 10 am. Get your outbound cold calls done then. That one single process will be critical to your market share. It is interesting to note that most top agents do this. Struggling agents overlook the process or avoid it.
Talk to your clients from 10 am to 11 am. After 11 am the pressures of the day can take over so get to your important clients on key issues early. You can do the same thing at the end of the day and in the evening.
Look after your database yourself. Only you have the information that should go into it, and only you are going to benefit from it being correctly used. If you go into your database every day you can shape the information and use it to your advantage. Ongoing contact and trust in our industry is a really big thing.
As you move through the day and the week, track your numbers and ratios relating to calls out, meetings, presentations, listings, inspections, and deals closed. You should also track your exclusive listings as they will do more for your market share than open listings.
So you can see that the key thing here is control. When you are in control you can get more of the right things done. That is how you move up in the industry.