In commercial real estate brokerage the listing presentation is likely to be the best and only opportunity you will have to impress the client with your professional real estate services. Most listing presentations today are highly competitive involving a number of agents.
Any high quality property is likely to be offered to the market only after the client has completed a series of competitive agency presentations. It directly follows that every agent or broker should be well skilled in explaining the listing strategy and marketing process that they can bring to the listing.
The marketing package presented to the client should be creative and competitive first and foremost. Whilst all of this may seem logical, many agents struggle with creativity and direct marketing; they thereby do not stand out as the ‘agent of choice’.
In a competitive listing situation the client needs to understand which agent offers the best marketing solutions, and just how they will attract the target market. How does your presentation rank in comparison to other agents?
To improve your chances as an agent in winning the listing, here are valuable some tips to help the process.
- Meet the client at the property so that you can review on site issues and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the property. The strengths can be merged into the campaign and the weaknesses can be dealt with as the case may be.
- Show the client how you will move prospective buyers or tenants through the property and explain the strategy of the process. This simple strategy shows the client that you really understand how to feature the property.
- If the property is of some quality, establish a display board within the premises where photographs and marketing material can be placed to refer to as part of the inspection process. The area in which the board is placed should be well lit and strategic for featuring the best parts of the property.
- If the property is large, arrange for a portfolio of professionally taken photographs to be used in any property discussion or on site presentation. You can also carry the photographs in your laptop or smart phone for ease of access.
- Show the client how you will use your marketing material to feature and help the inspection process. You should have some samples of brochures and flyers from other successful campaigns to explain the opportunity.
- Put together some local business information to help a prospective buyer or tenant see the benefit of locating in the area. Statistics on business growth, business types, transport and local infrastructure will be of use.
So the message here is precise. If you want to win a property listing, make sure that you are fully prepared for the presentation to be made to the client. Make your message clear and unique; stand out as the agent of choice to show how you can reach the target market of buyers or tenants. Prove that you have done so in other similar situations. Confidence and local property market information will help you do that.
In commercial real estate agency you will find that you will constantly be up against many agents in the presentation and pitch process. The question is can you present and pitch your services for a listing at a better level or in a better way than your competitors? Can you show why you are the better agent for the job?
Sure, things are competitive in our industry but with a little self-development you can expand your strengths and make them even stronger for any sales pitch you make on a listing. When you know that you are a ‘top agent’ and that you have all the relevant skills that a client or the property requires, then you can convert more listings. Confidence will get you ‘across the line’ when it comes to your pitching and presenting.
Here are some tips to help you with your presentation and client connection processes today. See how these things match your current skills and approach to attracting more listings.
- Know what you are good at when it comes to selling, leasing, or managing commercial property. Build that relevance into your presentation with stories that attract the attention from the client. Most clients like to know that they are not the only ones struggling with sales and leasing challenges. Show them the solutions as you see them. Give them the ideas of just how they can fast track the marketing and results process given the prevailing market conditions. Put yourself into the property marketing and promotional process; if the client then wants to get the results as you see them, they will need you to do that. Top agents sell themselves very well.
- Find out what people are looking for in solving their current property challenge. Ask them questions about what they have done to date in marketing the property in case you are taking on something that has been taken to the market unsuccessfully before.
- Review the skills of the competition so you understand what the competitors will be saying in their presentation to the client. How can you be better than the others that the client may be meeting?
- Start practicing on your good skills so they get even better. Every day when you first arise, read a business or sales related book aloud for some 20 minutes or so; it helps you with verbal flexibility and confidence that is just so important in our industry. Just about everything that you do and negotiate on in property sales and leasing will hinge on your ability to communicate. The words that you use and the way you deliver them will be strengthened by this voice practice process.
Are you ready to win new commercial real estate clients and listings? Now is the time to build on your strengths as part of starting that process.
What is the value that you bring as an agent to a client in commercial property today? It is an interesting question for a client to ask when it comes to an agent selling, leasing, or managing commercial real estate.
Most agents would say one or more of the following:
- We know what we are doing
- We have good people
- We understand the property market
- We have done some great deals recently
- We sold (or leased) other properties like this recently
- We know how to market the property
The sad fact of the matter is that when they have said these things, they go no further. They do not back up their claims with detailed proof.
If you say anything to a client about your relevance or skill as a local commercial real estate agent, be prepared to expand on the issue and talk about it comprehensively and directly. Show the client some proof of why your statement is so important to their property position or need.
Here are a couple of ideas to use when it comes to showing the client that you really are the right agent for the job of marketing the property:
- Use a Gantt chart that shows the steps that you will be taking in marketing the property and converting the result that they need. Have different Gantt charts for the process when it comes to sales, leasing, and property management (commercial or retail).
- Define the target market in such a way that you are clear on exactly how you will connect with the right people and help them understand the property market.
When you pitch or present to a client, don’t discount your services and lower your marketing fees for the sake of attracting the client’s attention. Offer real and relevant marketing solutions that are so good that the client cannot ignore you. Sign them up on an exclusive listing.
In commercial real estate agency, your sales pitch and presentation should be of the highest quality. It should be practiced regularly on different property types and in different property situations so you can attract the right listings to your agency.
Here are some facts to remember:
- Quality property listings will attract a greater level of direct enquiry from the market, and therefore you will have more inspections to work with.
- Average listings take a lot longer to move due to the lack of enquiry or poor interest from the market.
Given these facts, your presentation has to attract and convert the best listings. That’s how top agents get the results from the market; they focus on listing quality before anything else. Even if a quality listing is overpriced, it will still attract greater enquiry and that will give you something to work with for the client.
Most of the listings and clients that you target will be chased by other agents locally. Rarely will you have the opportunity to pitch for a listing entirely on your own. Your sales pitch needs to be well planned and staged. Here are some ideas to help you do that:
- First impressions are really important. Take pride in how you dress, appear and carry yourself when meeting a commercial real estate client or prospect for the first time. It takes about 1 minute for a person to assess you visually and form an opinion on your relevance. The commercial real estate industry is one of professionalism and on that basis a ‘business image’ is required.
- Be aware of the age and experience level of the people that you are connecting or working with; they may be far more experienced in business than you are. They may have expectations that are high and demanding.
- The client expects you to be skilful in the issues that they want resolved. On that basis you should have a ‘professional selling attitude’ that they appreciate and know will help with their property challenge. Confidence should show in what you say and do.
- Practice your dialogue and speech so you are ready to show confidence in every client or prospect situation. If this is difficult for you now, make ‘role playing’ a part of your weekly sales meeting. Create a quality in what you say and how you do it. Let the client see that you can handle any property negotiation or debate professionally. Master the right words for the right situation.
- Ask the right questions in any contact situation. It helps if you have a checklist relative to your property type and marketing situation.
- Show that you have a real knowledge of the property situation and task ahead for the client. Give them some confidence that you are indeed the ‘real deal’ when it comes to moving through their property challenge.
Your presentation or sales pitch in commercial real estate will get a lot easier when you follow these simple and yet effective rules.
In commercial real estate agency, you will come across many people every day with various interests in commercial and retail property. Some may have an interest in selling, buying, or leasing. This then says that we need to be versatile when it comes to dialogue and communication. In a short period of time you need to impress the other person with significance as an agent.
To help you here, you can develop a very simple 2 minutes sales pitch. In many respects, you only have a short period of time to connect with the required people and convey a clear message of how you can help them. Confidence and relevance needs to be shown as part of that connection.
As a general rule, this short 2 minute connection should tell the client or the prospect what you do and how that will benefit them. Remember the old saying, ‘What’s in it for me?’ You should try to answer that as part of connecting with new people.
It is not sufficient to say:
- I lease commercial real estate.
- I market and sell commercial real estate.
- I manage shopping centres.
All of these things do little to show that you really are a relevant property specialist. You could take these phrases and improve them as follows:
- I lease commercial real estate locally for landlords that require quality tenants. I do that by staying in close contact with the most active and sizeable tenants in the region.
- I market and sell commercial real estate for property investors. I do that by tracking all the recent property deals and upcoming opportunity both off market and on market.
- I manage shopping centres locally for major property investors. I do that by optimising tenant mix and rental returns.
You can take simple statements like these and turn them into something that works for you. Tell and show a prospect how you are real and relevant. Give them a reason to work with you or at least listen to you.
This simple process helps you in a number of ways:
- It makes you stand out as someone that is a specialist in the local property market.
- It can be an icebreaker in a new contact with a prospect.
- It helps them see what they can get from you if all other property issues are aligned.
- It helps you win listings.
Communication in our industry is a large part of finding the right people and moving them to a meeting of some type. Meetings then can open the door on listings or sourcing properties. The simple ‘two minute sales pitch’ helps you attract the prospects attention in a relevant way.
of the process can be improved so that the overall package can be regarded as highly relevant to the clients that we work with.
This strategy of process optimization will allow you to get traction and momentum in your market. It is interesting to note that many of your fellow competing agents will be rather ordinary when it comes to the various parts of the agency process. That is an advantage in itself.
Here are some other factors that can be structured into your professional services and improved to give you the competitive edge as a commercial real estate agent:
- When it comes to listing a property, the right information has to be gathered and checked. As you specialize within the industry, your value as an expert becomes real and relevant. Complex properties require top agents that understand the intricacies of the property package. Promote yourself as the expert relative to a particular property type; get to know all of the variables and factors that make a property attractive. Make sure that there are sufficient listings in the local area within the property type to allow you to gain market share.
- The listing of a property can take many hours if not days. The size of the property, the tenancy mix, the lease details, and the financial performance will all require investigation. The property improvements will require description and qualification. The legal identity and function of the property will need to be checked prior to any marketing commencing. I go back to the point that property specialization will help you with the experience and the profile of a top agent. The clients that we serve like to work with top agents that understand the property and the area comprehensively. Property marketing is not an experiment.
- Given the pressures of today’s property market, you cannot and should not take a generic marketing approach when it comes to a quality listing. A quality property should be exclusively listed. The exclusive listing should be matched to the market and the best method of sale or lease as the case may be. When those decisions have been made, the marketing package can be designed to reach into the property owners and business proprietors that may have an interest. Get personally involved with all of your marketing campaigns. Use each quality listing to talk to other property investors and business owners.
- Understand the local property market when it comes to the seasonal activity in both sales and leasing. Some properties are best released to the market at certain times of the year. The larger and more complex the asset, the greater the amount of care that needs to be taken when it comes to the structuring of the marketing campaign and its release to the local area. Track all of your marketing efforts so that you can understand the things that are working when it comes to attracting enquiries. Repeat the things that work so that every property enquiry is optimized on every exclusive listing.
These four things will give you the best traction when it comes to attracting buyers and tenants. If you are advertising or marketing the property today and simply cannot get the enquiries in the door, then something is wrong. Review your marketing campaign and adjust it to build momentum.
Keep a database relative to all the contacts and people that you talk to. Over time the database will build more momentum and opportunity for you. Keep talking to the people in the market. That is how you find the opportunities and clients to work with.
In commercial real estate today, there is no need to complicate the sales pitch or presentation for the listing. Keep things simple in all respects. That being said you still need a plan to get the message through.
Most property owners and investors want the clear facts and solid recommendations that can help them with the property challenge. That is why generic pitches are a total waste of time. A full 95% of the presentation should be about the property and the client as you know it. The other 5% can be about your business and the relevance you bring to the listing.
To create a presentation about the property at such a high level you really do need to know the local property market and the trends over recent time. You should also know the subject property and the strengths and weaknesses of the improvements and location as you see them.
Here is a summary of approach to plan your presentation. Given the property type and the needs of the client, structure your presentation around the base model of:
- Tell them briefly who you are and why you are there (only do this if they do not know much about you and keep it very short)
- Tell them about the facts that you will be covering and why (overview only)
- Give them the facts. Tell them about the key issues in clear and concise points (substantial and detailed information)
- Give them relevant recommendations and alternatives (people like to have choices) relating to the previous point.
- Tell them what you have told them and summarise it (short summary)
- Ask for the business (be prepared for the answers you could get!)
As you move through these stages the client will give you an indication of their focus and concerns through questions and comments. When you can see what they are concerned about you can open up on the relevant points. Local property market knowledge can help you here.
The best listing pitch today needs to take into account the challenges of the property market locally and then regionally. Understand the pressures that people are operating under and then adjust your skills and knowledge around those facts.
It takes time to list, promote, negotiate, and close on a commercial or retail property. The business owners and the property investors that we work with are quick to enquire but slow to make a decision. That is why you need to be at the top of your game to encourage the enquiry momentum and property transaction.
Most clients and prospects in commercial and retail real estate want to make a decision, but they will only do so when the right facts and strategies are provided to them. If you fail on a listing or sales pitch, it is because you have not fully aligned yourself and your pitch to the client or prospect; that is the simple fact.
Have you ever come across a commercial real estate client that thinks their property is worth more than what the market will deliver? I would say just about 90% of clients fall into that category when first taking their property to the market.
It takes a while for reality to ‘kick in’ when it comes to property marketing. Unfortunately the first few weeks of any property marketing effort are the weeks of getting results and enquiry; if the property is priced too high during that time, the client (and you) can be wasting a lot of time and money.
The important thing is that you help them understand what is really going on out there and what they can do to work within it. It should also be said that you should not take the listing onto your books if the client will not listen to reason and the price is well away from market. You do not want to be known as the agent that lists and cannot sell or lease. Results are important in this industry.
Here are some facts:
- Property prices do not go up forever. They will sometimes slow, stagnate, decline, or reverse. The property market is based on a cycle of change and churn. Our opportunity is in serving clients and helping them with that change. As agents we need to know how to handle ‘change’ and help our clients do the same. Do not struggle with the changes in the industry; work with them. Know that they are a fact of the market and then design some solutions to help your clients through those changes when it comes to selling or leasing property today.
- New properties coming on the market will command more interest than older properties. For that very reason you must watch the other property developments that are coming up. Prices and rents offered will change the ‘game plan’ when it comes to existing properties today.
- Property enquiry will change during the year between the factors of property type, value, rent, time on market, and improvements. Every listing should be matched into the prevailing market conditions.
- Selling and leasing commercial and retail property can be quite seasonal. For this reason you can pick the best marketing solutions for the time of year. Marketing of commercial and retail property today is quite important; the tools that we have available are diverse and powerful. Choose the right tools to capture and grow the property enquiry. Drop the generic marketing campaigns. Be specific in how you promote your listings and make every marketing effort count.
So, all of this says that we should make sure at the very start of our services that we correctly guide and assist the clients that we work with. When you list at the right price, your chances of better enquiry and eventual sale are much higher. The client wants help in moving their property. Tell them how you can help them do that and give solid proof as to the prevailing market conditions. Give them the confidence and the reasons to use you as the preferred agent to take the listing on.
When it comes to pitching for the commercial real estate listing, you really do need to have up to date information about the prevailing market conditions. In only this way can you shape the thinking of the client to create a marketable property.
Most commercial real estate listing opportunities today are quite competitive. Other agents will be attempting to influence the thinking and decision facilities of the client. Enticements such as marketing and commission discounts are quite common. The fact of the matter is that any discount provided to the client is a false economy. They really want results, and discounts do not generally provide the right results. You need to show them that fact.
Agents that provide discounts are driven from a different motivation, and are less likely to have the client as a high priority in their business and marketing effort.
What’s Your Value and Commitment?
One of the targets in your sales pitch or presentation for the listing should be to show the client real value and commitment when it comes to shortening their time on market, and achieving a positive outcome.
Top agents do not discount their services given that they are property experts, and they sell their expertise effectively and directly. Most clients do not want to be an ‘experiment’ in property marketing. They want the best people with the best strategy and the right level of confidence to take the listing forward. That is how you sell yourself.
So how can you put all of this information together? Here are some tips that can be applied to your presentation or pitch for the listing.
- Give the client some solid information about the local area when it comes to time on market, prices, and competing properties. These facts will be quite specific to the property type and the subject listing. Given that the existing property market can be quite difficult at the moment, show the trends and shifts in the market through some form of graphical display. The last two or three years will provide some industry trends that the client cannot refute. Evidence is everything when it comes to listing the property.
- Show the client that you really understand the property type in every respect. Give them some history of other properties that you have worked on that are similar. Tell them of the strategies that were adopted when it came to marketing, inspections, and negotiations.
- The improvements in the existing property listing will attract a particular target audience. Defining the target audience to the client will help the listing process. Tell the client how you will be attracting the enquiry from the recommended marketing processes.
- Feedback is everything in this property market today. Most listings will only generate a small amount of enquiry and the agents will have to convert the enquiry as quickly and effectively as possible. This means that the client should be conditioned and prepared for true market conditions as you see them today. If the property market is slower or difficult, then the client needs to understand that fact.
- When you look at your local property area and territory, there will be some properties that sell or lease more effectively than others. Determine the criteria that will create that positive result. Show the client how their property will need to fit inside the criteria.
- Every property will have a preferred method of marketing and a preferred method of sale. The same principle applies when it comes to leasing. Solid recommendations need to be made to the client so that they do not make any mistakes when it comes to those factors.
- Make sure that the method of marketing is correct for the property type and the location. You should get vendor paid marketing funds as part of the process. Also focus on the exclusive listing process so that you have the commitment of the client to a lengthy period of time on the agency appointment, and your preferred marketing campaign.
- If you are the best agent in the local area, they will not hesitate in giving you an exclusive listing. Sell your expertise and relevance to the property and to the client at every opportunity. That will be key part of your sales pitch and presentation.
- Tell the client how you will be inspecting the property with any enquiring parties. Give the client a distinct strategy relating to the inspection and the improvements on the property. Tell the client how you will be featuring certain aspects of the property to influence the inspecting party.
- Lastly it should be said that every client should be prepared for the potential negotiation that should follow as a direct result of the right property marketing. Give them the complete facts relating to the local area and the local market so that the future negotiation will be supported by that conditioning process.
Pitching and presenting for a commercial or retail property listing does not have to be hard or difficult; it just needs to be based on facts. Sell your services based on facts.
When you systemise the listing process in commercial real estate today, you can improve the quality of the listing, the marketing, and the future negotiation. The best listing process involves a checklist procedure. Commercial real estate agents should optimise the listing process in this way.
Today we find that most listings are competitively tendered between several agencies. This means that your sales pitch for the listing may be the only opportunity for you to convert the business. Everything has to be prepared and aligned for the sales pitch and presentation process.
A good listings system will involve questions, checklists, and a gathering of the relative facts. When this is professionally done, the client cannot help but be impressed with your thorough and detailed approach.
Clients like to choose the agent of skill and experience. The only way you can help them do this is through displaying your comprehensive property procedures as part of the sales pitch and listing presentation.
Here are some ideas to help you establish the listing process and improve on your listing conversions. This can be the start of your listing system.
- The gathering of property facts will be the start of the entire process. That will be the information relating to the property itself, improvements, the property owner, the general precinct, and any leases or tenants in occupancy.
- Inspect the property prior to the meeting with the client. If you can meet the client on site, this will be even more productive and help the eventual sales pitch or presentation process.
- Get the history of the property and ask the client about their reasons for sale or lease today as the case may be. They will have specific needs in taking the property to the market today, and you need to know what they are. This will then help your final listing pitch and negotiation.
- Most properties today will be impacted by encumbrances, property interests, rights of way, leases, adjoining properties, tenants, risk, permitted use, and other things such as property improvements, design, and building compliances. Many of these facts will be influenced by the property type and the property location.
- Some precinct or geographical issues such as flooding, services and amenities, highways, transport, car parking, and raw materials may also have an impact on the property occupant for the property owner. It is important that you observe and question everything relating to the property.
- When a client takes their property to the market they will have an ultimate goal or target to satisfy. That fact will influence the listing process, the marketing, and the negotiation when it occurs. Work through these issues with the client so you can get to the real facts of the property as it is today and their needs.
The listing process should be highly professional. This will then help your ongoing business opportunities.