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Tips to Improve the Sales Process in Commercial Real Estate Agency

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Commerical Real Estate Agents – Setting the Right Market Price

Many commercial real estate agents today will still escalate the listing price by 5 to 10 per cent above market, and in doing so will explain to the property owner that it will give the property owner some room to negotiate when offers are made.  The reality of the situation is that the overpriced listing will create little enquiry.  Three or four weeks later the agent and the client will be sitting down to discuss price modification and changes to marketing.  What a waste of time!

As the local commercial real estate expert do not escalate the listing price on this basis.  It is a very bad mistake at a time when the market has limited enquiry and therefore fewer buyers for you to work with.

The listing price should be the right price based on market evidence and prevailing market conditions.  The client needs to understand what those things are.  They have come to you as the expert agent and on that basis you should give them the real facts as they exist today before the listing is taken.

Placing a price or negotiation buffer above the asking price for the property will set a false set of values in the ownership ‘mindset’ at the time of listing.  At the very start of the listing made on this basis, the owner will assume that they will still get the offers and therefore the required asking price.  In a slower property market, this fact is far from the truth.  Things do come down in price, and the vendor needs help in understanding that.

So here are some strategies for handling unrealistic vendors with highly priced properties:

  1. Deal with the issue immediately when you know that this is to be the case.  Tell the client exactly what the market is like and show them the competing properties that they are up against.  Provide differences when it comes to improvements and market enquiry for each listing type.  Show them the amount of enquiry that is coming in currently.
  2. Most clients or property owners will believe that their property is the best in the area and therefore of greater value than any other property.  Understand that they have owned this property for a number of years and their thinking has been shaped by that direct and lengthy ownership.  Unless the property is extremely unique, average prices will apply and the average offers will only come in.
  3. Buyers will rarely pay a premium for a property unless it is extremely unique and highly desirable.  Around 90% of properties taken to the market today are only average and nothing unusual from a buyer perspective.  The clients that you work with need to see this and adjust their price accordingly.  That is where your skills as an expert agent are highly desirable in negotiating the listing at the right price and method of sale.  Don’t forget to get some reasonable vendor paid marketing as part of the process!
  4. Ask the client to set some priorities when it comes to time on market, and successful sales result.  If you are going to take on a highly priced listing, you will need their agreement to making a price reduction and adjustment within a few short weeks of the campaign.  Tell them at the time of listing that this is what you will require to prevent the listing becoming stale on the market.
  5. Every inspecting prospect taken to the property should complete a ‘comments form’ that you can give to the client regards the inspection undertaken.  Any property that is overpriced will soon be identified through the comments provided by these inspecting potential prospects.  This will then make it a lot easier for you to condition the property owner at the time of required price reduction.
  6. Every bit of marketing undertaken for the property should be assessed and analyzed.  Compare the marketing and response for your particular listing against the other listings in the local area and those in your agency records.  You will soon be able to identify to the client the response differences between their highly priced property and those other properties that are more suitably priced.
  7. Show the client the differences in marketing results and inspection results.  You cannot sell a property unless you have an enquiry.  Highly priced properties really create enquiry.  They also kill their own market within a very short period of time.

All of these facts would suggest that you should not waste your time with a property listing that is well above market.  Set your rules when it comes to working with clients of this type.  Be prepared to walk away from a listing that is too highly priced.  It is better for you to work on committed clients and realistically priced listings.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Commercial Property Marketing Tips for You Today

When it comes to marketing a commercial property for sale or lease, you can improve the results that you get through some simple steps and strategies.  Gone are the days of generic marketing.  Every advertising dollar needs to be optimised.  Property enquiry just has to be created for the best possible result.

Here are some tips that can be applied to the property marketing process in your area and by property type.

  1. Review all competing properties before you form an opinion on price, rent, or marketing method.  There is no point in repeating problems or errors that others are making in property marketing.  Check out those other properties for price, rent, and enquiry.  Your marketing strategy needs to be better so decide what ‘better’ means from your new listing perspective.
  2. The first 3 weeks of your marketing effort are really important, so decide what will be done in that period of time and monitor the results.  Use a ‘Gantt’ chart to establish your processes for the client.  The chart will help them see what you will be doing and when.
  3. Keep the client fully briefed through each part of the marketing effort.  You should have vendor paid funds for that property promotion, so spend the money as part of an agreed marketing and advertising effort.
  4. Every enquiry that you get should be qualified and then put into your database.  Over time that database will be a key component of your business processes and networking.
  5. The internet is a really important part of every marketing effort today.  Search out the ‘keywords’ on the search engines that are being used for property enquiry today.
  6. Local businesses should feature in the early stages of the campaign.  A quality listing is a great excuse to talk to the local business people and see what they know or may be looking for when it comes to a property move or upgrade.
  7. A good signboard will help the property effort.  Get the signboard onto the property as early as possible.  When that occurs, talk the nearby property owners and investors.  You will get a lot of market intelligence that way.
  8. A ‘high end’ property advertising campaign is something that builds brand and identity.  Tops agents use ‘high end’ campaigns to create enquiry from the local and regional area.  This then says that all of your campaigns will strengthen your identity as a good agent if you let the marketing set a solid benchmark of quality and relevance.  ‘Ordinary’ is not a good word when it comes to property marketing.

Commercial real estate is a people based business.  When you really understand that fact, you will know what you should do every day as part of building your momentum in property marketing.

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Commercial Property Agents – Prosposal and Presentation Strategies You Must Use

In commercial real estate, it is frequently necessary to create and submit proposals for the sale and lease of properties.  Every property owner or potential client will have special needs and conditions to feed into the proposal structure.  That being said, the proposal to sell or lease a commercial property should be quite specific and not generic.

Generic proposals are no more than an advertising document.  They rarely win the business.  Clients and property owners today require proposals that are quite specific to the trends of the current market and the needs of the particular property.  Your competitors will be on the mark to attract the business, so your proposal must be very good in all respects.

Top commercial agents prepare proposals that are unique and special when it comes to resolving the particular property challenge of the client.  Here are some tips to help the process.

  1. At the front of every proposal document, there should be an executive summary that clearly brings all the critical elements together in one short page of dot points.  Simplicity is the key to converting any proposal to a successful transaction or listing appointment.
  2. In most cases, a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should be relatively short and specific.  Bulky documents are to be discouraged.  In the case of ordinary properties, most proposals will only need to be about 15 to 20 pages in length.  That being said, it is interesting to note that many agents will create bulky documents of double that size simply to talk about generic property trends and their relevance as a local agent.  The key to winning any proposal is to be specific in what you say and give solutions based with clear recommendations.  At every opportunity, talk about the property and the solutions that are available.
  3. The proposal should specifically talk to the local property market today and the trends that are clear and apparent.  Tell the client how those trends will have impact on the property marketing process and negotiation.  This will have significant benefit at a later time when any potential prospect has been identified and commences negotiation on the property.
  4. In every proposal document, it is wise to clearly restate the client’s requirements of sale or lease so that any misunderstandings are removed from the presentation or pitch.  This then aligns the agent to the intentions of the client and the requirements of the property.  Clarity is important.
  5. The target market for the property should be defined and quantified.  That target market will be the focus of the marketing campaign to be described in the document.  The particular target market should be summarised in both the levels of current enquiry and types of enquiry.  The particular property will have property improvements that may suit the marketing campaign and the target market.  Those improvements should be featured as part of the marketing campaign.
  6. The marketing campaign that is documented in the proposal should have two or three alternatives and budgets.  That will allow the client to formulate a decision based on expenditure and the recommendations of the agent.  Invariably when the client has a choice regards marketing costs, they will usually choose the middle ground in each case.
  7. Every proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property should have a fee base that is competitive but not discounted.  When it comes to selling or leasing commercial property, fees should be one of the last considerations when it comes to choice of agency.  An experienced and qualified agent will add far more value to the sale or lease process than any discount that is offered as part of the proposal or sales pitch process.  Top agents sell their skills and relevance as specialists to solve the concerns of the client.  When this is done well, the requirements for any discount are well forgotten by the client.
  8. In some respects, and with certain large or special properties, it will be necessary to clearly define the experience of selected staff in the marketing of the property.  This becomes quite important when you consider marketing larger and complex investment properties.  Top agents have more experience and will usually feed that experience into every proposal document.
  9. As part of every proposal, it is wise to give the client some graphical display relating to the time line of sale or lease.  There are many stages to move through before the property will achieve a successful outcome.  Many clients do not understand those stages and the importance of them.  When undertaken correctly, this graph or graphical display can show the client the clear relevance of your people and your agency in solving of the property pain.

So these are some of the main items that can apply in the creation of a proposal to sell or lease a commercial or retail property.  You can add to these items based on locational factors and particular important issues attributable to the property.

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Technology Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

Technology in commercial real estate today can be an advantage but also a weakness.  There are so many tools for us to use and yet so many of them are poorly used.  Any real estate agency can then be improved if technology is correctly applied across the business.  Gone are the days of the commercial real estate salesperson keeping their records and contacts in the back of their diary.

Typically the technology systems and tools available to us today will include:

  • Mobile telephones
  • SMS Technology
  • Cloud based database systems
  • Email auto responders
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Social media
  • Websites

So the list can go on and will change from time to time as new technology is developed and implemented.  It is important that the tools we use are not a cheap substitute for a face to face connection and meeting.

Commercial real estate sales and leasing is really built around personal relationships and ongoing contact with sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords.  Rarely will you win a new business opportunity with someone that you have not met before.

So how do you find these prospects in your local area?  Diligent hard work and good research tools will get you there.  That being said, there is no easy shortcut when it comes to building your list of prospects and clients.  Identify the key people in your marketplace and the important properties of good quality.  When you list and sell and lease quality listings, the enquiry will come to you in a major way.  That is how top agents build their market share and consistently maintain that level over time; they start from a base of quality listings on an exclusive basis.

So let’s go back to the issue of technology.  It is remarkable how so many salespeople overlook the diligence and accuracy required for the maintenance of a database.  There is no point in having a database unless the information is up to date and well maintained.  Consider the following questions:

  1. Who will be entering the data into the database at the end of each day?
  2. How will the data be reviewed and upgraded?
  3. Who will be extracting the leads and opportunities from the database over time?
  4. Who will get the benefit of the lead or the opportunity from the database?
  5. Who are owns the information inside the database?  This is particularly relevant when it comes to the termination of employment of particular salespeople.

A good database system that is accurate and up to date will allow you to record the necessary telephone numbers and E mail contacts for all qualified prospects.  Someone in your office will need to check the integrity of that information over time and keep it up to date.  It is very common to come across a real estate agency with a huge number of contacts that are really so old that they are irrelevant.  It is quite effective to have one central person placed in charge of the database implementation system.  Salespeople should be filling the system at the end of each day with the results from each and every telephone call and meeting.  In this way the customer base for the business will grow and the potential market year similarly.

When a CRM System or database is well maintained, you can integrate into it layers of different contact including e-mail, newsletters, auto responders, social media, and website feeds.  That being said, shortcuts should not be taken when it comes to making the ordinary telephone calls, prospecting, and face to face meetings.  Nothing will replace the advantage of getting together with the client and building a relationship over time.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate agency practice, you can get them in our free Newsletter.

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Commercial Property Agents – Giving the Right Property Solutions to our Clients

In this slower commercial property market, there is a lot of pain and discomfort being experienced by some of our commercial real estate clients and local property investors.  That being said, we as the local agents and realtors are the ‘pain relief’ behind the equation.  We can solve a lot of problems for our clients.  We have the market processes and tools to do that.

Here are the typical frustrations of property investors in commercial and retail property today:

  • Higher vacancy factors and selective tenants
  • Protracted vacancy periods
  • Poor tenants in the tenant mix and unstable market rents
  • Less quality enquiry for a property that is taken to the market for sale or lease
  • High property outgoings in maintaining the property for occupancy
  • Extended time on market when it comes to selling or leasing a property
  • Reduced price or rent outcomes from a contract or lease
  • Difficulties with finance requirements and lenders

Rest assured that the property market does change and will get better.  Remember that just 5 or 6 years ago we had just come through a huge boom period of commercial and retail property sales and leasing.

In these more challenging times, we as the local commercial agents and realtors are best placed to solve property problems for our clients.  We have the tools and the ideas to move some of these challenging properties over a slump or hurdle.

Top agents can thrive in this market because they have the contacts and the database to do a lot of good things for their clients and property listings.  When the market gets tougher, the top agents simply focus with more action and relevance; they know what is required to help their clients and they set about doing just that.

So here are some tips to work with focus in this property market today:

  1. Work with a focus on the local business community.  They are likely to need property change or relocation.  Some businesses will be more successful than others; sort through the local businesses to see who wants help with expansion, contraction, or relocation.
  2. Some local property investors will be needing help with tenant retention plans and occupancy changes.  Your database of tenants will help them.
  3. Look at the older buildings that tenants are leaving.  Those buildings may be a case for renovation or redevelopment.
  4. The methods of sale or lease in this market should be carefully considered with due regard for the property and the surrounding area.  Exclusive listings for a lengthy period of time are the norm and not the exception.
  5. Vendor or client paid marketing should be obtained for every listing that is made exclusive.
  6. Take every listing into the local area personally to the business proprietors within regional proximity.  A current listing is a reason to talk to others.

In this property market, we are the specialists that can solve many issues for our clients.  It is just a matter of how that is to occur.

If you want more tips for commercial real estate agents, please join our newsletter here or visit our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Market Knowledge Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In commercial and retail property sales, as a commercial realtor or agent, it is essential for you to understand the trends of the local market and sustain the right type of market knowledge.  This information will help you greatly when it comes to the listing and presentation stages of interacting with the client.

Most clients would like to think that they know a lot about the property market, and most particularly their property, however the truth of the matter is that they are sadly lacking when it comes to true market awareness.

Be Informative

On that basis we should take the client through an informative presentation that helps them understand just what is going on in the property market today.  Here are some guidelines for that.

  1. Existing listings on the market now in the local area will have impact on the particular property being listed.  Look for those other listings in the local zone or precinct that are comparable to your listing and priced to sell quickly.  The question will be just how long those properties have been on the market and why they may not have sold yet.  Those questions will give you some trending factors for your listing.
  2. Prices being asked will vary from property to property.  In some cases the type of enquiry in the market today will have limits on the amount of money that can be spent.  As the price of a property goes up or is in the higher price range, the levels of qualified and valid enquiry fall away.
  3. Prices achieved in an actual sale should be tracked.  It is sometimes hard to get the sale results from a particular property however over a few months the word will get out and you will know the difference between the original asking price and achieved sale price.
  4. Time on market will extend when the market is slow or the property is unusual.  Look for those factors at the time of listing.  The client will need to be briefed and primed for the slow sales cycle.  That being said, there are always ways to shorten the time on market.
  5. Where the enquiry for the property comes from during the year will vary.  Sometimes the enquiry will be local, whilst at other times you can look to a broader market for the potential property buyers.  These facts will impact your marketing recommendations and decisions.
  6. What are the people or buyers looking for when it comes to particular properties today?  Older properties may be challenged by technology and the services and amenities that are available in the listing.
  7. What is the target market for the property?  On that basis the question should be asked as to how the property should be featured in any marketing activities.  You are the expert so your opinion and expertise can solve that question.
  8. Tell the client of the best method of sale to suit the market and the property today.  The client wants results and the method of sale will have impact on the type and volume of enquiry that you get.

All of these factors will help you in showing the client the best way forward.  When you list a property for sale, the client’s decision to list should not be based on the discounts that any agent offers; but rather the combination of strategies that evolve from all of the above.  That is the making of a top agent today.