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Overcoming Road Blocks and Frustrations in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

As an agent or broker in commercial real estate, you will have pressures and diversions when it comes to establishing your career and growing market share. Plenty of challenges will arise through daily business activities and when it comes to finding new clients to work with and for over time.

 

The top agents of the industry focus specifically on finding new clients and the needs that clients may have when it comes to property sales, leasing, and property management. That’s when the database becomes an essential part of their business.

 

When the property market appears to be slowing, it can usually be due to a simple change in seasonal activity, or a business adjustment due to economic pressures. There will always be plenty of listings to attract despite property market changes.

 

If you focus on high quality listings, the process of business generation is a lot easier. When you take a high quality listing to the market, the levels of enquiry are significantly greater, and the time on market factors are lower. It directly follows that you can grow your market share a lot faster when you focus on quality listings.

 

Ways to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Market Share

 

So the question arises as to how you can create and attract high quality listings as part of your personal market share. The answer is relatively simple and can be summarised in the following way:

  • Build Your Skills – Practice your listing pitch and presentation frequently with relevance to the local area and the current levels of enquiry.
  • Know the market – Understand exactly what tenants and buyers looking for when it comes to the property type and the location. Use those factors when it comes to pitching and presenting for a listing. Show the clients that you work for how their property can be matched into the current levels of enquiry.
  • Ratios and Results – Track and measure the types of enquiry coming in when it relates to your location. Build your marketing programs around the factors of attraction from incoming enquiry.
  • Be Selective – Avoid taking open listings as they will generally waste your time. When you can’t control the client, the enquiry, or the negotiation, things become difficult. For that reason focus your efforts around exclusive listings.
  • Vendor Marketing Funds – Support every exclusive listing with vendor paid marketing. Use that vendor paid marketing to structure high quality promotional campaigns in the local area. You will soon be known as the agent of dominance and professional marketing skill.
  • Referrals and Leads – Ask for referral business and opportunities with all the clients of the prospects that you work with. There will always be leads to be actioned through the referral process.
  • Success Letters – Any and all successful transactions should be communicated back into the local area through direct marketing and success letters. Tell all of the local property investors and business owners of your recent successes when it comes to sales, and leasing.
  • Talk to Many – Any sale or leasing transaction will give you a real reason to talk about property management services. Over time you can convert property management business and grow the portfolio for your brokerage. In that way you will control the listing stock into the future and provide the brokerage with a further source of listings as the property owners or investors change their investments stock.
  • Previous Clients – Review the sales and leasing records for the brokerage over the last five years. Revisit the clients and prospects that have been part of any transaction during that time.
  • Watch Other Agents – Track and measure the activities of other brokers in the local precinct. When another agent puts signboard on a property, it is an excuse to talk to the surrounding owners.

 

The commercial real estate business is not complicated but it is specific and requires a systematic approach. As an agent or broker, these simple facts provided will help you get traction in your market and build a list of leads and opportunities with the local property owners.

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A Busy Day in the Life of a Shopping Center Manager

A Retail Shopping Center Manager when compared to others working in our industry is perhaps the busiest person by job type and specialization.  The type of retail property and the size of the tenant mix will place a lot of pressures on work load and business processes for the Center Manager.  That is why property management fees and support team requirements are significantly higher in retail property when compared to that of office or industrial property.

Can you ‘hack’ the intensity of retail property performance and the specialization that goes with that?  If you can, then the retail segment is a good place to work and grow market share.

Let’s look at the average working day for a Shopping Center Manager.  They have plenty of things to do, and here are some of the most common:

  1. Tenant contact – Most tenants in a shopping center are of the smaller and individual type.  They thrive when the shopping center is performing well; they struggle when the reverse is the case.  For that very reason a good manager will keep in close contact with all the tenants in the tenant mix, and watch the integration of anchor and specialty tenants from a customer and client perspective.  They look for the strengths and weaknesses and work with both.
  2. Marketing – A good shopping center will be comprehensively marketed to the customers and the local demographic.  A market budget will certainly help that occur but the money for marketing has to be carefully controlled to the shopping seasons and the activities within the property.
  3. Competing properties – In any city or suburb it is likely that other landlords and Shopping Center Managers are attempting to draw on any good tenants that they find in other properties.  For that reason it pays for a Center Manager to have a tenant retention plan and leasing strategy to help minimize the vacancy factor.
  4. Tenant mix – A successful tenant mix is one that matches closely the customer requirements and anchor tenants in a property.  The larger the shopping center, the more complex the controls and choices become; there are then issues to consider with clustering of tenants, renovation and relocation issues, and market rents.
  5. Arrears – In the ‘real world’ of shopping center management it is the case that arrears will happen with some tenants from time to time; a lot depends on the success of the property and the permitted use or offering of the tenant.  Look for arrears and catch them early before they do too much damage to the property cash flow.
  6. Lease updates and critical dates – Every lease will have dates to watch.  Those dates will be critical from a leasing and rental perspective.  If the shopping centre has plenty of tenants to watch, then the critical date management process will be all that more complex.
  7. Landlord reporting and contact – Some landlords require intense reporting on a daily or weekly basis; the end of month reporting can also be complex and significant.  The Center Manager has to fully commit to the landlord reporting and contact process.
  8. Maintenance and Risk Management – In every property there will be maintenance issues to fix; to do that efficiently the Center Manager should have a reporting and response process to maintenance that takes into account the elements of urgency and damage potential as well as personal injury potential.
  9. Contractor – Some maintenance contractors are better than others when it comes to maintenance response, prices, skills, and knowledge.  It is not unusual for the contractors in a large shopping center to be assessed annually for the services they offer given the demands of the property.

From these things it can easily be seen that the Shopping Center Manager should have very special skills and good business systems.