Do you know what targets and goals are all about? In commercial real estate brokerage the targets and goals that you set should energise you to take even more action and refine your processes for better results.
Why is that? It takes time for an agent to establish market share and listing dominance; the only way that consolidation of market share will happen quickly is through taking ever more action on the things that matter. Understanding the important things to work on can be a bit daunting initially but soon you recognise your individual strengths and weaknesses as an agent and then you can work with them.
Progress Every Day
When you track your targets you can see how you are progressing each day and each week. At the end of each month your key performance indicators in listings, commissions, and time on market can be assessed for progress.
So there are ‘big targets’ and ‘little targets’ to work to in commercial real estate brokerage. The little targets feed the bigger ones, and everything is based on action every day.
Don’t Make This Mistake
A real estate broker recently said to me that he was struggling with routine and doing the things that really mattered to his business. When he started each working day he was letting the pressures of clients and listings dictate what he was to do first up in the day. That then meant over time that he was overlooking any factors of growth and new business creation. Inevitably he was struggling with new business and any exclusive listings were few and far between.
Energise Your Real Estate Business
So let’s set some rules for energising your real estate business:
- A full one third of every working day should be set aside for new business generation. That ratio is non-negotiable; it simply must happen.
- The morning first thing when you get to the office is the best time to do some cold calls and telephone contact to prospects.
- Track the calls that you make outbound in number so that you can understand progress in connections and conversations.
- When a telephone call converts to a meeting, understand why that is so and attend the meeting with a reason or target in mind. Perhaps that target may be to win a listing or stay in touch with that person for the longer term when they need professional real estate help.
- Don’t chase after unqualified prospects or any listings that are of low quality. Ask all the relevant questions possible to get to the real reasons that you can help someone with investment, tenant mix, property performance, or locating new property locations. If you are in any doubt about a client or a listing, it is better to move on and let someone else waste their time.
Progress is everything in commercial real estate brokerage. Any top agent will tell you that they are very selective on what they do and who they talk to every day. They closely control their time and tasks. Can you do the same?
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In commercial real estate there are unlimited opportunities for real estate agents to earn good income and grow market share. In saying that, the results achieved are all driven by personal effort.
There are 3 separate skill bases or services to the market and each are quite specialised. Decide what you like do and what will give you the most reward (physical and financial). There is no point in attempting to do something that you do not understand or like; that will be too personally restricting.
So the 3 skill bases are:
- Commercial and investment property sales
- Investment property leasing
- Commercial and retail property management
Some agents will choose to work on both sales and leasing. That is a good thing as the skill bases are similar and they are linked when it comes to working with clients. A leasing client today is likely to be a sale or purchase client in the future.
The skills required to be a property manager are a bit different, and the long term target when working with property management clients is that of providing professional service, and not just a single deal (as in sales and leasing). Property managers for that reason are ‘deal oriented’ but ‘service strong’. Building relationships over the long term is really what professional property management is all about.
If you have chosen commercial real estate as a career for yourself, then understand your character and its best ‘fit’ for the tasks at hand. You can work in any or all of these 3 segments or sections of the market within your agency. Choose the section of the industry that is best for your skills, knowledge and business style.
To move ahead in our industry it is best to prepare a set of goals and a small personal business plan. That strategy will help you with progress and adjustment during the year. Here are some more tips to strengthen your push and direction as a real estate agent:
- Motivation – You may have heard a lot about motivation and its requirement in any career. In our industry it is a very personal thing. Self-belief is a good thing, but action taking is far more important. Every day you will need to do specific things that can be a challenge. On that basis your levels of personal motivation must be significant; no other person can make things happen for you.
- Goals and targets – When you know the section of the market that you are working in together with your location, your goals can be set based on not just the personal performance that you are capable of, but also the ability of the market to give you opportunities. It directly follows that you will need to know your market and its growth factors and possibilities. Research is required to understand the history of local sales, leasing, and property management (depending on your skill base). Make sure that your town or city has the growth possibilities that you are looking for at a personal level. Ensure that you know how you will be tapping into those possibilities.
- Putting your plan in motion – As with any plan certain actions will be required. Every day you will be required to focus on new business, new people, and new properties. That is in addition to everything else that happens with current clients and properties. The most successful people in our industry are those that spend a good part of every day focusing on prospecting for new business. From the earliest stages of your career, set this rule in motion. Watch how results come back to you and track your results. Make adjustments in your prospecting and cold calling so you are growing your business in any property market and at any time.
These three factors are perhaps the most important to help you get traction and market share as a broker or agent. Look at what you are doing today and make adjustments where necessary. Strive to improve on a daily basis in commercial real estate agency.
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.
Commercial real estate agency has significant attraction and opportunity for agents and salespeople that are looking for the potential of higher incomes and a good career. That being said, results that you achieve will only come from directed effort. Each and every day you need to do particular things to help you build market share, listings, and quality property enquiries.
It is interesting to note that many agents choose an agency or a brokerage to work for, and then expect to be fed listings and opportunities. If only the industry was that easy. It is a fact that most of your income opportunities will come from personal effort in prospecting, marketing, and negotiating. The agency or brokerage that you work for only has a small role to play in those factors.
If you are starting a new career in commercial real estate, or if your career has failed to move ahead with good results, now would be a good time to look at goal establishment and personal business planning. This is a specific process that will help you get traction when it comes to attracting listings, converting clients, and closing more deals. The goals you set will help you understand where you are headed, and the business planning process will give you the tools to take the required actions.
It is a fact that the property market will change throughout the year. The business plan that you create will need to be reviewed on a monthly and quarterly basis. In that way you can make the necessary adjustments given the prevailing market conditions. You cannot control the market but you can control your responses. Directed actions will always help you grow market share under all types of pressures.
So here are some rules to help you with goal establishment as a commercial property agent:
- Determine the reasons that you are working in the industry. It is wise to be quite clear when it comes to working and controlling your market share. Be quite precise when it comes to understanding where you are heading as an agent or broker and why you are doing it. Perhaps you have an income focus, or perhaps you have a professional target as a top salesperson. Either way be quite clear and specific when it comes to your reasons to be in the industry.
- Determine your market geographically so that you can focus your prospecting efforts inside the zone. Get some maps of the region so you can determine your primary location of business opportunity; outside of that zone will be the secondary precinct that will also feed some listings to you. The primary business precinct should have plenty of activity or opportunity within it. A full 75% of your business should come from within that area. The area should be reasonably local and you should also have a good knowledge of the property types and the market activity. Any listing or business opportunity that comes to you from the secondary business precinct will be the other 25% of opportunity that you will generate throughout the year; it will come to you as a result of luck more than directed effort.
- Understand the property types within your primary prospecting precinct. Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge of the market and the property types when it comes to sales, leasing, and property management. Be prepared to talk across all three disciplines as required in any client or prospect conversation or meeting.
The goals that you set based on the three previous points should now be determined on criteria that you can track. Here are the most common numbers that form a goal tracking process for individual salespeople and agents:
- The number of outbound prospecting calls made as part of a cold call prospecting process.
- Meetings generated from that cold calling activity. You should be talking to property investors, business leaders, tenants, property developers, solicitors, and accountants. These are the groups that will give you the best opportunity to act on in the industry.
- The conversions of listings or transactions from those meetings.
- Track the differences in listings when it comes to open listings and exclusive listings.
- Track the time on market relative to the listings that you control as exclusive listings. Open listings do not need to be tracked.
- Monitor the commissions that you write in both sales and leasing activity. Break those commissions down into size of sale and size of lease transaction. In that way you will see where you should be lifting your focus to better quality properties.
- One factor linked to all of the above will be that of your database. The size of your database should be monitored and its quality improved. The database is the one thing that can help you grow market share and close more transactions.
Taking on all of the above points, you now have some meaningful information to merge into your personal business plan as a commercial real estate agent. Set the right numbers relative to your property marketplace and the history of the area. Over time you can see where you are improving and then you can adjust and grow your skill base.
One of the significant problems in a commercial real estate team today is the lack of goals or the focus of individuals on previously set goals. Goals are commonly set by the team leader for both the team and the individuals on a yearly or quarterly basis. In many cases the personal goals are simply a ‘wish list’ that never really gets activated. At the end of 12 months, the goals have simply not been achieved and the salesperson has not changed their personal performance. So everyone heads ‘back to the drawing board’ to set new targets.
The reasons salespeople should be setting their personal goals is to give some firm targets to aim at and strive towards. Goals should never be a ‘wish list’ that is relegated to the bottom drawer of the desk and only to be taken out when questions are asked.
Commercial real estate sales and leasing is a result driven industry and career for those that are prepared to work hard. It is certainly not and industry for the feint hearted. Constant focus and continual action are critical parts of personal improvement and results.
Most salespeople and agents will understand the focus on listings and commissions; they will not however change their habits to generate more listings and commissions. That is the reason why so many salespeople struggle in difficult markets and move from agency to agency looking for the ‘pot of gold’ at the end of the rainbow. The answer ‘lies within’ as they say.
The real purpose of establishing goals is to set some clear perspective on where the salesperson can head if they take consistent and relevant action. Goal setting and goal management really does work providing you give it the due regard and focus that it requires.
Here are some rules to the process of goal setting in commercial real estate today:
- Understand your local property market and the possibilities that it provides. There is no point focusing in a market segment that has no future or opportunity. There should be plenty of listing opportunity available for your choice of property and choice of market. Get this information sorted and defined before you continue.
- Define your market geographically on a map. Set the boundaries that you want to work within based on the major highways and any of the main roads. Inside the relevant area you should have sufficient listing stock that is easily identifiable.
- After you have defined your market geographically, look at the history of the area relevant to the property type. Research the sales and leasing activity that has occurred over the last 5 to 10 years. That research will show you trends and opportunities for the future; it will also show you the players or property owners that are active at various times.
- Having satisfied the previous three points, it is now time to decide exactly what advantages you bring to the market in and with your property specialty. Why are you different? What can you do for your client that is relevant and important? Are you better than the other agents in the area, and if so why?
- Providing all of the above points are ‘in balance’ and suitably positive, you can now set some clear goals and targets. With due regard to the history of the area, you can set some targets around quality listing stock, exclusive listings, time on market, and commissions. Have a serious look at the quality of property that you can work with. Quality listings bring in better enquiry in any market; for this reason you need quality properties that are controlled by you or your agency on an exclusive listing.
- All of your goals should be quantifiable and easily tracked. Each few days and certainly at the end of each week you should be revisiting your goals to identify how you are progressing. In most cases many salespeople need to adjust as they proceed in their goal management plan. The road to success requires effort and change. Be flexible and be open to adjustment.
The process of goal management and goal targeting is one of the best ways to get salespeople on track. Expect the entire process to take personal effort and real focus. After approximately three or four weeks of hard work, the whole thing gets a lot easier and results start to come in. From that point onwards you know where you are heading and how it’s occurring.