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Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – A Fresh Approach to Time and Task Management in Listing and Marketing

When you list a commercial property today on an exclusive basis, you really do need to focus your efforts from the point of listing onwards to achieve the best results for the client.  Don’t waste time during the campaign and make sure that you optimise your efforts of promotion from the very start.

Know what has to be done with every exclusive listing when it comes to pulling in the target market and listing enquiry.  Ensure that the client has given you sufficient vendor paid marketing funds to achieve that level of promotional momentum.

Exclusivity Really Matters

When you have converted a property exclusively, the stages of promotion should be set out and actioned in a timely way.  Make every moment count when it comes to creating enquiry and converting inspections.

How can you do this?  You can split the campaign up into three distinct levels of momentum.  They are:

  • STAGE 1: The initial two weeks where you are releasing a property to the market and the target audience. During this time it is quite important to spread the word comprehensively across the local property zone or precinct applicable to your buyers and tenants.  You really do need a marketing campaign to understand how you will reach the right people in the right way from all of your promotional efforts.
  • STAGE 2: The next four weeks will be critical to lifting the levels of inspections and enquiry and encouraging any offers. Any potential negotiations should be occurring during this time.  If the offers are not coming in, then it is a matter of looking at pricing the property differently or changing the method of sale or lease.
  • STAGE 3: If the property has not sold or leased or during the previous two stages, then there are issues which need to be addressed. That is where a rethink or a different plan needs to be achieved in the marketing of the listing.  Don’t let the property become stale and stagnant on the market.  Stage 3 is the adjustment phase if the property is not creating real interest or inspections.  Changes have to be made to lift levels of enquiry.

As indicated, split the property campaign into a number of weeks and stages of promotion.  Change the campaign during that period of time based on the levels of enquiry that you are achieving.

Every exclusive listing should be placed on market and promoted to a strict time frame and task regime; in that way you can ensure the best outcomes are achieved.  That is why exclusivity is so important for each individual agent or broker if they want to grow market share and potential income.  Don’t waste your time on open listings unless you really need them.

Monitor the Property Campaign

Every moment of a property campaign should be monitored and optimised to achieve the best inbound levels of enquiry; refresh the listing appropriately based on feedback and inspection results.  Understand why exclusivity is so important when it comes to promoting commercial property for sale or for lease.  Exclusivity allows you to focus your efforts and commitment to the client and the property.  Over time that means better results.

Ultimately a successful property promotion allows you to achieve greater levels of inbound enquiry, inspections, negotiations, and closure.  Eventually that allows greater commissions and a growing level of market involvement for you at a personal level.

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Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Start Now to Be Effective as an Agent

In commercial real estate brokerage it is far too easy to procrastinate and get diverted in time wasting activities.  Your peers and clients will all ask for some of your time and then you still have demanding tasks to get to on a personal basis.  As you get more listings, things get busier in all respects.

Realistically there are only a small number of things that should really matter when it comes to broker focus and business planning.  Those particular issues are simply summarised as:

  • Prospecting for new listings
  • Listing documentation and marketing
  • Personal marketing through the location and the precinct
  • Client contact and service
  • Deal negotiation and documentation
  • Database management and follow-up

If you focus your efforts daily at a personal level into these six simple factors of activity, your property market results will take a sharp turn upward and allow you to improve your listings and commission conversions.

Simple messages

So the message here is that you can change your focus immediately and start working on these six factors to improve your market share.  In saying that, don’t procrastinate and certainly do not divert away from the new business opportunities that exist in your property market.  Be prepared to do the challenging and difficult things every day and stretch your ‘comfort zone’ and reduce any skill limitations.

There are far too many agents and brokers in the commercial property marketplace that consistently achieve only average results and struggle a lot of the time when it comes to database growth and income.  The best agents comprise the top 10% of the property market, and control 75% of the quality listings.  There is a message in those numbers.

Changing your commercial real estate career focus

So what can you do here?  To change the momentum in your commercial real estate career, the first stage involves a change of thinking at a personal level; the second stage involves action in a managed and directed way.  Understand what is happening with the activities of local property investors and business owners in your town or city.

Look for the zones or the precincts through your town or city that have plenty of property activity and enquiry.  Also look for the property types and the new property developments attracting enquiry.  Specialisation will help you dominate market share.

Exclusivity is really important

From all of this information you can move into an exclusive listing focus across those segments.  Exclusivity is the key element of market domination, listing conversions, and a professional Top-Agent-Focus.  When you list properties exclusively, you control the client, the listing, the enquiry, the inspections, and the negotiations.  Conversely, the open listing process gives you little if any control at all.

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Time and Task Management in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Today

It is difficult in commercial real estate brokerage today to stay on track in building your business at a personal level.  Many things occur every day that will divert your efforts and activities.  The only way to achieve results will be through consistent effort on dedicated and important tasks.  To achieve that, you should make a list.

You may see this as a fundamental fact of time management; however most agents and brokers really do not practice the process.  Many agents and brokers struggle with the disciplines to grow market share, attract more listings, and convert clients.  This is the ‘zone’ or the categories of activities where all the opportunities will occur.  The front end of the commercial real estate business is really important given that you will find fresh commission and listing opportunities in this way.

Here are some tips to help you with list management and task control as a commercial real estate broker:

  • Determine the three or four things that are most important to your real estate business.  Those things will need to occur every day and preferably first thing in the morning.  They should be merged into your diary.  Nothing should divert you from getting those things done.
  • It is a well-known fact of process control and time management that the written list process will help you get more focus and attention at a personal level on the things that really matter.  In these days of mobile phone technology and computerized diaries, the written list still remains the most effective time management tool in business.
  • The list process can also apply to business planning and also the goals and targets you have set for this year.  For a commercial real estate agent the goals and targets usually relate to growth of exclusive listings, growth of commission per transaction, shorter time on market, and improved results in both sales and leasing.

This strategy can be used in many different ways.  You can create a list of important tasks at the beginning of the day or at the beginning of the week.  Either way the list will help you focus on the things that really matter.

Luck does not have a role to play when it comes to the performance of top agents in the commercial real estate market today.  They have deliberately chosen to rise to the top of the industry based on their activities, market share, and results.  The planning process that they set for themselves will include many lists and task processes. Get our free tips and real estate course here.

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Time and Task Focus Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Time is really precious to any business person, but in commercial real estate time is perhaps the most important resource that you have.  How you spend your time will impact your listing outcomes and your commissions.  We all have choices that are critical to our business.

There are 3 types of salespeople in our industry:

  1. Those that watch what others do and follow the ‘leader of the pack’.  Those people may be happy but they will not make much money.  They don’t stay long in the industry.
  2. Those that conform to the trends of the market and the business team.  Conforming is a comfortable way to do business although not very rewarding.  Generic performance is the outcome.
  3. Those that see opportunity and drive new business from unique personal endeavours.  This group of agents and brokers are independent in their visions and actions.  They don’t need others to put momentum into their business.

If you have chosen commercial real estate as a career, you have done so for a number of reasons.  Here are some of the most common:

  • Income opportunities
  • Independence as a business person
  • Professional skill development and drive
  • Unique skills and interests in the property market

Perhaps you are one of the few that have a focus on all perspectives.  Whatever your priorities may be, the way you use your time will be an important attribute of your business.

Here are some tips to help you use your time more effectively as a real estate broker or agent:

  1. The things that you do every day will have a significant impact on the results that you achieve.  It is therefore critical to understand the matters that are of high value to your commission and listing opportunities.  Those things should be repeated regularly as part of the daily diary activity.  Habits are really important to our professional careers.
  2. Some of the things that we do in the market today should be tracked for improvement and results.  You can do that with key performance indicators and comparisons relating to your property type and fellow agents.  Look for those agents and brokers that are highly successful; check out their activities to see if any of them can be replicated.  In this industry you can learn from the skills of others.  You can also learn from your own personal professional skill development.  Track and measure the things that are occurring each day from your efforts.  Adjust those efforts to suit improvements in listing opportunity, client connections, marketing strategies, and negotiation outcomes.
  3. In many respects, you can bring most of the specialized skills that we have back to simple things that can be practiced.  As they say, practice makes perfect.  You can practice your dialogues, negotiation skills, and presentation skills.  Every day we use those things in so many different ways.

So the message here is quite simple.  Have a serious look at your diary and how you use your time every day.  Devote at least 1/3 your business day to business building activities.  Take steps to improve your core skills through regular daily practice.

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Commercial Real Estate Agent ‘Housework’ for a Better Market Share

Every commercial real estate agent will have some ‘housework’ and mundane activities to track and keep under control.  When this is correctly undertaken, they will understand where the property market is heading and how they can tap into the opportunity.

The ‘housework’ process involves tracking and measuring activity across a number of benchmarks and indicators.  In any given period of 12 months, there will be plenty of changes when it comes to property enquiries, the listings, methods of sale or lease, marketing, and business sentiment.  Here are some ideas to help you with that ‘housework’ monitoring and adjustment process:

  1. As a general rule, you should be tracking the numbers of inbound enquiries coming to you each day through the office, and via the telephone.  Understand what those people and prospects are looking for in both property type, and location.  Shifts in the economy, the availability of finance, and local business sentiment will have an impact on property changes and availability.
  2. Understand the listings that you have on your books at the moment.  Track the time on market as it applies to each of your exclusive listings.  All of those controlled listings should be tracked for activity, inspections, and negotiations.  Those listings should also be taken through a price adjustment process where necessary, supported by a marketing shift.  A listed property today can become quite ‘stale’ relatively quickly.  Keep the exclusive listing fresh through shifts in marketing, advertising description, pricing strategy, and promotional activity.
  3. When it comes to promoting a listing and attracting enquiry, understand the things that are more effective than others when it comes to the various marketing alternatives available.  Make each advertising process special and unique.  Understand the target audience and apply a strategy to reach into them.  Get away from generic marketing.  Obtain vendor paid marketing funds as part of every exclusive listing.
  4. Track the numbers of signs in your local area with each agency.  Add to that process the time on market for each of those listings.
  5. Track the number of properties listed on the websites of your competitors.  Observe how they advertise property and determine whether that process is effective or poorly handled.
  6. When you look at any listing in the marketplace today, understand the differences and the success rates that apply to each method of sale and each method of lease.  Some of those methods will be more successful than others.
  7. Stay in touch with your existing database and client base.  Over time, there will be opportunities for referral business and repeat business.  Remaining in contact for the long term will help you tap into the source of opportunity.
  8. Make plenty of prospecting calls every day to new people.  An ongoing prospecting process will help you fill your ‘pipeline’ in any market and at any time.  The consistent contact process will help you build market share providing you seek for and obtaining exclusive listings rather than open listings.

Be prepared to do the hard work and the ‘mundane work’ as part of your agency activities and business.  Lot of this can be done at the end of the day out of your core prospecting time and client activity.  The commercial property industry is very lucrative for those that put in the necessary work and the required focus.

You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter right here.

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Time Management Tips in Commercial Property Management

When you work as a commercial real estate property manager, there are certain things that need to be done every day to help you stay in control of the portfolio and clients that you work for.  This segment of the industry is quite busy and challenging in many different ways.  You will be balancing issues relating to the landlord, tenants, property performance, maintenance, and cash flow.

It is no secret that you will be very busy most of the time, and yet the high priority issues still need to be done.  In most cases, they cannot be delegated.  For this reason, property managers need to be highly efficient and effective when it comes to personal time and task management.

A career in commercial property management is very different to that of sales and or leasing.  Whilst a property manager may get involved in both sales and leasing, they do it from a different direction and with other priorities.  In most cases they are seeking to improve the property performance and the cash flow for the client, so most of their decisions will be based on that focus.  Whilst the commission of the transaction is of some importance, the client’s position and targets are more important.

Here are some things that should be high on the manager’s agenda for each working day in commercial or retail property management:

  1. At the very beginning of the day it is wise to check the inbound emails and messages to see if there are any matters of critical importance relating to your clients, property performance, risk, maintenance, or property damage.  Matters relating to potential personal injury should be dealt with immediately.  If you have a good group of maintenance contractors to help you, maintenance issues can be ‘actioned’ quite quickly with a telephone call and a suitable job order number.
  2. Most tenant management and maintenance issues can wait till later in the day.  It is simply a matter of acknowledging the tenants request for attention or action, and returning to the issue when time permits.  Document all of your communications with tenants in case you need to refer later to the events and actions that were taken.  Tenants can sometimes ‘modify’ the facts and use it to personal advantage.
  3. The collection of rental monies and arrears should be checked at the start of each day.  From time to time you will have tenants that are struggling with rental payments and in some cases you will have established a ‘payments plan’.  When that occurs, you need to check the progress of incoming payments and the tenant’s commitment to the plan.  Also pay attention to the normal rental payments required under the terms of existing leases.  When the rental arrears situation arises, act on it immediately.
  4. The leases in the property remain the backbone of the cash flow for the landlord.  For this reason the critical dates of each lease should be understood and tracked continually.  Pay particular attention to the rent reviews, options, renovation and maintenance requirements, insurance, rentals, and outgoings.  When a critical date is coming up, act on it as early as possible.  The greater the number of tenants that you have, the more challenging this requirement will become.  A good property management software program will help you with the controls behind these critical date issues.
  5. Communicating with the landlord in a timely and efficient way will keep them fully briefed on income and expenditure activity.  Document all of your communications with the landlord.  Understand what they require when it comes to reporting and income.  Show the landlord that you really are in control of all matters relating to property performance, the tenants, and the cash flow.

So the message here is that you need to remain organized and efficient.  Develop a system that works for you from a property management perspective.  It is a known fact that personal control in time management is one of the biggest challenges you will strike in this part of the industry.  You will be very busy on a daily basis.  You need to control all the things that you do and the way that they are undertaken.

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Time Management Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In commercial real estate today, you have to set some rules in time management and then stick to them.  Your time is the greatest resource that can help you move ahead.

It is a fact that many agents struggle with the whole time and control process.  They give in to the pressures of clients, peers, listings, and the office.  Exactly who is in control here anyway?

So why do you need to control your time?  For one simple reason; everyone around you will want some of your time, and at the end of the working day you could have achieved very little that is important to your business growth as an agent.

So here are some time management tips:

  1. You will know that there are 3 things that really matter as an agent.  They are your prospecting, your clients and your listings.   Everything else revolves around those 3 things.  Setting priorities in your working day is therefore really important.
  2. Create key habits that can allow you to get to the 3 things mentioned earlier.  Habits are critical to taking you forward; it is the things that you do every day that will change your business outlook and market share.
  3. The circadian cycle or biological clock says that you are most effective between 7 am and 11 am.  There is also a second window of time between 3pm and 6 pm that is useful.  How do you use your resources in these windows of time?  Quite clearly you should be doing your prospecting during the early part of the day.
  4. When you start something you are good for about 2 hours before you will want a break.  Build short breaks into your working day so you can keep up the momentum.
  5. When you get into something new, it takes about 20 minutes to lock into the issue and get some momentum.  If someone interrupts you, the clock resets.  This is the single most common reason for lack of focus in a busy real estate office; people are distracting each other most of the day.  They then cannot get the traction and focus on important things.
  6.  A computer based diary is convenient, but a written daily diary is essential if you want to focus your efforts.  It is a fact that people need to write things down to figure out a way of doing them.  A daily dairy will help you do that.
  7. Prioritize everything that you do.  Only do the important stuff first.  Don’t let small and convenient things take you away from the issues that matter.

So how are you going to do all of this?  With focus and diligence you can get there.  It’s all up to you.

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Time Management in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

In commercial real estate agency it is very much the case that the day will take over your diary unless you take control.  People will impose on your time and things then will go absolutely nowhere.

If you are like me, you will hate people wasting your time.  In our industry time is money and we need to remember that.  In an average day lots of people will want a slice of your time.  How about this list for starters?

  • Existing clients with their listings
  • New clients wanting to list their property
  • Team leaders wanting to talk about the weeks results
  • The boss (for all sorts of reasons)
  • Tenants looking for property
  • Buyers wanting to inspect your listings
  • Telephone enquiries
  • Administrative people needing help getting your marketing campaigns underway

So, all of this says that we need to set some solid rules that will not be broken or changed.   We must control our time as it is the main thing that we can control in commercial real estate agency.

Systems can set you free to get on with your business.  When business runs smoothly then you find the clients and the listings that you need.

Every system in commercial real estate is essentially made up of subsets or systems for key things.  Each part of the process can be refined and improved.  I have had systems for all of the following:

  1. Prospecting systems so I can keep focused on the right properties and clients that will need my services one day.  Every good commercial agent should have a pipeline of some type.
  2. Presentation processes so that every property that I pitch for is a deliberate pitch that is well controlled to a solid approach that I know works.   Confidence here is the key.
  3. Listing systems for each property type such as office, industrial, and retail property.  I would also have systems for sales, leasing, and property management.  Retail shopping centres are quite different and feature with their own systems that are unique to retail.
  4. Inspecting a property is quite special and having a process for that is wise.  A checklist to help you ask the right questions and look at the right things in the property will always be of benefit.  The inspection system should take into account the property type and the location; that is why you need checklists for this.
  5. Marketing processes for the listings that we work on should not be generic or ordinary.  The fact of the matter is that each property should be uniquely promoted to a plan; this assumes that it is an exclusive listing and you have vendor paid marketing funds paid in advance.
  6. Negotiations and communications with clients should be documented.  It is common that things will get delayed or changed when you are negotiating with a client on a sale or a lease.  When you have the supporting documentation and notes, nothing can go wrong.

If you are finding that things are out of control and you are struggling as an agent, take a look at your systems in commercial and retail real estate agency.  Build some processes and controls that help you move forward.

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Time Management Tips and Tools for Commercial Real Estate Agents

As commercial property agents, we cannot manage time but we can manage ourselves.  When it comes to succeeding in the industry, you really do need a solid system of control when it comes to your business day.  When you get this right, you will drive better business for yourself in any market.

If you think any local property market decline is removing your market share and not giving you leads, take a look at what you are doing on a daily basis when it comes to networking and prospecting.  Top agents prospect every day and in any market, and they do it well.  Top agents do not suffer the same pressures as ordinary agents and the reason for that is their prospecting model and database.

Systems will take you forward, and will help you connect with the right people in the right way.  It all comes down to what you do with your time each and every day.  Many agents struggle with the pressures of the day and the market.  They have no system to ‘stick to’ and consequently cannot improve their market share.  Without consistent market share, your listing leads will decline as will your commission.

So if this sounds like you may I suggest that a solid ‘dose’ of prospecting will help get you back on track?  To get things going, here are some ideas.

  1. Review your market to see what is active and what is slow when it comes to property types and locations.  Look at all the listings on the market now and determine what marketing and agency strategies are applied in each case.  You will soon see that ordinary marketing does not produce results when the property market is sluggish and tougher.  Direct personal market is far more effective when general advertising and market fails.
  2. Let’s set some rules for direct marketing.  Focus on getting out of your office for at least two thirds of the day.  The other third of the day can be spent in the office with cold calls.  Paper work can happen after hours.  Similarly you can talk to clients at the end of the day when you have more time.  Property inspections occur in the afternoon on most days as required.  Prospecting occurs in the mornings.  As you can see, this is a routine.  Perhaps you can design a variation of this to help you in your market; importantly however, the system that you create must give you a solid focus on prospecting outside of the office.
  3. Keep in contact will all previously established leads and prospects, however make sure that you are adding new ones every day.  That is why cold calling is so important to your business model.

Top agents get frustrated when people impose on their time and waste it; generally they will not let others destroy their focus and momentum when it comes to a daily plan of action.  You should be the same and protect your business time in all cases and situations.   Devote time to the things that are really important.  This will help you consolidate your listings and new business leads.