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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.