In today’s podcast you can learn how to optimise your activities as a broker or an agent in your location. Those activities apply to both sales and leasing activity. Refine your working day so that you can boost enquiry, presentations, and client interaction. This is a personal thing that needs to be considered and developed as a system for every individual agent and broker over time.
Consistency is an important thing in commercial real estate brokerage. That is the consistency that happens when it comes to client contact, prospecting, and presentations. In this podcast, you will learn how to build some consistency in your actions and in your property market. Drive your business forward with greater levels of consistency on the things that really matter from a listing and commission perspective.
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.
In commercial real estate brokerage, there will be plenty of pressures to handle and diversions to avoid. Through all of those things, you need to keep doing the deals, and on that basis you need to set some rules at a personal level.
One thing should be said quite clearly when it comes to getting things done in our industry. In simple terms, you cannot control the whole of the day; things will happen that will change your targets and actions. Be prepared for the changes, and control at least a part of your day regardless of everything that happens.
One Third of Your Day
As a general rule, you should be able to control at least one third of your day. To get more traction and leverage with clients and listings, that controllable one third of your diary should be at the beginning of the day. It should extend for at least 3 hours.
Start the day doing the things that really matter when it comes to commercial real estate. Determine exactly what tasks and opportunities will help you drive more new business and better client relations. In most cases, the cold calling and prospecting process undertaken at a personal level is exactly what you need to merge into that controllable one third of your diary.
Attract Fresh New Business In Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
Here are some rules to help you with attracting more deals and listing opportunities:
- Don’t book meetings in advance unless you completely understand and accept the reasons for the meeting from your perspective. Is there a client relationship or listing opportunity involved in the meeting process?
- Other people will want to see you or talk to you about business issues from their perspective. Connections with other people should occur at the end of the day when all other important tasks have been undertaken. Remember that you control your diary; don’t let other people do that.
- Over time, only list high quality properties on an exclusive basis. Control your listing stock through that exclusivity focus, and avoid open listing requests as they will waste your time. Only take on open listings when you know that you have a potential buyer or purchaser to match to the property. It directly follows that you should decline any client request for an open listing. Why would you offer your high grade professional property services on low-grade listings and therefore waste your time? When you understand and accept that you really are the expert agent for the local area, open listings are no longer a necessity or a requirement. Pitch and present your services in a comprehensive way so that the client can see that you are the top agent for the job.
- With every listing, pitch and present your marketing strategies to the client on the basis of a comprehensive vendor paid marketing campaign. Ensure that the campaign is well structured using unique and direct marketing processes that your competing agents may have overlooked or neglected to offer; put yourself in the marketing process. Whilst every marketing campaign will have a degree of general advertising and website listing commitment, tell the client exactly what you are going to do for them and the property to attract volumes of high quality enquiry at a personal level.
When you stick to the rules when it comes to property marketing and listing, you can attract more commercial real estate enquiries and opportunities over time. In simple terms that will allow you to attract more listing leads and commission or deal opportunity.
When you get spare time in commercial real estate, the important thing is that you do something of relevance and importance to help you build market share. As a general rule, focus on connecting with new people, property investors, and business leaders.
As you get busier with listings and clients, the frequency of spare time tends to diminish. However, between meetings, or perhaps between property inspections you will always have some spare time to use in a positive way. Spend the extra 10 minutes or half an hour between meetings productively by creating connections and conversations with the right people.
Things consistently change in commercial real estate today. From time to time new leads and opportunities evolve from the relationships that you make and have with other people. Asking questions at the right time or connecting in the right way will help you build listing opportunity.
Most new business opportunities come from established relationships and ongoing conversations. It can take some months if not years for some clients to move to the next stage of property involvement or change. Help them understand that you are the right person for the job. Make sure that you are consistently available when they need you. Keep them fully briefed and appraised when it comes to regional and local property market activities, prices, rents, and upcoming quality listings.
Spare Time Checklist for Agents and Brokers
Here are some of the best ways efficiently use your spare time as a commercial real estate agent or broker:
- Make 10 direct cold calls – The telephone is the most convenient way to connect with your market whilst using your time effectively. Some top agents will deliberately set aside time every day to make cold calls, and they also make those calls between meetings. You are never too busy to make more direct calls to clients and prospects.
- Door knock some local businesses – The local business community will be a great source of property market information, leads, and change. The business leaders locally will generally know more about local property issues than you do. They will understand the factors of changes that apply to neighbouring properties, businesses, and landlords.
- Send 5 marketing letters – In sending five marketing letters per day, you will have the chance to make direct follow-up phone calls later in the week. The idea here is that the marketing letters ‘open the door’ to the conversation that you can create over the telephone. A telephone conversation should lead to help you understand future property needs with the people that you talk to.
- Contact previous clients – Some clients that you have worked for previously may soon be looking for other assistance across sales, purchasing, property management, or leasing. Bring some versatility to the services that you provide. Be prepared to convert one level of business activity to another.
- Ask for referrals – There will always be referral opportunities available to the creative agent. If you have successfully serviced a client in a previous transaction, the referral conversation is easy and logical. Contact the people that you have worked with over the years, to see if they can refer you to other people and property activity. It is always a lot easier to create new business through the referral process.
Simple strategies like these can help you use your spare time effectively and efficiently. These simple activities can also assist when it comes to identifying property changes and client needs. Use the telephone to create relevant and real contacts with the best people in your local property market.
In commercial real estate, market leadership is a very important issue, and particularly so if you specialise in a property type within a location. If you are like most agents you will have plenty of other competitive agents to work around and market against. Through all of that ‘competitive noise’ your services must stand out as real and relevant to the market place. That’s what the top agents of the market do.
When it comes to pitching and winning a listing, most of the clients that we serve want the best agent for the job; the marketing of any listing for sale or lease is not an experiment and the clients know that. It is at that point where the ‘leadership equation’ becomes important. Having spent many years in the property industry, I have seen and got to know many more agents than most people. It is a fact that the truly great agents are few in number, whilst most other agents ‘ride the rollercoaster’ of the property market through many ups and downs. Resilience is a good skill for an agent to have, but systemised action is far more important.
To develop true ‘market leadership’ an agent needs a ‘formula’ to work to that allows for factors of the market place, the property type, the location, and the current levels of enquiry.
Here are some facts and strategies that can help you reach your targets in the local area when it comes to listings and clients:
- Time – Be very conscious of your time and who you let take a ‘slice of it’ each day. You cannot invent time so you must manage your own business day to get the best results from it; all your appointments, prospecting, marketing, client contact, negotiating and paperwork must fit into the working day. Some things will be more important than others, and there will be plenty of daily pressures that can potentially shift your focus; be prepared for some real discipline in diary control and day management.
- Professional Services and Practice – If you want to be the best agent locally for the property type, then your marketing, property knowledge, and negotiation skills should be of the highest standards. A top quality agent with a dominant market share stands out ‘head and shoulders’ above others due to a recognisable difference in listing quality and listing success rate. To achieve that status, your can practice and refine your skills, improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths. Practice is something that most agents forget about as soon as the market or the listings get a bit busy. The opportunity is wide open for those agents that keep on practicing and improving their skills.
- Database – Your real estate database is the basis of creating personal new business and helping with commission growth. It takes time to grow a good database and the daily updates are ongoing. If you are struggling with new business now, it is time to look at your systems; the database should be at the centre of all of them. Integrate and lift your prospecting efforts into your database. Set the standards of daily prospecting that you should work to and start taking action.
- Marketing – Many agents would use only the most basic of marketing skills when it comes to property listings, and they do little beyond that when it comes to spreading the word about a new listing. Today we have some very advanced marketing tools and systems at our disposal. Every quality property and exclusive listing should be comprehensively marketed to produce the best outcome for the client and for the brokerage. Pitch and sell your commercial real estate services on the basis of exclusive listings supported by a comprehensive marketing tools and systems. In that way you will consistently create better results in sales and leasing activity, together with a shorter time on market.
Leadership in the commercial real estate market place is a strategic choice for top agents and top brokers. You can build your systems using some of the skills above and others to take charge of the marketplace and become a real leader when it comes to property sales, leasing, and development. Success comes to those who work hard to a plan and a process.
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.
Every day there will be plenty of things to do in your commercial real estate brokerage. The choices that you make in that regard will have significant impact on the results that you achieve. The key message here is that you should control your day and only do the things that are really important to growth of market share and commissions. Everything else needs to wait to the end of the day when the pressure is off.
Here are some things to consider and action on a daily basis to help you with your career in the industry.
- Check out the new property developments coming into the market. Go to the local planning and building approvals office at least once per month to check the new developments under consideration. The planning approvals of today will be the buildings of tomorrow. You can make a lot of commission working on a major new development for sale or for lease. When you locate the potential development, connect with the property developer or the property owner as required. Identify the trigger points that will help you convert a new project to a listing.
- Check the number of listings in the market today by doing a weekly count of signboards and Internet advertisements. Split those numbers into brokerages and agencies. Pay particular attention to the shifts in market share. Also look for the dominance of particular agents or brokers. Track the time on market for those listings. Look for the expiry dates of exclusive listings.
- You will find some listings that are being marketed by the relative property owners. In many respects, you will find that those properties for sale or for lease will stay on the market for a long time. Those property owners generally do not have the marketing skills or the resources to generate enquiry. That being said, their reason for the self-marketing is usually that they don’t want to pay commission. If you approach them for a listing, they will usually load their price or rental for the commission to be paid. This can be counterproductive and produce an overpriced listing; the property would have already been on the market for some time anyway. If you are going to work with property owners in this way, be prepared to push strongly for the rent and the price that the market will provide. You can walk away from the listing if the price or rental is unrealistic. In many respects, it is better to do that and waste your valuable resources and tarnish your image as a top agent.
So there are plenty of things to do when it comes to consolidating your market share. Keep a close eye on the market activity and track the results that you achieve. Top agents progressively grow their market share through diligent and directed action. That is why you should track your ratios and numbers.
If you work in commercial or retail property management, you are likely to be very busy most of the time. That being said, the problem needs to be controlled.
It is interesting to note that many professional property managers over time become quite frustrated with the momentum that they are trying to achieve in portfolio management. The reason for frustration usually centres on their inability to control workload and portfolio requirements. The variables of clients service and portfolio activity place pressures on the working day.
It is worthwhile noting that many property managers are overloaded when it comes to the number of tenants and the number of properties. Perhaps the problem stems from the requirements to satisfy a certain level of fees in each case. If you want to build some efficiency into your property management department and within your career, it is necessary to strike the appropriate fees for the property management tasks involved and the clients concerned.
Here are some tips to help you get your career back on track:
- The role of a property manager is a bit different to that of a sales or leasing executive. A property manager has to control and process a lot of documentary issues, lease negotiations, and matters relating to property performance. That requires paperwork, processes, checking systems, and planning. It is best to get the paperwork done at the beginning of the day between 8 am and 11 am. In devoting 3 hours to intense paperwork, your mind is fresh, and more inclined to deal with the issues.
- One of the biggest errors that is all too common in the industry occurs when the managers are handling emails first thing in the morning. The only reason you should look at emails at the beginning of the day is to see if any urgent issues have arisen overnight. Everything else in the E mail inbox should wait till the later part of the morning or the day. Don’t let the e-mail system divert you from the requirements to get essential paperwork done. Understand your priorities when it comes to property performance, client service, and tenant contact. Some of those things can be shifted and prioritised.
- At the end of every month, the property performance and reporting requirements are extensive and time consuming. It can take many days to compile the necessary property reports for the clients that you serve. Don’t cut corners when it comes to checking reports and the financial information from each portfolio. Take the time to ensure that the records are correct and accurate relative to the tenancy mix, the leases, and the clients instructions.
- Stay on top of tenant leasing issues and the critical dates that apply to every lease document. The best way to do this is to monitor the critical dates at least 18 months out. That then gives you plenty of time to react to the upcoming events.
- Some matters of property management can be quite urgent with maintenance being one of them. Be aware of the maintenance tasks that can involved personal injury and risk. Have an emergency response process to implement when something of a major concern arises within the physical property relative to maintenance.
When a property manager believes that they are in control, the quality of work will be higher, and the clients will be serviced more effectively. There is a big difference between being reactive and proactive when it comes to commercial and retail property management services. The best fees for service come from a professional manager working to the clients property performance plan and targets.
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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.
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In commercial real estate today, you will find that the competition and the market can become quite frustrating unless you are taking sustained and consistent action each and every day. The agents that rise to the top of the market are those that have an action plan and a business strategy.
It stands to reason that the best commercial agents and brokers have the best business plan. Certainly that is the case; however their business plan is supported by business activity and consistent focus.
Here are some strategies to help you with establishing your market share and business activity. You can modify the list or add to it as appropriate given your sales territory and brokerage brand:
- Don’t spread yourself too thinly in the marketplace. Concentrate your prospecting on a zone by zone basis. Each zone can contain approximately 100 properties.
- Track and measure all of your activities with particular attention being paid to prospecting and cold calling. Every day ensure that you are reaching out to new people as part of your growth of customer base.
- Determine exactly who the key clients are that you should be working with. You will need to identify them and find them. That research can take time, so each night you should be researching the calls and the contacts to make the next day.
- Check out all of the listings in the local sales territory or focus area. Understand the listings that are creating the most interest today. Look for the listing opportunities within the most commonly attractive property types and locations.
- Some properties will be offered for sale or for lease by owners. In most cases, those owners will not have the market penetration or the skills required to develop significant levels of enquiry. On that basis you can merge these property owners into your prospecting system. It is interesting to note that their motivation for self-marketing is usually to save on commission. When they list with an agency or broker, they tend to load the price accordingly so that the net price or rent result is the same. If you are going to work with these property owners, condition them to the prevailing market conditions, and be prepared to walk away from an overly inflated price or rental structure.
- Connect with the clients that you have acted for previously to understand their needs and requirements for property in the future. Ask for referral business where possible.
To be effective in this market place as a top agent, you do need to track and measure your activities on a daily basis. In this way you can see what is working for you and the things that are wasting your time. Refine your skills and your actions accordingly. Directed habits towards successful actions will take you to the top of the market with quality listings and good clients.