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Sales Team Strategies in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency, the sales team can be a powerful force in the market if the team works together.  The disciplines of sales, leasing, and property management all require special people with special skills.  As the properties that you work on become more complex, the team involvement process will help all your presentations and sales pitches.

So you can have either of these situations in your real estate agency:

  • You can have a group of top salespeople that all do their own thing in marketing, prospecting, and listing.
  • You can have a group of top salespeople and agency staff that are industry and property specialists and that pull together on the bigger listings to strengthen the service and coverage.

If I was a commercial real estate client today I know what I would prefer from the agency, and on that basis I would choose the second approach in granting an agent the listing.  If you focus on quality listings, the property may just be so special and unique that you cannot do everything on your own.  Bring other team members around you to help the sales pitch and the listing conversion.

Here are a few things that can help the team approach:

  1. A leasing opportunity is a reason to get your top property managers involved to review and address blow outs in property operational costs, lease documents, or tenancy mix.  Over time this extra service will help you convert a property management listing.
  2. A leasing opportunity will help you with the client relationship and open the door on a potential sale at the right time.
  3. Property management appointments will create new business leads and deals in leasing and sales.  Over time, the services and staff in your property management division should be of the highest quality to preserve and protect the future sale or lease requirements.  Choose your property management staff wisely so they can protect this portion of your agency business.  Use your property management staff as part of every pitch on quality property locally.
  4. Whilst you may be seeking just a sales listing appointment for your property, have your ‘marketing coordinators’ from your agency attend the listing presentation to give specialist comment on just how the marketing will work and where the enquiry is coming from today.  Use graphs of response levels shown in the current promotional categories of website, internet, email, direct marketing, signboards, flyers, and cold calling.  Use your database as leverage in the discussion.

It is not hard to win a commercial or retail real estate listing if you work as a team and use the skills of each person as the specialists that they are.  Get your best people involved in your presentations.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Grab Your Share of the Commercial Real Estate Market

As a commercial real estate agent today, you need to grab your share of the commercial real estate market and optimize it for listing and commission opportunity.  The business is out there for those that work hard.

It is no secret that the competition with the other agents that you are up against will be significant and fierce.  That being said, you need some solid processes to consolidate the market around you and provide you with quality leads and listings.

Here are some facts that you need to be aware of when it comes to working in commercial real estate agency today and building your market share around the competing agents.

  1. There are always plenty of people to talk to on a daily basis that need your services.  Systems and discipline are part of the process when it comes to connecting with your local property market, and growing the database.  Devote at least 2 or 3 hours each day to connecting with new people in your local area.
  2. It is very difficult to capture a share of the marketplace when you don’t specialize in a property type and location.  There are far too many agents that are generic when it comes to property specialty and location; they will take on anything as a listing, and usually do only an average job with it.  That is not how top agents perform; they develop a specialty relative to the location and the quality of property that they can relate to.  They then build their brand around that specialty.  That being said, you must ensure that your special property type has sufficient activity and listing opportunity over the long term for you to earn the commission that you require.
  3. It is a known fact that most (80%) salespeople in any industry are fairly average when it comes to performance and systemization.  Commercial real estate is no different.  That creates a massive opportunity for those commercial salespeople that are striving to rise to the top of the industry.  Expect hard work as you proceed through the industry, and systemize what you do.
  4. When you look at your location and daily tasks, there will be two or three things that are really important to helping you build your client base and listing opportunity.  Those two or three things should be done every day.  Nothing should interfere with those key tasks to help you improve your market share.  Most agents in the industry struggle through a series of peaks and valleys relating to performance, and that is simply because they have no sustained and consistent personal marketing system to stick to.
  5. Your local area and your property type will have special facts to understand and monitor.  They will usually be rentals, prices, tenancy mix, inspections and negotiation processes, methods of marketing, prospecting, time on market, and methods of sale or lease.  Each of these factors requires special attention.  An average approach produces average results.  There are far too many average agents in the industry.

Choose to develop the right processes to take your position at the head of the market.  There is plenty of room for more agents at the top of the industry.

You can get more tips on this in our Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents right here.

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What I Have Learnt About Local Marketing in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate, is far easier to sell and lease quality properties, than it is to work on average or below average properties.  Every property listing demands the same amount of effort and commitment on the part of the agent.

That being said, you should not take on a listing unless you are fully prepared to commit to the entire marketing, inspection, and negotiation process.  Top agents focus on quality listings and properties.  As a general rule that should work for you too, as long as you prospect regularly and specifically.

It is very hard to get enthusiastic about a property that is overpriced, or where the landlord is not committed to the marketing process and the prevailing market conditions.  That is why exclusive listings are more productive in today’s economic climate.

How many exclusive listings can you take on at any one time?  It is an interesting question; however the averages seem to indicate about 15 to 20 properties.  Beyond that point it is hard to keep up to date with all the marketing and inspections needed.

How many open listings can you take?  As many as you like; that is because you do not service them to any great degree over time.  You put a sign on an openly listed property and then you wait to see what happens.

Locational factors will help your listing enquiry and conversions.  Look at the location of the property and then market into the location.  That will mean things like:

  1. Check out the adjoining properties and then speak to the property owners to see if they want to purchase your listing.
  2. Talk to all business owners in the street that you can find.  They may have a need for expansion or alternative premises.
  3. Get a signboard on all your listings.  Most enquiries will be locally based.  The signboard also helps your personal brand as an agent in the local area.
  4. Create a flyer of current listings and circulate that flyer monthly into the local area.
  5. Set up a blog on the internet for yourself.  The blog should talk about local property market issues and changes.  That being said do not advertise property on the blog; that is not what it is all about.
  6. Every successful sale or lease should be directly marketed into the local area.  That is a personal thing and you are the best person to do that.

When you have a commercial property to market, think local and drill your marketing into the local area comprehensively.  Over time you will get more opportunity that way as a specialist agent.

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Get Focused to Create a Better Market Share and Grow Your Commissions

In commercial real estate agency today, we all know that the property market is a bit of a challenge. That being said, there is still a lot of listing and commission opportunity to be had by the real estate agents that get organised and focused on the right tasks relative to their market and location.  It is a daily process.  Top agents do it all the time.

You could say that the whole process involves being ‘mentally prepared’ for each and every day that you step up to the ‘plate’ and strive for a ‘home run’.  When the personal thought processes support your action, many more results are possible.

There is a cycle in this commercial real estate industry and it goes something like this:

  1. Start the day with prospecting for 3 hours
  2. From your prospecting effort you will create new meetings
  3. From new meetings with new prospects you will find business opportunity
  4. New business opportunity leads to quality listings
  5. Quality listings produce better enquiry than average
  6. Quality enquiries are what we need for a top database and property sale or leasing conversions
  7. Keep in touch with the businesses locally.  They will tell you so much about the local area and what is going on.

So the mental preparation process is critical to the ‘chain of events’ and the outcomes that you seek in the commercial real estate industry.  You could say that sales, leasing, and property management is a bit like a sport and you are the team captain, coach, and player.  Your mindset has to suit each role and keep you on track to top performance and new business generation.

Have you ever watched a person play a sport and in doing so you can see that something is wrong with them?  They seem to have a down attitude and it gets worse as the game progresses.  That is a prime example of ‘mindset and focus’.  For those of us that work on commission, the mind has to support your efforts.  A good dose of focus is required before you get to the office or start your commercial real estate prospecting.  A great attitude will help you greatly.  Align your thinking to the task at hand; rise to the top of the market.

  • Understand what has to be done
  • Set your priorities
  • Take action every day
  • Know what your market is and where it is located
  • Build strong relationships and keep connecting

The commercial property market will change throughout the year and sometimes for a few years at a time.  Importantly you should be focused with all of your actions, prospecting, and marketing.  Over time that will help you rise to the top of your commercial real estate market.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate prospecting, you can get them at our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Leverage Your Lists and Make More Commission

In commercial real estate agency today, we tend to overlook the value of the lists that we have in our office or in out possession.  Lists can help focus our efforts when it comes to new business and commission.

When talking about lists, it is interesting to note that many commercial real estate agencies have a database that is well out of date.  The results of any marketing into the database are therefore quite sporadic at best.

If you want results in our industry, take a look at the lists that you are working with and the accuracy of the information contained therein.  Develop a good list process yourself, and work it on a daily basis.  It is essential that you develop a habit when it comes to maintaining your lists and your client relationships.

The problem with databases and lists is that they need to be maintained.  Many salespeople prefer not to do this work themselves.  The result is that no one person then takes ownership of the database and the value of the process falls away.

Whilst I may be generalising, I would say that at least 75% of the commercial real estate salespeople that I have made contact with over time have databases that are sporadic at best, and in most cases quite random.  You cannot build your commercial real estate business around a sporadic database.

Top agents tend to have lists that are completely up to date and worked on a daily basis.  They know the people in the list and make sure that regular contact is maintained.  After each contact process, the list is updated with accurate information.

Here are some ideas to help you build momentum and accuracy in your list process:

  1. In most cases, your personal list of contacts should be no more than 1000 people.  Beyond that point it is very hard to keep contact with the right people at the right time.  It is the quality of the 1000 people that makes all the difference in your career and industry.  When you focus your connections into a group of this size, you will generate commercial real estate business.  The key point is to focus your efforts of connection and communication on a regular basis to the right people.  They need to know you as the expert that you want to be.  In this way you can build your top agent profile over time.  Regular contact sends the right message.
  2. You do not need to have a complex software program to support your cold call prospecting or client networking.  You simply need something that works for you.  Certainly there are some great software programs out there that can help you build very productive customer relationship models.  When it comes to choosing the right program, I would prefer something that is simple to use and convenient.  Access to the database anywhere by the mobile telephone and or a laptop computer would be an essential part of the list building process.
  3. It has been proven that a regular contact process to the right people will produce significant new business opportunity.  That contact cycle should be at least once every 90 days.  After that time people tend to forget you.  When you make contact with clients and prospects, have some simple connection process and information that you can send on to them as part of the connection follow-up.  You are the property expert, and they need to see that.

Leverage is one of the most important things to work with in commercial property and investment real estate.  It is a people based industry and your success will be based on the size of your network, and the relevance of your skills.  That is why your list is so important.  If you are struggling in the property market now, take a serious look at your database and its relevance to today’s market.  Start working on your database and the industry will open up for you.

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Commercial Property Agents – Do You Have Enough Time in Your Day?

In a busy commercial real estate agency, it is very common to hear that the salespeople are running out of time to get the key issues under control and the daily tasks undertaken.  In most cases, the reality of the situation is that some salespeople lack the organisation and focus to stay on track.

Your time is a valuable resource.  It is in fact the most important resource that you apply to your business day as a commercial real estate agent.  Utilising time efficiently and effectively is a key personal skill that will help you attract more business, negotiate more effectively, and close more deals. 

That being said, far too many agents and salespeople let the unimportant things derail their focus and daily activity.  Quite soon they will see that they are losing market share and listing opportunity.  Beyond that point, things become a bit desperate.

The reality of this situation and problem is quite simple.  Every salesperson should determine the key things that are important to their business.  Those three or four key things should occur every day

regardless of anything else that tends to derail the time management process.  When you set your priorities on the right things, the results start to happen.  That is how you get to the position of top agent in your local area.

The degree to which you believe you are in control as a real estate salesperson, is the degree to which you will be successful in the industry.  Control brings confidence and that in turn helps you find the business, present the properties, and negotiate the deals.  So, I then go back to the factor that you must be under control to build your market share.  It is a personal process.

Here are some tips to help your focus and results, on a daily basis.  Over time these simple things can improve your business profile and elevate you to the position of top agent.

  1. Devote two or three hours each day to deliberate and direct prospecting.  Use the telephone for the process, given that you can contact many business people inside that two or three hour period.  Use the business telephone book for this purpose; it is easy to access.
  2. When you have finished your prospecting processes, get out into your market and observe the competing listings.  Talk to the local business people personally.  You should be dropping your business card into at least five businesses per day each day.
  3. In most circumstances, commercial and retail property works to a cycle.  On average, it is very common for a property to go through a sale or lease cycle every 5 to 7 years.  That can mean a new tenancy, or a new property.  It is simply a matter of finding those properties that were purchased approximately 4 years ago, and to then start contacting the property owners and businesses on an individual basis.

When you open the door of contact, remain in contact with those people for the ongoing future months and years.  Build your contact cycle on a period of 90 days repeating.  Consistent contact builds relevance and reliability.  That is exactly what business owners and property investors are looking for in a commercial agent.

These three simple things above will help you build market share quickly and effectively.  That being said, there is a lot of hard work in the process, however the rewards are great.  Isn’t that why you entered the industry?

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Commercial Agents – How to Farm Your Sales and Listing Territory

Commercial real estate is similar to other types of property  in that you must logically and consistently work your territory. Your  success in the process will give you greater listing opportunity and future  deals. This will have immediate impact on your income and your  success. This says that you must therefore be diligent and logical and how  you approach territory management and control. We call the territory your  ‘patch’. In controlling your territory, you must do so geographically  street by street, so that you do not miss any properties or create any ‘black  spots’ or ‘holes’ in your information. Many agents and salespeople have  had situations where they have overlooked a simple small property in their  canvassing processes only to find another agents board on the property offering  it for sale or lease. Nothing can be more frustrating than seeing another  agent’s signboard located inside your geographical area and a street that you  canvassed last week.

Your Canvassing Object

In the territory that you work you will be optimising your  commercial real estate awareness and knowledge of a number of property  matters.

They are –

  • Existing businesses
  • Developers
  • Vacant land
  • Redundant properties
  • Development sites
  • Property zoning areas and policies
  • Owner occupiers of property
  • Investor property owners of property
  • Tenants occupying property
  • Allied professional property related groups and people  (solicitors, accountants, engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, valuers,  town planners)
  • Local Council Planning officers

The list is not finite, and can be improved to the specific  nature of your region. To get thing started, firstly every major property  in your territory must be high on the agenda for identifying ownership details  and location. When you have this detail you move to more secondary  property, and after this has been secured you will then get the detail of all  remaining property through your region.     It pays to get quickly active in the known property  ‘hotspots’ such as industrial parks, and office business precincts, so that you  can find to ‘hot’ listings before they go to other salespeople or agents.

Mapping and Planning

The best way to control your long term activities is to get  a street map of the area and then work the geographic location in  stages. Essentially you need to understand your area in great detail and  have a solid awareness of the following matters –

  • property ownership
  • tenants and decision makers therein
  • property zoning and potential changes there to
  • property prices by property type and region
  • property rental by property type and region
  • property outgoings by property type and region
  • lease detail and tenancy detail for all major and targeted  properties
  • a lease expiry profile for all major buildings and for the  region
  • regional business demographics
  • regional population demographics
  • regional economic demographics
  • road changes and major traffic flows
  • other competition properties and listings
  • other agents in the area and their listings
  • recent sales results in the area
  • Details of properties that have been sold approximately  three years ago and beyond, as these are the next properties that will enter  the sales arena for disposal.
  • Details of properties that have been leased approximately  three years ago and beyond, as these are the next properties that will have a  need for leasing services.
  • Details of property owners that bought property about three  years ago in the region as they are most likely to be sufficiently cashed up to  acquire again soon.

This information will help you understand future opportunity  and position your services such as sales, leasing, and property management.

 

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Professional Top Commercial Agents

Commercial real estate sales and leasing is a very competitive industry and the large amounts of money both in commission and in property prices make the ‘players’ of the industry compete in ways that can seem aggressive and pushy. This aggressive and pushy focus does not win you market share or better deals in the long term as the real focus should be your absolute professionalism. You must be the best in your market and people need to know that you are. Being the best in your industry does not mean ‘aggression’, but rather ‘relevance’. The more ‘relevant’ that you are, the more business you will attract. Its a simple rule but it brings major results.

Now is a good time to ask yourself how professional you think that you are now or you can be this year in commercial real estate. So what does professional mean for the commercial real estate market in your area? Would you use yourself to market and sell property locally based on your skills and knowledge? If the answer in ‘no’, then ‘We have a problem Houston’.

Getting Professional with the Right People

Let’s create some rules for you on this. Getting up close and professional with the sellers, their ideas and their motivation is critical in the prospecting, listing and closing process of commercial property.

  • Information must be a daily process for you in your commercial real estate business. All the information gained every day about and in the market should be captured and included on an appropriate series of detailed forms that are relevant to the property types and your market.
  • When you capture data for a property, make sure that the client sees your diligence in the information gathering and analysis process. Use your professional processes obviously and in full view of the people that matter.
  • Record your property information and market intelligence as both hard copy and later as part of a computerised listing data bank. The more you know about your market and can easily draw on later, the more business you will find and attract in the long term.
  • If you do not have the advantage of a specialised commercial property software solution for collating your data then use a simple spreadsheet. The process is easy and effective and you can use it anywhere and at anytime.
  • Spreadsheets can be sorted and manipulated to give you the sales and leasing information that you need conveniently and concisely. You can even do this in front of the client as a point of difference in your discussions.
  • Computer and software literacy in the industry is now the ‘norm’ and not the ‘exception’. At the basic minimum today, you should be very conversant in using commonly available software such as ‘MS Word, Excel, Publisher, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat PDF, and Access’. We put ‘Access’ on this list as it is a very powerful and flexible database tool that is so versatile and talks to all other major Microsoft programs.
  • If you have some spare money in setting up or growing your commercial real estate business and want to get a database program to collate and control your customer relationships, then try the commonly available ‘Goldmine’ or ‘ACT’. They are well proven globally and cost effective for the individual. You can trial these programs from the web for 30 days to see that they suit your needs.

So let’s now move on to the keys to effective relationships in commercial real estate.

Relationship Building

Here are six simple ways that you can start to build your relationships consistently and professionally in commercial property sales and leasing.

  1. Property is very much a person-to-person business. Whilst your clients or prospects may be attracted in the first instance by your firm’s name, advertising etc., eventually people trust and deal with people (not firms, or organisations). Consequently, your personality, approach and attitude are very important to your success. You are ‘in-charge’ of these factors and only you can do something with them.
  2. You should not attempt to adopt artificial characteristics or mannerisms that do not come to you naturally. If you are in any way ‘artificial’, the client will see that you are not being yourself and will see weakness in your processes. Nevertheless, you must be able to provide your client with the QUALITY SERVICE that he or she demands, hence adjustment of your skills and actions may be necessary. Clients in commercial real estate will typically be astute business people who are used to dealing with specialist professionals and will accept nothing less. To help with this aspect you can and should adopt a daily practice process of the critical skills of communication and market knowledge that you need to draw on frequently with the properties in your market. This will help fast track your success in listings and deal conversions.
  3. What, then, does your Commercial and Industrial client demand? Clearly, he or she wants someone with expert knowledge. Firstly the whole basis of the client retaining you is that you possess a level of expertise and skill that the client has not got himself, and that these aspects are significantly better than your competitors. Secondly, the client will seek a friendly, confident, businesslike approach from an agent who appears well organised, successful, and well presented. They want someone who is creative and enthusiastic, willing to LISTEN to the client’s requirements and, most important of all, to instigate timely ACTION to fulfil them. Sometimes in this process it helps to think of the things that you would expect of an agent if you were a client. The client has to have confidence in you to help them. It is not all about price and commission; it is about your ability and relevance to achieve the result that the client wants. If you lack in ability and relevance in your market segment then start to practice and improve your weakest points as they alone will hold you back and hinder your conversions.
  4. In Commercial and Industrial Property Marketing, never be pressured into making rash statements or opinions. The sector is complex and the vendor will respect you taking a little more time to research the particular property and to prepare a comprehensive marketing submission prior to securing a listing. If in doubt on any property proposal or related question, do not answer or respond immediately, but rather seek the extra time to get the right detail that you need.
  5. Proposals and submissions should include fully detailed relevant matters and recommendations. That will include things such as marketing proposals and strategies, timing, market conditions and opportunities, advertising budget, commission, anticipated market value, and target market. The submission should, without padding, reinforce your ability to carry out the work and facilitate action that will secure the listing for you. A key component of the proposal process is identifying and then handling the worries and concerns of the client. If you do this in the proposal or submission to the client then you will be all that much closer to closing the listing.
  6. Submissions and Proposals to the client must be completed in a timely fashion and then followed up regularly and professionally until a decision is made. Once the listing is secured, it is then essential for all later contact, negotiations, and final agreements to be supported and documented clearly and correctly. This extends throughout the marketing period, the inspection process, the negotiation, and the contact or lease. When you do this correctly you build a high level of trust with the client and this is invaluable when it comes to the actual deal, the future and other transactions with the same people.

All of the above matters are not difficult but they do demand attention and diligence. The rest is up to you.