As a general rule in commercial real estate brokerage, every proposal that you put together should be benefit focused on the client. Show the client exactly how they will benefit from using your comprehensive services as a marketing specialist.
Use a Gantt chart to show the client the stages of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. This illustrative charting method is very effective when it comes to helping the client through a comprehensive and complex marketing process. It can also be a major point of difference in your proposal layout.
In today’s property market, the generic listing and marketing approach really doesn’t work. The competition in the marketplace is significant from other listings, and the experience and expertise of your competing agents and brokers will also place pressures on your listing conversions. Give the client some real reasons to choose you as the top agent of choice to solve their property pain.
It is worthwhile remembering that the client doesn’t want to be an experiment in marketing. They want their property to achieve the best levels of enquiry in the most effective and direct way. You hold the keys to the process and your proposal will need to clearly outline the strategies and recommendations.
Here are some tips to help you with constructing and submitting a proposal to sell or lease a commercial property today:
- Stand out as uniquely qualified to handle the property type in the town or city. You will need some testimonials and market evidence to help the client understand those situations and recommendations.
- Review the property for the strengths and weaknesses that will have an impact on the marketing campaign. The weaknesses may need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion. The strengths can be helpful when it comes to advertising layout and points of attraction.
- Determine the target market that will have a keen interest in the property type. Build your marketing campaign around the target market using specific points of difference and promotional processes that clearly tap into the target audience. Help the client understand those strategies and the reasons you are making the recommendations.
- Show the client how they will clearly benefit from utilizing your brokerage services and market coverage. Use your database as a point of difference when it comes to creating enquiry and spreading the message about the property. Create a shortlist of buyers or tenants as the case may be from the database; tell the client how you will be connecting into the short list of qualified parties as a priority as soon as the property is released to the market.
The focus of your proposal should be to attract the correct level of inquiry and generate inspections as soon as possible. When you get the inspections underway, you have something to work with and can then give the client feedback from those inspections.
The commercial real estate market of today has some challenges to deal with. In most cases it is a slow market or there is an abundance of unsold properties, and or vacant premises for lease.
The property market doesn’t disappear; it just changes. That change factor is what we as commercial real estate agents can help with. We become the ‘agents of change’ and can provide the right solutions for property investors, business owners, and tenants. People need our help in many different ways.
If you are finding that things are a bit tough at the moment for you as a Real Estate Agent, have a look at the way in which you are doing things. Today you need a ‘toolbox’ of solutions to help the clients and prospects in today’s property market.
Creativity and relevance are the two facts to aim for here. Are you creative in marketing your properties for sale or lease? Are you relevant as a top agent in this type of property market? Generic agents struggle in this type of market because they do not have the ideas and strategies active to solve property problems for clients.
So let’s give you some ideas to put into your agent toolbox for commercial real estate sales and leasing.
- Have all the market facts and information at your fingertips for the particular property type and deal that needs to be done. You cannot change the client’s perception without the right information.
- Check out all the competing properties locally before you meet with your client. Be very familiar with prices and rents that are being asked. Time on market assessments will also be of value in helping the client see what is going on today.
- Have stories of success with other local properties and listings that you can share. Most clients will listen to the experiences of other properties and clients.
- Have alternatives for the client to choose from. When alternatives are available, the decision to be made is less difficult. Most clients will choose the ‘middle ground’ alternative.
- When you list any property, set the rents and prices for today’s market. The client’s perspective on price or rent should be challenged if it is too unrealistic. You do not want to waste your time or theirs in the listing process.
- Provide the solutions that the market needs including personal marketing systems that will allow you to take the listing to the right people in your database and the right local property owners.
Help the parties make decisions. In many respects our clients and prospects are just looking for the right agent that can solve their issues quickly and effectively.
When it comes to your career in commercial real estate agency, you will sometimes feel the pressure of the market and the industry. It is very easy to panic when you have no listings and or commission coming in. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
There is no point in panicking when it comes to your job and your market share. If you feel the pressure of listings and commissions, it is simply a matter of developing a prospecting system and actioning it every day. Over about three or four weeks, you will soon see the market turn more favorably back towards you.
One of the biggest problems in our industry is consistency on the part of the salesperson to build market share. Each and every day top agents work towards consistency and systemized prospecting; you should do the same.
Success in our industry is largely created through ongoing personal contact with the correct people that matter in our industry. Over time those relationships build listing opportunity and better market share.
If you feel some degree of panic when it comes to your market share, listings, and commissions, it is time to establish a system to take yourself forward and out of the difficulty. Momentum and action taken immediately will help you lessen the frustration and panic you currently feel.
When you start moving towards a plan, and you stick to the process, you will soon see that the magnitude of the original problem was not as great as originally thought. You are in control, and you can resolve any pressures that you currently have. It is simply a matter of modifying your choices and habits. Systemize your day; that is the secret to progress.
Here are some ideas to help you move forward with this and build a better market share over the next 12 months.
- It is extremely important that you control your time on a daily basis. You are the only person that can do this. There will be demands on you from business colleagues, clients, the agency principal, and others that can destabilize your focus on a daily basis. Keep things simple. Understand what you must do every day, and do it regardless of any pressure from others. Take control of your time. Set aside the time that is required to do the key things to take you forward. Most particularly that will be prospecting and you should do that for approximately 2 or 3 hours per day.
- Start building relationships with the right people in your industry. Have a look around the local area so you can make contact with business leaders, property owners, and property investors. In the right market you can also add property developers to the list.
- It is a well-known fact that the degree, to which you believe you are in control, is the degree to which you will be successful. Successful people are in control each and every day. They make the right choices and take the right actions. They will not waste time with the wrong people or wrong circumstances.
The commercial real estate industry is one of the most rewarding and challenging of sales careers. You can meet some great people and earn a lot of money in the process. All of that being said, you really do need to selectively choose your actions and your key tasks each and every day. This is part of an ongoing personal marketing process.
You can get more tips like this in our Newsletter.
Have you ever come across a commercial real estate client that thinks their property is worth more than what the market will deliver? I would say just about 90% of clients fall into that category when first taking their property to the market.
It takes a while for reality to ‘kick in’ when it comes to property marketing. Unfortunately the first few weeks of any property marketing effort are the weeks of getting results and enquiry; if the property is priced too high during that time, the client (and you) can be wasting a lot of time and money.
The important thing is that you help them understand what is really going on out there and what they can do to work within it. It should also be said that you should not take the listing onto your books if the client will not listen to reason and the price is well away from market. You do not want to be known as the agent that lists and cannot sell or lease. Results are important in this industry.
Here are some facts:
- Property prices do not go up forever. They will sometimes slow, stagnate, decline, or reverse. The property market is based on a cycle of change and churn. Our opportunity is in serving clients and helping them with that change. As agents we need to know how to handle ‘change’ and help our clients do the same. Do not struggle with the changes in the industry; work with them. Know that they are a fact of the market and then design some solutions to help your clients through those changes when it comes to selling or leasing property today.
- New properties coming on the market will command more interest than older properties. For that very reason you must watch the other property developments that are coming up. Prices and rents offered will change the ‘game plan’ when it comes to existing properties today.
- Property enquiry will change during the year between the factors of property type, value, rent, time on market, and improvements. Every listing should be matched into the prevailing market conditions.
- Selling and leasing commercial and retail property can be quite seasonal. For this reason you can pick the best marketing solutions for the time of year. Marketing of commercial and retail property today is quite important; the tools that we have available are diverse and powerful. Choose the right tools to capture and grow the property enquiry. Drop the generic marketing campaigns. Be specific in how you promote your listings and make every marketing effort count.
So, all of this says that we should make sure at the very start of our services that we correctly guide and assist the clients that we work with. When you list at the right price, your chances of better enquiry and eventual sale are much higher. The client wants help in moving their property. Tell them how you can help them do that and give solid proof as to the prevailing market conditions. Give them the confidence and the reasons to use you as the preferred agent to take the listing on.
In commercial real estate, you need a prospecting model if you want to be successful. It is a very simple message and fact, but very complex task to initiate for some (although it does not need to be so). The sooner you develop the process, the quicker you will get results in commissions and listings.
In any commercial real estate team, it is easy to see the difference between the agents that regularly prospect and those that don’t. The difference will be in quality of listing stock, and conversions to closed transactions.
Establish Your Prospecting Process
The prospecting process is unique to you yourself as an individual and property specialist, and your territory with its property types and property investors. To get your system going, it is necessary to establish some rules relative to the local area and the property types. First and foremost, you should understand the following factors:
- Set some boundaries relating to the primary area of focus in your region. You cannot be an agent for everybody and cover every location. The commercial property market is just so specialized that the knowledge required across different areas will be difficult to achieve and maintain. It is better for you to become an area specialist and perhaps even a property specialist within the area.
- With all of the available property types locally, determine the property types that will be of high demand into the future. There is no point in you specialising in something that has little activity or reducing market share.
- Get to know the history of property sales and leasing activity throughout your local region. The historic trends in property sales, rental returns, business demographics, and population growth will influence the future of your commercial real estate market. Ensure that your market has the expansion and churn factors that you require for property change over, sales, and rental. The history of property activity is in fact a timeline. The time line will show you where the opportunity will arise over coming months and years.
Within any local area, you will find groups of prospects that offer real commercial real estate opportunity on a regular basis. Getting closer to those groups will help you with further listings and further inquiry.
Most particularly the top priority groups that will feed you with listings include the following:
- Franchise business groups seeking new property positions as part of their business model will always be on the lookout for good property locations. Every franchise group will have unique requirements of property selection and occupancy. For this very reason, approach them individually and get to know their selection process and terms of acquisition. When it comes to leasing, they will usually have a standard form of lease to support their franchise business model. They will also have particular requirements of demographics relative to the local area, the population, and exposure.
- Solicitors with clients that have property challenges or needs will need your help. Whilst solicitors may know how to transact property, they usually need assistance when it comes to liquidating a property or acquiring a new one. Local market knowledge will help them greatly with this process, and you can be the source of that experience when it comes to the local property market.
- Accountants with clients and property investors that require property solutions are a always out there looking for specialised property assistance and local market knowledge. This is where you can be of high value to them as they work to resolve their client’s property problems.
Every existing property listing is an opportunity to talk to other property owners and business proprietors. In this way you can expand your market intelligence and relevance as a property specialist.
When you work in commercial real estate, you really do need a top prospecting model to help you grab market share. The faster that you do this the better it will be for your career.
The most successful top agents, still prospect every day to keep the pipeline of opportunity pointed in their direction. If you are struggling with listings, now is the time to look at your prospecting system and refine it to something that is strong, and results driven.
I like to think of prospecting and cold calling as a ‘jet powered’ process. It is a bit like preparing for an overseas trip on a large airliner. You do all of the preparation work, you then turn up at the airport; you take your seat on the plane and then prepare for the ‘push in your back’. The engines build to maximum thrust and then you power down the runway.
The analogy really works when you look at commercial real estate sales and leasing. The preparation work has to be done; without that preparation you will not take off, it’s that simple.
Some agents are still sitting on the ‘runway’ when it comes time to turn on the ‘engines’, and some have returned to the terminal. Perhaps they have thought that a more local destination may be more realistic in a taxi! Perhaps they decide to walk home!
In this industry you get back that which you put in. The results and the market share are out there to be grabbed by those salespeople that ‘push’ themselves. Develop that ‘thrust’ when it comes to moving forward.
Experience says that prospecting will take you forward in a major way in commercial real estate. Every salesperson in any location should have a prospecting model that works for them. It will be a combination of a few different things that they do quite successfully every day.
Here are some tips to help your prospecting model:
- Devote 2 hours each day to prospecting. In the first instance this can be done on the telephone as part of a systemised cold calling process. The calls produce the meetings and that’s the way to make it all happen.
- Make your prospecting a daily event that you track in numbers of calls out, meetings, listings, and inspections. Every number that you track will help you move ahead.
- Expect that some of the things that you do will be ‘dead ends’, and that is just fine. Learn from the things that did not work for you and find those things that do work for you. Importantly you should be taking forward steps every day.
If you need more listings or you want some more commissions, now is the time to look at your business and prospecting model. If you are not getting your ‘fair share’, then the answer lies ‘within. When you adjust your systems and processes you will find better outcomes are possible.