Commercial Real Estate Brokers – Ways of Achieving Success Through Effective Personal Marketing

The marketing process in commercial real estate brokerage should never be ‘generic’ with perhaps one exception and that is in the promotion of ‘open’ listings.  ‘Open’ listings generally waste everyone’s time, and will usually only sell or lease through some factor of ‘luck’.  You can’t base your commercial real estate brokerage business on ‘luck’.

How Are Listings for You?

Some agents and brokers will claim that they must list ‘openly’ because ‘that is the way the market is for them’ and the only way they can get new listings.  Whilst I accept that fact initially for those agents that are very new to the industry, I will say that the best agents avoid ‘open listings’.  They grow their profile and market share consistently over time so that the new clients and prospects locally will come to them to list properties for sale and lease.  That is when it is really easy to demand ‘exclusivity’.

If the client really wants the best agent then they must accept the terms of engagement that the agent is offering.  They are then your terms!  Are you ready to package your professionalism and sell it?

Are You the Expert?

If you have a comprehensive and specialised personal brand as a local property ‘expert’, then it stands to reason that people will want to list their property with you rather than some other ‘random’ agent or groups of agents.  Take a serious look at your personal marketing processes.

Taking this point further, your market share and listing conversions of an exclusive nature will largely depend on your ability to establish your brand as the ‘go to agent’ for your location and property speciality.  You can and should invest more time in building your real estate image and speciality.

Here are some rules to help you do that:

  1. Your Listings – Understanding the point that I made earlier about ‘exclusivity’, make the marketing process very special and deep with all of those high quality listings that you are bringing in. It is difficult for other property owners and investors to ignore the activities of any agent with the best properties and the best marketing ideas.
  2. Other Agent Listings – If you are stuck for current listing stock, use other agent’s listings in a location to talk to local property owners and tenants nearby to any listing. Some simple questions and conversations will help you find the next listing in the same street or perhaps a business owner looking to relocate.
  3. High end marketing campaigns – Get some traction with your marketing by seeking and converting vendor paid funds. If your advertising efforts on any quality property are of a higher professional level than that of your competitors, you should be attracting the new business leads and enquiries very easily.
  4. The personal approach – You are the marketer of your business. You sell your services well then people will choose the agent that they trust and believe has the better business and market coverage.  Is that you?

Simple marketing rules like these help you consolidate market share and listings as an agent or broker in commercial real estate.  Follow the rules and grow your real estate business.

You can get more commercial real estate brokerage marketing tips in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.

6 Ways to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Agency Market Share

In commercial real estate agency, you really do need to understand what is going on in the marketplace and then make some solid choices at a personal level to improve your prospecting and deal activity.  Everything comes down to a personal level and process in our industry.  Success has little to do with the agency that you work for.

Outsiders and new agents to the industry are tempted to think that commissions and listings come easily.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The quality and the growth of your business will come from personal focus and momentum.  The choices that you make on a daily basis, and the actions that you take in prospecting and marketing will drive your business forward.  The agents that struggle in the industry are those that have little or no system when it comes to business generation and market share.

Here are some strategies to help you initiate a business plan as a commercial real estate agent.  Consistency in focus and the actions that you take every day are the keys to getting momentum and traction with your market share.  Here are the ideas to help you:

  1. Understand the condition of the market today in deal activity, competing agents, and future growth.  Look for the opportunities in sales leasing and property management activity.  Understand where you fit when it comes to those three distinct disciplines.
  2. Choose the property type that you understand and can relate to.  That may be in office, industrial, or retail property.  The clients that we work for require specific expertise when it comes to resolving a problem with a quality property.  The marketing and inspection process with any listing is not an experiment.  It requires specific knowledge and expertise to tap into the right target market.
  3. Determine the cycles of the local property market when it comes to leasing and sales turnover.  You can do that by reviewing the history transactions through the region.  In most markets, a commercial or retail investment property will change hands or be upgraded at least once every seven years.  It takes that long for the appropriate capital gain to occur or the client to reach the next stage of portfolio change and growth.  Be sensitive to the cycles, and start prospecting the right people inside their property cycles.
  4. Start prospecting on a daily basis ensuring that you’re talking to new people as well as current contacts.  The whole process should take you about 2 or 3 hours per day every working day.  In a very short period of time you will find some new business opportunity.  When that occurs, keep the prospecting process underway.  That’s how top agents grow market share.
  5. When a competing agent puts a signboard on a property, it is an opportunity for you to talk to the property owners and business proprietors in the immediate and adjacent vicinity.  This then says that the marketing processes of a competing agent give you leverage when it comes to building your market share.  It is a fact that nearby property owners and business proprietors like to compete rather than cooperate with a nearby property sale or lease transaction.
  6. When you list a property, personally market the details of the property to the local region of property investors and business owners.  This involves door knocking and telephone calls.  From this process you will identify other opportunities to work on in the future.  Pay particular attention to the immediate property location and the streets around the subject listing.  Walk the streets and knock on the door’s to introduce yourself and the upcoming listing.  Ask questions and talk to more people; it is amazing how much information you will extract from the market when you do this.

Building your market share in commercial real estate agency is a simple and yet ongoing process.  You should have three or four solid strategies underway such as those above to help you connect with the right people and build the right relationships.

Marketing Tips and Systems for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In today’s property market, we have marketing systems to support our personal branding and our property listings.  These are two distinctly different challenges when it comes to marketing.  The properties will come and go from the market, however your personal brand needs to consolidate and grow.

So let’s look at some different aspects of marketing and the challenges to be handled.

When it comes to property marketing, you will be competing against other properties, the market trends, and other agents.  Through all of this, you need to attract the right level of enquiry and then qualify that enquiry for potential conversion.  Given that the property market currently is rather challenging, every marketing effort must be specific, direct, and effective. 

The ultimate goal of every marketing campaign should be to establish enquiry from the target market.  When you get enquiry, you can create inspections.  Over time the enquiry that you create will allow you to improve your database of qualified prospects; those qualified prospects can go into your database for regular ongoing contact.  That is exactly what top agents do and how they create better transactions from the market over time.

To correctly market a property today, you need sufficient funds and a dedicated marketing campaign.  Vendor paid marketing should be the rule and not the exception.  That being said, you should also ask for an exclusive listing to allow you to spend the necessary time in marketing the property for the clients that you serve.

The property market today requires real effort on the part of the agent.  That effort can only come through exclusive listings.  Those exclusive listings also allow us to build our market share and database of qualified prospects.

Here are some factors to incorporate into a property marketing plan:

  1. Determine the features relative to the subject listing.  Those features and improvements will dictate the target audience.  The advertising that you create should be directed at the target audience with a consistent message relative to the property.
  2. You will need to determine those three or four factors that create the interest relative to the property today.  Those three or four factors will need to feature in each and every advertising or media channel used.  Consistency is the key when it comes to property marketing.  Every advertisement should send the right message consistently, given that the same person may see the property in a number of different media channels.  Eventually the right message could very well encourage the person to lift the telephone and make an enquiry.
  3. Understand the differences between the different types of marketing today, and use the ones that are most successful for your property type and local area.  In most cases, newspaper advertising is becoming less relevant to the commercial property industry.  Direct marketing and internet marketing are taking over as the tools of choice when it comes to creating property enquiry.
  4. Research the keywords that are used on the search engines relative to your property location and property type.  Those keywords can be easily researched and then incorporated into your property advertising and marketing.  That will therefore allow each advertisement to be tuned to the requirements of property enquiry today.
  5. As part of the property marketing effort, use plenty of professionally taken photographs in the advertising and in the brochures.  You can always see when those professional photographs are used.  The placement of the property on the Internet will also be enhanced by quality professional photographs.  Most commercial salespeople and agents do not have the knowledge and experience to take photographs from the right angle or the time of day.  You only have one chance to market the property, and on that basis the photographs need to help you in every way possible.  The cost of getting the photography done is minimal when you consider the value of the property and the potential sale price or rental.

When it comes to marketing any commercial property today, create a plan relative to the client, the area, and the property.  Drive that plan in a way that encourages enquiry.  It is the enquiry that you want and that will help you with conversions.

Beneficial Local Leads and Opportuntities for Commercial Property Agents

If you keep in contact with the local businesses in your area, you can uncover some significant property opportunity for your commercial real estate agency.  The process of contacting businesses is far easier than chasing down the property owners in your region.  A good prospecting model should involve both processes in balance.

It is the local businesses and the decision makers behind those businesses that can tell you what is going on in their region and their street; they can also tell you what they may be looking for in regard to future property activity.  It is easy to find local businesses, and it is easy to make contact with them.  The business telephone book is a valuable asset to grow your database.

Given that the local businesses are essentially the backbone of property occupancy, part of your database should be deliberately constructed for local business networking and the market intelligence that you gather.  Some of those businesses will be tenants, whilst other businesses will be owner occupiers.  Either way, there are property needs and challenges from time to time that they will need help with.

You can approach local business proprietors in two different ways.

  1. You can cold call them as part of your prospecting model on a daily basis.  This process is quite successful and worthwhile merging into your networking program.  Contacting 40 businesses a day is quite easy when you use the business telephone book.
  2. You can personally canvass the business streets and business locations as part of a ‘drop-in’ prospecting activity.  Getting your face in front of business proprietors in this way will help you gather significant market intelligence.

It should also be said that any significant property with multiple tenants will be a good opportunity for new business prospecting.  Many top commercial real estate agents will pick a large CBD building with multiple tenants and work through the list of tenants until they know what every tenant requires by way of occupancy and when their lease expires.  The direct approach works just about every time.

Many business owners and corporations do not have the experience or the expertise when it comes to commercial or retail property investigation and relocation.  For this very reason, they require local market assistance; you can be the source of this very valuable market intelligence.  Special property services may also be required such as tenant advocacy, or buyer’s agent.

Businesses and larger corporations will generally utilize these specialized services with the right agency.  They then become your client and will be paying your commission.  It is perhaps the reverse process to the normal sale or lease transaction, however it is quite productive and rewarding from an agency perspective.  You simply need to change your perspective on the transaction to help the business owner or corporation find the right property locally with the correct improvements.

The way to make this process work is to establish an initial base of contact with the right decision makers in every local business.  Over time, you can reconnect with these people and encourage a meeting at the right time.  Trust and information will help you open the door on future property requirements.  It may take three or four telephone calls every couple of months before you get to the right decision maker with a face to face meeting.

These business owners and business managers will appreciate local market intelligence and feedback when it comes to property rentals, property availability, and property prices.  As a strategy in connecting with these people, you can create a single page brochure that you can leave with them detailing the recent property activity and results.

Jet Powered Cold Calling Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Commercial Real Estate Prospecting – Tips for Commercial Agents

When it comes to commercial real estate agency as a career, the only thing that really matters in your business model is your prospect list.  The more comprehensive and relevant your personal prospect list, the better the opportunities you will have as a real estate agent.  Opportunities are many things to many salespeople however in commercial property sales and leasing, the list of opportunities are something like this:

  • More business owners seeking to relocate or expand premises
  • More tenants looking to leave their current premises
  • Buyers seeking to purchase new property in your area
  • More property owners wanting to invest
  • More investors seeking to change their property ownership or portfolio
  • More owner occupiers seeking to start business in a new location

Many agents ask me as to how many prospects they should have.  Whilst the answer is relevant to your market and property speciality, generally the answer is in excess of 300 prospects.  Ideally the number should be 600.   These people are prospects that you can relate to and will take your call.  They know you as a property expert and recognise that you are a local property expert.

Do you tick these boxes?  Do these prospect list criteria fit your current database and prospecting system?  If not, you have some work to do.

There are only two ways to build a prospect list fast.  That is by making cold calls every day and then by getting out into your territory to meet property owners and occupiers.  As simple as these issues seem, they take a lot of personal work and consistency.  Many salespeople do not do either of these things very well; that is simply because they get distracted or prefer to do other things.

So this then opens the door for the agents and salespeople that have the discipline to make the calls and meet the people.  Add to this a great database system and you have the permanent solution for building your real estate business.

In saying that you need a database, far too many salespeople spend a large amount of time on selecting the right database program or software.  The facts indicate that you do not need a complex database or system.  You need something simple that you can use easily each and every day.

Importantly your first database should be simple enough to transport and export data from.  When you get to the day where you want to move your database to a special program that you have just purchased, the ability to export data will be critical.  So many agents have been frustrated by this very fact.  When you start your database system, make sure that the program lets you export your data in some common format to other programs.  When in doubt seek expert help.