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.
When looking at a commercial property for the first time, it is best to have some form of property analysis report or checklist that can help you cover the required issues relative to the property type and location. Here are some tips from our Agents Newsletter.
When you analyze all of the local property information correctly, it gives you confidence when it comes to the listing pitch and presentation with the client. The client wants specific information and needs to know that you have completely reviewed the property and the opportunities that the property presents to the market today. You know the market better than they do.
Know the commercial property trends
Today we find that the industry is under significant change and the trends are more difficult to pick or plan for. As agents we can understand the market today better than the client. Most clients in your local area desperately need the assistance of a quality commercial real estate agent to help them with their property liquidation or transition.
Every listing pitch or sales presentation with the client has to be of the highest quality and totally relevant to the subject property in every respect. Many competing agents will be chasing the same listing with their own version of a marketing approach and the listing strategy. For this very reason, you need to be at the ‘top of your game’ when it comes to local market information and the listing strategy.
Real Property Analysis
Your thoroughness in the process of property analysis will give the client some significant comfort in considering you as the best agent to list the property. Here are some more ideas to help you with your comprehensive property and marketing report.
- Describe the property and its improvements comprehensively. That will include the age, history, improvements, services and amenities. If any risks exist in the current local area, they will need to be factored into your recommendations and report.
- Tell the client about the current levels of enquiry that exist for that asset and property type today. Reference to your database will help the client understand what is really going on in the market today.
- You need to show the client that you totally understand the strengths and weaknesses that the property brings to the market today. The strengths can be fed into your marketing strategies and recommendations. They will also help you define the target market for the asset. The weaknesses on the other hand will need to be addressed when it comes to property promotion.
- Detail the locational factors that apply to the property and include the details of competing properties that are available in the same location. Check out all of the competing listings to understand their methods of marketing, and the reasons they may be still on the market today. If any errors exist in those other listings, you do not need to repeat them when it comes to your client’s asset.
- When considering a marketing strategy, price, or rental, the factors of income, expenditure, and property outgoings will have an impact on the levels of enquiry that you will get. Consider how these financial factors will be merged into your marketing efforts and what impact they may have.
- Review all the leases in the property to understand the differences between each lease and the impact that each lease has on the income stream for the asset. In many respects, the lease profile and tenancy mix within an asset will have greater impact on the potential enquiry and price. Do some comprehensive research on these factors, before you make your final marketing recommendations to the client.
- Vacancies in a property will be of some concern to most prospective property buyers and will have impact on the marketing program. Similarly some leases or tenants will need to be addressed prior to the commencement of promotion. Provide the client with a leasing solution for any outstanding vacancies.
- The tenancy mix should be reviewed for strengths and weaknesses. Factors of vacancy may need to be resolved prior to the commencement marketing. Outstanding matters of negotiation with current tenants may also need to be resolved prior to the commencement of promotion.
All of these factors lead to some solid recommendations of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. Let the client see that you really do know how to address the challenges of the current economy, and the challenges of the asset.
You can get more tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents in our Newsletter.
In commercial real estate today and in your agency, it is necessary to have a good selection of quality listings. Quality listings will always create solid enquiry in any market. It is those quality listings that will help you with dominating your territory and converting more commissions.
It is an observed fact that low quality listings produce poor enquiry. It is much harder to build your market share and listing opportunity as a commercial real estate agent from poor quality listings. That being said, it is also the case that open listings produce poor quality commercial real estate activity. As a priority, pursue exclusive listings for a lengthy period of time with all of your clients. In this way, you will control market enquiry and convert more transactions personally.
So here are some rules that should apply to the prospecting process in helping you with your market share and future commercial real estate business opportunities.
- Get to know your territory intimately. That will mean on a street by street basis and or property by property basis. Your territory should not be too large or too complex. You cannot be a commercial real estate specialist to everybody and every property type.
- Identify the existing properties on the market today and their time on market. There will be reasons for properties not selling or not renting. In each case you should review the competing properties and competing agencies to understand the errors in marketing and the poor performance of some of the salespeople involved. Over time you can market yourself around weaker agencies and properties that have not been correctly promoted.
- Prospecting should be undertaken on a daily basis for at least 2 or 3 hours. That should be the number one activity in your diary regardless of anything else. When you set this rule and stick to it, you will achieve more market share and market intelligence. Over time this will have a major impact on your commissions. Cold calling should feature as a main component of your prospecting efforts. This requires special diligence and commitment, but the rewards are many.
- Get to know the businesses throughout your local territory. Those local business proprietors will understand and potentially help identify for you the changes to property in the local area. Over time those businesses will also be looking for alternative premises to lease and or rent. Those businesses can also be a great source of sale and leaseback activity.
- It is very easy to approach businesses as part of your prospecting model. On that basis it should occur every day. You will gain valuable market intelligence from the process. It is somewhat harder to identify property owners and approach them. That is mainly because they hide behind company structures and property trusts. Create a list of prime properties in your region so that you can gradually work through the potential property ownership structures and identify the right people to talk to. It will take time, however the results are significant.
While this list is not finite or complete, it will give you the foundation for the prospecting process to commence. The commercial real estate industry is very much personally orientated and built on relationships. Over time you must build relationships with key people, business proprietors, and property investors.
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.