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.
The commercial property presentation today for sales and leasing has to be quite specific to the challenges in the property market. Every client that we present to should be under no misunderstanding when it comes to the prevailing market conditions. It is your job to tell them exactly how the market reacts at the moment to properties similar to that owned by the client.
The property sales pitch or presentation therefore needs to be comprehensive and specific to the property type. When you do this correctly, you will achieve a listing that is matched to the market and a client that is receptive to the required ongoing marketing and negotiations.
Here are some tips to help your property presentation process today.
- As a first stage of the client connection, it’s desirable to meet the client on site and go through the property together. This then allows you to ask questions of the client relating to the property history, the usage, and their motivations for sale or lease today.
- Following that property inspection, ask the client for at least 24 hours of time to allow you to research the prevailing market conditions, and provide the best recommendations to resolve their property challenge. Use that time to correctly structure the strategies and recommendations that should be put to the client. Be quite specific and not generic when it comes to those factors and your final proposal or recommendation.
- At the start of the actual presentation, explain to the client the prevailing market conditions as you see them relating to the property and it’s location. Provide evidence from competing properties on the market today as to time on market, pricing, and best methods of sale or lease as the case may be.
- Over the last two years, there should be some market evidence relating to the achieved prices and rentals for that property type. Whilst each property result will depend on improvements and location, it is worthwhile graphing the property market trends when it comes to results, prices, and rental. Make sure you have inspected each comparable property so you can relate the facts to the client from a personal level.
- Be prepared to tell a few stories relating to other clients and market situations. It is surprising how stories will gain the attention of the client and help your presentation overall.
- As part of the presentation, use plenty of digital photographs on your laptop computer. Those photographs can be rolling automatically as a slide presentation whilst you talk to the client about their property. Most of those photographs should be of the clients property, the surrounding locations, and competing properties. In this way the client will be connecting with their property and your conversation. Avoid slides with any words. Pictures will help grab the clients attention.
Top agents today take deliberate effort when it comes to the property presentation and connecting with the client. Everything needs to be specific in content and accuracy. Expect the other competing agents to do their very best to derail your property presentation. You will not have a second chance to meet with the client, so every presentation needs to be the best.
A sales pitch in commercial real estate can be a challenging process especially when you are up against other agents competing for the same property when the market is saturated with listings or agents. You do not know what the competitors are doing or saying and how they will pitch for the listing.
The best way to do a commercial real estate presentation is to start from a base of information about the clients need as you see it, and then ask questions to get their opinion on key issues. In this way you have their attention and you can show them that you really do know what they need or what the market can do for them.
Here are some other ideas to feed into your sales pitch:
- Questions create momentum in your presentation. For this reason it pays to consider and prepare for the right questions that will have real relevance to the presentation. You could include in those questions what the client has done with the property over recent time and what their intentions may be to move ahead with it now. Ask them about their biggest challenge now in moving the property, and what they see as the best outcome. From this information you can open up the discussion about the local market and current levels of enquiry.
- Local market knowledge will give you confidence to move through challenges that may be presented to you by the client. In most cases the client will not know much about the current market and the results that have been coming out of it.
- Understand the customer and their current property problem. Let them see that you relate to their concerns and show them how you will move matters forward. Your pitch is not really about you and your skills; it is about them and their property pain. Identify the pain and then provide the relief with real strategy.
- Hone your critical skills and practice them regularly. If you have any weaknesses, deal with them in role play and personal improvement. Sometimes your greatest weakness as a salesperson is the only thing that is holding you back from a great leap forward in your business and market share.
- Do not close or negotiate too early in the pitch process. Far too many sales people do this. It sends the wrong message to the client. Desperation does not do well in a sales presentation today.
- Use the right resources and have them available at your fingertips. There is nothing worse that pitching for a listing and not having all of the right tools to take you forward.
Follow up all presentations professionally and efficiently. Some clients will not make a choice on agent for a few days. Make sure they see your professionalism in winning and losing a presentation. Brand yourself as the best agent in a professional way.