Commercial Real Estate Brokers – A Fresh Approach to Attracting New Clients

woman talking on headset telephone

Start talking to new prospects and clients in commercial real estate.

In commercial real estate brokerage you need plenty of clients to support your listing and commission activity.  You also need new prospects and opportunities to fill the gaps when some of your clients move on or leave the industry.

Given that we are soon to be starting another calendar year, it is time to have a look at a new and fresh approach to prospecting and client networking.  This should be a personal priority for all real estate agents and brokers.  This is the best time of year to get your client activities and database directions set for the next 12 months.

Here are some facts that relate to the market today and the clients we work with:

  1. The ‘market noise’ from competing agents will always be significant.  Many of our top clients will be working with other real estate agencies or at least know of some other top agents locally.  This is a continual threat to our market share that can only be addressed by relevant and constant contact with the clients that we know.  That is why property specialization is such a critical process in building listing opportunity.  When the time comes for the client to move on a property matter they will usually choose the best agent with a dominant market share within the location and the property type.  That is why general real estate agents and brokers never really develop dominant levels of business.
  2. Winning a listing today is not entirely about providing discounts or inflating the property price to attract the clients business.  Winning a listing is all about packaging the property to attract the maximum interest and facilitate inspections.  High prices and higher rentals will not do that.  Understand the prevailing market conditions and how you can work with that to solve the property challenge for your clients and prospects.  Show the client the true facts of the market as they apply to the property type and location.  Tell some stories relating to both successes and failures within the property category.
  3. If you have a property that has been on the market for a long time, it is time to seriously adjust and reduce the price and or the rental structure in line with market conditions.  Clients are not fools when it comes to true market conditions; they want results.  They will usually understand that an inflated price or rental will make the marketing process quite difficult, so your pitch or presentation needs to tell the right story and provide the right market evidence.  Any property with an inflated price or rental will soon become stale on the market; stale listings are usually quoted by top agents as marketing weaknesses.  It is easy to show clients how other overpriced listings have been poorly marketed and overlooked by buyers and tenants.  If the client is still unrealistic on price or rental expectations, it may be time to walk away from the listing and let some other agency or brokerage waste their time.
  4. Every quality listing should be exclusively marketed.  As part of that process, you should be asking for and attracting vendor paid marketing funds.  Structure your sales pitch and presentations accordingly.  Marketing dollars spent will have a lot to do with your real estate profile locally.

Working within these very simple and yet important facts, it is time to look at the ways you can attract new clients and listing opportunities.  As I said earlier, the change in the calendar year is upon us and certainly will give us the opportunity for a new business direction and a freshening of our client connection process.

Here are some tips to help you with reaching out to new clients and prospects:

  • Visit the people within your current database with the deliberate intention of asking for referral business and opportunities.
  • Identify the bankers and financiers within your town or city that have an interest in commercial industrial or retail property.  Get to know those people at a personal level.
  • Contact all local accountants and lawyers locally that appear to be reasonably successful with their business activities.  They are likely to have many clients active or interested in commercial property.
  • Identify the entire listings list active with your competitors.  Use those listings as leverage to talk to other property owners nearby.  Some of those property owners may like to compete with the current listing in the same location.
  • Identify the people that have purchased investment property within the last 3 to 5 years.  They are likely to be active again within the next two or three years.  They may wish to buy, sell, lease, or develop.
  • Check out the property development activity at the local council.  Also check out the changes to zoning and property usage.  All of these things could be solid foundations for project marketing, future sales and leasing activity.

In our industry there are many leads and opportunities available at any point in time.  It is simply a matter of digging deep enough into the marketplace, the people, and the listings.  Opportunities in commercial real estate are always available and it is simply a matter of asking the right questions to the right people.

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Just Turn the Key On Client Contact and Networking in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

businessman and client meeting,

Connect with more clients.

In commercial real estate agency and brokerage, the process of ongoing contact and prospecting will help you with market share in a significant way.  You simply need to ‘turn the key’ on client contact and grow it at each and every opportunity.

To make this process work for you, ensure that you have the following tools in place and ready to use:

  • A defined geographical area defined on a map where you can focus your prospecting activities on a regular basis.
  • A database that is simple to use and easy to access.  It is preferable that the database will be accessible from both the office, and when you are out in the sales or territory region.
  • A landline telephone system that you can use each day in privacy and without the distractions of a noisy and busy office.
  • A computer that you can have at your fingertips as part of making direct cold calls and prospecting research.
  • Travel through the main streets in your territory and visit the other listings that are currently on the market so that you can understand marketing strategies, prices, and rentals.
  • Create a system of calls to occur at the same time every day.  Normally you can achieve 50 outbound calls in a period of 2 hours.
  • Build a simple prospecting dialogue that you can use in the early stages of cold calling and client connection.  Over time this will become redundant as your dialogue will improve naturally.

So the process of ‘turning the key’ on client contact is to take the necessary prospecting action each and every day.  In doing so, remember that the cycle of commercial real estate is relatively long.  Most of the people that you talk to today will not have an immediate interest or need.  They will however have some property challenges down the track and for this reason your database needs to allow ongoing regular contact each period of 90 days.

In connecting with new people as part of the prospecting model, remember the relationships between sales, leasing, and property management.  Ask questions across each discipline to see if any pressures apply or any future needs could occur.

Here are some interesting numbers to help you understand how all of this works:

  • In a period of 2 hours, you can make approximately 40 to 50 calls.  Those calls will need to be researched the night before.  The Internet and the business telephone book will help you significantly at the early stages of your career with this process.
  • Eventually you will find some good clients and prospects to maintain contact with.  You will need some selective criteria to understand exactly who you will be putting into your database and for what reason.
  • In making approximately 40 to 50 outbound calls, you will connect with about 15 people.  The others that you cannot connect with today can be pushed to the next day or later in the week for another ongoing contact.  You will need a system to maintain the flow of interaction and return call process.  Organisation is the key to help you here.
  • When you connect with approximately 15 people per day, your target should be to create two new meetings.  Those meetings should be established on the basis that the person will have a current or future need when it comes to commercial property.
  • From each meeting and from each positive outbound call, maintain a process of repeat contact at least once every 90 days.  When you know the person is ready to act in some respect, you can shorten the cycle to bi monthly or monthly.

Many agents and brokers struggle with the rejection process that inevitably comes with prospecting and cold calling.  That does not need to be the case given that you are a commercial real estate professional and that your services are highly valuable to the right people.  The prospecting process should therefore be undertaken on the basis of identifying the people you can help now or in the future.

You can get more tips on commercial real estate training at our main website here.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Client Loyalty Programs

man standing on image of world globe.

Get on top of your market with a client loyalty program

In commercial real estate today, every agent should have an ongoing ‘client loyalty’ program to help with growing market share.  In this way you can stand out as a relevant and top quality agent.  It is then difficult for the client to overlook your presence and availability when it comes to taking a property to the market for sale or lease.

Here are some tips from our main commercial real estate training website.

So what can you do to structure a ‘client loyalty’ program?  Here are some ideas:

  1. In the first instance you should give it a name.  Without a name the client does not know or feel that they are any different to others in the local area that you may be working with.  In the absence of anything else to use, you can call your program the ‘VIP Client Connect’.  Tell the client that they are part of this ‘exclusive’ group.  Show them what will be happening and why that will be of benefit to them.
  2. On what basis will you be selecting ‘VIP’ members for the group?  Will the criteria be based on property location, size, value, portfolio type, or frequency of business?
  3. The program should be about the client and on that basis they should get something out of it.  There is no point in structuring a program if you are going to do nothing with it.  What can you do for them as part of their membership in your group of ‘VIP’ clients?  How will they know that they are ‘special’ and that you are doing extra things for them?
  4. Focus on ‘loyalty’ with these clients and not ‘discounts’.  Professionalism should be the backbone of the program; discounts have no place in a commercial real estate client relationship if professionalism is your goal.  Ensure that you are sending a message of high quality and comprehensive services in sales, leasing, and property management.
  5. Provide market updates that are comprehensive and regular.  They can be sent directly to the client with links to supporting resources and research on your website.
  6. Your database should segment these ‘VIP’ members from the others that you work with.  The database should also have the ability to capture the details of ongoing contact.
  7. Establish a special newsletter for the process of ‘VIP’ contact.  Brand that newsletter uniquely and personalise the text with specially selected properties.
  8. Set up monthly or quarterly industry briefings that can be held in your office for selected clients.  Invite other industry professionals (solicitors, accountants, and planners) to complement your presentation.
  9. Provide a private access part of your website so the ‘VIP members’ can get to regular industry updates.
  10. Make it easy for these special people to make contact with you 7 days per week.  Give them the mobile cell phone numbers to use in the event of questions or concerns.

You can do more with this list based on your property speciality and your location.  Make your clients and prospect feel special in your business.  The rewards will be many.

Get our regular training tips and ideas for commercial real estate agents at our main website right here.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Client Relationships and Service in Sales and Leasing

business meeting

Understand your commercial real estate clients.

In commercial real estate agency today, it is essential that we take all necessary steps to understand the potential of the property transaction and the client.  A complete and comprehensive understanding will help you when it comes to a successful outcome for both you and the client.

Here are some tips from our commercial real estate training website.

This then says that you should really take the time to know the key facts that relate to the particular property situation and the requirements of the client.  Here are some questions to help with that process:

  1. Define the property from a legal perspective so that any listing and negotiation process can be correctly implemented and documented.  Copies of supporting documentation, titles, owner representations, deeds, and conversations will be central to the accuracy of the listing.  Look for any missing documentation or confusing circumstances.  Resolve any of these challenging issues as part of the listing process.  Review all of the property ownership documentation prior to any marketing campaign commencing.
  2. Many properties will have extended issues to investigate.  They could relate to rights of way, easements, encumbrances, orders or notices.  The leases on the property may also have an impact on any sale or property investment situation.  This then says that you must be accurate and detailed in the property listing process.  Any errors made in documenting the listing can come back to ‘haunt you’ later during the negotiation or due diligence process.  Learn how to interpret property documentation, leases, and factors that relate to the tenancy mix.
  3. The local property planning process will have impact on building usage, improvements, tenant occupancy, future developments, and capital growth.  Take the time to understand the local property development plans as they apply in your region and for any particular listing.  Look for any changes in the development plan that could have an impact on the property in the future.
  4. If you review the history of the area, you will see certain trends that relate to prices and rentals.  You will also see factors that have impact on marketing, listing, negotiations, and time on market.  Stay ahead of the current trends in property activity and the history of prices and rentals as they apply for each property type.
  5. Every client or prospect will have factors of focus when it comes to property ownership and portfolio development.  Some clients will own a number of properties or seek to do so over time.  This then says that some clients can be very valuable from an ongoing business perspective for a real estate agent.  In saying this, the cycle of activity in commercial real estate is relatively long.  It can be many months if not years before a client is ready to take the next step in their property investment and ownership plan.  You need to stay with the client for the long term, nurturing the relationship wherever possible with relevant and real information.

A client or a property investigation can be quite complex.  Look for the potential that the client or a property can offer you as real estate agent.  Position yourself for ongoing service and support to the client.  The business, new listings, and commissions will soon be easier to attract.

You can get more tips like this at our main commercial real estate training website right here.