The Prospecting Toolbox to Improve Commercial Real Estate Broker Commissions

Every broker and agent working in commercial real estate wants to earn better commissions.  It is a logical process; that being said, the commissions that you achieve can be strengthened by your prospecting model. (NB – you can get more commission tips in our free Snapshot Course right here)

In this audio program, John Highman talks about the different ways of prospecting and how commissions can be improved when you get your new business focus refined and tuned to particular properties and clients.

Learn about the challenges and the opportunities with:

  • Clients as Investors, Business Owners, and Developers
  • Particular properties
  • Certain locations
  • Better buildings

In simple terms you can improve your real estate business.

You can get the audio program right here:

Brainstorming Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

In commercial real estate brokerage it is always important to look at the variables of the property market and the opportunities that may exist within it. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate brokerage course right here)

Given that you have a territory and property type to focus on, look at the indicators and look at the opportunities.

Given that things change so frequently throughout the year across sales, leasing, and property management, a good degree of brainstorming and business planning should occur regularly and specifically for your target markets and business territory.

Actions and Ideas

In this audio, John Highman talks about the importance of brainstorming your actions and your results. He gives you ideas relating to the essential facts to watch as some of the key performance indicators and categories of trending.

Improve your position as a broker or an agent through some simple direct and reliable brainstorming activities at least quarterly, and perhaps monthly. In that way, you can understand what is happening with time on market, enquiries, prices, and transaction activity.

You can get the audio here below, where John Highman talks about this essential business skill in commercial real estate brokerage today.

How to Put More Human Contact into Your Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In your commercial real estate career, it is hard to get anywhere without a good degree of client and prospect contact.  Your brokerage and your office location will have little to do with the little to do with the inquiries coming in.  (NB – you can get more client contact strategies in commercial real estate brokerage right here in ‘Snapshot’)

Each day you simply must get out the front door of the brokerage, and into your territory.  It is a precise process that requires a plan.  Build your real estate business around people first and foremost.  Talk to more people and take a record or notes from valuable conversations and relationships.

Facts of Time

Why think this way?  It takes about 3 to 6 months of direct prospecting to get some real momentum up and running in a brokerage career; what you want to do here is give energy and focus to database accuracy and growth.  Get to know plenty of local people.

What can you learn from this?  Your database should be at the center of your tasks, your diary, and your daily activities.  Choose a good database program that works for you and your property specialty, and then use it each day; revisit the details of earlier contacts, meetings, and conversations.  Look for those small pieces of information that could turn into a valuable discussion or new real estate business.

Human Focus

Put the concept of ‘human contact’ back into your real estate business.  While it is always easy to send an email or make a telephone call, the traditional approach of ‘face to face’ meetings and ‘drop-ins’ tend to be the best way to get traction and momentum with new clients and prospects.  You can judge the success of a commercial real estate agent by the depth of their database and the strength of personal relationships with key customers and prospects.

Contact and Communicate

So, let’s get some more focus on this concept.  Here are some ideas to help you get your ‘human contact’ plan up and running in your real estate business:

  1. Door knocking local areas, businesses, and tenants – get to know all the firms in the streets and the zones that you control. It is always likely that a simple conversation with a local business owner can lead to something of value, be that in a sale, lease, or property management.
  2. Meetings in a regular way – when you have established a link and relationship with a new client or prospect, stay in contact so that you are seeing or talking to them at least once every 90 days. Regularity is important to build profile and relevance.
  3. Getting to know the clients comprehensively – some customers can have ongoing property needs and or challenges. Get to know their portfolios and locations.  Look for the elements of change in investment.
  4. Establish a VIP prospect and client program – some of your contacts will be more ‘valuable’ for future business in so many different ways. Differentiate your customers based on value, location, capability to act, and property requirements.
  5. Creating ‘leave behind value’ for all your meetings and inspections – when you have made a contact or connection, send some follow-up information immediately after the event. The information that you submit can ‘open the door up’ for ongoing communication.
  6. Every inquiry or inspection is a reason to keep connecting – when the first inquiry comes in, keep the conversation and connection flowing through a series of professional processes including brochures, emails, and case studies. Local property information is always of interest to investors and business owners.  Share information that is relevant and real for the location.

Through these strategies, you can build a solid business profile as a top agent for a location and property type.  Go for the opportunities that you can sense or see.  Keep connecting at a personal level.

The Things I Have Learned About Clients in Commercial Real Estate

Over many years, I have worked for and with many commercial real estate customers.  In saying that, the variation of customer focus and interaction was sometimes large, unexpected, and challenging.  (NB – you can get plenty of commercial real estate tips here in our Snapshot program)

Not all clients and prospects are ‘equal,’ and should be respected for the individuals that they are and the property ‘challenges’ that they face.  The fees that you set for working with some of these ‘high end’ clients on a complex project or property challenge should be well considered based on your predictable time and effort.

Understand them first and foremost

The message to remember with some if not all clients and prospects is in the need to get to know them comprehensively first and foremost; that is in their thinking, targets, challenges, and investment goals.  You can only provide ‘help’ when you understand the ‘big picture.’

Look for the patterns and strategies that you can provide help with.  Only offer the client your fullest services and commitment when you fully understand what they are doing, what they are facing, and what they are looking for in solutions.

High value clients

Some clients are better than others from a ‘value’ perspective to you.  Have you set your ‘value’ criteria?  Try some of these for starters:

  • Repeat business over time
  • Property portfolio by size, location, and type
  • Services variation (sales, leasing, and asset management)
  • Commissions by amount and frequency
  • Referral opportunity from friends and acquaintances

In looking at the list, it is easy to see how some clients will be higher ‘ranking’ than others.  Categorize the people that you know now, and can connect with.  Communicate with ‘locals’ for the ‘right reasons.’  Focus your prospecting and communication efforts into the best individuals in a location.

So, where can you start with all this?

Look at your database of clients and prospects, and then split that list into VIP’s and ‘others’.  Most of your prospecting and new business efforts should focus into the VIP’s in your client or contact list.  When you know the value that these people can bring you, then you can know what to do in communication and connection.

Here are some facts about clients in commercial real estate brokerage today:

  1. They are always out there looking for properties to act on. If you have a good selection of high-quality exclusive listings, you will find other ‘high quality’ investors approaching you about listing information and inspections.  The ‘quality’ rule is easy to follow and understand.
  2. They require market evidence. Keep abreast of local property trends and changes so that you can use them in an informational and relevant way.  You should capture the facts of the larger deals in sales and leasing so you can use those points in your client conversations, presentations, and listing pitches.  Market evidence is hard to refute or dispute.
  3. They like to work with ‘specialists.’ Most clients like to work with the established and active property experts for a location.  Real estate is not an ‘experiment’; put yourself into a ‘specialization’ category and help your clients and prospects understand that fact.
  4. They know what they are doing when it comes to local property.  So, take your time in helping them, and show them respect as you move through their asset challenges and known issues. Seek to understand them first before you pitch your ideas and strategies.
  5. They will generally listen to logic. When you work from a basis of local market evidence, the clients and prospects will listen.  Have some visual and informational tools to use in the customer conversation or meeting process.
  6. They like to have a ‘win’ with a listing, negotiation, or inspection. Some negotiations can be lengthy and complicated.  Let your clients feel as though they are in control as you move them ahead, and that they are at the ‘winning’ end of the equation.  A small ‘win’ will usually be a valuable tool to closing off on a negotiation or transaction.  In saying all of this, remember who your client is in the transaction, and help them move on the right opportunity.

Property clients are at the center of everything we do in commercial real estate brokerage.  Market yourself, your knowledge, relevance, and skills into your customer list.  That is how things work in commercial property today.

A Few Powerful Secrets in Commercial Real Estate Leasing

In commercial real estate brokerage leasing, you need plenty of tenants to fill the vacancies that you will work with and will identify. At least half of your database should be filled with business based tenants and their leasing requirements.  (NB – you can get our free Commercial Real Estate Course here)

 

Given that your brokerage zone will be a section or a segment of the city, in a logical and direct way connect with all the tenants in the zone. Understand what the tenants are thinking and doing when it comes to property occupancy and change.

 

Relevance of Database and Location

 

As a special note, the size and the relevance of your leasing database as it applies to the location and the property types will be a major point of leverage in winning new business.

 

When it comes to attracting landlords and property owners to your services, you will need some form of differential.

 

To achieve that ‘difference’, consider the following questions:

 

  1. How big is your database currently and how relevant is it to the location? The businesses within the list should be locally based and or regionally connected. Split that database list into major corporations and smaller businesses.
  2. Where are the good quality buildings in your town or city? Review the tenancy mix in each case. Understand exactly who is occupying the major properties locally and for what reason. When you know the top tenants, the better buildings, and the top corporations for the area, you can hone your prospecting efforts accordingly. You can drill down into the businesses that have the capability to grow and relocate as company profits allow. You will also understand the buildings that are best suited for some companies and corporations from a branding profile and operational perspective.
  3. Have you been keeping your database list and its contents up-to-date? The data within the database will be important in several different ways. At the top of that assessment will be accuracy and timeliness of the information you have gathered. Spend time each day connecting with the people within the list to see how business pressures and changes are impacting their occupancy decisions.
  4. Have you been connecting with new people in a regular and ongoing way? You will always need fresh contacts and connections to grow your real estate business and the leasing opportunities available. You will need high quality clients and particularly the local companies and corporations to work with from a leasing perspective.
  5. What are people thinking about property now?  Understand exactly what they are thinking from a business and occupancy perspective. Look for the triggers and the pressures that influence those tenants and those companies to move. Through regular and ongoing contact, you can be there to assist them at the right time and in the right way.

 

 

So, there are some good things that you can look into and improve as part of providing professional leasing services to the local businesses and corporations.

 

Talk to plenty of people on a regular daily basis and refresh your database list with new information and upcoming property requirements.

 

The relationships that you build and encourage over time with carefully selected local companies and business leaders will help you strengthen and consolidate your leasing profile and professional leasing services.

 

How to Engage with More VIP Clients in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage it is important that you segment your client list into groups and opportunities. As part of that, you should identify the VIP clients that you know and those that exist in your local area. They should be the primary targets of your prospecting model in an ongoing way. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate training right here)

In this audio program, John Highman talks about the strategies behind VIP database management and the professional skills of commercial real estate sales and leasing today.

Learn how to improve your real estate business and grow the opportunities with the right clients in the right way.

You can access the audio program right here:

Things I Have Learned About Database Systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you work in commercial real estate, you really do need a good quality database that you can rely on to find the right people and properties as part of a matching process.  Whilst it seems so logical, most agents struggle with the discipline of a database.  They have issue with things like:

  • Finding the time to make the calls
  • Capturing all of the information from meetings and calls
  • Keeping up the call momentum
  • Integrating the client list with emails and brochure dispatch systems, etc.

So the list can go on.   The database is the prime way to find real estate opportunities and do something with them.   Today there are plenty of options with software brands, data collation methods, and pipeline tracking, for some positive results to be achieved by any broker or agent in commercial real estate.  Everything comes down to personal application and effort.

You don’t have to pay a lot of money to have such a program helping you grow your real estate business.  One key decision in all of this is whether you should go ‘cloud based’ in your data storage.  Common consensus says you should, given that most people like to access their client and prospect information from a variety of devices when they are away from the office.

In this audio, John Highman talks about the client list processes and how you can work the data that you gather from your clients today.