Some clients in commercial real estate are unaware that they have a problem with their property, or do not really know or can define specifically what the problem is. They struggle to find the way ahead; they do not really know or will admit that they cannot get themselves out of a property problem.
Do you think there are some businesses and property owners out there at the moment with problems? Of course there are, and you as the real estate agent or broker have to be the relief to the property pain. You can only be so when you really know what you are doing. That means a really good knowledge of property types, leases, and rents, building costs, regional demographics, and operating costs.
It is not sufficient to think you know how to sell or lease a property. That skill is not enough as most other agents will think the same. After coaching agents for many years, I know that the reality is most of your competition is very ordinary in knowledge and property understanding. That is the leverage you should work with to generate a massive real estate sales and leasing business. Serve your clients as the best choice in the industry. Is that hard? Perhaps it takes more personal effort and certainly more study, but the rewards are significant.
Let’s just look at the types of clients you could have for a moment; they are landlords, business owners, tenants, and investors. Within those groups you have differing relationships to the property improvements, rent, lease, location, operating costs, tenancy mix, and the list goes on. So what do you know about these things? What should you do?
Become an expert in every sense of the word. Supply the best and most important information about property that you can for the client. Make sure that you are better than the rest of the real estate people in the local area. Become the property strategist and not just a salesperson; know what are the real reasons for a sale or lease, and help the client understand them. Provide the best timings to use in the sale or lease processes.
The problems and challenges that these client groups have are radically different than each other. Your solutions and responses should be set accordingly. The best model for a real estate agent or broker in a client relationship is to become an advisor that is trusted. Your knowledge should stand head and shoulders above the rest. There are three stages to the process.
- Seek to become the clients trusted advisor from the outset. This means building the relationship before the client really wants to do something with their property. Prospecting is essential every day of your business life. Your database is the tool to progress.
- Get the client to agree that there is a need with their property or business. Knowledge of the property types, performance issues, lease strategies, development alternatives, tenant mix alternatives, are just some of the things to learn.
- Plan your solutions around the problems. When the client fully understands the problems that you have identified with the property, and that you really know what you are doing, the choice of property agent becomes an obvious choice.
Stop thinking that as an agent you must discount your commission, or pay all the advertising costs for the client just to win the new business. These clients are not the ones you want. In most cases they are the hardest to deal with because their motivation is ‘cheap’. Logical decisions are not part of their mindset and negotiations are therefore harder with these clients. More often than not the listing does not sell because the client will not listen to the market trends and choices (they think they know better). Time does invariably take care of these unreasonable clients, with no sale resulting and a distressed property sale or lease later on. You can then move back into the picture to offer your special services.
Be the best real estate agent out there and make sure your clients know it. Chase the quality listings owned by quality clients that will listen to the market trends and choices that you offer.