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Cold Calling Success in Commercial Real Estate

Many times I have spoken to salespeople in commercial real estate about the market and what they perceive as opportunity this year.  Some people have got a real grasp on their activities and listings. Sadly the majority (at least 90%) do not, and for one simple reason. They do not do enough cold calls to prospects.  They do not therefore control their market and they do not have enough listing churn.

No matter how successful you think you are right now in commercial real estate sales and leasing, you must do the cold calls yourself and you must keep control of your own database records.  Both of these issues are avoided by most salespeople; the reason for the avoidance is lack of commitment and persistence.

Here are some tips for those that are prepared to make the calls:

  1. Set aside the same time each day for the calls.  In only that way will you make it a habit.
  2. You will need about 2 hours each day for the process.
  3. Do not hand your cold calls to a telemarketer, it is a waste of money. Only you really know how to talk to a prospect with relevance.
  4. Stand up when you make your calls. You will need a headset for the process.  In standing up you will find that your conversation flows more freely and confidently.
  5. Make 50 calls per day to fresh contacts from the business community.

Is this a lot of work?  Yes, but the rewards are real.  If you are good at your calling process the market will be attracted to you and listings will follow.  If you want some more tips on cold calling and listing business generation, then check out our website at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Tenant Mix and Property Performance

Connecting with and keeping in contact with tenants in a professional way is foundational to a solid and strong commercial property performance.   The object is to address and resolve tenant service and maintenance issues such as:

  1. Maintenance matters
  2. Leasing matters
  3. Emergency matters
  4. Keeping the tenant informed of upcoming changes and issues
  5. To identify when the tenant is under occupancy stress

Happy tenants support your cash flow from rent.  They also minimise your vacancy factors.  It is notable that existing tenants in a property can either impede or assist the leasing process.  Therefore it is all the more important to keep the tenants in your property happy. Prospective tenants will seek out sitting tenants and learn quickly if those existing tenants are unhappy.  Keeping tenants happy and comfortable is all part of the property daily system and activity for the property manager.  Keeping in contact is part of that process.

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Commercial Property Management Handover Procedures

When taking on a new property management that is office, industrial, or retail property, first and foremost the property manager needs to get on top of tenant matters.  The tenant is already in the property from the moment the property manager takes over the property. Tenants have issues, and on that basis the lease terms, the tenant occupancy, and premises detail have to be high on the agenda of review for the property manager.  Having a fixed handover procedure or checklist is essential.

All tenant occupancy terms are usually reflected in a lease.  If not, then they are likely to be monthly or casual tenants.  In that case the tenant will have no lease to refer to in relation to terms of occupancy.  In that case the tenant will still have occupancy rights and obligations to understand from law and legislation in your location.  When in doubt see a good solicitor.

One small word on leases that do exist is that they can be registered or un-registered.  This means that they may or may not be on the title for the property.  Either way the tenant has rights which are protected and explained in that lease.  Find all leases that apply to the tenants in the property and review them for impact on service and maintenance matters.  It is quite possible for any tenant to have special terms and conditions in that regard.

To review a lease for this type of issue, read the lease in its entirety so that relevant matters of maintenance and response are recognized.   The types of issues frequently written into leases are those such as:

  • Security situations and systems
  • Air conditioning provisions and service to the tenant
  • Maintenance obligations and methods
  • Occupational Health and Safety obligations
  • Response times and processes in any maintenance
  • Methods of keeping the tenant informed
  • Methods of accessing the tenancy for service and maintenance events
  • Levels of acceptable safe or comfortable occupancy
  • Rent adjustment or abatement in times of service failure

Keeping in contact with tenants so that service and maintenance needs are addressed in keeping with occupancy documentation, is essential to property performance.   When major failures of plant and machinery occur it is the property manager that has to have the levels of control and communication to preserve and protect the landlord’s position.

In property management expect that big things will go wrong from time to time.  A response management plan or a crisis management plan is part of the toolbox for a property manager.  The larger the property you find the greater the potential for a major building failure, and possibly personal injury.  If you know your property is located in an area of reasonable natural disaster potential, then be prepared.  Do you have the control systems and people to keep things under control?

You can get more detail on Commercial Property Management at our website here http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Commercial Estate Brokerage – Tenant Advocacy Challenges

In tenant advocacy, the real estate agent works for the tenant and has them as the client.  This is a deliberate shift from the normal work that a real estate agent will do with a landlord in letting vacant space.  Most particularly tenant advocacy is a real and significant service for corporate businesses that require relocating. 

In normal circumstances corporate tenants consult with their solicitor to assist them with the lease and relocation process.  In real terms, the solicitor will usually know nothing about the property market and only becomes useful when legal documentation is to be prepared.

The tenant advocacy service is therefore a specialised offering for the corporate customer requiring new premises.  In this market, as we adjust to a new commercial real estate cycle, the movement of businesses and corporate tenants is becoming more frequent and will remain so for the next couple of years.  The corporate real estate customer will be looking to seize the opportunity of new premises at realistically lower rentals.  At this point in time, landlords are still under pressure to find tenants in many locations.  This produces lower rentals, higher incentives, and tenant favourable lease documentation.

Tenant advocacy, as a specialised service offered by a real estate agent to a tenant, effectively costs the tenant nothing when handled correctly.  This is because the real estate agent provides real savings through market intelligence and negotiation skills.  The tenant pays for those skills through commissions.  They get the expert they require for finding the new premises.

For some property agencies, this is a significant shift in mindset; they would normally work for the landlord.  This can also provide difficulty if they work for landlords in a smaller precinct or real estate market.  In a larger property market it makes no difference.

If you are in a smaller property market, or are worried about the impact of working for tenants specifically, the best way forward is to appoint a specialised staff member who will focus only on this tenant advocacy market segment and therefore not cross over to the landlord client relationship.  Conflict of interest is therefore reduced, although it should be said that the tenant as a client should never be introduced to a property that is listed with your real estate agency from the landlord client relationship.

You can get more detail on Tenant Mix and Tenant Advocacy at our website http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Commercial Estate Brokers – Prospecting and Cold Calling Success

Do you want more commissions and listings?  You simply have to be great at prospecting and cold calling.  The rest of your business will follow.

Guess what? Most real estate agents and brokers are not sufficiently disciplined to do the right levels of prospecting on a daily basis.  That is the most significant opportunity that exists in the property industry; you just have to be better than the rest at prospecting.  Sure listing, negotiating, and closing are other important skills, but they will come as a natural by-product of prospecting.

Focus on cold calling and prospecting. So how do you do this?  You set some prospecting rules and you start practice.  The words ‘rules’ and ‘practice’ are another couple of problem words for many in the industry.  Many struggle with doing both.

So let’s get away from the negative and presume you have the determination, the focus, and the drive to prospect for new business on a daily basis.  Here is a ‘killer prospecting model’ that really works.  The rest will be up to you.  This model takes 3 hours a day, 5 days per week. 

  1. There are no gaps and Saturdays and Sundays are the only days off in the prospecting process.  That is the first rule; probably the most important.
  2. The second rule in the process is that you must prospect on the telephone in the morning because after that you will be distracted by other things and not stick to it.  Without going deeply into it, there are established facts of personal performance in business that show the morning is the right time to do prospecting.
  3. Get away from setting any meetings in the morning.  Tell the boss that you prospect at that time and that you would prefer to set meetings with him and anyone else in the afternoons.  Even meetings with clients and prospects should not occur in the morning unless it is an absolute necessity.  The only reason to break the rule is if the meeting is for an active deal that is closing.
  4. The 3 hours of prospecting each day in the office is done from the telephone.  In commercial real estate you are predominantly dealing with business people and they generally will take your call if commercial real estate is an issue for them.  If it is not an issue then you simply move on.  Do not set up a meeting with someone who has no interest; remember that your time is precious.
  5. Drop the cold calling scripts and use your own words; that will be the way you will feel comfortable with the process.  Use trigger words to flow the discussion, but do not use scripts as the listener will sense the processes and turn off.
  6. Know that it takes you about 20 minutes of cold calling every day to get the process into momentum.  Once you are through the 20 minutes you must keep going and not stop for 2.5 hours.  In that way you will make progress.
  7. Find a quiet place to make your calls so that you can focus without distraction.  Your success in tele-prospecting depends on it.
  8. Research your call list the night before so you do not waste critical call time in research.  This is critical to the call process.
  9. Create a series of simple forms to use in the call process so that you can capture the results later in the database.  You must not stop the call momentum.
  10. Try to contact 10 new people on the telephone each day.  If they are not in the office when you call then simply make a note to call back.  You should be able to make 50 calls in 3 hours.
  11. Your only reason for calling prospects is to see if they have a need or an interest in commercial property.  When you really understand that yourself, then the calls will be easier and the quality of the discussion will be higher.
  12. Have a great database to record everything.  Use something that you are comfortable with.  At the basic end of the database alternatives you can use Microsoft Outlook, or Access.  Both are useful, low cost and user friendly.  When you want to move to something more relevant to the property industry you can spend many hundreds dollars; personally I believe you can do very well with the basics providing you know how to use a computer well (in that you have no choice).

These are the rules that you need to set in your cold call prospecting.  After you set the rules, you start the practice and you will need to do that for a couple of weeks until things are moving well.  To your success in commercial real estate prospecting!  You can get more detail on prospecting and cold calling in real estate here at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/