Building a Better Commercial Real Estate Business

When you understand the basic simplicity of commercial real estate, you can see what you have to do to improve your market share and commissions. It is really quite simple. Here are the keys:

  1. Find and talk to all the owners of good property in your local area. One day they will need an agent to help them take the property to the market. You must set up some relationships here to help you capture that need when it happens.
  2.  Get to know all the owners of all the major businesses in you local area. They may own or lease property, but either way they will need a local propert expert to help them.
  3.  Watch all the listings that come to the market. Some will sell and others will not. Position yourself to take the listing when the vendor needs another agent to help them.
  4. Monitor all the prices and rents that are achieved in the local area. These facts will help you negotiate and list property.
  5. Keep in close contact with the local council and planning approvals office so you hear about the new developments as they come through.
  6. Look for changes in the business community that can have an impact on property owners and tenants.
  7. Every listing should be an exclusive listing. On that basis you can market property listings well without the threat of other agents jumping your client.
  8. If you work on commission, make sure you know lots about leases as well as sales. The two are linked and frequently create opportunities either way.
  9. Build your knowledge of the local area and the deals every day. Quoting facts and figures is part of the real estate game. Without figures you cannot negotiate.
  10. Practice your presentations and pitch. You will be up against others frequently in a listing presentation opportunity. Make sure that your offering and services are more relevant than the rest.  That does not mean that you have to discount; but it does mean that you should know why you are better than the competition and be able to prove it.

This is all logical stuff; its just that it takes hard work and real effort on the part of the individual. Are you up to the challenge?

If you want some more ideas about commercial property agency practice, check out our website at

The Traits and Habits of a Great Commercial Real Estate Agent

So many people enter the commercial property industry with little regard for the skills and knowledge that they need to develop. They get a job in an agency and then they start to look for opportunity and listings. If they had spent some time in understanding what goes on and what the market offers, they would save themselves a lot of time and effort.

The traits of a great salesperson and top agent are quite specific in commercial real estate. Here are some ideas to help you on the track to progress and success as an agent.

  1. The best agents know that their success is totally self-generated. On that basis what they do and how they do it each day, will be the blueprint for improvement. Action is omnipotent.
  2. You need to know a lot of people in the local property market. In most cases that will be several hundred people and you will have them in your database for ongoing contact. They are the decision makers that transact and own commercial property. When you control the good listings in your area, you capture the good property enquiry.
  3. Define quite clearly for yourself just who your clients are by type and location. This definition will help your prospecting model and prevent you chasing people that can waste your time.
  4. Research new people to call and contact every day. Without new people on your list, your business will slow and eventually stop. Good strategic planning saves you a lot of time and effort. Time is your main resource so use it wisely.
  5. Commit to a process of excellence in what you do and how you serve your clients. There are far too many generic agents in the property market that promise the world and provide nothing.
  6. As a basic rule, push every listing towards a sole or exclusive listing. When you control your listings you can devote time to marketing and attracting the right enquiry.
  7. Test and measure all your marketing on every property listing so you understand what works and what doesn’t. When the enquiry is slow, take a look at the format of your adverts, where you are lodging them, and what target market you are chasing.
  8. Get lots of signboards into your territory. Ensure that you have your name on a good number of quality property listings. In that way you will get more enquiries and that will help you build your database. Qualify everyone that you speak to; get their contact detail before you give out information.
  9. A database is your foundation for a better business and more commissions. The software that you use does not have to be complex or expensive; it is the process that is more important. The database process is quite personal and should not be delegated. Commit to your database and make it a part of your daily efforts and resolve for a better business.
  10. Monitor all the existing listings with other agents in the local area. You are responsible for your market and your market share; your boss and your agency have nothing to do with your progress and listings. When you really understand that fact, you will likely be more open to taking the right action to build your business.
  11. Decide what the main things are that you should do every day to build market share and listings. There will likely be 3 or 4 that are critical to help you build your business. They will be part of your marketing process.
  12. Practice your negotiation and presentation processes. You are competing with other agents all the time, and on that basis your offerings and services have to be superior.

How many great people are out there like this? Not many; and that is the opportunity that you can seize and develop. Is it hard work? Yes, but wouldn’t you expect a good thing to be hard work? Take action today and change some habits.

You can get some more ideas to help your career in commercial real estate at my website

Best Marketing Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

When you work in commercial real estate today, the pressures for finding the buyers and sellers is high. On the seller side of the equation you can find plenty of them when you prospect and cold call every day. That being said, not enough agents do the prospecting at sufficient levels to get anywhere. The end result is slow progress in penetrating their market.

A good question to ask here is why would you not do something if it could bring you great benefits and market share? Only a few agents and salespeople out of every 100 ever really deal with the personal prospecting requirements and consistently get it right. In saying that there is a huge opportunity awaiting those agents and salespeople that take the required action.

Agents need to market themselves more. If and when they do that, results start to come in. It takes a good 3 months of hard effort to really create the change, but you will see new things happening fairly quickly. So what actions should you take? Try these for measure:

  • Prospect by cold calling each working day for a period of at least 2 hours
  • Selectively walk down the streets containing local businesses and drop in your card. Try to speak to the business owner about the local area and their property needs.
  • Get more signs into your territory on each and every listing. Your name should feature on all the signs that you place on your listings.
  • Build a significant database of tenants, business owners, landlords, developers, franchisees, franchisors, and financiers.
  • Look back into the local sales records for your area and contact call the property owners who purchased property about 3 or 4 years ago. They will be the next ones to make a move on property.
  • Talk to all tenants in your area about the expiry date of their leases. Keep in touch with them as that date gets nearer in case you can help them with alternative premises or property

Marketing yourself as a commercial property expert is not hard; it just takes consistent effort. That is where so many agents fall down. Are you up to the challenge?

You can get more free tips and ideas for commercial real estate agents and salespeople at my website

Building a Commercial Property Sales Team

A career in commercial real estate sales and leasing is not for the undisciplined and unfocused salesperson. I am probably going to upset a few people here in what I write, however some things should be said to those that want a career in the industry or perhaps those that are employed already in the industry and trying to improve their position or income.

You can make a lot of money in the property industry if you work hard. The work however will not come to you unless you go out and find it. It really does not matter who you work for, because most of the leads and opportunities will be self-generated. To so many people start in the industry thinking that the business will come to them easily and directly simply because of the agency they work for. This just does not happen.

To be successful in the commercial real estate market, there are many things to consider and act upon. Here are a few of the big ideas and concepts that work for many:

  1. Each and every day you need to prospect for new leads and opportunities. This is a personal skill and cannot be delegated to anyone else. Even as you become more successful, the prospecting process still remains as a personal task that you cannot delegate. The real fact of the matter is that when you stop prospecting, your commissions and listings stop.
  2. One of the most important business tools you can use is a database software program. Certainly you do not have to spend a lot of money in the process of finding the right one; you simply have to use something that is simple and efficient. The process of success that you get from a database comes from the activities and calls that you do every day. This will take something like 2 or 3 hours each and every day to make the calls to new people that you had never spoken to before. This requires research the night before so that your call time is efficient and focused. This is how you build your pipeline of opportunity.
  3. Knowledge in the industry is a big part of the process of presenting, negotiation, and closing. Most of the people that buy, sell, and lease commercial real estate will be business people or property investors. They will usually know a lot about the property market and the property type. The negotiations that they undertake with you will be focused and factual. The only way you can work with people like this is to be equal to or better than the information and knowledge that they have.
  4. They say that practice makes perfect. Commercial real estate is no different given that you are working with many different people each and every day. The more people that you talk to, the more leads and opportunities you will find. The critical parts of the business are prospecting, pitching and presenting for new business, the listing process, inspecting properties, and negotiating. Every stage of the process requires practice and perfection. Those agents that are random or inexperienced really do not last unless they choose to improve. The clients that we deal with require the best experience and the most knowledgeable people; inexperience and inefficiency stands out.

There is a significant amount of work in these four items above should you choose to improve your commercial real estate career. The rewards are great for those that take the right action and practice the processes.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate as a career, visit our website at

Information Memorandums for Commercial Real Estate Sales

In complex commercial and retail property it is common to use information memorandums (IM) in the marketing and inspection process. As an agent for many years I have seen all types of IM’s and everything from the good to the very bad. The fact is that an IM can assist the sale process and help the inspection process for the agent or salesperson.

The things covered in the IM are accurate and detailed; errors cannot be made. Topics include:

  • Title details
  • Land and Plot details
  • History of the property
  • Recent survey plans
  • Tenant plans of fitout
  • Encumbrances, Rights of Way, and Easements on the title
  • Tenant Mix information and status of any lease or vacancy matters
  • Tenancy Schedule and Lease Information
  • Outgoings history, reconciliation, and budget
  • Pictures of the property today
  • Rental and incentives information
  • Capital Expenditure information
  • Depreciation Schedule of Capital items
  • Orders, Notices, and other obligations on the property
  • Rates and Taxes information
  • Improvements on the property (Structural, Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulic)
  • Expert consultants reports on specialist matters
  • Environmental and Heritage reports (if applicable)
  • Energy ratings and compliance
  • Sales turnover and MAT (retail shopping centres)
  • Customer visits and numbers (retail)

So the list can go on depending on the complexity and type of property. Importantly the information that is displayed in the information memorandum must be accurate in all detail. Get the property owners to certify its accuracy and approve its use before you send it out to any people making enquiries.

The IM can take many days to compile. It is a lot of work, but it is part of selling a large commercial or retail investment property. If I was the agent marketing the property, I would charge a fee for the IM report compilation. To me the fee should be of the order of $2,000 in the case of a large property and that cost should be a vendor paid item as part of preparing for the sale.

In my view a good IM is just so important to the marketing and sales process. It would not be handed to any person until they had signed a confidentiality agreement.

That is what I think and do about IM’s in commercial and retail real estate. Get some more ideas from my toolbox at

How to Close a Meeting or Sales Pitch

In commercial real estate you do a lot of presenting and pitching. Just about every stage of the commercial property sale or lease process has one form of sales pitch or presentation that you have to use. Here are the main ones:

  • Making the contact
  • Getting the meeting
  • Showing your properties or services
  • Converting to a listing
  • Inspecting the property
  • Closing on the lease or sale negotiation
  • Getting the offer signed
  • Getting the contract or lease document signed
  • Arranging the move in date or settlement

In all of this there is one process that is overlooked or not handled well by most agents and salespeople. It is this. At the end of the meeting or presentation most salespeople are not asking to set the next date and time of the next meeting. They are simply leaving that to be arranged over the telephone at a later and different conversation.

Understand this; it is easier to set up another meeting when you are with the person, than it is to leave it to another day. The next time you call them they may have changed their mind or could be hard to find or talk to.

In this business it is not wise to loose time between connections or meetings. Keep up the momentum between each stage of the deal by asking for the next time and meeting to be set up.

Commercial real estate does not have to be hard if you work smart. Keep things moving by clear decisions on the next meeting; you are in control of your time and the transaction when you take this simple strategy of moving through the client connection and presentation process.

My name is John Highman and this is what I do in my business. You can get some of my other ideas for commercial real estate agents at my website

Retail Shop Leasing Strategies

Today the retail part of the property market has challenges particularly for tenants in the levels of sales and turnover. That then has flow through for landlords we act for by way of rent, vacancy threat, and tenancy mix. When Landlords own a retail shopping centre there are some issues to balance here. If you manage or lease a shopping centre, the task of making the landlord and the tenant happy can be a difficult balance to achieve. Professional skills as an agent in retail property now become really important.

A good retail specialist agent will know how to handle the tough stuff. By that I mean:

  • How to encourage more retail sales for the tenant mix in the shopping centre
  • How to move and position tenants to better locations in the property
  • How to analyse the trade and customer demographics for the shopping centre
  • How to replace tenants if vacancies occur
  • How to work with landlords in times of rental and retail sales difficulties
  • Negotiate a deal with tenants that still allows them to trade and continue to occupy premises

As a specialist Retail Real Estate Agent for many years, I have seen a lot of situations like this and appreciate the balance that needs to be achieved. Sometimes the landlords can be too focused on rent and return without the due regard for tenant viability and property performance. The basic facts of the situation always come back to the ability of the tenant to trade. If the landlord does not help boost the trade in the shopping centre for the tenants, then the property performance equation starts to shut down. Ultimately the property underperforms as tenants fail and leave.

In this property market any vacancies can be a real challenge and hard or slow to lease. Retail tenants are feeling trade slowdown and are reluctant to take risks in relocation or expansion. The status quo remains.

The message is for you to improve your retail skills to help the shopping centre landlords achieve the best available property performance in this market.

My name is John Highman and that’s what I think. If you want any more help on this topic, visit my website at

To your success as a real estate agent.