There are many types of clients and prospects in commercial real estate. They will have different pressures and priorities relating to property sales, leasing, and property management. This is where top agents tend to excel given that they have taken the time to understand the clients and their prospects needs. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
Most transactions initiated by top agents are created from a match of circumstances and people. Many transactions occur off market between willing parties that have been correctly matched and serviced.
To move down the path of exceptional client connection there are some rules that can apply to the evaluation and implementation process. You can refine the following points to suit your market and property specialty:
The most obvious factor in all client connections will be the need to establish the identity of the decision maker. You need to know who that person is and how they make decisions. You also need to know how to contact them directly.
In commercial real estate it is not unusual to have unusual circumstances relating to the decision-making process. The businesses and boards of directors that we deal with have certain criteria and procedures that need to be satisfied. The circumstances can apply differently when it comes to sales, leasing, or property management. In many situations these clients or prospects will require reasons to make a transaction or decision. They are accountable to others and the reasoning processes are all part of building a case to do a transaction.
Most transactions will have some form of obstacle or challenge. They will be things that you can work with successfully and through in most circumstances, providing you understand the bigger picture from the prospects or clients position. Match the client to the property; the process is quite effective.
Look for circumstances that match when it comes to dealing with people within a transaction or a listing. The match will give you something to work from and grow the transaction. In many cases the match will be based around a property type, property size, leasing or investment opportunity, and timing of the transaction. Great negotiators know how to work through these issues and do the match.
Differentiate your approach and your logic with the transaction through clear thinking and the provision of options. In many cases you will find that the parties to the deal will agree and accept the offering if you provide them with some alternatives. The same principle applies when it comes to marketing funds being sourced from the client in the listing.
Your approach in commercial real estate should be that of an adviser. Whilst you may see yourself as a salesperson, you will find that the top agents are viewed as advisors to the clients that they work for. To build your advisor profile, you will need market knowledge, and specific experience relating to the property type. Clients and prospects like to deal with agents of skill and relevance. They like to deal with the best experts available.
All of the above issues can significantly strengthen your market share and listing capability. Take steps to build your personal brand as the market specialist you want to be.
In commercial real estate today, we see far too many agents offer discounts and marketing cost benefits as part of the sales presentation or pitch. If the client is looking for a discount before they will make a decision on the listing, then they are not the client that you need. It is better to walk away from these clients. If they are basing their listing decision on ‘cheap’ and ‘shortcuts’ they are likely to be difficult clients when it comes to negotiations with serious and reasonable prospects. Here is a tip from our Newsletter.
In this market buyers or tenants are very aware of market conditions, and they will not offer above market prices or rents, or enter into unrealistic negotiations with unmotivated vendors or landlords. There are lots of other properties to choose from today.
The reality of commercial real estate market today is that sales and leasing transactions are slow and difficult to put together. The average transaction does not occur quickly or easily. Real focus and effort is required on the part of the salesperson or agency to resolve the property pain for the client, and that takes time and a strategy. The word ‘discount’ doesn’t feature as a requirement or have any relevance.
Discounted commission or discounted fees in the sale or lease process create the following issues:
The agent will be more inclined to work on properties where the fee is more realistic and appropriate for the volume of work concerned.
The agent knows that the client is not totally committed to the sale or lease process and on that basis it is more likely to be an adversary in the marketing and negotiation activity.
Sometimes a client will look to the agent to cover the marketing costs as part of the promotional campaign. Most agents in that case will selectively and restrictively market the property within a small budget.
The reality of property sales and leasing today says that we have fewer buyers and tenants to work with for the average property listing. Levels of enquiry are slower and negotiations are longer. Getting the message out to the marketplace is more important than ever before.
So the best agents today in their sales or listing presentation will firmly commit to the following process in front of the client.
They will define the best strategy and timing to take the property to the market. This will include due consideration for market conditions, competitive properties, methods of promotion, levels of enquiry, and pricing or rental strategy.
They will comprehensively determine the target market that best suits the property to be promoted. When the target market has been defined, it is much easier to create a specific marketing campaign and seeking vendor paid marketing funds.
They will recommend the marketing campaign across a number of initiatives relevant to the target market. Most marketing campaigns run for a period of six or eight weeks and then slow right down. A full 60% to 70% of the marketing funds should be spent and committed to the first half of the campaign. This is how you build momentum and enquiry. It should also be said that the every aspect of the marketing campaign should be tracked for results; if something is not working, you change it.
Good agents will personally commit to direct marketing including canvassing the streets and businesses, cold calling, and database contact and review.
There are many more reasons to appoint an agent on a full commission than to provide discounts. Clients should be given the specific reasons why discounts and shortcuts do not work in this market.
The role of a top commercial property agent is quite special. They do unique things on a daily basis and then build their business at every opportunity. Top commercial real estate agents are leaders in the property industry. They understand the differences between sales, leasing, and property management, and can pitch their services from each and every angle as required. They can comprehensively cover the market place and the services offered. Here is a tip from our Newsletter.
So the top agents are real achievers and manage themselves with specific focus, however they lead in the industry due to deliberate steps and strategies that they take every day. You can replicate the strategies for yourself and create a stronger market share.
You could say that the top agents have a particular mindset, and that supports the actions that they take. Here are some attributes common with high performing salespeople and top agents.
They place a high value in the connection with the customer or client. Whilst the prospect may not be a source of business today, there are future opportunities in establishing good relationships now. The services available to clients in commercial real estate vary between sales, leasing, and property management. Understanding the differences and then pitching services across the disciplines is highly important.
To extend the relationship and the communications with prospects, there has to be some form of value to connection. That can be in the form of some local market a property information, newsletter, industry briefing, and market updates. The whole process should be personalised to the name of the particular agent or salesperson. Whilst they work in an agency, it is the salesperson that builds the business. Their name and their personal image is of high value to the ongoing communication.
Prospecting and cold calling should occur on a daily basis. Top agents will do this themselves understanding that they are marketing their name and their image into the local area. On average, a top agent will spend approximately 2 to 3 hours each day on the prospecting process.
Every prospect needs to be qualified before the connection is encouraged. There is no point in wasting your time simply for the requirements having a meeting. Only meet with the people qualified to participate in commercial property locally. Top agents understand this process and focus on the higher quality clients in the area.
The negotiation process in commercial property today can be a challenge based on the pressures that apply to the industry. Finance and other negotiation issues slow the average transaction down and extend negotiation over days if not weeks. Good agents stay with the process to the very end to ensure that the transaction is completed in accordance with the client’s wishes.
A top agent will focus their daily activities with high priority towards business building and client connection. Unnecessary matters or things that have low priority should not rank in the business day.
The best agents and salespeople will interact personally with the clients they act for, and tenants, sellers, and buyers as the case may be. This allows the transaction to be professionally documented and closed.
Commercial real estate today is a challenge for a number of reasons. There are however many agents still earning significant commission from successful transactions. You can also do this providing you commit to the self-management process and the clients that you act for.