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Time Management Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

Business man with finger tips pointing upwards
Manage your time, maximise your results.

Without a doubt, time is the most difficult issue to handle in commercial real estate.  Everybody wants some part of your time on a daily basis.  If you respond to all the requests and interruptions that come your way, you will simply get nothing done of any importance.  Here are some tips for commercial agents from our regular bulletin.

Most people that struggle in the commercial real estate industry are those that have not systemised their day and defined the essential and most important tasks.  They simply move from job to job in a random way, achieving very little.

It’s a fact, that these are the challenges that are quite typical in the industry today:

  • The office meetings occur on a regular basis
  • Sales and listing presentations occur on a regular basis
  • Inspections of properties need to occur with the team as part of the office marketing process
  • Clients want to meet with you to discuss the marketing of their property
  • Prospects ring you to inspect properties at short notice
  • The marketing of a new listing has to be created and lodged with the media in a short amount of time
  • Negotiations with current listings are protracted and detailed
  • Documentation has to be created to support recent activities with listings, contracts, and leases.
  • The boss wants your weekly sales report on his or her desk by the end of the day
  • Prospecting has to occur on a regular basis
  • All of your current listings require regular client briefings and updates

So here is the good news; every top agent has the same problems to deal with.  They simply understand how to deal with them and create a system to support the process.

The reality of the above issues is that they will not go away.  They will exist and will require attention.  Your response processes are really important and will help you break through the barriers.

To deal with this productively, determine the three or four things that are really important to your career and job.  Those three or four things will make or break your success in the industry.  When you know what they are, they will need to be merged into your diary on a daily basis.

The number one issue on the list will be prospecting.  Regardless of how long you’ve been in the industry and how much you know about commercial and retail real estate, prospecting should always take up 20% of your business day.  Working on a standard assumption of the hours that you normally commit to the job, your prospecting should therefore take up two or three hours every day.

In some real estate offices you will see sales managers and salespeople excessively plan their activities, budgets, targets, and strategies.  The common reality of most of those plans is that they will finish up in the bottom drawer of the desk; they will be overlooked or ignored.  On a monthly or quarterly basis the plans will likely be pulled out for some lengthy discussion on performance and KPI’s.  If that is what occurs now, you will need to make some changes.

Excessive planning doesn’t work

Excessive planning only works for those people that require excuses, and excuses don’t pay the bills.  In this industry results matter far more than excuses.  Take steps to become an action person rather than an excuse person.  Formulate simple plans and avoid excessive planning that will tie you up in knots.  Be flexible to the industry and situations around you on a daily basis.  See what can be done and take action.

Successful commercial real estate salespeople (the top agents) build the career on simple regular actions.  Decide what those three or four things are that can make a lot of difference to your results, and take action towards them every day.

Get some more free tips for commercial real estate agents right here.

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Commercial Property Agents – How to Do a Lease Audit in Property Management Handovers

High rise office buildings
Always do a lease audit at property handover

When you take on a new property management listing, one of the key things that must be done very soon is a lease audit.  Without a lease audit you really do not know what you have in the tenant mix and how the property is performing with the existing tenants.  Here is an article from our bulletin for Commercial Agents.

The audit process will help you understand big and important issues including the following:

  • Tenants by name  and location
  • Rental conditions from the lease
  • Upcoming options and rent reviews
  • Arrears and current rent charges
  • Risk and Liability that can apply to each lease
  • Tenant and Landlord covenants that must be complied with
  • Special terms and conditions in the leases that could apply to the tenant or the landlord
  • Permitted use provisions of the premises, etc

So, the audit process will tell you a lot about the property and its current status.  Checking leases against the events that are applicable to the tenants now will let you know if all lease matters are up to date.

It is interesting to note that far too many property managers will accept the detail of a tenancy schedule without checking the leases for each tenant.   It is so common to find that tenancy schedules are not up to date or are incorrect.  That then is a recipe for disaster and errors with the property.

Here are some tips to do a lease audit with your new commercial or retail property management appointments.  You can add to the list so you create a checklist that can be used over and over as you bring in new properties to manage.

  1. Inspect the property so you understand what it looks like and just where everything is.
  2. Make a list of tenants as you inspect the property, so you can cross reference that information later from the leases.
  3. Get plans and drawings of the property that show you the layout of the common areas and the leased areas.
  4. Check out the boundaries of the property so you know what other businesses or property owners are adjacent.  Look for any issues of conflict in boundaries and property usage.
  5. Go through all the leases with reference to the information that you gained in your property inspection.
  6. Create your list of information from the lease review, with particular attention to rent reviews, options, end of lease dates, tenant names, locations, and rentals paid.
  7. Get an up to date list of rent payments for each tenant.
  8. Check for arrears with each tenant.
  9. Split the rent charges into rental (all rents for the premises), outgoings, recoverable charges, and any other miscellaneous charges.
  10. Look for supplementary information and documents of occupation such as naming rights, car parking, common area usage, storage, and other charges.

All of this information must be cross referenced against what you see in the property, the rent invoices today, the discussions that you have with the tenants, and the handover information that you may have been given by the previous property manager or landlord.

If you need more ideas and tips to help your commercial real estate activites, join our community right here.

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Commercial Leasing Agents – Strategies for Finding New Tenants Today

business man thinking
You can plan your commercial property leasing strategy.

When the property market slows or changes, you need to develop specific strategies for finding new tenants in commercial and retail property.  Specialist leasing agents have ongoing tenant connection strategies for this very purpose.  Here are some tips from our bulletin for Commercial Agents.

As business and economic cycles change, tenants will come and go from the local business community.  Importantly you really do need to understand the changes and opportunities that are occurring locally.

Regular contact with business leaders and business proprietors will give you greater leverage in future tenant placement and lease negotiation.  Every day you should be talking to more tenants in the local business community.  Once the door of contact has been opened, it is wise to speak to these business leaders at least once every 90 days.  Potentially they will at some stage require some property assistance and a new lease or lease occupancy.

Here are some strategies for finding new tenants in this property market.  Given the volatility of your business community and local area, you can add to this list as appropriate.  The resultant checklist becomes very powerful in finding the right tenants for the right property when circumstances require it.

  1. When it comes to a particular listing that has remained vacant, check out all other adjacent properties in the local area.  There will be successful businesses nearby that may need to expand premises for a particular business reason or business unit change.  Use your current vacancy as a reason to talk to other local business proprietors nearby.
  2. The local accountants and solicitors are a good source of business intelligence and leasing change.  They work with the successful business proprietors needing property assistance and property adjustment.  They are more likely to know those local businesses that need leasing help over the coming 12 months.  If you can establish your reasonable level of trust with these professionals, you will find leads and opportunities being fed back to you.  The way to open the door here is to provide local market information relative to commercial and retail property.  Regular contact will see the levels of trust being established.
  3. The business franchise groups in your city may have a need for another business location.  Check out all the franchise groups and understand who their property decision makers are.  Speak with them regards the typical property needs that apply when they lease new premises.  Also ask them for a summary of the standard terms and conditions that apply in any new lease negotiation.  These facts will help you with positioning and negotiation with your landlord clients and their properties.
  4. Some tenants need to consider expansion or contraction of the business operation.  On that basis you can be contacting the business proprietors throughout the local region.  When they get to the last 18 months of their current lease, they are quite likely to be receptive to discussions on the current property market and lease or rental issues.  Providing them with a monthly update on the property market is a sensible strategy.
  5. Check out the decision makers in all the large local businesses.  They are likely to be looking for property change, expansion, contraction, or investment from time to time.  They may also purchase a property for future expected business needs.
  6. Understand the lease renewals and lease cycles that apply to all the major properties in your local area.  Tenants will seek local property information before they make choices regards moving or relocating.  Constant contact is part of the process to open the door on a potential new lease.
  7. Look for sale and lease back opportunities with those businesses that own their premises but want to release some capital from their property ownerships.

It is quite possible to find new tenants even in the toughest of property markets.  The process requires strategy and system on the part of the leasing specialist.

When the property market appears slow and sluggish, you really should look at it in reverse understanding that you have an abundance of quality listings to put to the potential tenants looking to change location.  Lease opportunity is always out there and will be a great source of commission when sales slow.

Need some more tips on how to do leasing of commercial or retail property?  Try our regular bulletin right here.

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Traps in Leasing Commercial Property and How to Avoid Them

Office property lift foyer
Leasing commercial property needs strategy and control.

When you lease commercial property you want things to run smoothly so you can get the tenant into the premises as soon as possible and have the rental and income flowing.  Now all that is just fine, but the leasing process is quite complex and a few unexpected problems usually arise as you proceed through the leasing stages.   Here are some tips from our bulletin for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

It is best for the property manager or landlord to develop a checklist to help lease negotiations and keep matters under control.  In a complex property the lease matters are numerous and can slow down the final agreements and access to the premises.  That being said, there are no short cuts when it comes to leasing, and the best lease agreement is one that has been well controlled from the start.  Never let a tenant have access to the premises until they have fully complied with the terms of the lease agreement and lease.

To help your checklist creation and process for the leasing of the premises here are some things to consider.

  1. Get the lease document created as quickly as possible.  The lease should reflect the essential main terms of agreement between the parties that arose in the negotiations.  The landlord’s solicitor should prepare the lease in accordance with the factors of the property and the instructions of the landlord when it comes to standard leases for the property.  Some solicitors can take an unacceptable length of time to create a lease document to be signed by the parties.  A lease document should be created and presented to the parties for signature within 48 hours of the initial lease agreement.  From that point onwards the discussions and debate between the parties can slow things down, so stay on top of all issues and pressure the parties to keep things moving.
  2. The lease document should always be signed, deposit paid, rent paid, and guarantees lodged, before any premises access is given to the tenant.  Everything from the initial lease agreement should have been satisfied and signed off before keys are given to the tenant.
  3. Fit out plans, drawings, and approvals are required before any tenant fit out works commence.  The approvals for such works should have been correctly obtained from the landlord and the local building regulatory authority.
  4. The finishes and types of materials to be used in the fit out should be approved by the landlord so that the building maintains a level of consistency in presentation.
  5. Security systems and locks on the premises should be maintained to the building master key system.  In this way the landlord and the property manager can access the premises in times of emergency or when and if a lease default occurs.
  6. The permitted use of the premises should be in accordance with the planning regulations and the lease as signed by all parties.

The process of putting a tenant into a property is complex, and every step of the process should be carefully managed.  Keep notes on any discussions and actions taken by all parties.

If you need some more tips on leasing for commercial and retail real estate agents you can get our bulletin here.

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Commercial Agents – What Should You Do in Slow Leasing Markets?

commercial office tower and leasing market
Leasing strategies in city office towers

The leasing market will become difficult and slow from time to time.  It really doesn’t matter what property type you work on, you simply need to be sensitive to the pressures of supply and demand that impact your local area.  Here are some tips from our bulletin for commercial property agents.

As property leasing experts, we need to see the rental and leasing market changes before they take a real hold and then impact our clients property.  That foresight would normally involve ongoing research with rental levels, lease incentives, tenant enquiries, property improvements, and new developments in the local area.

So if you are experiencing a slow property leasing market the following strategies will be very useful.

  1. Local businesses will always be a valuable source of market intelligence and future leasing needs.  Business people talk to each other and share information about property changes, business pressures, and landlords.  When you connect with the local businesses on a regular basis you will see and experience a goldmine of opportunity and information.
  2. Competing properties exist in your local area and will have impact on the marketing of your listings.  When you are marketing a property or tenancy for lease, you really do need to know about the competition that you are up against.  Compare the rentals, the lease terms, and the property improvements.  Advise your landlord accordingly so they can make adjustments in their marketing of vacant space.
  3. Tenancy schedules should be obtained for as many large quality properties that you can get your hands on.  The quality properties will contain larger and successful businesses.  Over time you can build your own tenancy schedules within the targeted buildings by talking to the tenants and inspecting the properties.  Enter the information into a database so you can maintain ongoing contact in a relevant way.
  4. Accountants in the local area will normally serve the local business proprietors when it comes to issues of business performance and taxation.  On that basis you will find that accountants are very good sources of lease leads and opportunities.  Build relationships with these accountants so they come to respect your skill as a leasing expert.  Very soon they will let you work with the business pressures of occupancy that can apply to some of their clients.
  5. Franchise groups are always looking for new space to occupy subject to their business type and lease requirements.  Get to know the franchise groups that are active in your area and location.  Further to that you can identify franchise groups that have not as yet moved into your territory.  They will all require particular property types and lease terms and conditions.  You simply a matter of understanding the needs so that the appropriate properties can be provided at the right time.

Database tools and technologies are integral to making inroads into the local business community.  Prospects and business proprietors should be entered into the database given their property types and needs.  Over time your database should grow to at least 1000 qualified people.  When you grow the database through continual daily effort, the leasing opportunities will start to grow, as will your commissions.