Here are some tips that I recorded in MP3 format for my commercial real estate friends. These ideas and comments relate to marketing and branding activities for top agents. You can get some ideas from how you can improve market share.
When it comes to leasing commercial and retail property today, franchise tenants are a special opportunity for property agents. These franchise tenants already have a proven business model, established business brand, and good track record. On a regular basis those franchise tenants are going to be looking for new premises as part of the expansion of their network of operations.
Landlords and Commercial property agents should work closely with these tenant types. To get that process underway, visit surrounding suburbs and towns. Look at the established franchise brands in all property types. See if those brands are already located in your territory or if they would consider a move or an expansion in that way.
So we need to set some rules here:
Franchise tenants know what they want by way of premises given that they understand their customer profiles and ideal premises configuration and location.
The leases used in these circumstances are likely to be a variation of the standard lease used by the franchise tenant.
The lease term will need to match the duration of the franchise agreement.
The branding and signage of the tenancy will require consistency that suits the property but also attracts customers. Brand consistency is really important when it comes to premises choices and occupancy with franchise tenants
Commercial and retail real estate agents can do very well in working with this segment of the market. Get to know the franchise groups and what they are looking for in property type and location.
Here are some questions to ask and issues to work with that can help you with this type of tenant:
What type of property best suits their operations now and in the future? Pay particular attention to expansion and contraction needs. The tenancy may have specific challenges when it comes to ongoing occupancy within their franchise agreement.
What locations are best suited to growth of trade and business? In can be that main roads or highways have something to do with property choice. Property and business exposure can help the franchise group within its branding.
Where will their customer be coming from and why? You will need some local population and business demographics to help you here.
Check out the competitors for the franchise tenant. Whilst the tenant you are working with will already have a good idea about their competitors, you also should seek to understand those market factors.
The rental structure for the tenancy will be a balance between the requirements of the landlord and the cash flow structures of the franchise group. The franchise fee will be an added cost in the viability considerations of the business in occupancy. The landlord will still want a market rental for the premises based on prevailing market conditions. Most franchise groups will take between 5% and 10% from the gross trading figures of the tenant. It is wise to ask the tenant for their cash flow projections based on occupancy costs, expected levels of trade, and local business conditions.
You can do very well as a commercial or retail property agent when it comes to working with these tenancy types. It is simply a matter of understanding and specializing with franchise brands. You can then identify the right properties that suit their business activities and projections.
In commercial real estate from time to time, you will get a slump in sales. That will come from a variety of challenges and market changes. When that occurs, it is important that you adjust your prospecting processes and market focus.
A slump in sales is a reason to shift your personal business practices and market segments. If the sales activity is genuinely slower for a long time, then you should start to look at the alternatives of helping landlords with leasing activity in the local area. Invariably you will find that a new commission opportunity still exists, albeit in a different way.
Here are some rules that should apply to the changing market conditions and a personal slump in sales:
A slump will only continue if you fail to adjust your prospecting and business efforts. In many respects, the downturn may have been created through a lack of personal prospecting and client connection. It is easy to stop prospecting when you have plenty of business on the go. That is the most common problem we see when it comes to this type of industry downturn.
Review your activities when it comes to new business generation. Take a serious look at your database to ascertain that it is up to date and accurate in every respect. If your database is lacking in any way, it will require immediate attention and that will involve plenty of phone calls talking to those people that you have overlooked or not connected with recently.
Talk to all of the clients that you have serviced over the last five years. It is a known fact that property owners and investors work to a cycle of ownership and disposal. Many property owners will act on a property decision or transaction once every 5 to 7 years. That is why the cycle of contact is so important to the business that we generate.
Ask for referrals from the clients and the prospects that you know. This is the easiest relationship building process available to us.
Get back into your sales territory and the streets that contain the quality properties. Door-knock the local businesses to introduce yourself and question them about their current property needs and activities. Most business owners and proprietors will know a lot more about their immediate local property market than you do. They are likely to share some of that information that can lead to some good leads and other connections.
Look for any new property developments and any rezoning applications. You can get this information from the local planning office. Whilst some of these transactions take months if not years to come to fruition, you can position yourself to help those property owners impacted by the changes.
Lift your presence on the Internet through social media activity and also specific property blogging activity. Show the online world that you are a real expert when it comes to the property type and the location.
To get over a slump in sales activity, it is simply a matter of changing your focus and your business habits. Put yourself back into a prospecting mindset and reconnect with the market in every way possible.
In commercial real estate agency you need strict daily procedures and market knowledge to help you build market share. When you start your career in the industry it is very easy to develop poor or incorrect habits that can threaten to derail your career. This is certainly the case if you are modelling your activities off some other agent that is less than professional or somewhat ordinary when it comes to business skills.
Time in the industry does not always build the skills of an individual agent or salesperson. Personal effort is required. Learn and grow your skills and knowledge in every way possible.
It is wise to watch and assess the activities of the best people in the market. Find out what they do and why. Check out their marketing and prospecting skills; see if there is something that you can replicate.
To help you in building your commercial real estate business and listing focus, here are some tips and ideas to develop:
Define your sales territory by location and property type. You can then focus your prospecting into a zone on a ‘street by street’ and ‘property by property’ basis.
Organisation is the key; get a good database to help you with tracking information and leads.
Your ability to prospect will greatly impact the results that you get in listings and commissions. Top agents are great prospectors. This is a very specific skill and it can be refined to suit your market and territory. Practice in dialogue is the key.
Create a marketing folder that contains everything that you need in the field when talking with sellers, landlords, buyers, and tenants. You will need ‘visual’ material including charts, photographs, and comparable properties. Include with that a selection of listing forms and marketing proposals.
Create a set of 3 typical marketing strategies for the property types you work with. They can be used with the clients and prospects that you pitch your services to. The clients that we work with like to see and compare before they make choices in marketing and listing.
Start a weekly assessment of comparable properties, signboard counts, and current internet listings. From those facts you can check out the priorities when it comes to leasing and sale requirements from the market.
Quality listings will always give you better inbound enquiries from buyers and tenants. Assess you territory or sales patch for the best property locations and businesses. Those zones should contain the property targets and property investors that will help you with reaching market dominance.
Talk to more people every day. Always take the opportunity to fill your contact cycle and database with new prospects.
The commercial real estate industry has plenty of opportunity for those agents that work to a system and focus on growth of market share. Take charge of your career and get your systems and action plans in place.
The leasing segment of the commercial real estate market is particularly specialized. Many agents choose only to work on leasing opportunities within their property specialty. That being said, if property leasing is your primary source of real estate income, then you need to consider the quality of property that you work on and the clients that you serve. Low quality listings can be huge amount of work for very little personal outcome or commission. Choose your listings well. Don’t let low quality listings drain your resources and time.
Vacancies in good properties will always attract enquiry. Poor quality properties and vacancies achieve lesser enquiry; that will drag down the inbound enquiry and the achieved rental rate. The net result will be lower commissions. So you need to be selective on the properties and the premises that you work with from a leasing perspective.
So the first priority here is that you should focus on the servicing of good clients and good properties in the market. Research the local area to understand exactly where these clients and properties are located. Put them at the center of your prospecting processes.
It can take time to build the necessary relationships with the appropriate and the best landlords. To make the matter a little bit easier, build an extensive database of business tenants through the region. In that way you improve your value to the landlords that you serve. Soon they will know that you have the necessary tenant contacts and leasing opportunities that they need.
Here are some essential things to do every day as part of specializing in property leasing services:
As a general priority, focus on achieving exclusive listing appointments with the landlords and the vacancies that you service. In this way you can control your market. An openly listed vacancy will give you little opportunity to grow market share, and if you achieve a leasing result it will be by luck more than process.
The first thing that you should do every day would be in telephone prospecting and cold calling. Given that you work with business type tenants, most of your prospecting can occur between 8.00 AM and 10.00 AM. Most of the businesses in your local area will be operational in that time. Your focus should be to talk to the business proprietors and to understand their leasing and occupancy needs. So the prospecting call is a questioning process a rather than a sales pitch. Seek to understand the tenant’s needs and upcoming leasing issues.
Build a significant database as a result of your prospecting activity. That database should be split into tenants of different business types and locations. The tenant database should be separate to the landlord database; it should also be a lot larger. One of the factors of attraction when it comes to pitching your services to a landlord will be that of your database size and its relevance to the property type. For this reason, ensure that your database is comprehensive, large, and totally up to date. It is difficult for a landlord to ignore an agent that has total control and awareness over tenant movement in the local property market.
Stay in contact with all of your clients and most particularly those with an exclusive listing. Keep them advised of the changes to the local property market when it comes to supply and demand for leased space. Watch out for the new property developments that could impact market rentals, lease incentives, and occupancy rates.
Check out the listings that are still on the market and those that are new to your property segment. Wherever possible, identify the resultant lease terms and conditions relating to any finalize lease deal. There will always be a difference between an asking rent and an achieved market rental.
Make sure that your current lease deals are progressing based on the terms of the lease agreement and or current negotiations. Every lease transaction should be supported by valid market rental, guarantees, accurate and legal documentation, and suitable deposits. Stay on top of your current agreements and the parties to the negotiations. Make sure that your lease negotiations are not stalling for any reason.
A leasing agent is always closely watching the activities of tenants and landlords in the local area. You can add to this list above by understanding the greater property opportunity locally and the good clients that you are targeting. Set some rules and start prospecting.
When you work in a commercial real estate agency, sales listing activity can be a significant and major part of your commissions and transaction results. This then says that you should stay fully in control of your sales opportunities, prospecting, marketing, listings, and clients. You should determine the key things that should be done as part of building your sales transaction opportunity. Get to know your market, and grow the opportunities as you find them.
Some properties will demand more time and attention than others. The same can be said for clients. To segment and focus your efforts, only work with priority on the exclusive listings and the good clients behind them. Any open listings on your books can be attended to if and when time or opportunity permits.
It is very easy to get tied up in the pressures of the day when you are involved in commercial and retail real estate sales. Many people will place demands on your time for their reasons that are not necessarily essential and important to your personal income and growth of market share. Selective control of your time and your diary is a personal skill that will have a major impact on the transactions that you achieve and finalize. Stay focused; that’s the rule.
So the message here is that you should stay well in control of your business focus and your efforts. Here are some things for you to do every day as part of building your personal profile and listing opportunities.
Start the day with dialogue practice. Most of your sales success and prospecting activity will be based on your ability to converse, negotiate, and close. This then says that personal dialogue improvement will support you with the key parts of your business. You can practice your dialogue personally each morning when you arise. It is simply a matter of creating some dialogue sheets relative to prevailing market conditions and challenges. Develop some words and phrases that suit the typical challenges that arise as part of negotiating, listing, and transacting.
When you reach the office at the start of the day, the first activities should be based on prospecting. Given that we work with businesses and property investors, spend approximately 2 hours each morning talking to people within those groups. Use the business telephone book to identify the local businesses of relevance to your property specialty. Is very easy to put together a list of 40 or 50 businesses to call on a daily basis.
Your prospecting efforts will eventually produce meeting opportunities. Around the middle of the day those meetings should occur. Our industry is largely based on trust and long-term relationships. Get to know the people that can need your services now or in the future; build the relationships for the times that you can move to a transaction in sales or leasing.
Given that you will have a group of listings that you service, pay particular attention to your clients with exclusive listings. Keep them up to date with the trends of the local market, their property inspections, and any current negotiations.
When you have addressed all of these four issues, the rest of the day can be left wide open to the opportunities behind taking enquiries, qualifying, running inspections, and negotiating.
There will always be variations and pressures on your business day. Control your day as best possible. In this way you will get more traction when it comes to converting listings, and attracting enquiries.