The cold calling mindset is really important in commercial real estate brokerage if you are going to get traction with reaching people and creating meetings. I have put this audio together to help the process.
The commercial or retail property management process can be time intense and quite frustrating. The observation is quite common. Most property managers will be intensely busy every day of the working week. On that basis they need to be organized to the tasks that really matter as part of providing quality professional services. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
It is worthwhile noting that an experienced property manager will bring significant skill and opportunity to the landlords that they serve. That will be across the property in a number of ways including the specialized disciplines below:
- Rental growth
- Expenditure control
- Vacancy minimisation
- Tenant mix strategy
- Property performance
- Lease documentation
- Safety and risk management
- Property value improvement
- Renovation and refurbishment
So there are plenty of ways that the manager can bring growth and opportunity to the clients that they serve. It is just a matter of understanding the plans and the targets of the client as they relate to the future of the property in the region. It is a wise process to create a property business plan on an annual basis to manage the variables of property performance for the client.
So let’s go back to the tasks and activities of the property manager. If the correct person is chosen for the portfolio and the client, the other balances required will include the following:
- Be aware of the amount of time it takes to manage a property for a client. Some properties and clients will require significantly more work than others. If that is the case, the intense workload should be reflected in the fee. One way of calculating a fee is to consider the amount of time each week a property will require for ongoing control. Consider the factors of the tenancy mix, lease documentation, maintenance, customer involvement, vacancy issues, and rental collection. The larger the property, more intense these issues will be.
- With quality clients and properties, the reporting process can be quite specific and tedious. The factors of income, expenditure, lease management, maintenance, tenancy mix, and documentation will require special processes and established guidelines. In a large property, it is not unusual to be reporting to each of these factors on a weekly basis. That written report will support any verbal instructions given or communications made with the landlord.
- The best way to get your job and portfolio under control is to work to a daily and weekly plan. It can also be said that the end of each month will be busier with reporting requirements and property analysis. So look at the factors of work that apply to each day, each week, and each month. Split the working day into two segments. The first half a day should be devoted to documentation and reporting issues. The last half the day can be devoted to clients and tenant contact. Obviously there will be some variations and pressures that apply.
So you work in a busy segment of the market. At least 80% of your time should be under control. In that way you will preserve the quality of performance and control that your clients require in commercial and retail property management.
In this property market it pays to work with the clients that are open and honest with you. Secure those clients on an exclusive listing. You will find all types of clients in the market today. Those clients that give you an ‘open listing’ are quite likely to be more difficult to deal with; so understand the differences and pressures of the listing types.
So what is wrong with an ‘open listing’ approach? Most of the time you will see that it is influenced by other agents and brokers talking to the client; frequently a client in that type of agency relationship is ‘closed’ to the realities of the market today. They want their price and fail to accept the facts of the recent market evidence.
So what does a ‘good client’ look like? Try some of these:
- Open and honest
- Ready to act
- Understanding the current market conditions
- Are motivated to make a decision
- Will keep you fully advised of their intentions and changes
- They give you some leverage in negotiating and closing on a deal
It is a fact that clients of this nature are more likely to be secured on an ‘exclusive’ listing for a reasonable period of time. Providing you get that listing, you can really drive the marketing process at a personal level. Exclusivity helps you believe in the listing and marketing process. You can then easily see the results at the end of the marketing ‘tunnel.’
It is worth noting that prospects and clients will come to you in a couple of ways. Some will feed to you through the office or brokerage leads. Others will respond to your prospecting activities. Lastly and most importantly many more good clients will convert to you by ongoing contact and relationship building. They are the ones that will likely be the ones to give quality to your market share and new business. For this reason your database and prospecting model is really important.
When you serve a top client well, it will ‘open the door’ on referral and repeat business. Look at those clients that you have helped over the years. Have you placed them into a ‘VIP’ process of contact in your database? Have you differentiated them from the general contacts and people that you have in your pipeline?
So the message here is quite clear. Focus on creating great client relationships that encourage ‘exclusive’ listings. Over time that will give you traction in building your market share with quality listings.
You can get more tips for commercial real estate brokers in our Newsletter right here.
The marketing process for commercial real estate brokers today has become very special. The online marketing process at a personal level is more important than ever before.
I have put this chart together to help commercial brokers and agents connect with their market on a professional business level.
It doesn’t matter if you are in sales, leasing, or property management, the same promotional and marketing rules apply.
You can get the free wall chart right here.
Any opportunity in commercial real estate today should be acted on quickly and effectively. If you ‘sleep overnight’ on the issue you will likely find that is not going to be there in the morning. There are many competing agents and brokers waiting to jump on the listing opportunities around you.
Here are some important rules to understand:
- Real estate today is becoming a global business that is traded on any day of the week at any time. You must be prepared to talk to a client or prospect on the telephone when he rings.
- The marketing process for commercial property has become timeless. Internet listings promote properties globally and across the country. Be prepared to take the enquiry when it occurs. Carry some standard forms as part of capturing inbound enquiry. Also carry a full set of current property listings ready to take the questions and inspections at short notice.
- Quality listings and good properties will create significant enquiry in any market. When you take a quality listing to the market today, be prepared to respond to the enquiries as they occur. A quality listing will create a significant amount of calls, and as a consequence, a good number of inspections. Time can be a precious commodity when you have a few high quality listings on the market are the same time. That being said, you still need to take the required actions and capture the enquiries effectively and efficiently.
- If the person wants to see you later in the evening or over the weekend as part of progressing to the next stage of a property enquiry, then create the meeting and let it occur. Far too many brokers are selective when it comes to critical meetings and property inspections. Certainly you should qualify the prospect before you arrange a time to meet, but be prepared to work the longer hours and over the weekend. A career in commercial sales is totally different to a standard 9 to 5 job. The rewards are many; however you do need to work hard.
- Every property inspection is an opportunity to get information. The person you are showing the property to may not necessarily move to the next stage of offer; however you will get valuable market intelligence from the connection. Ask the questions, and put that information into your database.
- In every property inspection, build a degree of urgency to encourage the buyer to move to the next stage. Local property knowledge about competing listings, prices, and time on market will help you with the urgency factor. Understand the other listings that are available and the differences that exist between those listings and your property. I go back to the point that a quality listing will always encourage and create a good number of inbound enquiries. Be prepared to work on those leads and opportunities as they occur.
From these points, it is easy to see that a commercial real estate agent or broker should be focused and diligent. A lead or an opportunity today needs to be actioned as soon as possible. In that way you will grow your market share quickly and beat the competition.
You can get more tips like this for commercial real estate brokers in our newsletter.
In commercial real estate prospecting some people will want to do business with you and others will avoid any real connection. You will get the feeling that some people really do not care for a connection or information. Look for the ‘signs’, and understand what is going on (or not going on).
You can spend far too much time in chasing people that are ‘not interested’. Whilst it is great to have a good degree of professional persistence in prospecting, the fact of the matter is that you must protect your time. If someone is not receptive to your genuine approaches and communication you should remove them from your contact process and simple move on to talking to others.
In any town or city, there are plenty of people to talk to. Momentum is really important when it comes to growing your market share and your contact database. In most towns or cities you will have several thousand business owners and property investors to talk to. Finding them remains the challenge; however diligence will get you there over time.
Here are some guidelines to help you with a system for prospect and client communication:
- Set some daily prospecting goals that you can relate to and believe in. That will usually involve a mixture of outbound calls, personal meetings, and property inspections. From that contact process you will find the people that really want to talk to you and build a relationship.
- If you are at the beginning of your career and prospecting activity, start with some achievable numbers so that you can grow your momentum easily and effectively. Ultimately you should be prospecting for 3 hours every day. In that time you should be making 40 to 50 outbound calls. That can be a daunting target for many people. If you are at the early stages of your professional career and prospecting is a developing habit, then make 15 outbound calls every day until that becomes an achievable habit and target. From that point onwards, you can grow the numbers at five extra calls per day to reach the level of 50 calls. When you reach the level of 40 to 50 outbound calls, your prospecting time will be saturated with activity and meeting opportunities. At that level you can sustain reasonable activity and attract new business. From 40 or so calls you should be able to connect with 15 people. From that connection you should get 2 meetings per day. That is how you build your prospect list.
- Practice your dialogue so that you can improve your connections and conversations progressively. In approaching a new person for the first time, the conversations should be based on trust and information. There is no point in pitching your professional services or pushing for a listing opportunity over the telephone; that can occur when you meet with the person and truly understand their needs in property today. Help the person trust you by providing valuable market intelligence and genuine property solutions.
So the key message here is for you to establish a contact and prospecting cycle based on trust; understand the necessity for filtering out the people that will not do business with you over the long term. Read the signs in any conversation, and avoid time wasting people. When you look at your sales territory and property speciality, there are likely to be many more people for you to research and connect with.
You can get more tips like these in our Newsletter right here.
In commercial real estate brokerage it is not unusual for agents to struggle or have a slump in business from time to time. The matter is resolved when they focus back on building market share and client base.
So why does a ‘slump’ in business happen? Whilst the market may change and the tenants or buyers could be slower to respond to a deal opportunity, everything comes back to the volume and quality of listings held by the broker. A good quality listing that has been correctly marketed will sell or lease most of the time.
So how can a broker or agent get out of a ‘slump’ in commissions and listings? Try some of these:
- Simplify the day so more of the correct things get done. It is a sad fact that diversions occur each day and far too many brokers let those diversions take over. Focus on the things that must be done; understand the importance of those things in business generation at a personal level. An agent that is struggling is usually well ‘off the rails’ when it comes to important business tasks.
- We are the products of our habits. Only our habits will help change the market and our commissions. Start a new habit per week and develop it to a high level. Focus on the key things that mean a lot to building market share. The question will then be what are the most important habits to develop? In most cases they are a mixture of the following; prospecting, presenting, inspecting, and negotiating. Take one of these habits per week at take deliberate steps to improve the process. When you have got the new skill underway, move on to the next one. I go back to the point that ‘habits’ are really important in our industry.
- Track your progress each day in the things that mean something to where you are headed as a broker and agent. In tracking the numbers you can improve your results in the things that matter. What would I track? Try these; cold calls, meetings, presentations, listings, inspections, and closed deals.
We must control the working day. We have work choices throughout the day and the choices that we make will build our market share or destroy it.
If someone wants a slice of your time and asks for an appointment, understand that only the most important people get time with you. Unimportant issues can wait to later in the day when the key issues in your business plan have been done.
You can get more tips like this at our main website right here.
In commercial real estate brokerage, you can get accelerated prospecting results when you systemise the process. It is just a matter of understanding what needs to be done within your property market today based on industry trends and opportunities.
There are always plenty of opportunities to be had in sales leasing and property management. Here are some tips to help you improve your prospecting efforts and business outcomes:
- In any period of 12 months, the property market will change in a variety of ways. Be sensitive to the changes when it comes to inquiry rates, and listing opportunities. Look for the patterns in property enquiry, prices, and marketing.
- Understand the factors of supply and demand that will change the balance of property occupancy and ownership. Ideally your business community should be growing within the region. Understand the pockets of priority and desirable locations that the buyers and tenants are looking for. Focus on those high priority areas.
- Split your territory or prospecting zone up into smaller segments. In that way you can focus your research and contact process. Ideally your territory should contain at least 2000 properties. You can split that zone up into groups of 100 properties based on a street or zone selection. From that point it is simply a matter of researching and contacting the property owners and businesses.
- Every day make a priority to contact at least 25 businesses in your designated area. That process is quite easy given that you can use the business telephone book and the Internet to capture the required information. A simple cold calling process is quite effective here.
- Every day research two property owners within your designated sales and leasing zone. This research can take time hence the allocation of only two property owners per day. Chasing down the required addresses and or telephone numbers is a strategic process and a high degree of investigation is required in most cases.
- Connect with the professionals in the industry that have clients requiring property assistance. Normally the best people to connect with will be solicitors and accountants. Establish levels of trust and service with these groups. Over time it is quite likely that they will release some of their clients to you for property help and assistance.
- Monitor the recent listings for all agencies and brokerages in your territory. When your competitors place a signboard on a property, it is an opportunity for you to network the surrounding properties and businesses.
- Look for the property ownership patterns relating to sales and leasing activity. Generally speaking, beyond four or five years of ownership you will find a property transaction occurring. That will be because the priorities of the property owner will have changed or improved. They may then seek to sell, expand, or lease. Research the historic sales in the area over the last 3 to 5 years. That information will help you create a list of targeted prospects for the future.
Don’t make your prospecting efforts too complicated. Do the job and keep it moving ahead. It is better to progress in a controlled way than try to do too much too soon.
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In commercial real estate brokerage, the sales pitch or the presentation that you provide to the client should have plenty of character and commitment from you at an individual level. You are the ‘first point of sale’. Everything with the listing hinges on your ‘first point of sale’.
Here are some tips below from our commercial real estate broker newsletter.
First and foremost in any listing presentation, the client needs to commit to you as the ‘agent of choice’ before they will listen to you with your recommendations and marketing solutions. Your character and commitment needs to flow into the presentation in a valuable way. Your skills and knowledge need to be superior to your competitors when it comes to winning the listing. Confidence and local property knowledge will help.
The presentations made by top agents are geared to personal involvement on the basis of an exclusive agency. When you control the listing, you can control the opportunity of a valuable transaction over time. Exclusive listings are easier to convert when you get involved in the marketing process at an individual level.
So how can you add ‘character and commitment’ to your listing presentation? Here are some ideas to help:
- Connect with the client so that you can totally understand their property needs and priorities. Question everything before you provide recommendations. Drill down on the needs of the client to get to the true facts of the matter.
- Every client will have certain challenges when it comes to price, rental, and timing. They will also have targets within their own mind as to what could be achieved. Those targets may be totally out of the question when it comes to the current market conditions.
- Provide the correct recommendations to take the client forward, and put yourself into the marketing process at an individual level. Let the client see how you will be taking the property to the tenants or the buyers in a direct way. Forget about generic marketing; it simply doesn’t work.
- Show the client the results you have achieved recently when it comes to properties of a similar type locally. Summarize the marketing solutions and the challenges in each case. Tell the client exactly how you promoted the listing and reached the target audience. Compare those actions to the subject property and what will be required to achieve inspections and negotiations.
- Your database is likely to be quite valuable when it comes to winning listings. Keep your database up to date and use it as leverage when it comes to pitching for a listing. Show the client the short list of prospects that you have already identified as part of marketing the property. When the property is released to the market, the people on your shortlist should be encouraged to inspect the listing as part of a pre-release. It is very difficult for a client to overlook or walk away from a prospective list of tenants or buyers. Use your database and your short list as leverage in the presentation to the client.
- Any quality listing should be directly marketed to the local area. That will be at a personal level in addition to any generic advertising you may be doing. Prepare a suitable flyer or brochure to take to the property owners and businesses in the same general location as the listing. As soon as the signboard goes on to the property, you can be door knocking the businesses and the property owners locally.
It is easier to win a listing when you get personally involved in the marketing process. That involvement can only occur with exclusive listings. Help the client understand the difference and commitment that they and their property will receive when it comes to an open listing and an exclusive listing.
In commercial real estate brokerage today, the blogging process will help you build market share and professional profile. That being said, the strategy does require commitment and focus. It is certainly something that you should carefully consider as part of building your professional image and social media strategy.
It is worthwhile noting that this process should only occur if you have a reasonable command of the written word and your property topic. Quality and information should flow through your article and your blog process.
So why is this so important? The process of blogging allows you to display your skill and knowledge to the Internet world, and potentially the clients and the prospects in your market today. When you do this correctly, the search engines will see you as an industry expert. You can also link up your social media activity into your blogging process.
There are always plenty of listings on the Internet, and you will have your fair share of those. The blogging process is entirely different to property advertising, and is based on information sharing. You will be writing about the marketplace in a valuable and meaningful way. Blogging is not a process of advertising properties, as that already occurs on your website and the industry portals.
So here are some things to think about as part of building your online profile in this way:
- Understand your niche market when it comes to property activity. Also determine the critical issues that relate to your geographical region, town, or city. From these factors, you can select keywords that apply to your region and property type. Those keywords can be fed into the articles and blogs that you write. You can research some of those keywords on the Internet based search engines using a keyword search tool. In most cases you can download the keyword search results using an excel spread sheet. That information will be quite valuable when it comes to connecting with your marketplace, writing advertisements, and building market share.
- Every article or blog that you write should be content rich. In other words you should write to a topic and a specific local property issue. The search engines love to see quality content relating to a topic. Choose your topics wisely and match them to the concerns and the activities of the property market today. Think of your blog as a newspaper that is talking to the market about relevant issues related to property. What would the readers like to hear? Within reason, you can be controversial and yet also remaining professional to the industry and the current property market.
- When you place a blog online, you can use tags or labels in each case to focus the search engines on your article. Choose those tags or labels based on the central topic, your location, and the property type. When you correctly do this, you will find that the blog will receive good hits and maximum exposure.
- From any blog that you write, you can link the article back to your social media activity. The same rules apply to linking back to your e-mail newsletter. Interesting information displayed in a concise and well-presented way will help you when it comes to professionalism as a top agent.
- To make the blog and the topic meaningful, write approximately 400 words in each case and with each topic. Split the article up into sensible paragraphs and dot points. That helps the readership conversion and retention.
- It should be noted that this marketing process is relatively low cost if not free. You only resources required will be your time and your intelligence.
So this becomes a specific strategy within your personal marketing plan. The blog should be something that you control and write to on a daily or weekly basis. Frequency is quite important when it comes to attracting the search engines. Most of your competitors will not be doing this at an individual level. On that basis, you can easily move up in the search engine rankings as an industry professional.
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In commercial real estate brokerage, it pays to go beyond solutions when it comes to working with clients and prospects. Show them quite clearly that you can provide a specific strategy and process to fast track their commercial or retail property challenge. Give them the process to move ahead.
In giving them the process and the action plan, this will usually be done in some form of listing presentation, sales pitch or property proposal. Whilst ultimately the client may wish to sell or lease their property, you need to show them the exact stages and the strategies in what can be a very complex situation. You can do this through a Gantt chart process.
So a Gantt chart can be placed in your property proposal to show the client the road ahead and your particular recommendations.
A standard lease or sale situation can be broken down into 15 to 20 specific stages. It is simply a matter of listing those stages on a Gantt chart in successive order. You can then apply a time frame to the process.
When the client reviews the proposal or the sales presentation, most of your discussion and recommendations can be formulated around the Gantt chart. You can talk to the process effectively and directly. The client can then see exactly what you are going to do as part of moving the property requirement ahead. Make it easy for the client to see through the complexity of finding a tenant or a buyer as the case may be.
In establishing this process for use within your brokerage, look at the typical sale or lease situation. As an example, I will provide you with a sales pattern.
As a general rule, the listing of a property for sale will involve the following stages:
- Property inspection and information gathering
- Reviewing the competing properties in the local area
- Understanding the history of previous sales
- Identifying the concerns of the client
- Establishing a target market
- Making recommendations to the client regards the property listing process
- Creating a marketing campaign for the approval of the client including all of the required advertising layouts, marketing funds, and campaign timing
- Seeking the approval of the client to the marketing campaign
- Implementing the marketing efforts
- Tracking the inbound enquiries from each level of marketing
- Directly contacting a short list of qualified buyers within your database
- Creating inspections with qualified parties
- Short listing buyers for negotiation
- Negotiating on the deal
- Documenting the contract and getting the required signatures
- Satisfaction of the terms and conditions of the contract including due diligence
- Moving the property to settlement
So there are plenty of things here to do. Each of these stages will have specific things to focus on. The stages can be formulated into a Gantt chart related to the agency timeframe. The process helps greatly when it comes to converting exclusive listings. It helps the clients see exactly what you are going to do as the broker and how important that will be to achieving a positive outcome. Your property solutions become more real and meaningful for the client and their situation today.
If you would like more tips on commercial real estate brokerage, you can get those in our Newsletter.
In commercial real estate today, the local property market has plenty of competitors chasing your clients and listings. The clients and prospects that we serve have lots of choices when it comes to the right agent for the right property. In the end, the client will choose the agent or broker with the best market penetration and control for the property type.
The marketing of commercial, industrial, or retail property is not an experiment, and your clients will be seeking the best solution in sales or leasing.
Your reputation matters from a business growth point of view in commercial real estate. Are you promoting yourself comprehensively to the right people in your town or city? Can you do it better? What is your ‘principal selling position’? Is your brand so strong that the clients and prospects seek you out?
Here are some good ways to grow your personal brand:
- Understand the differences between clients and prospects. Some are better than others. Some will own multiple properties in various locations. These special clients are what I like to call VIP’s. They should be encouraged and serviced at a top level.
- Ask for exclusive listings at every opportunity. If the clients want a top service from you, they must commit to you for a reasonable period of time. Give them clear reasons to do just that.
- Why should clients and prospects use you? Ensure that the answer is specific and not generic. Elevate your value to your clients with market coverage and knowledge.
- From every inspection, negotiation, marketing effort, and internet listing, there will be facts and information to feed back to your client. Put them at the centre of your response process. With the convenience of email, SMS, and voice mail you can communicate quickly and directly. Great client communication leads to referral opportunity.
- Every exclusive listing should be targeted to the right tenants and buyers. That takes real effort on the part of the broker or agent. Tell the client exactly what you will do on a personal basis to take the listing to the market today and how that should attract enquiry and inspections.
- There will be plenty of stories and examples that you can share from other properties locally. If your client is struggling with decisions and choices, give them a story of experience from another client that you have serviced.
- Establish a social media platform that is comprehensive across your client base. Feed into those social channels the updates of the market, recent listings, and comparable prices and rents. You can easily become a marketing expert in commercial property by providing up to date information.
- Give your client choices when it comes to taking action on a key issue. Choices facilitate momentum. That will help your listings and negotiations.
One last comment should be made here about personal branding in commercial real estate brokerage today. Take your business cards everywhere; you never know who you will meet and what the circumstances can be in the future. Your business card is the best marketing solution that you have.
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