In real estate brokerage, the industrial property market offers good levels of entry and activity. Why is that so? It is because the property type is ‘entry level’ for investors both in complexity and cost. It is not hard for an agent to know what is going on in the industrial market place and get the facts of what a property investor in that segment may be looking for.
The aspiring brokers and agents that are starting up in the industry will find it easier to understand industrial property first and foremost. From that point other property types can be incorporated into market activities and prospecting.
From a career perspective, and to help you get started in industrial property sales and leasing, here are some ideas:
The industrial property market is usually the first to respond in an upturn and a downturn. Watch the shifts in the economy to capture the market changes and listing opportunities.
Businesses centred on manufacturing and bulky goods usually need larger premises to operate from. They will chose locations that are relevant to regional raw materials, transport, customer demographics, occupancy costs, and business operations. This then says that a top agent in industrial property will spend substantial time getting to know the local businesses and what they are looking for in business operations, expansion needs, and locational change.
Some properties in this category can be tenant and business specific. If that is the case, any landlord should take care in structuring a longer lease with appropriate make good clauses at lease end. Also allow a reasonable lead time for a tenant making a decision on the exercise of an option. If the landlord needs to find a new replacement tenant for a highly specialised property, it can take some time to achieve the placement.
In this market segment, a top industrial property agent will work on both leasing and sales opportunities. One thing can very well lead to another.
With the predominance of industrial parks and the clustering of industrial tenants and businesses into the one location, there are special factors of knowledge that apply to the title types and the permitted uses under the leases. Get to know how these things work and can fit into the zoning and planning regulations for the local area.
Industrial properties will have configuration and improvement issues to understand. That will include hardstand, warehousing, office space, staff amenities, car parking, security, and loading areas. Use and configurations will change. Get to know what tenants and businesses are looking for locally in property choice and occupancy.
So this is a good market type to enter into as a commercial and industrial property agent. If you enjoy the market segment you can specialise for many years and achieve.
Talent in commercial real estate can be a number of things depending on the job specification, the local area, and the property type. The point is that you must hire people with ‘talent’ or ‘potential talent’ if you want a better brokerage and market share.
When you are employing people for real estate roles in sales, leasing, or property management, choose those people that match the demands of the role. Don’t employ someone that ‘thinks’ that they can do the work or is untested without applying a probation period. Employing the wrong person can waste a lot of time and money.
Real ‘talent’ in our industry will be specific to the role required and the person, but they generally have a set of ‘common denominators’. Here are some of those:
An ability to self-motivate under pressure
Real knowledge of the property type and the area locally
A willingness to learn new things and systems in real estate
Advanced communication and negotiation skills across all parts of the industry
Awareness of property strategies that apply in sales, leasing, and property management
Knows how to seek out new business and clients quickly and effectively
The ability to set personal goals and to then take steps to move towards them
A track record of achievement in the industry
A client base that is deep and proven for the local area
Someone that is personally committed to growing their business and can prove to you that they have a system to do so
Can you find a person with all of these ‘traits’? Yes they are out there; but they do take some finding. Question the candidates ‘track record’ in the industry and get some facts about their client base. Both issues will be important to the future of the role. Understand just where they have been and the achievements reached in doing so.
There are people that have some of these elements of ‘talent’, and a willingness to learn the rest. That’s where the full review process comes into importance and relevance. Through the job interview process understand just who you have before you and what they can bring to you. Skills, knowledge, and market experience all have value to the employment selection process. Make sure the person can prove that they are willing to learn and get evidence of how they have done that in other roles or brokerages.
As a final note here it is worth understanding that it takes a couple of interviews to really review a person considered for a sales position in commercial real estate. In the last interview you can ask them to do a presentation on ‘why they should be the best person for the role’. Don’t rush your choice or decision. Consider all the facts before you before accepting the candidate into your commercial real estate brokerage.