If you are struggling to find new listings in commercial real estate then you can improve the situation by reviewing and understanding the listings of other agents in your location and your territory. You can use their listings as triggers to improve your listing and new client situation.
Use Other Agents as Listing Leverage
Here are some ways you can do that quickly and effectively:
Other agent’s listings for both sales and leasing – If another agent puts a signboard up on a property in a street, you can use that signboard as a reason to talk to local property owners in the immediate vicinity. Why is that the case, and why is it useful? Firstly it is likely that the other agent has not spoken to those nearby property owners to check out their property situation and interest; secondly any nearby property owner considering a sale or lease of their property, could be interested in competing using you as their agent. You can convert more momentum on your listings based on the marketing of the other properties.
Methods of marketing – Many if not most agents market their listings generically. You can use other agent’s listings as poor examples of marketing. The proof of that fact is usually seen in the time on market.
For sale by owners – There will always be an assortment of commercial real estate listings marketed by owners locally. Their motivation in doing so is usually to save money and avoid commission. The reality of the situation is that they do not have the resources of a good client database or marketing strategy. They cannot comprehensively market their property without a top agent to help. You can pitch your services to those property owners but do not discount your commissions; if they want your services to solve their listing problem then they should pay for it.
Properties in the same street – Review properties by street and location. Slowly move through the street and research the owners that you can talk to. By concentrating on a street by street basis you are delving deeper than most other agents. The property research as this level is time consuming and comprehensive; you will however find people to talk to and that is what the industry is all about. Find the right people and ask questions. In most streets you will find one or two listing opportunities now or in the future.
Poorly marketed properties – When you look at some listings on the internet you will see obvious signs of poor marketing. Usually those properties will be incorrectly photographed, and the advertising copy will be average at best. You can do much better with your property marketing and your listing or sales pitch you show the client how you can do that. Keep a selection and samples of recent listings with you where you can show the client that you really do have a different approach when it comes to property promotion. To be a top agent your marketing efforts should be superior and visually so.
Stale listings – Some properties will stay on the market for a long time. There are reasons for that and those reasons are usually easy to see. When the listing expires with another agent, you can offer a different approach of marketing and method of sale or lease. Base your listing and sales pitch on the tools that bring results.
So you have some good things to do here. Focus your marketing efforts around the weaknesses of other agents. Stand out as the best agent locally.
You can get more tips and ideas for commercial real estate brokerage right here in our bulletin.
The skills of your commercial real estate team will help you drive opportunity from the broader property market. Every client and every property will have various challenges when it comes to positioning or preparing the property for sale, lease, or management. On that basis the fuller services of the team can be put to good use.
The suggestion here is that you involve the other members of the brokerage team when it comes to working with larger properties and top quality clients. Take other members of the team with you as part of the property presentation or client discussion. Help the client understand how other team members will be providing valuable input when it comes to marketing and selling or leasing the subject property.
You will see this process happen with many of the top brokerages in major cities. They understand the need to comprehensively service the clients and the properties they list in today’s market; that is how some of the brokerages successfully convert highly complex listings and challenging properties to a marketing campaign.
Some agents and brokers just do not have all of the skills required across sales, leasing, and property management. Other members of the team can help fill that void. Don’t lose a listing because you did not have all the ‘answers’; use other team members to help you build a professional presentation and listing pitch.
Use the Full Team in Your Pitch for a Listing
Here are some ideas to merge into that pitch and presentation process:
OUTGOINGS: A property for sale can be subjected to an outgoings review prior to the marketing process commencing. When you look at any property locally, there will be averages that apply to the outgoings cost structure for and sale or lease. The property that you take to the market should be within the ‘averages’ for the property type when it comes to occupancy costs and expenditures. Any property with excessive outgoings will be difficult to market and lease; in that case enquiry is likely to be slow and difficult. The property management team can help you analyse weaknesses in the outgoings structure. They can also tell you how some expenditure adjustments can be achieved given the age of the property and local activity.
TENANT MIX: The leasing team can review the leases and the tenancy mix prior to any investment property sale. Leases can also be reviewed annually to position the property for income improvement and enhancement. In a property with a number of tenants and leases, the differences in lease structure will require review and assessment. The existing leases in a multi tenanted asset will influence the overall buyer interest at the time of sale. Involve the leasing team or the property management team to help analyse the existing lease documentation and make recommendations towards lease change or tenancy mix upgrade.
NET INCOME: The net income from the property can be optimised through an outgoings assessment and property upgrade. Some properties will have weaknesses when it comes to outgoings performance and net income levels. On that basis any small adjustments in the outgoings strategy can produce a better net income which then leads to an improved property value. Senior property managers will be very familiar when it comes to analysing and resolving outgoings performance issues to help a sale occur.
PROPERTY BUSINESS PLAN: A business plan for the property can be created as part of a specialised service for your top quality clients. A plan of this type can help when it comes to building a strategy behind existing vacancy factors, lease structures, tenancy mix issues, and property performance.
MARKETING PROCESSES: You may have a person within your team specifically controlling the marketing process with new listings and property types. That person can be a specialist in advertising layout, market coverage, photography, brochures, and campaign structures. With any property of reasonable quality and size, they will be invaluable when it comes to specific marketing strategies and target marketing. They will know exactly how to reach out to the audience in a productive and structured way; use their marketing skill to help you win listings. That can then improve the marketing campaign and attract more enquiries at the right time. A person of this type when talking to your clients will add value when it comes to marketing structure and campaign momentum. In simple terms, that allows the listing to be converted with the correct levels of vendor paid marketing funds to suit the current market conditions and the property. Property marketing is a very special process and many agents are quite generic at in. Help your promotional campaign stand out by involving other people in your pitch and presentation.
These simple strategies will help you greatly when it comes to pitching and presenting to clients and winning the new business. Involve other members of your team with the appropriate and necessary specialist skills to provide ideas and strategies with your new listings.
Property Investors get involved with commercial property for a number of reasons. Their motivations can be quite personal and specific to factors such as capital gain, redevelopment, highest and best use, building renovation, market rental, and portfolio mix.
In asking the right questions you can identify exactly what your clients and your Property Investors are looking for. From that point onwards it is simply a matter of understanding capabilities of finance and the correct time for a transaction; those observations will apply individually with your clients and prospects.
Here are some ideas to help you understand exactly what your clients are looking for relative to commercial and retail real estate investment:
Determine the property type that suits the balance of the portfolio. It is a well-known fact that portfolio diversity will lessen the risk and volatility of an investment portfolio. In a lessening the risk, the returns can also be reduced. That is where many Property Investors will divide their portfolio across retail, industrial, and office buildings.
Understand the factors of timing with any property acquisition or change. Locally you will find the pressures of property supply and demand impacting prices, rents, and time on market. There will be times of the year which are more favourable for the sales verses leasing activity.
Some properties have a definite lead up to a promotion or marketing campaign. Some things may need to be fixed and addressed. As an example, you may have to rectify weaknesses in the tenancy mix, vacancy factors, tenant selection, building cash flow, and rental structures. Look for those weaknesses before you implement a marketing campaign for the client.
Some of your clients will have a preference for portfolio improvement through diversity and change. They will be on the lookout for properties in particular locations, assets of particular value, and buildings that may offer a new and vibrant opportunity through redevelopment or a fresh alignment to the market rental locally. When you understand the needs of the particular client, it is quite possible to put together a transaction off market without the pressured factors and interference occurring with other agents, buyers, or tenants.
Within your database, determine a small segment of clients and prospects that you would regard as VIPs. Over time get to know exactly what these people are looking for from an investment perspective and identify when they could potentially need that repositioning or change. From that point onwards you can be researching the market and looking for the correct property acquisitions and opportunities.
When you focus a lot more on your individual VIP clients and their property needs you can get to the real triggers and points of change that create commissions. That then is a proactive approach to being a top commercial real estate agent.
In commercial real estate brokerage the cold calling process is an essential part of new business generation. Making direct cold calls is a real skill and requires personal effort and systematisation.
One of the most important factors to help when it comes to telephone prospecting and new business generation is that of practice. Making telephone calls in this way does not come easily to many people. Most agents and brokers will struggle when it comes to the right words and phrases to use when telephone marketing. Regular daily practice can help when it comes to call conversions and meeting opportunity. The more calls that you make, the easier the whole thing becomes. Over time you will feel comfortable when it comes to telephone prospecting.
Before going too much further here, it should be understood that the principal target of cold calling as an agent or broker is mainly to achieve meetings with people that could need professional property services in the future. To achieve that knowledge and to create those meetings with the right people requires a conversational approach, not pitch and push process. If you push too hard for business in any telephone call, it is likely that you will lose out on the conversation and the call will come to an end.
Here are some ideas to help you with your professional cold calling process and meeting conversions:
Commitment – Commit a particular time of day to the process. The best time to make those calls will be first thing in the morning before other things take over your activities and focus. You will need to spend approximately 2 or 3 hours in making cold calls each working day. During that time you do need to have absolute focus on the process and avoid any distractions or diversions.
Mindset – When you have the correct mindset to make the calls, conversions to meetings are a lot easier. The best mindset to use is that of confident questioning. You are simply making a call to understand if the person you are speaking to has an interest or a potential future need in commercial investment property into the future. If that is the case, then you have a reason to stay in contact and/or create a need for a meeting. As the local property expert, you have the professional skills and the market information that is valuable to the right people.
Focus on Groups – In making your calls, focus on two distinct groups of people. Firstly you should be talking to all of the local business owners and business proprietors. Secondly you should be talking to all of the local property owners and investors. Within both segments you will find needs and opportunities when it comes to property selection, acquisition, and disposal.
Database Software – Choose a database program to help you with tracking conversations and opportunities. The database that you choose doesn’t need to be expensive or complex. It does however need to be readily accessible and user-friendly. Every day you should be shaping and changing the detail within the database subject to recent conversations and meetings with key people.
Taking these four simple factors into account, telephone prospecting and cold calling requires real personal effort and deliberate activity. There is no easy way to get around the process other than hard work and commitment. That is how you will find new business leads and opportunities in commercial real estate today. You can then professionally drive your business further when it comes to new clients and quality listings.
If you are located in a busy town or city from a real estate perspective, most of your listing presentations will be quite competitive. For that reason your property initiatives should be innovative in all respects to give you the edge against your competitors.
Consider these questions:
Why are you the best agent for the listing?
How are you a specialist in the property type?
How can you improve the property marketing process to make listings standout?
How can you improve the property outcome for your client in a timely way and for a better monetary return?
What marketing approaches are you using today that are producing the best levels of inbound enquiry?
What is your conversion rate and inspection ratio like from marketing your exclusive listings?
Very specific questions like these will help you build your point of difference for any property presentation. The good news is that most agents (your competitors) do not do a very good job at being different and unique from a property marketing perspective. That is an advantage for you to tap into. Your entire exclusive listing approach can be built around your uniqueness and the successes that creates.
Here are some ideas to help you tap into your property market completely and directly:
Direct Marketing wins more business every time. Connect with your property market and prospects every day directly. That means talking to ever more people by door knocking local businesses and making lots of cold calls. Grow your database strategically as part of building your market share of listings, prospects, and business contacts.
Promote Exclusive Listings Directly. When you have an exclusive listing, take it personally to the property market. Use the listing as an excuse to talk to a lot of new people. Ask questions about property needs and opportunities as you do so.
Online Promotions should be a big part of every property marketing campaign. The online approach today for commercial real estate can include the property portals, your blog, article directories, podcasting portals, and business websites. The key to online success is in your ability to keep up the momentum over time. Don’t expect big results if you only do something online once; the real momentum starts if you keep doing the right things every day online. Every exclusive listing should be directly and specifically promoted in a number of online portals and places. Create 3 different advertising layouts and copy to be featured in every marketing campaign for an exclusive listing.
Social Media feeds can be linked to your blog activities and database records. Keep your social media efforts professional and relevant to the area. The search engines attach value to location and information. Your social media posts should be structured in that way.
Success letters can be sent out for every successful sale or lease that you complete. Those letters should be sent to business owners and property owners in the immediate vicinity of the listing. Invite people to call you and ask questions about the concluded successful transaction.
Signboard Designs should be special. Get away from the generic sale signboard designs that all other agents use. Every exclusive listing should have a carefully created board of generous size, and the board itself should contain special information targeted to the property buyers that you are looking for.
Are you ready to be relevant and innovative in your local area as a real estate agent?