In a commercial real estate team, you cannot have negativity in any way or form. Individual agents performing poorly can easily influence the activities of others simply through sharing their negativity in the office and during sales meetings.
If this is a problem for you, the particular team member will need to be personally managed and redirected to solve their listings slump or commission problem. If the problem cannot be solved quickly, the person should be removed from the team.
It is a fact that most under-performing agents in any property market will have created the problem for themselves through lack of planning, a lack of action and poor focus. Training and skill development can help redirect those agents back to the important tasks and industry standards to build the business. That being said, any agent or broker with a negative attitude needs to be willing to learn and improve under the pressures of poor performance. That is where the leadership skills of the sales manager or team leader become very relevant.
Here are some good ways to control and remove negativity within the real estate agency team:
Whilst the property market will have variations of enquiry and seasonal change, there will be listings to attract, properties to market, and deals to negotiate. The attitude of the team and the actions of individual people within the team should be encouraged and promoted to a high level. You can do that through regular role playing, team meetings, and industry updates. Every sales meeting should be a positive event encouraging feedback from every team members and discussing market opportunity; high performing team members can be encouraged to share their experiences with others. The story of success goes a long way towards building ideas and momentum across the team.
Agents and brokers that are struggling with any part of their business may need to work with high performing agents for a period of time to experience and see the successful ways of working in the industry. Whilst every top agent or broker will do things differently, it is the advantage of a personal system that takes them forward; their system takes them into the opportunities of the property market in sales, leasing, and property management.
Every broker or agent should have a specific business plan relating to personal performance, territory management, prospecting, and new business focus. The plan should set the momentum for the financial year and be tracked on a monthly basis. It is unfortunately common to see agents create their plan for the year and then forget about the document and its application from that point onwards. Top performing agents structure a plan based on their skills, the property market, the location, and the identified opportunities of the property segment. In the case of top agents, that plan will be formulated prior to the beginning of the financial year and will be pursued vigorously each week and each month through the year. Adjustments will be made by the agent when necessary to ensure that growth of listings and commissions occur efficiently and directly in any property market.
On a weekly basis, every agent and broker should be tracking their results when it comes to essential activities such as cold call prospecting, meetings, listings, negotiations, and commissions. The best way for them to track the results will be through a chart or graphing process. That information can then be shared with the team leader, and on that basis by compared across the team. The team leader can then see areas of poor performance in agents that are struggling with certain segments of property activity. In identifying problems early, it is easy for the team leader to provide the necessary guidance and professional training. For
So the message here is that any negativity can be removed from a commercial real estate brokerage team through direct action and close monitoring. The skills of the team leader will have a lot to do with the results achieved.
In commercial real estate brokerage today it pays for every agent to have a definite plan of approach to bring together all of the many things that need to be controlled and actioned. If you like it is a bit like having a blueprint to the business at a personal level.
I have put together some of the more important issues to get under control personally and to help you formulate your commercial real estate agent blueprint. You can add to the list based on your property type and location:
Define your property type – Some property types will be more relevant to your skills and or marketing confidence. Understand what you are good at and focus on that property type; that will give you required confidence and then help you with listing conversions.
Define your services – There are differences between sales, leasing, and property management. Sales and leasing activity are strongly linked and one leasing deal can lead to a sales opportunity in the future; that is why I say that all agents should be able to jump from sales to leasing and back again quickly and effectively. You will normally earn greater commissions from a typical sales deal than from a leasing deal (based on averages), and the people that you target as prospects in each group are different so understand those differences and track both types of people. As the property market shifts from a buyers focus to a tenants focus, you can move with it.
Set your marketing zone – Limit your zone of activity in your town or city to a number of properties and inside a precinct of main roads. The focus inside a geographical area allows you to track property activity, rents, prices, time on market, and marketing strategies. That focus will also help you a lot when it comes to connecting with clients in a property presentation.
Define your clients – What does your ideal client look like? Where are they located? How are they involved in the property market? What will they need from someone like you? When you know the answers to these questions you have something significant to merge into your personal marketing efforts. Your prospecting and cold calling will become a lot more centred on market segments.
Research the property market – In each year there are changes, dips, troughs and peaks in market activity. Some are predictable due to seasonal holidays and business calendars. Your prospecting and listing efforts should have due regard to those seasonal changes. Only take a property to the market when all targeted segments are active and looking for something to buy or lease.
Determine key indicators to track – Some of the main indicators that can show you how you are performing as an agent are centred on prospecting, listings and negotiations. Each week take those indicators such as commissions, listings, and presentations into account so you can see where things are developing. Build on your strengths and fix your weaknesses. That’s how you progress in our industry.
Set up action processes – Every day a system of actions will take you forward. It really matters what you do in a regular way. Consistency will take you forward; random actions will not do much at all.
Set your goals and targets in listings, commissions, and clients – These 3 categories of activity are most important. They are simple numbers to track so start charting the progress you are making in each. Ratios will soon be seen and that is when you can improve your skills in key business generation activities; start practicing!
So these numbers and categories of activities will show you where you are heading as an agent. You can strive to improve in so many different ways in our industry; it’s a personal process.
In commercial real estate today, the leasing process will offer a typical agent or broker with many leads and opportunities servicing local landlords and property investors. Over time that leasing arrangement can be the precursor to selling properties for the same client.
So the smaller commissions earned in the leasing process, can give you the opportunity to move on to a sales commission with the same client in the future. One thing can lead to another when it comes to working with different clients and high quality properties. Be selective when it comes to choosing the right properties to lease.
Establish long-term relationships
Commercial real estate is all about building relationships with the right people, and the leasing service that you offer today can help you start that. Be selective when it comes to establishing long term relationships with the right property owners. It stands to reason that the quality of your leasing service can help you convert more clients over time. To find those clients in the first place, it is a matter of understanding the factors of attraction when it comes to office leasing. Why will someone use you as a local property leasing expert?
Here are some ideas to help you build on that opportunity cycle in a professional leasing service; to help you work for those high quality for property owners and investors in your local area:
The size of your tenant database – It is a fact that the size of your database of tenants will help you attract landlords when they require a vacant property filled. Market your services to landlords using your database as a factor of attraction.
Property pressures – Some tenants and businesses will be put under pressure when it comes to property occupation; changes in the economy or business sentiment can do that. You can find those tenants by staying in constant contact through a direct approach, be it in cold calling or door knocking. Look for those businesses that are under pressure.
New People – Generate leads and opportunities every day in your local area; make it a priority to meet new people in your territory. When visiting one property or business in any location, leave your business card with nearby businesses inviting future contact if they have a property pressure issue or need to relocate.
Lease expiry – As part of building your database, track the upcoming lease expiry and option dates in every major office building and with every good quality tenant. The only way you will know those dates is in making the regular cold calls to local businesses. When you know an upcoming lease expiry or option date, you can work the tenant in the 12 months leading up to the critical date. Relevancy is a way of attracting their interest; they will have a need to understand market rents, vacancy factors, new property developments nearby, and lease incentives. A tenant will seriously consider relocation if the current pressures of occupancy are high; that can be in rent levels, available space, car parking, transport, customer locations, and occupancy costs. Ask the right questions and you will soon find some pressure points that may interest them.
Current vacancies – Some landlords will have a problem with current vacancy levels or upcoming vacancies. Look for properties that appear to be under vacancy pressure; contact the owners directly to see if you can help.
Rental and leasing strategies – When you know a lot about lease and rent structures you can offer real strategy as part of leasing a property. Some landlords have little understanding of the ways to improve property returns and cash flow through a lease; they will just focus on finding a tenant. You can explain to the landlords that you serve how a gross or net lease can bring benefit to their property returns, and you can add some strategy around rent reviews, options, relocations, renovations and occupancy costs.
So as you can see it’s quite easy to offer a professional leasing service to landlords in your area. Lift your leasing skills and market yourself as the property expert that the landlords and property owners require.
As an agent or a broker in commercial real estate today, the current events in the market will be sources of substantial leverage and opportunity when it comes to a future sale or a lease situation. You can also find plenty of property management opportunities within a sales or leasing transaction.
The message here is quite clear for the astute agent or broker. Look for the opportunities within the market based on industry trends and business churn.
The property market moves in cycles and in the case of commercial property it is the local business or economic cycle that impacts the decisions of property investors, business owners, and tenants. What you can do here is built leverage and action from certain activities in your market. Here are some ideas to help:
Inquiries – Any property inquiry coming in to your office from the marketing of listings will allow you to create a conversation, qualify the party, and potentially find out about their new property needs and changes. Understand the motivation of the person making the inquiry, and the timing of their decisions. It is likely that they will be talking to other agents locally, so be prepared for quoting other properties where appropriate that may suit their inquiry.
Quality listings – When you focus on quality listings you will generally have many more direct inquiries coming in to you from each marketing process. Understand what the factors of attraction are when it comes to tenants and buyers today. Fully qualify the people that you talk to and then itemize or short list property requirements. You will soon know how to package a listing and find the right properties for today’s market.
Inspections – Every property inspection allows you to connect completely and thoroughly with a potential tenant or property buyer. If the subject property inspected doesn’t suit the inquiring party, add some other property inspections to the list. Most buyers and tenants will purchase or lease property from within the local area. That is because they understand the location, the values, the rentals, and the opportunity. Track your inspection activities within your database. Keep in contact with inspecting parties for the long term.
Methods of sale or lease – There are differences in the market when it comes to the successful methods of sale or the methods of lease. Understand the factors that work in your local area with buyers or tenants as the case may be. A timed method of sale such as an auction can put some urgency in the property decision process. A quality listing taken to the market through the auction process will usually create a lot of interest. From one auction marketing campaign you can create a substantial database of qualified buyers.
Offers – An offer to purchase or lease may or may not be successful in today’s property market; a lot depends on the client you are working for and their impressions of the prevailing market conditions. Understand the offer limitations and the negotiation objectives of the people that you are working with; negotiation skills will help you in this process. You can quote other properties to those people that may have been unsuccessful in any property offer.
Referrals – From any successful listing, be it in sales or leasing, you will find further new business in asking for a referral. Be prepared to ask the right referral questions at the right time; understand that most business people and investment property owners have relationships with others that can lead to more opportunity.
So the message here is quite clear and most particularly that simple issues and events in commercial property today can give you some leverage and lead to other opportunities in new business over time. Be prepared to work with the right people and see the opportunities.
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