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Simple Formulas for Successful Direct Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

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Don’t complicate the marketing process in commercial brokerage today.  Keep things simple and get out and about locally among the people that matter.  Our industry is based on personal contact and professional relevance.  If either of those things are lacking in your property business, then you have issues and you will struggle to stand out as a top agent.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Resolve the property challenge comprehensively by and through a process of direct marketing.  That’s how things happen in our industry; everything else is just luck and luck doesn’t do much for market share.

Here is a simple and yet effective process of direct marketing for brokers and agents.  See how you can modify your business skills using some of these contact ideas:

  1. Find new people each day – the best way to get this started is by using the business telephone book (the online and offline versions). There are thousands of businesses in that list for your town or city that you can call direct.  Ideally you just want to know if they have a property challenge or issue where you can help them.  Make the calls and talk to the business owners.  It’s a simple way of connecting with new people.  Some of those business owners will lease the property they are located in, whilst others will own the property.  Either way you get to connect with property interested people.
  2. Create discussions – the people that we class as ‘clients’ or ‘prospects’ are typically business savvy, and they are very experienced with direct business conversations. Master the art of the business conversation using local property information as leverage.  Facts about sales, leasing, listings, developments, and marketing will always create some form of a discussion.  Practice your meeting and call conversations.
  3. Take notes of meetings and conversations – given that you will be contacting lots of people in a location, you will never remember everything that is said to you. Your database has to track conversations and contact processes.  Put your marketing processes into and around your database; you cannot delegate that process.  Take ownership of your database so your prospect list is up to date and growing each day.  Build momentum in direct contact.
  4. Send follow-up material – every quality conversation, be it across the telephone or in a meeting will give you a chance to send out material in follow-up. Choose the right material for the location, and not some generic ‘fluff’ that no one wants.  Be specific and be real in the information that you send out.
  5. Use a database pipeline – a contact today is potentially a listing or transaction in the future. Everything depends on what you do with that contact and how you open up the pipeline of information; your database should be at the centre of that contact.  Relevant local property information will always help you open doors on business contact so create a regular informational marketing process around email, telephone calls, meetings, and referrals.  Consistency and regularity will help you with that.

The promotional marketing process in commercial property doesn’t have to be complex, but it does need to happen.  Keep your direct marketing activities local in focus and frequent in momentum.  That’s what the top marketers do all the time.  Are you up to the promotional challenge?

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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Poster – Growth Strategies in Commercial Real Estate

growth-strategies

There are quite a few things to think about when you are considering your growth model in commercial real estate brokerage.  When you are looking for clients and properties, make sure that you have made the right basic decisions for your location.

History will show you what has been happening with local property in segments.  The segmentation rule is relevant and real if you want better listings and clients in brokerage.  Don’t overlook it.

This poster will help you with one of the most important issues to assess and watch.

 

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How to Put Sales Magnetism into Commercial Property Brokerage

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If you do things correctly in commercial real estate, one good quality listing campaign will lead to other things and opportunities.

Understand your listings for that locally based opportunity and use the formula wherever possible.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

What’s your plan?

Build some sales magnetism in commercial property.  Here are the rules to help with this idea:

  1. Your listing will be location based. When the property comes to the market, get into the location and talk to lots of local people.  Tell them about the new listing, why it could be important to them, and how you can help with more information.
  2. Target market your properties. Every listing can be taken to certain business owners, investors, and industry professionals.  Make this a special part of your client services.  Define the target market as you pitch for the listing, and then comprehensively connect with the target market through the campaign.
  3. Test and measure everything you do with listings. The variables of property marketing today are many.  Online and offline marketing can be selectively undertaken and then the results can be tracked.  Soon you will see what seems to be working with your promotional campaigns; you can then tell the clients exactly what they should to as part of their listing promotion.
  4. The people that inspect your property listings should be comprehensively qualified so you can show them other things as they come to market. It is interesting to remember that the best listings create the best leads and prospect inquiry.  If you lift your listing focus for that very reason, you will find that your database will grow faster and with higher conversion factors.
  5. Choose the best method of sale and particularly use the exclusive listing process. When you look at any subject property, the methods of sale that you use should be high on inquiry generation and inspection creation.  Do you know what types of campaigns and methods of sale are better than others currently?
  6. Help your clients succeed. A successful outcome for your clients could be a higher price or rent, a shorter time on market, or a timely sale that fits into their business activities and investment plans.

When you seriously think about these things, you will soon understand that most agents and brokers are very ordinary.  They don’t do much with the listings that they win.  What a mistake!  They list, advertise, then hope for a result.   That is the generic marketing approach; it doesn’t do anything for your brokerage profile or client base.

What’s your choice?

Get very active with your listings and help your clients succeed under the pressure of property challenge.  Seek to understand the client and their property issues, and then chart the course of resolve.  Commitment and initiatives will help you get there.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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How to Track the Valuable Commercial Real Estate Opportunities

Landmarks

Size and quality are the key elements to watch in commercial real estate brokerage. The larger properties in any town or city are likely to be the best targets for new business and property change or churn in commercial real estate brokerage. That is because quality and location will always drive market interest and activity.

The message is?  You will get more inspections from a good quality property, and your database of qualified prospects can grow accordingly.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

So how do you get all of this property market trending started?

Research all of the local properties and build a target list of the better properties; who owns them and what are the factors of attraction with each of those properties?

Yes, I know that a good degree of research is required to get the right property facts, but if you sit back and wait for people to come to you, then the new listings that you really need will be hard to find.

Have a good look at your database. Can you match your skills into those properties and the relative owners?

The process?

Assess those properties for each of the following possibilities to see how you can service the requirements of the quality people that you know:

1. Drill down into an active property type for the location – From historic trending you will see what properties are more active than others. Split your analysis into office, industrial, and retail property. What do you know about each property type? Can you work the segments?
2. Tenancy changes – Some businesses have to move, expand, or contract. They usually consider their occupancy options at the end of financial years, calendar years, and also nearing lease expiry or option. Look at the local business community, and contact all the decision makers in all the larger businesses. I say ‘larger’ because you will typically attract a better quality of client and inquiry from larger corporate clients.
3. Market rent issues and weaknesses – Sometimes the rent in a location or in a building will be too high for a business to survive. In watching occupancy issues, talking to local managers, and door knocking local businesses you will find the people that are thinking about handling a property change.
4. Vacancy factors – Local empty tenancies will impact lease incentives. Either way you can work with tenants and landlords that have vacancy pressures or new leasing requirements. Assess the vacancy factors for your town or city on a monthly basis so you know what is available in space to occupy and what may be coming up in any new property developments.
5. Landlord pressures – Some tenants simply do not get on with the property owner or landlord. That discomfort can be a trigger for relocation.
6. Renovation and redevelopment – Properties that are going through change or getting older will be prime targets for tenant movement. Projections on supply and demand will help you move on the older properties and parcels of vacant land that are ripe for redevelopment action.

The deeper that you look into the property market, the more listings and property opportunities you will find. It’s always the right time of year to look deeper into any property market.

Drive and pitch your own real estate business opportunities through direct marketing. That’s what makes a top agent thrive in any location and economy.

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How to Prepare for a Commercial Property Lease Negotiation

Staircase with marble landing and balconies
Prepare comprehensively for your commercial property lease negotiation

If you have had a bit to do with tenants in leasing any commercial or retail property you will know that they can really delay things for their own reasons, thereby impacting the landlord in negotiation and slowing the agent as to finalizing the deal.  As the leasing professional your job is to work with that challenge and encourage agreement to the benefit of the client.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Understanding the tenant’s situation now and applying that requirement to the current property market will help you with activating and progressing the lease deal.  That then means a better negotiation.

The tenants focus?

Good questions and research will usually help you to get to the tenant facts and motivators.  As you move through that, don’t forget just who your client is in the process and how you are representing them through the process of leasing.

Here is an interesting leasing based question for you. Can you believe what at tenant tells you about the property lease requirements that they have?  Perhaps not totally, however you can ‘read between the lines’ of what the tenant is saying and doing, and get to some of the real facts of what is happening in their business world.

A good outcome?

A good lease negotiation is generally a result of the leasing broker informing the parties to the deal, then discussing, listening, and seeing through the challenges.  Though all stages of the inquiry, inspection, and meeting process you can find out more of the tenant’s requirements and priorities.

So what really goes on in a lease negotiation?

The balance of any lease negotiation will shift and change based on just how much available space may be in the property market at any point in time; you have to prepare for that variation.  It directly follows that you should be prepared for any and all of these tenant ‘delay’ tactics:

  • Looking around at other properties
  • Comparing rents across the market and between vacant premises
  • Comparing properties and the improvements
  • Incentives to sweeten the deal
  • Slowing discussion to make a decision
  • Wanting to change lease conditions
  • Asking the landlord to do some internal fit-out works
  • Seeking early access to the premises before documents are signed
  • Fit Out approvals slowing
  • Plans of the fit-out not available

There are many variations as to what a tenant will be looking to do with a lease negotiation.  As the professional, you are to guide the process and negotiate through these barriers and many more.  Control and research are the keys to any successful commercial property lease negotiation.

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Tenant Management Tips for Commercial Property

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When you lease and manage commercial property today, you really do need to monitor the activities of tenants within the tenancy mix and be ready to respond to occupancy issues.  Be aware of the changes within the building and the activities of tenants in each of the separate premises.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Why worry about this?

It is better to be ahead of the tenancy problems before they become overly large or pressured, thereby impacting the landlord and the asset.  It is better to negotiate with the tenant through their trading or occupancy issue at the earliest stages.

  • Protect the tenant mix, lower the vacancy factors in your asset, and keep your good tenants for the long term.

Most buildings today with multiple tenants in occupation will have some form of tenant retention plan to consolidate occupancy and cash flow over the foreseeable future.  Within that document will be the necessary lease strategies, rental indicators, and tenant profiles.

So what is it?

It is a landlord based investment planner to help with occupancy planning.   Shopping centres and large office towers would have such tenant planning processes in place, and then they adjust the plan every year based on what can be observed and predicted in tenant occupation and known vacancies.

Tenant retention planning?

So the retention plan is a document that allows you to prepare at the earliest stages for the worst and best possible leasing scenarios, and control the best outcomes.  In other words, you can stay well ahead of the leasing and tenant mix problems before they get out of hand.  Isn’t that what the leasing strategies should be in any investment property?

 

  • Look for the indicators and the pressure points of occupancy.  Given the pressures of the economy and business today, tenants can sometimes suffer with pressures of cash flow emanating from variations of staff structure, seasonal sales, production, and intellectual property.

 

So what can you do here?

On a regular basis look at how the tenant and their business appears to be tracking, and wherever possible identify any weaknesses that could impact occupancy.  In simple terms, you stay close to the tenant in every way possible through a series of telephone calls, meetings, and email exchanges.  You take plenty of notes, and you negotiate through any issues as early as possible.

Here are some ideas to help you with that lease management strategy:

  • Inspect the property and the tenancy frequently so that you can see when changes are underway.  Where necessary, take photographs and plenty of notes to support your observations.  You can see variations with staffing, management structures, production, on-site storage, and business activities.  Look for the indicators and asked plenty of questions.
  • Stay in contact with the decision makers of the business so that you can identify when they are under any particular pressure of occupancy.  In any corporate structure there will be different levels of management to interact with.  Take notes and make observations when it comes to any meetings with tenants and management personnel.  A simple thing evolving from a meeting today can be a major issue in the future.  Understand the impact of a shift in rental or tenant occupancy within the asset.
  • Watch for any shift or change relating to staffing and management within the tenant business.  Are they still employing the same number of people? Has the management structure changed within the business?  When you see changes, ask questions.
  • The lease document will be important when it comes to enforcing lease conditions and rental cash flow.  Review the lease regularly for the necessary critical dates and methods of response that apply to the occupancy process.

Given all of these things, the landlord needs to be fully briefed on any lease issues and recent tenant meetings.  Those facts can be merged into the end of month reporting for the property leasing and tenant management updates.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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Podcast 239 Commercial Real Estate Online

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In this podcast I bring you back to the key issues in our business that are all relating to who you know, how you connect, and why you should be doing it.

There are many opportunities out in the property market this year.  See if the ideas in this broker podcast can bring you back to the next client relationship or transaction.  Sales, leasing, and property management clients are out there for the finding and servicing.

Listen to the podcast here:

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How to Get to Know Your Commercial Property Market Deeply

audio sml
Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Audio

In every town or city there are things that you can find that relate to commercial property sales, leasing, or property management.  You can get plenty of leads if you drill down into the location.  Meet people and ask questions.   A good conversation will take you closer to a property activity.

Having a good database will always help with new business generation.  For the new people in the industry, the priority to establish a good database is high.  Three to six months of effort will usually get a contact list established; from that point on it is a matter of keeping the data fresh and accurate.

To help my friends in the industry get established and stay on top of the right market trends, this audio will probably help.  It talks about who you should know and why that should be done.  Enjoy.

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The Many Different Ways to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Network Faster

man holding globe of earth

There are significant differences between commercial property and residential property. One of the biggest differences will be the types of people that you will be or are working with. You will find that the people transacting commercial real estate today are largely from the business sectors or the investment community locally.  They have different motivators and decision facilities.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

So what is the message?

The emphasis here is local. Get to know your local property market and the people that occupy or transact property within it. There will be plenty of people in your town or city to connect with over time ‘commercially’ if you have a good look into the businesses and the investors locally.  You can build long-term relationships in the right way, hence providing the right services.

What are your services and how do you sell into them?

You may provide investment sales services, leasing services, or property management solutions. That being said there are some very special services that you can implement within each of the three disciplines mentioned.  Here are some ideas to help across property management and also leasing.

Example of property management services

Take for example commercial property management as a business process and professional service. Here are some very specialized sub-activities within the asset and property management business:

  • income analysis and optimization
  • expenditure controls and budgeting
  • maintenance planning and routines for asset performance
  • tenancy mix planning and optimization
  • lease controls and administration
  • arrears minimization
  • vacancy marketing and property leasing
  • tenant selection and placement
  • the performance of an investment property within a larger portfolio
  • make good controls and lease compliance at lease end

So there are a number of things that you can do here when it comes to professional property management services. Given the types of buildings that you work with, there are some unique and valuable skills that can be applied across the disciplines mentioned.

Look at how you can provide some very special sub-set skills to the top clients and the active clients in your location. Always choose your best clients and properties with a bias towards quality and size. In that way any listing activity or property challenge will have a reasonable chance of fast resolve and marketing momentum.

What about leasing services?

So let’s look at leasing services as well.   If you are recognized as a leasing expert for a location, then you should have a number of specific solutions to locate and provide tenants to any vacancy problems that local landlords will be experiencing.

The place to start here is with your database. The size of your database in commercial real estate leasing will be indirect co-relation to the opportunities that you can create from the property leasing market. You simply have to know a lot of tenants within business segments and property precincts. That will then give you the ‘edge’ when it comes to working with landlords and vacancy challenges.

As a specialist in local property leasing, you should be able to provide a variety of services similar to the following:

  • an opinion of market rental relative to the location
  • tenant advocacy services for larger businesses
  • a selection of ideas to market any vacant property at any time
  • a clearer understanding of how property incentives should be shaped for the particular vacancy
  • marketing solutions to connect the vacant property to the right target audience
  • a solid awareness of leasing documentation that applies to commercial real estate leasing today
  • some real strategies behind rental establishment an escalation over time
  • ways to improve the property investment and the net income from a base of leasing activity

So there are some good things that you can do here as a specialist in commercial real estate leasing. Understand what is happening in your local market today when it comes to vacancies, tenant activity, and landlord pressures.  Take action with the market evidence you are seeing.

Match your professional skills into the momentum of the market and the trends of the time. You can choose to work with landlords, tenants, or business owners. Note that you can also work for property developers at the right time if the prevailing market conditions are right.

The take home message?

So the message here is that you should make the right choices when it comes to your property market and the specialist services that you provide. Look deeply into the needs of your clients as they address their property challenges. Look at the ways that you can provide specialist high-end real estate services to the right people in the right way.

Get to know your clients at each and every opportunity. Be prepared to take a property solution or option to your clients before they even know that they have a potential need or issue on the horizon. Be pro-active as a property specialist; that’s what top agents do.

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A Property Vacancy is a Real Opportunity in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

 

Commercial real estate podcast

Look for the vacant properties in your local area, you will find leverage in working for those landlords.  They will be highly motivated to fill the vacancy and listen to you as you make recommendations about property market conditions.

(N.B. these audios are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage business results…. Get your access here)

In this audio I talk about how you can do more with vacancies and how your professional services should be positioned within that.  One other special note here is that your database in leasing will give you massive momentum if you structure it and grow it over time.  In the audio program I talk about how you can use that to build leasing leverage.

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Proven Strategies to Sweep Aside the Competition in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

city high rise buildings
Get deeper into your property market.

In commercial real estate brokerage, you really do need to know how to work through and around the competition when it comes to listing conversions, and property marketing activities.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Fact

You cannot be generic when it comes to working with your client’s properties and the listing activities locally. You need some specific strategies to stand out as the agent of choice in a relevant way above the other competing agents in the location.

Look local

In most towns or cities there are always degrees of competition coming from the other agents locally to interfere with listing conversion and listing retention. It is always better to find the listing off market before any other agents locate it. You can then design your marketing strategy accordingly.

So have a serious look at your prospecting activities first and foremost. Understand what you’re doing when it comes to connecting with the right people, researching the levels of property activity locally, and drilling down into the business community to help them when it comes to relocation, property change, and property acquisition.

Most of the results you get in the property industry today will come from your personal efforts and one-on-one contact. You will need a plan to achieve that. Everything else is a factor of luck in the industry, and luck really doesn’t work when it comes to commercial real estate brokerage over time.

What’s your plan?

Establish your plan to help you find the new business opportunities or leads from the market segments, the property types, and the clients that you really want to work with. Make the right choices and then drill down into those segments deliberately and directly.

So some questions here……  Do you know your targets in the industry today? You understand exactly where you are headed and how you will achieve the momentum required?

Here are some specific ideas to help you with brushing aside the impact of your competitors in today’s property market:

  • Stop listening to your peers in the industry. There are plenty of people who will flood your thinking and activities with negative comments and unnecessary observations. Master your own property market through your own observations and experiences. Learn from the best, but ignore the average agents in the area that may be simply seeking to support their own poor performance through irrelevant reasons and market observations.
  • Fast track your listing opportunities through a cold calling model and business process. Make plenty of calls each day into the local business community. Some of those business owners will be tenants whilst others will be owner occupiers. A simple telephone call will help you understand who the business owners are that need help when it comes to property change, relocation, or upgrade. A professional cold calling process will help you drill down into the requirements of property investors and business owners.
  • Through regular ongoing research, develop various packages of market evidence that you can call on when it comes to many conversation, meeting, or presentation. A simple chart, checklist, advertising campaign, or set of photographs can help you grow a conversation into real listing momentum.
  • Be yourself and improve yourself as an industry professional. You cannot reinvent the wheel when it comes to your personal character and business history. You can however improve your presentation and your presentation skills to deal with property types and the clients in your town or city. You can never really know enough about business communication today, so start practicing at each and every opportunity. Learn how to put the right words and phrases to well selected resources and presentation material. Be prepared to show the client exactly how you are the best solution for the location and their property challenge.
  • Understand exactly where you are headed when it comes to new business opportunity and listing activity. You will need to use a business plan as part of that process, and that business plan should be structured on real market evidence that you have research over time. Look at the location and assess the property activity for the last few years. Understand where you can fit into the predictable property churn and activity as an industry professional in each and every way.

So there are some things to do here as part of positioning yourself as an industry professional. Take your business to the next level through deliberate ongoing daily activity. Most of your competitors will be rather ordinary when it comes to marketing, client contact, and competition.

Simple changes

A few small changes in your business focus and local market evidence will help you convert client to accept your professional services at the right time in the right way.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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How to Set the Right Priorities in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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There are certain things that you can and can’t do in commercial real estate brokerage. One of the most important things you can’t do is waste your time.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

There are many different pressures influencing your business day when it comes to client contact, meetings, and negotiations. Somewhere between all of those three key activities you will need to be doing some marketing and some prospecting.

Stay Focused

So you simply cannot waste your time in any way or form as it is the most valuable resource that you have. Your activities generate leads and commissions over time; there is a special equation to monitor here about how new business can grow through your personal effort.

When you put the right effort in, you get some real momentum with tenants, landlords, sellers, and buyers. They are all out there in the local property market, thinking about how they can do things and solve property problems.

The Right Priorities and Facts

Here are some specific ideas to help you keep your business day under control as best possible. See how you can work with these ideas:

  • Control your diary electronically across a number of cloud-based platforms. You should be able to access your diary on your mobile telephone, your computer, and your tablet. Make sure that everything synchronizes between your electronic devices.
  • Don’t let any other person in the office make appointments for you whilst you are out on other appointments or business activities. Your time management priorities will not be the same as other people when it comes to meetings, negotiations, and client contact.
  • Start the day in prospecting mode for at least three hours. It is a specific business discipline that will help you connect with new business opportunities in the local area. Use the first three hours of every working day talking to new people through door-knocking, cold calling, and direct meetings or marketing.
  • It takes about 3 to 6 months to drive reasonable level of business activity and market share. Every day during that period you will need to talk to new people and create new levels of professional service. Eventually the new business opportunities will be generated from your deliberate and direct efforts of prospecting. When the new business starts to come in, continue prospecting as part of a professional time management business model. You simply cannot stop prospecting for new business.
  • When you have a negotiation to complete or a deal to negotiate, that may take specific priority at the start of the day. That should be the only reason for you to divert your prospecting activities to another time later in the day. I go back to the point that you should not overlook the requirement to prospect for new business on a daily basis.

Look for the reciprocal value in the things that you do each day with marketing, clients, inspections, and transactions. There will be opportunities for referral and lead generation through many of the relationships that you will already have. Ask the right questions at the right time.

 Delve Deeply

Look into the existing situations that apply to your client list and property list. There will be factors of change and pressures from other listings locally. Top agents tend to look at the marketplace with a broad view to identifying change and property churn.

The business owners and the prospects or clients that you work with will have pressures and relationships that can open new transaction opportunities for you. Remember to ask the right questions at the right time.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)