Simple Formulas for Successful Direct Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

Mature adult businessman with airplane uid 1426629

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)

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.

 

How to Put Sales Magnetism into Commercial Property Brokerage

Man in bowler hat and suit standing in front of city uid 1278680

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)

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.

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.

Tenant Management Tips for Commercial Property

Human shadow figures in a building uid 1461085

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)

Podcast 239 Commercial Real Estate Online

audio sml

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: