How to Master the Art of Commercial Property Marketing

When you have spent considerable time in finding a new client or a new property listing, the marketing process starts. To improve your commission and listing conversions over time, you should master the art of marketing and develop the science of professional property promotion.

(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)

 

Be Special in Marketing

There is no point in being ‘ordinary’ when it comes to property marketing today. There are too many other brokers and agents out there for you to take the ordinary approach to the business. Your listings locally should stand out as unique and special when compared to others with other brokerages.  You are part of the equation.

 

It is interesting to note that the best agents in commercial property generally achieve good results in sales and leasing through high level marketing campaigns. Those campaigns are not ordinary in any way. The best channels of media are selected, the adverts are well designed, the photographs are of quality, and the advertising message is carefully crafted. These things don’t happen without deliberate effort and professional skill.

 

Look for Differences

When you look at the local paper and on the Internet, it is easy to see the differences between professional marketing processes and ordinary property listings. You have the choice of promotion to consider when you take on any new listing and any new client. Can you convert vendor paid marketing funds consistently for the quality properties that you work with? Your ability to do so will help you with your career and market share momentum

 

The only way to achieve good quality inquiries is through vendor paid marketing. In other words, the property owner needs to commit some of their own money to the property listing and the promotional campaign period.

 

Best Agent Choices

Give the client plenty of reasons to choose you as the agent to comprehensively target market their property into the best segments of buyers or tenants as the case may be. Tell the client exactly why you are the right person for the job. Show them how you will approach the property promotional processes. Here are some ideas to help you with that:

 

  1. Set the target market clearly and effectively for the property. Give the client plenty of reasons why you need to work comprehensively into the target market and tell exactly how you will do that. Put yourself at the center of that marketing approach. The weaker agents tend to overlook the need to put themselves into the listing. You simply provide some budget and some generic marketing statement. If you want to lift your conversions with the better clients and the quality listings, put yourself into a deliberate target marketing approach designed exclusively for the client and the location. The more specific you can be in doing so, will help your listing conversions on an exclusive basis.
  2. Set a timeline to the promotion. Seriously consider the levels of inquiry that currently apply to the location and the property type. That information will help you set the advertising campaign timeline, and also the strategies behind marketing. Create a timeline visually that you can show the client as part of the property presentation. A simple Gantt chart will help you do that efficiently and directly.
  3. Use the results from recent sales and listing promotion as a basis of recommendation for your new clients with their new listings. Show them how the levels of inquiry improved through different methods of sale or lease as the case may be. You can then make clear recommendations for the best method of sale or lease to apply to the particular property and location.
  4. Give the client three marketing alternatives when it comes to the campaign budget and strategy. They can then make simple choices based on expected spend and market coverage. Don’t forget to give them solid recommendations across all three marketing campaign processes. Make it easy for them to make the right choices.

 

The clients and the property owners that we work with are simply looking for good results in timely ways. They are looking for the best agents and brokers to help them through that challenge and expectation.

 

Understand the alternatives of property promotion today and how you can improve the target marketing approach for the people that you serve. The best agents for a location and property type are usually comprehensive market in each and every way. Make your property pitch and listing pitch on the basis of marketing uniqueness and promotional professionalism.

(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 Learn from Your Mistakes in Commercial Property Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage, mistakes are common practice as you start to understand who you are working with, what the clients want, and how the deals should be negotiated.  It is a fine balance of activity that you can learn from.  The parties to a transaction, the property ownership structure and the pressures of local market conditions will all influence the situation.

(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)

 

Good things happen!

So the key fact to remember here is that things will go wrong and mistakes will happen for you and or your brokerage.  Through all of that, some good things will evolve with listings, negotiation outcomes, and client relationships.

You will always have choices in what you do as an industry specialist so look for the choices and resolve the best outcomes.  Over time you can make better choices and learn from the bad ones.  It’s all the same in sales, leasing, and property management.

 

Top agent results?

Show me a ‘top agent’ and I will show you someone that has made lots of bad mistakes over their career.  In balance though, they pushed through the ‘tough stuff’ and the challenging issues.  They found ways to move on a client or prospect opportunity.  The first refusal was only a trigger to push through the barriers.

Understand that you have choices as a broker or agent, and you also have the advantage of using market circumstances to show the other parties how they also have good choices available.  Local market evidence and information will always help you through.

 

What’s up?

So let’s say that you have had your fair share of brokerage challenges.  What can you learn from?  Try some of these for starters:

  • Why was the property inquiry low for a single listing? – when you analyze listing activity, you can see the results that you are getting from each listing; you can also see what is driving better inquiry on particular property types or locations.
  • Why the client’s (or your) expectations didn’t convert – every client will be different, as will the listed property. Look at the facts for what they are and see if the expectations were realistic or not so.
  • Why the marketing did not attract much inquiry – there are many different levels of marketing to work with; a lot of promotional choices will come from the funds available from the vendor. Tune your presentations so that your conversions of vendor paid funds are high on the agenda for every listing that you are chasing.
  • Why the client didn’t really take to your recommendations – some clients don’t listen, others are influenced by other brokers, and perhaps you really didn’t give your client the fullest facts about the property situation in a way that they could relate to. Trust is a big issue in our industry.  Make sure that the client listens do you and that you have all the local property facts ready to support the momentum of the deal.
  • Why the negotiation failed in the end result – some transactions are hard to get across the line. In each listing and property deal you have to assess and see what the elements of the transaction really are and then you should work through the strengths and weaknesses.  Be prepared for the client’s questions, and the changes of the negotiation as they take shape.

So mistakes in commercial real estate brokerage will always happen. You can do some good things when you really understand what is going on around you locally and with the property.

(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 Build a Network of Commercial Property Investor Clients Faster

Local property investors will and should be an important part of your real estate business in commercial and or retail property.  The important thing here is that you are building your network of investors in a constant and relevant ongoing 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)

 

Know the uniqueness of investors

Commercial and retail property investors are unique when compared to those others investing in residential property.  Commercial and retail owners have challenges and opportunities arising in property ownership and development; they work from a base of logic and opportunity.  Tenants, market conditions, and rentals are quite volatile and can disrupt property cash flow; I call it the ‘disruption factor’.   You can control those things.

 

What do they know and want?

Investors shift and change assets based on the market conditions and how they are placed in that from an asset perspective.  Get to know your clients and their assets from a strengths and weaknesses perspective.  It’s really important when you are looking for listings and commissions.

So how can you work with this ‘disruption’ factor in a positive way?  You can be the solution provider, by staying ahead of rentals and occupancy issues locally.  Your database of businesses, tenants, and property owners will help greatly with that.

 

Your database and client list

Look at your database now.  How comprehensive is it?  More importantly, how up to date is the information and contact detail in it?  Put your database at the center of your real estate business, and you will then find leads and opportunities to act in sales, leasing, and property development.

 

Fast formula for investor services

So how can you build a local network of investors and then keep them as property clients for the long term?  There is a fast formula here to create.  Think about these things:

 

  1. Market rental updates – Rental changes will happen in precincts, property types, and particular buildings. Stay ahead of those rental changes and chart the gross and net rents for the asset classes.
  2. Supply and demand assessments of the local area – Why are businesses and people moving in and out of an area when it comes to business operations? Look at the historic supply of land and property, and then do some projections in looking at the next 5 years.  There will be some property redundancies and new developments to work with if you delve deeply enough.  Research your property market comprehensively for both supply and demand and tell your clients what is expected to happen locally.
  3. Regional zoning changes – Pressures of the community, the environment, and local business growth will create situations of zoning change. Roads and local transport activity will also create that change.  Stay ahead of zoning activity at the local property planning authority.  A simple zoning change will likely create business movement.  Look at that factor for listing and commission development.  Get copies of the local zoning maps so you can see what property changes are possible in locations.  Show your clients the local zoning maps and keep them appraised of what developments are coming up on the ‘investment horizon’.
  4. Tenant movements in and from local buildings – When you know the tenants that are moving locally, you are of real value to the property investors that you serve. Market your professional services on the basis of tenant movement and coverage.

 

All of this says that you should have a precinct focus for new business and investment service.   Don’t spread yourself too far as a property expert; you simply cannot cover every location and property type and then be aware of what is happening in rents, sales, and the supply and demand for the zone.

Be the specialist for the location, and on that basis you will be far more useful to the investors that you serve.  It’s not ‘rocket science’.  Keep things simple in commercial real estate brokerage and understand how you can serve the investors locally.

(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 it is Better to be a Listing Agent in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate today you see so many agents and brokers that work for buyers and tenants of all types without a formal appointment to do so.  Those buyers and tenants claim to be looking for something by way of a property to own or occupy, and then the agent spends lots of personal business time and resources looking around for that ‘magical’ property and investment.

(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 is this a problem?

Invariably the buyer or tenant is very likely talking to many agents locally at the one time, and all of those agents are committing precious resources chasing around the local property market to find the ‘ideal’ occupancy or ownership solution.  The person making the inquiry is very likely going to transact a property sale or lease at any time and with any agent that finds the right property.

So what is the problem here?  You cannot control that inquiry or negotiation therefore you cannot control your real estate business or any negotiation that may be possible.

The message?

There is a core message that is so important in our industry.  You, as the agent or broker must control the listing stock.  When you do that, the local people are coming to you (be they tenants or buyers) to inquire or inspect.   It is far better to be a listing agent working on controlled stock for that very reason.  You control the property and the client; on that basis the inquiry comes to you automatically, and you negotiate the deal for the client.

A good process, don’t you think?  Don’t just chase around after buyers and tenants if you have a choice; find the property listings and capture them exclusively.  The buyers and tenants will then come to you.

Let’s put a ‘proviso’ on this listing agent focus.  Exclusivity is part of the listing process, and open listings don’t really matter, and certainly have little value to the growth of market share for any agent or broker.  Can you accept that rule and work with it?

The right things

When you are the listing agent a few things fall into the right places, and that will help you with your property business.  Here are some ideas for that:

  1. Client creation and retention – When you find the client, you control the relationship over time. That ownership puts you in a favorable position for long term income opportunity.  How many clients do you really know deeply now?
  2. Focused negotiation – You are then the only agent or broker that the client is listening to. You have their attention and trust.  The negotiation process gets a lot easier.
  3. Referrals are more achievable – When you work closely with the client, a successful transaction is more easily obtained and the resultant referrals can be converted when the time is right. Repeat business is also a by-product of working closely with a client in this way.

From these three simple facts, you can see why the ‘listing agent’ process is more important than any other business strategy in our property industry.

(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)