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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.