When you are looking to grow your real estate business in a substantial way, the outbound calls that you make will help you find more people and create more meetings. In this video, I share the system behind telephone prospecting in commercial real estate brokerage.
Build your real estate business the easy way, and grow your skills in making outbound calls. Watch the video here.
Sometimes we have lots of properties to list and market. That is when systems of promotion will help your focus and your outcomes.
A question always arises here. How many exclusive listings are ‘too many’ for an individual broker or agent? There is a physical limit as to how many listings a broker can act on with reasonable focus and action.
Exclusivity demands more time and more effort, and rightly so. Open listings should only take a small amount of your time. If you have the luxury of a ‘personal assistant’, then it is arguable that you can handle 50% more than your standard allocation of listings.
How Many Listings are Too Many?
So let’s go back to the question of just how many listings are ‘too many’. The answer depends a bit on the size and complexity of a property. It is easily the case that a very large investment property such as a shopping centre could very well take all of your time and effort for some months or at least weeks when the marketing, inspections, and negotiations are underway.
If you are working on ‘average’ properties of say a few tenants and small configuration, then it is likely that you can handle up to about 15 properties exclusively at any one point in time. Remember, however, the requirement for quality in what you list.
Promotional Rules in Brokerage
Here are some marketing reminders to work with here when you list properties for sale or lease:
- Check out the listing first in all respects so you can understand all the strengths and weaknesses of the property. The preparation here will help you with your advertising copy, defining the target market, and the timing of the marketing campaign.
- When you know everything possible about the property, then you can look at the competing properties locally and within the targeted segment of buildings. A ‘competitive awareness’ will help you with positioning the marketing campaign in so many different ways. How can your property ‘stand out’ as the better choice locally with buyers or tenants? That question has to be answered with all listings and exclusive appointments.
- Set a defined target marketing campaign for tenants or buyers so that the marketing can be specified in message and timing. Certain times of the year will be better for marketing, so take steps to understand the promotional ‘seasons’, and how your properties will fit into that.
- Reach, and media choice will be the next factor to consider. Today we have so many effective and efficient marketing systems to use. Traditional newspaper marketing has fallen back on the ‘promotional scale’. Online and direct marketing has taken its place; that is certainly the case with exclusive listings. Determine how you can get the message out to the local area of buyers or tenants. Spread the promotional word efficiently.
Taking these points to finality, the marketing process is so critical in commercial real estate today. Don’t take the generic approach, but be specific in all your exclusive real estate campaigns.
Spend more time on spreading the word about the property and the opportunity that the property presents. A comprehensively marketed property will help you greatly in your real estate brand and personal reputation as the ‘industry specialist’.
I like to think that every property taken to the market for sale or lease is handled with a direct and deliberate strategy; that is my rule and process, and that is why I will not take on open listings. As busy as we can be in commercial real estate brokerage, the promotional strategies that we adopt are unique.
Every listing deserves the ‘deliberate’ approach to marketing and engagement with potential buyers or tenants. When you focus on the quality side of our business, you can achieve more results over time.
When you look at your average working week, where are the priorities? There should be only three or four things that you do every day, and those things should take precedence in your business activities. Sure, other things will have to be done, but the four main things will always take precedent.
Marketing Rules for Enquiry Attraction
So, the marketing process can be refined back to simple rules. Here are some of those rules that I like to work to:
- Set a clear target market that applies to the listing. Where can you tap into that target market? How can you tune the marketing campaign to reach that group of targeted people? When you know those answers you can drill down on the campaign timing and media channels to be used. There are always different and better ways for us to do things. The clients that we serve like to hear fresh ideas and strategies; that is how you win more listings over time.
- Use some different approaches to your promotional processes. The owner of the property can likely share some stories with you about the property and the location that would be valuable in your editorials and articles about the listings. A story makes a property more interesting. Historic properties are also valuable to helping you build a local profile that is different and perhaps specialized.
- Build a matrix of marketing that can change and adjust every few weeks. It takes about three weeks for the first level of marketing to be assessed; from that assessment, you can modify adverts, media choices, and photography. Every website advert for each listing can be slightly different in layout or property facts. That then builds the attraction factor for better property inquiry.
- Knowing the value of inbound inquiry, look at your listing groups so you can feed inquiry across the locations and the property types in positive ways. One inquiry can be directed to several properties and inspections. Do more with your inquiries. Track your inquiries so you know what is working for you with inbound property inquiry.
Take every property to the market with deliberate promotional strategies. Build some momentum with your listing activity and target marketing.
In your role as a broker or agent, your client contact model will be indispensable to your business growth plans. Client and prospect contact is necessary and crucial to your attraction of listings and eventually the commissions that you require.
The primary focus of your business day should be to talk to the people that you know now, and those that could be clients over time. There are no shortcuts to that requirement. Conversations create leads and the interest of other people in your real estate services.
Smart Contact and List Building Ideas
So, I call these the ‘smart contact ideas’ for brokers and agents. These are ways of connecting with people regularly and not being ‘excessive’ and overdone in your commercial real estate prospecting or client communication.
Help people to understand the property market; that is a good way of approaching contact and prospecting activity. These are the ‘smart contact ideas’ that you could merge into your business model:
- Examples and Case Studies from property activity in the local area – a successful transaction is a good story to share. Providing you are not breaching any client confidentiality, a sale or lease transaction is worth talking about and communicating to other interested local people. You can also do an article or press release and publish it on your blog, website, and or in the local newspapers. You can add to those alternatives, your social media channels. Spread the word about property activity; show the people in the property market that you have plenty of coverage and activity now with good quality listings.
- Listings in the zone or precinct – break your local area and your listings down into groupings so you can look at the momentum with inspections, enquiries, and marketing choices. Local listings will be attractive and interesting to investors or other business leaders. Share the information about the properties on the market now.
- Review of supply and demand for buildings and land – as the local economy changes, there will be requirements for land and developments. What is happening with land supply that could impact future construction and the availability of quality buildings? Look for the land and consider the zoning issues that will strengthen or weaken property construction and supply. Talk about the supply trends of local property.
- Changes to cap rates and yields – some towns or cities are ‘better performers’ when it comes the cap rates and yields on a commercial and or retail property. There will be ‘averages’ to look for when it comes to the sale and leasing of investment properties. Most properties will have factors of attraction and some weaknesses when it comes to investment. What are the indicators that apply now to purchase and ownership of local investment property? What could a property owner expect from the purchase of a property and its retention for several years?
So, these are valuable things to talk to your clients and prospects about as you connect in regular ongoing ways. Provide locally based sales and leasing information comprehensively; that is the foundation of client contact and professional services as a broker or agent.
When you work in commercial real estate as a broker or an agent, undertake a regular assessment of your territory and designated listing area, so you know what is happening and where the opportunities are coming from. You need to understand what is happening when it comes to time on market, listing activity, enquiry, and property opportunity. Things change in commercial real estate brokerage, and that change is always a point of leverage for any agent or broker with both clients and listings.
In your area or territory, there will be investors to identify, clients to serve, tenants to track, enquiries to satisfy, and businesses to connect with. A defined area or precinct will help you do that effectively and to do so under some form of a system.
Set your geographical boundaries so that you can build some specific momentum and logical accuracy in prospecting on a street by street basis with property owners, businesses, and tenants in occupation.
Precinct Assessments for Brokerage Coverage
Here are some ideas to help you assess your precinct accurately and efficiently:
- Identify the number of properties within the precinct by type and by location. Get to know the locations and the streets and make a list the property owners and local businesses. The greater your depth of ownership and investor knowledge across the location, the easier it is to find opportunities in property sales and leasing. The local businesses may also own the properties in which they are located. Questions and connections will help you find the information you need for future ongoing property opportunity.
- Do a signboard count across the area and in all your targeted precincts. Differentiate between open listings and exclusive listings. Split the signboard count into agent groupings and property types. Identify the agents that have the market dominance and understand why that is the case.
- Do an advertisement count on the Internet of all relevant and current listings. Split those listings into locations, property types, and brokerages. Throughout the year, those listing numbers will change seasonally, as will any property pressures that apply to the economy and the town or city. In some respects, you need to be a good predictor of market circumstances and changes to find the best listings and clients that you need. Work the opportunities and the changes that can provide you with listings.
- Given the three factors mentioned above, it is necessary to understand time on market by precinct and by region. Some properties will stay on the market longer than others. Get to know why that is the case and develop some marketing strategies to position your properties and listings more favourably from a promotional perspective.
All these numbers will help you with your market awareness and future property opportunities. In assessing these situations, you will find new people and business owners to connect with.
Systemize your real estate business in all respects so that you can grow your opportunities and grow market share. Luck has nothing to do with commercial real estate brokerage today. Deliberate effort and logical systemization will help you get to the market penetration that you need.