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.
In the commercial real estate industry, you will get plenty of pressure from your clients and prospects to reduce your commission or service fee. If you truly believe that your services are superior in your location and with your property types, then fee reduction is not an option.
Ask for the appropriate fee for services to be rendered. Talk about the value that you provide to the client and their property challenge, and then wait for an answer. Be prepared to walk away from a fee reduction request if it is unfair or too onerous.
Desperation is not a good look in commercial real estate nor should it be the basis of your commission or listing agreements. If you truly believe that you are offering a top-quality service, then ask for the fair fee, and stick to your request.
One thing should be remembered here when thinking about listing fees and commissions. The client needs your services to resolve their property challenge to get the best outcome achievable and to do so in a timely way. If you sell your services through those two points of focus, the conversion of the listing at a fair commission is quite achievable.
Who Do You Work For?
You do not want to work for clients that are unrealistic, or not aligned to the property market situation today. Local area investigations will show you and the client what the chances may be of getting property enquiry and inspections underway.
So, a focused listing approach and presentation process will help you achieve better outcomes with your clients and with your service commissions. Try these ideas for starters:
Show that you understand the facts. That then is those facts relating to the client and their property and its position in the location. Inspect the property with the client to discuss presentational issues, strategies, improvements, and tactics.
Define a clear target market. Every property will be suited to certain target markets. The more direct that you are in defining that fact will then help with client engagement and decision making.
Tell a few stories. Property stories always help with a client conversation and decisions required. Choose the stories that are best suited to the property type and the challenges faced by the client in today’s terms. Show that client that you understand the solutions required. Talk about how you will direct your efforts towards solutions.
Choose the best method of sale (or lease). There are different ways to approach the marketing of any property. Make your choices for the client and give them some alternatives to work with. It is then easier for the client to decide what they are doing and why they should act in a way as part of moving on your recommendations.
Give real strategy to your professional approach. Don’t be generic in your business approach to listing or selling a commercial property. The ‘common’ approach to marketing and negotiation should only apply to ‘open listings’.
Give timelines to the campaign and marketing process. There are many things to do in marketing a commercial, industrial, or retail property. Show the clients the stages of your approach and how they are so relevant to moving things forward. Put yourself in the equation of property marketing and negotiating.
Seek exclusivity for work to be undertaken, as that is the only way you can devote the required time to the client and their property. Show the client why your exclusive listing processes are superior in resolving their challenge today.
If you follow these rules, it helps you convert listings and achieve better commissions. Always document the sale or lease agreement comprehensively and legally, so you do not have to revisit the commission discussion again. Simply put, get into the marketing of the property and resolving the client’s property targets and obstacles in a timely way.
When you work as a broker or agent in a commercial real estate business, a good imagination will help you see the available property opportunities that are around you in the city or town. Acting on those opportunities locally will be the next important stage of moving forward. Commissions and clients await your identification and action.
Stay focused and organized as you look for property opportunities. Use your imagination with a professional focus. Filter your ideas into property types, people, precincts, and levels of reality.
Track everything that you do and see, and do that in an excellent quality database program. It is easier to act on things when you see the ‘steps and stages’. Break down the complexity of things into levels that you can act on.
Creative Brokerage Vision
So, the factors of imagination that you want to nurture here are creative and visionary. Seeing the potential transaction, listing, or property development early is important. You are the broker or agent with the ‘property market awareness’; that information is of value to the clients that you work for.
With a fuller awareness of the property market, it is likely that you will see many things before others do, and particularly the clients that need help or want to expand or change their investments. Acting early on opportunities before other agents and competitors will help in converting the new business.
Capture the Ideas
How can you work with this valuable approach to your real estate business? Here are three useful ideas:
Carry a small notebook with you that you can use at any time to capture your thoughts and observations. That is particularly so with any things that you see or think about during the working day or after hours; capture your ideas. The act of writing things down will be very helpful in capturing the concepts, ideas, and facts that you come across every day. Most successful property transactions start from a small idea or observation that is acted on at a later time.
Mind-maps are a way of creating a vision or opening a complex real estate issue into a ‘roadmap’ of actions. One big issue or property event is usually a matrix of smaller steps or stages. There are plenty of mind-map programs that you can get to use on the computer or iPad. You can also use a simple blank piece of paper as a ‘mind-map template’ when you are working with complex issues. Get a simple blank piece of paper and a set of colored pencils, and then use those basic tools to extract your ideas. When you put something on paper you can act on the opportunity and the separate stages; you can see the ‘road ahead’.
Devote the start of the day to ‘brainstorming’ your business and your property market. The best time to do that is when you arise first thing in the morning. You can ‘brainstorm’ your thoughts over a coffee and breakfast, or perhaps before your regular exercise routine.
The message here is that you can productively use your observations from the marketplace to find opportunities in commercial real estate brokerage. You just need a few tools to help you be creative and visionary.
Personal systems are the foundation of progress and success in commercial real estate brokerage. Those systems can evolve in key areas of the business personally. In this audio program, I share the most important processes that I have seen and used over the years in working clients and prospects.
Brokerage momentum comes from clients and properties. The only way to get substantial penetration into those segments is through ‘process’. Have a listen to this audio to see how your ‘process’ would compare currently as a broker or agent.
We all have a database of some form or another if we work successfully in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. The key to the process is that the list we create is up to date and is comprehensively used in client and prospect contact. So how do we use that list? Here are some ideas:
Letters of a marketing nature
Regular contact with property updates
If you are struggling with your property market commissions and or your listing activity, have a good look at your database of people and fully review what you are doing with it.
Look at the key issues of:
Filling the list with new people every day
Connecting with the people in your list now
Providing real value in your client communication
Being relevant in your contact processes
Staying in contact for the longer term
Having worked with a number of brokerage teams over the years, I know that the previous points are ‘struggle factors’ for some. That being said, I have put my comments in this audio program that I know can help most brokers and agents with client and prospect contact. They work for me, and I know those points can work for you. (NB -if you are struggling with team performance in brokerage, you can get more facts in Snapshot right here – its free)
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