The best agents in commercial real estate know how to communicate effectively and control their transactions from start to finish. They do not lose control of the deal momentum. They stay with their listings and negotiation positions to the very end. Those focus points are quite important.
Things will change, and momentum will shift in any sale or lease, so expect that. Understanding the momentum of the parties and their negotiation targets will help you effectively convert and control the transaction. Set your rules to all the communication processes across listings, inspections, and negotiations.
Comprehensive Communication with Listing Control
Stay with the transaction and the involved people from the very beginning.
Here are some ideas to help with that transaction control:
Know who your client is in the transaction, and don’t lose that awareness as the elements of the deal move and change. The client is the person that needs your help and will be the one that is paying the commission at the point of success.
Make sure your appointment to act in the sale or property transaction is accurately compiled and legally correct. You don’t want any disagreements about commission at a later time.
Get full property detail and title ownership correctly compiled for the transaction and the negotiations that may follow. Be prepared for questions and negotiation elements between the parties.
Follow the client’s instructions to completion. Keep the client fully briefed as matters shift and change. Information helps with negotiations.
Take plenty of notes as the transaction evolves. Most property negotiations are complex, and the elements of offers, discussions, and agreements will vary. Your notes are critical to transaction control. Every meeting, telephone discussion, or direct instruction should be documented.
If you need some ‘market awareness’ to help shape the thoughts of your client or the negotiating party, then gather plenty of comparable evidence from other local properties and transactions. That evidence should be statistical and visual, as well as verbal. Verbal comments alone don’t count much when it comes to client or prospect conditioning. Help your client or the other party to the transaction understand the elements of the local property market and recent prices or rents.
Most parties to a property sale or lease want to get some ‘saving’ as a final element of ‘closure’ on a negotiation. What is the best alternative to no agreement for each of the parties? They will be ‘holding out’ for their position and advantages, and somewhere in those facts will be a potential agreement. Know the negotiation ‘variables’ for each party and then position the negotiation around them.
Personal marketing for a top agent is a required process. It covers promotions and engagement across some different channels. A top agent will be using all available marketing elements to build their business. That will, for example, be websites, editorials, articles, social media, databases, telephone calls, and meetings. That is how they can build a solid marketing profile as an industry expert. The process of personal marketing never stops for a top agent. Get involved in promoting yourself and your skills locally. Engage with your target market.
When the final transaction documentation takes shape, understand the facts and capture the elements of the deal. Know how all matters should be documented; do so with accuracy and timeliness. All documentation should be served and prepared with full regard to local property laws and the instructions of the client.
With these things, you can control a property transaction most effectively from start to finish.
Communicate through your listing and property transactions with accuracy and timeliness. That will help in creating ‘closure’. Commissions are then easier to convert. That is how top agents do things.
Its the middle of the year and we all have plenty of things to do over the coming 5 months to the end of 2014. Part of this podcast focuses on Goals and Targets; I hope you have been tracking your targets for this year. Now would be a good time to assess the way in which you can get more results towards the end of the year.
In this audio file I am also covering leasing issues being ‘construction plans and drawings’, as well as how you can qualify and lease to more tenants in this market.
Thanks for being part of this online community. I hope the audio is of use in giving you ideas and momentum.
When you create an action plan for prospecting in commercial real estate brokerage, you have something to work with that can help you find the right clients and listings. Most prospecting plans require modification and refinement given that most property markets will change throughout the year. The important issue here is that you also change your approach accordingly, and keep new contacts and prospects flowing into your database.
So you need an action plan. That plan is something that you can do every day to reach new people to talk to and connect with. Have you got one of those plans now? If not this will help you get started:
Understand that you are the person to drive the prospecting plan and all the stages of it. Diligence to the process is required. You can’t take a day off or ‘cheat’ on the tasks required. When you define the actions to take, they simply have to be done.
Define your territory to focus on. That will be ‘geographically’ so that you can concentrate on the streets, property owners, quality properties, and listings in a logical way. Split up the area into segments to be covered and worked. Ideally that will be in segments of 100 properties.
Understand your property speciality in all respects. Most of the clients that you work with require an agent that is really experienced in the property type and the market; the client must see that you are the ‘real deal’ when it comes to understanding the property and what to do with it.
List high quality properties as a preference. On that basis be selective in what you list and why you do it. It is a fact that any quality property will create better levels of inbound enquiry. In that way you can create more inspections and create leverage in negotiations.
Letters should be sent to property owners locally and the required follow up calls should be done. Don’t send letters and hope that the prospect or property owner will call you back; it is highly likely that they will not. You are the key to getting momentum from your prospecting letters. Only send out the required number that you can follow up in calls. A good number to start with is 5 letters per day.
Each day call at least 25 business people, tenants, property owners and any others that may have an interest in commercial real estate today or in the future. Ask the questions to see what they are doing now with property. Qualify them before you seek a meeting.
Conversations are the secret to finding the leads and the opportunities that you require. Talk to lots of people every day and leave your business card with all the people you speak to. You really do not need much in the way of other marketing material. Your business card is the key to the process.
Other listings, sales, and leasing should be watched for action and opportunity. Monitor your competitors and the factors of time on market.
Track your momentum with a good database. People of substance and relevance to commercial property should be spoken to frequently, and a database will help you do that correctly and specifically.
Your prospecting plan doesn’t need to be complex, but it does need to be done. It’s not something that you can delegate. Personal action is required. The processes that you create can take you to the top of the commercial real estate market much faster.
In commercial real estate agency your sales presentation or pitch should be simple and direct. In saying that I still see so many agents front up to the client’s office for the presentation looking like a ‘pack-horse’ with every conceivable marketing tool imaginable. What a big mistake!
First impressions mean a lot in our industry. As you enter the client’s office or work environment, the message you send must be simple and professional; you must look the part in every respect. How you dress, what you say, and what you do in the first 2 minutes of the meeting will impact the remainder of the client connection.
Your sales pitch or presentation has to be simple. The client has to grasp what you are talking about and see some clear and relevant solutions to their property challenge. When you complicate things, you lose the clients attention.
Top commercial real estate agents know how to be relevant and real for the current property market. They prepare the right information that connects to the current market conditions, the property, and solutions available to the client.
The agent that wins the listing is usually the one that has fully prepared for the meeting with high level content and facts about the market. They also offer specific strategies that go beyond the ‘generic rubbish’ that ordinary inexperienced agents provide.
Here are some ways to connect with the client in a professional sales pitch or presentation today:
Ensure that you have seen the property before the meeting so you can relate to it in many different ways.
Check out the other competing properties on the market nearby. Be prepared to talk about them and how they are being marketed (successfully or unsuccessfully).
The only tools you need for a presentation will be your marketing folder, and perhaps a laptop computer.
In your marketing folder have listing forms, samples of marketing, maps of the area, subject property details (searched and checked), Gantt charts of sales and leasing processes, testimonials, and market research information.
In your laptop (or tablet computer) have plenty of photographs of the property so you can run a slide show as part of the client connection.
Have a brief marketing proposal ready with recommendations as part of taking the subject property to the right target market.
Get away from long and tedious proposals for the client to read. Use dot points, checklists, graphs, and photographs in the proposal. That will help capture the client’s attention.
Ensure that you have a few good stories to tell about some other property owners locally that have gone through the same pressures as the client you are talking to. Stories always help the connection and will be appreciated by the client in the presentation. Good stories will be remembered.
Simplify your strategies when it comes to meeting new potential clients. Take less information and clutter with you, but make sure that the things that you do have are of the highest and most relevant quality. Practice your pitch beforehand. Show the confidence that the client wants to see in the listing process.
In this time of technology and e-mail, the traditional letter is even more effective and powerful as a marketing tool. Far too many commercial agents rely solely or largely on e-mail as part of their marketing effort. Develop a direct mail strategy to add to any other marketing activities that you currently undertake.
In saying all of this, the direct mail process should only occur if you are prepared to follow-up each and every letter sent. When it comes to commercial property, most of the new business we create is through trust and personal contact. For this reason the letters that you send should be focused on two things. They are:
To introduce yourself as a local commercial real estate expert of relevance to the prospect.
To seek a meeting with the prospect and provide them with local market information and knowledge.
If you send a letter on this basis, you are not confusing the marketing message and you are simply introducing yourself. This makes the telephone follow-up process quite easy and specific.
Here are some specific tips to apply to the direct mail strategy and letters sent today.
The letter that you send should be simple in format. Three or four simple paragraphs are sufficient to send right the message and request a meeting. Keep the letters simple in every respect. You want the person to take your call when you make it in a few days’ time. The letter is really encouraging them to take your call. When you make the call, you are then encouraging them to a allow you to meet with them. Keep things simple and centered on these basic processes.
The only thing that you should include in your letter should be a business card. Far too many agents send bulky marketing material and brochures. Most of that will be put in the rubbish bin fairly quickly. If you send only a business card, that is likely to stay within the possession of the client for some time. That is exactly the goal of your letter.
Break your letter up into three simple paragraphs of two or three sentences each. Tell the client about the local property market and recent changes that may be of interest to them. Tell the client that you will be ringing them in the next few days to talk about those facts. The primary goal of your letter is for the client to take your call. When you make that call, you want them to remember you. That is why the business card mentioned earlier is part of the contact strategy.
When you sign off the letter, do it personally in blue ink. That will then show the prospect that you have personally committed to the dispatch of the letter. If your standard letter signature is somewhat illegible, it is better to develop a legible signing process for your marketing letters. That will then show the client that you have taken time to identify yourself formally and correctly at the base of the correspondence. You have a name; make sure the client can read it.
The traditional direct mail strategy is of importance and significance when it comes to marketing yourself today. Make sure you follow the above points so that your correspondence can be converted to the meeting that you require.
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