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.
If you have chosen commercial real estate as your preferred career, you have likely done so for a reason. Perhaps someone has introduced you to the profession, or you have seen what some agents do and achieve in their career and you want to get similar results.
Many ‘Roads’ to Take in Commercial Property
Certainly there are many ‘roads’ of focus and activity to take in commercial real estate brokerage; all of those ‘roads’ are specialized in some way for both property type and location. All of those ‘roads’ involve client contact, personal performance, commissions, and listings.
You have to be a person that will focus personal effort into all of those things, and that is certainly the case if you want to get more or improved results from your industry and from your efforts over time.
You need a plan as an agent or broker, and that plan when started can be refined over time. The commissions come to those that work with professional skills that are improved over time. Are you that person?
Get More Real Estate Traction and Focus
Here are some ideas to help you get more traction in your career as an agent or broker, and attract better levels of commissions:
Specialist skills – choose the property types that you understand and can match your professional skills into. Boost your skills through practice. There is no point specializing in something that sells or leases in low volume. Look at the end result of what could happen in your property specialization. Improve your skills through deliberate effort.
Local area – choose the local area that shows the best possibilities for your efforts over time. Review the streets and precincts. Look at the buildings and investment properties in the chosen location.
Owners, Tenants and Business owners – you can work for clients in all 3 of these categories, but in saying that, each category requires understanding and unique qualities of service. Given your location, how much business could you extract from the segments? You could be an agent for landlords, tenants, buyers, or sellers; match your services into the segments that you prefer and then prospect the segments comprehensively in an ongoing way.
Referrals – when you know a customer or client with reasonable familiarity, the referral process gets a lot easier. Encourage your clients to tell you about other people that they know who may be interested in property investment.
Repeat business – some clients will transact commercial property in a number of different ways over time. That is especially so if they own multiple properties or a portfolio. Review your clients on that basis.
Quality properties – work with the better quality properties as they will attract more inquiry and that will lead to a better churn of listings and properties. As you work with more listings piggy back your listings and inquiries so you can move an inquiry from one property to another and eventually find the right solution for the buyer or tenant.
A quality database – review the database software that you use an understand its potential for you in finding the right people to transact real estate in some way. Spreadsheets don’t offer a complete level of coverage; the larger that they get, the more difficult it is in finding the right people to match into a property listing or inquiry.
There are some special things that you can do here with a listings and commissions focus. If commercial real estate is your career, then the elements mentioned here will be vital to the outcomes that you seek. Refine them and improve them over time. Top agents are created and shaped over time; luck has nothing to do with the process. Your career and its results are influenced by deliberate choices and refined actions.
Time is one of the most valuable resources that you have in commercial real estate brokerage. The way that you use your time will impact the results that you seek with clients, listings, inspections, and commissions.
Consider the events of the last week in your diary.
Could you have approach things more effectively?
Are there times where you could have focused your energy in different directions for better results?
Of course the answers to these questions are an affirmative yes in every respect. In hindsight we can all improve our results and our effectiveness in property brokerage. The trick here is to build that strategy into each and every working day.
Don’t waste your time on the things that really don’t matter. Understand your priorities as a broker or an agent. Get things done specifically and directly with a focus on new business and commissions.
Here is an audio recording by John Highman focusing on the importance of time management and task management in commercial real estate brokerage today.
You will hear it frequently said that cold calling just has to be a part of a real estate prospecting model. Many agents and brokers struggle with the process and never really get it under control. That’s where the frustration is for many; they simply can’t get the skills under control or perhaps the focus is lacking.
One thing needs to be said here if your real estate business is important to you. The issue is that you must practice your skills at making calls and lots of them. There are plenty of people to reach out to and many ways to do that.
Focus Your Call Routine This Way
Here are some valuable ways to get things under control:
Best time of day – Choose the best time of day to make your calls. That will be the time when you can reliably get your calls done without disruption. Certainly you have to bend the rules sometimes when it comes to making calls because some deals and some client matters cannot be put off. Understand how you like to do your work and when you like to do that. Where can you get 2 or 3 hours per day to make your calls? The morning is perhaps the best time for most people.
Relevance in conversation – If you want people to listen to you, then you must have some relevant conversational facts to talk about. Those facts should be locally biased and interesting. Be prepared to talk about local property trends and changes. Be prepared to talk about identified changes that will bring interest and benefit to your prospect and client base.
Practice your words – Some words work considerably better than others when it comes to creating flow and interest in conversation. You can get some valuable books about ‘Words that Sell’, and ‘Phrases that Sell’. Merge some of those word concepts into your conversations and client contact methods. Practice will help you improve in that way.
Have a few stories to tell – Local stories about property issues and changes will always be valuable as you talk to many local people. Over the course of a year you can capture many good stories about property issues and changes. Choose the best stories. Master the art of storytelling; that’s what good salespeople do all the time.
Make lots of calls – Every day you need to make a reasonable volume of calls; that process will require research and a good database to track your progress. In a period of 3 hours you should be able to make 40 to 50 calls. If you are using the business telephone book to do that, the momentum you create will be valuable to the growth of your real estate business.
Track your progress as you make the calls – Make notes in your database of what people have said and what you decided to do for the people you have connected with. You can talk about call progress and previous comments when you next reach out to the same people. Familiarity will help you grow good levels of trust and respect in the people that matter.
Qualify the people in conversation – Good questions will help you know if you can be of help to the people that you call. Determine your relevance to them and when they will best benefit from your future advice. Tell them how you can help them and when you should be talking with them again. If you can see an immediate or pending need, create a meeting. The person to person contact process in commercial real estate is really important.
So there are some good things that you can do here with cold calling and commercial real estate prospecting. Are you up to the challenge of making the calls and providing the best property service for your local area? Show respect in your conversations with the people that will take your call and speak with you. Respect builds trust. That is how you can move ahead in your local area as a top agent.
Talent in commercial real estate can be a number of things depending on the job specification, the local area, and the property type. The point is that you must hire people with ‘talent’ or ‘potential talent’ if you want a better brokerage and market share.
When you are employing people for real estate roles in sales, leasing, or property management, choose those people that match the demands of the role. Don’t employ someone that ‘thinks’ that they can do the work or is untested without applying a probation period. Employing the wrong person can waste a lot of time and money.
Real ‘talent’ in our industry will be specific to the role required and the person, but they generally have a set of ‘common denominators’. Here are some of those:
An ability to self-motivate under pressure
Real knowledge of the property type and the area locally
A willingness to learn new things and systems in real estate
Advanced communication and negotiation skills across all parts of the industry
Awareness of property strategies that apply in sales, leasing, and property management
Knows how to seek out new business and clients quickly and effectively
The ability to set personal goals and to then take steps to move towards them
A track record of achievement in the industry
A client base that is deep and proven for the local area
Someone that is personally committed to growing their business and can prove to you that they have a system to do so
Can you find a person with all of these ‘traits’? Yes they are out there; but they do take some finding. Question the candidates ‘track record’ in the industry and get some facts about their client base. Both issues will be important to the future of the role. Understand just where they have been and the achievements reached in doing so.
There are people that have some of these elements of ‘talent’, and a willingness to learn the rest. That’s where the full review process comes into importance and relevance. Through the job interview process understand just who you have before you and what they can bring to you. Skills, knowledge, and market experience all have value to the employment selection process. Make sure the person can prove that they are willing to learn and get evidence of how they have done that in other roles or brokerages.
As a final note here it is worth understanding that it takes a couple of interviews to really review a person considered for a sales position in commercial real estate. In the last interview you can ask them to do a presentation on ‘why they should be the best person for the role’. Don’t rush your choice or decision. Consider all the facts before you before accepting the candidate into your commercial real estate brokerage.
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