Do you want to lift your brand locally in commercial real estate sales? You will need a plan to achieve that. Each day you can then take more steps towards the top agent status that you require.
Why is a brand so important in commercial real estate brokerage today? Well, the fact of the matter is that you really want the prospects and clients in the local area to remember you. Your brand, your professional skills and your local area knowledge are all part of that.
There are plenty of competing agents around you all chasing the top clients and prospects. Deliberately stamp your brand on the local property market. Make an impression of the highest professional standards.
The clients and prospects today are smart; they will very likely have made their inquiries and undertaken their investigations to determine who is the best agent to help them with their sales or purchase requirement. In the presentation or listing pitch that they are asking you to provide, they are testing you.
They want you to demonstrate your ideas and confirm that you are the best choice of agent to help them. Are you up to the challenge? Can you prove that you are relevant and special to the client’s situation? What are your points of difference?
Here are some ideas to help you to lift your profile as a top broker or agent in investment sales:
Canvas the quality buildings in the location – talk to all the occupants in the best buildings in your territory and the priority precincts. Give the facts of the buildings or assets, the location, and the leases, look at how you can help with investment improvement or new property purchase. You can service both purchasers or sellers (not at the same time though – you can only have one client). Your services can be ‘tweaked’ accordingly for the clients that you believe have the most opportunity for you; match your sales knowledge and local area coverage into those client types. You can be a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. Specialization helps in each case.
Talk to specific property owners of high value – perhaps the clients that you know own multiple properties locally. Perhaps they spread their investment risk across different property types. Portfolio ownership and investment performance is quite special today.
Create a VIP list within your database – those people are the very special prospects and clients that you will be servicing at a higher level over time. Develop some special VIP services to achieve that.
Hold regular industry updates – you can hold industry briefings for your best clients and prospects on a quarterly or half yearly basis. Treat them differently and give them plenty of comparisons and case studies from the location and the recent transactions. Have a few stories to tell from the local region.
Establish an online marketing strategy incorporating social media – as you talk to more people from the region, share your ideas with them through social media. Your online presence today is really important; don’t just market your listings, but also market yourself.
In building your brokerage brand and your personal profile locally, search through all the property ownership records and the business registers to start your contact processes in a complete and logical way.
Don’t leave one property owner out of your contact processes. Build your brand with the people that own the assets. List your properties exclusively and control your listing stock.
In commercial real estate brokerage, you should have a plan and a strategy that applies to selling your services and your ideas. That plan should be personally implemented on a daily basis. In that way you will be attracting more people to your ideas and your professional skills.
If you are missing out on listings and property inquiry, it is quite likely due to the lack of personal promotion and direct prospecting. You simply cannot avoid the process; you can’t delegate it to anyone else. If you want to achieve reasonable momentum in commercial real estate brokerage today, you really do need to have that personal marketing strategy under control.
Think about the property market today in your location. How competitive is the market, and are you attracting the best quality listings to your brokerage? Attraction and conversion are two big factors in our industry. You simply have to attract the best listings, the best clients, and the best prospects. When you have the listing stock, you can create the appropriate conversion for the market conditions and the client circumstances. Professionalism and promotion will help you achieve those ultimate goals.
Momentum in Brokerage
Momentum is a big issue in our industry. Every day things have to happen that will create churn and activity around you. The telephone should ring with enquiries, and the listings on your books should be attracting those enquiries. One factor to remember here is that quality listings will always create better levels of enquiry. Look at your listings, and understand the factors of attraction in each case. Market your listings into the factors of attraction and the target market.
Here are some ideas to help you sell your professional brokerage services to the right clients and prospects in commercial real estate today:
Property case studies – any successful recent sale or lease transaction will be worth sharing into the local area, the business owners, and the property investors. Recognizing that you cannot and should not breach transaction client confidentiality, create some case studies that spread the basic message of the recent successful deal, be that in sales or leasing activity. Circulate those case studies both online and off-line. Use those case studies in your meetings and discussions with prospects and clients. Market evidence is something that is hard to refute or dispute. Your successful transactions are worth talking about.
Recent location based sales or leases – within your location there will be plenty of property types and precincts to focus within. A recent transaction can be spoken about and shared into the specific precincts of focus and activity. Talk to the neighboring property owners and business proprietors. Soon you will find some other leads or transaction opportunities in the same location from the recent successful deal. Talk about your successes into the location. Spread the word, and share the successes with others, at the same time encouraging them to talk about their property needs and challenges.
Listings on portals – review all of the listings that you have placed online. The listings should be refreshed with different words and advertising copy every few weeks. Also use professional photographs wherever possible. Don’t let your listings become stale. Look at the positioning of each of the listings online in comparison to other properties competing in the same area.
Blog strategies – whilst your brokerage will have a local website to promote properties for sale or lease, you can also have a specialized commercial real estate blog to talk about local area property activity and recent listings. The blog is essentially a place where you can personally share your information professionally about the local area from a property perspective. The information that you publicize on the blog should be useful and local area relative. Think about the keywords and the important stories that should be circulated online. You can do that through your blogging process. Shape your stories for search engine exposure.
Direct calls – use the business telephone book to talk to plenty of local business owners and tenants. Allocate a certain number of outbound calls each day to new people within the location. You cannot and should not delegate this process given that you know the property market better than others. Ideally you want to talk to local people and those that have a property interest or challenge. Over time your database can grow through that simple daily process. The people that know you personally are the ones that are most likely to help you grow your commission and listing churn. If you are missing out on listing opportunity now, it is quite likely due to the fact that you do not know enough local people and property identities.
Direct mail – the direct mail process is somewhat expensive although reasonably successful providing you follow up each letter that you send out. The follow-up process should be a direct telephone call to the person concerned. Do not send out letters without having a follow-up process in place for each letter sent. The letters that you send should introduce the call that you are going to make in follow-up. Over time that direct mail marketing approach will allow you to connect professionally and directly with new people.
Door to door – when you look into your local area and understand the property precincts, the best streets, and the best buildings, you can strategize a door-to-door canvassing process where you can talk to all the business owners and property owners. Create conversations and connections through the door-to-door canvassing process. In simple terms, you are seeking to understand if the occupant of the property requires help or assistance from a leasing, purchasing, or sales perspective. It is also valuable to know whether they are tenant or an owner occupier. Simple questions and conversations will help you achieve that knowledge and momentum. Track your process and your momentum within your database and within charts and maps. Local area coverage is really important. Do not leave one building or one business owner out of your connection process. Methodically cover off on all the local property ownership and occupancy issues.
All of these concepts of marketing and canvassing work very well. In saying that, they require specific focus and a systematized approach. Take your commercial real estate brokerage activities to the next level through a combination of these ideas and strategies.
If you are looking to grow your market share and improve the results for your clients, then you simply must seek and convert vendor paid marketing as part of your business model. It is the best solution for creating inquiry. It is also the best solution for getting results for the clients that you work for.
Lift Enquiry in Better Ways
As the level of property inquiry escalates as part of a dedicated and special promotional program, this is what typically happens:
Your database grows with quality people calling you on the better listings
Better quality listings allow you to speak to active investors and business leaders for the location
Your existing listing stock allows you to talk to other local people.
You get known as a property specialist for the location and that then helps you build listings with other locals
Other local property owners get to notice you as the ‘go to person’ for the location and property type
So these are all good things. Your ability to create vendor paid marketing will help you get started on the road to improved market presence.
So here are some ways to sell the marketing message and the requirement for vendor funds in your listing pitch:
Vary your packages offered – Most clients like to have a choice when presented with property matters and challenges. Give them 3 different approaches to marketing and advertising coverage (also provide the reasons for the different packages). When they have choices, the advertising spend gets a bit easier.
Show the value of a timed campaign – When should the campaign start and why is that the case? You should have answers to those questions and feed those matters into the client presentation.
Focus in on a target marketing – Put your targeted buyers or tenants into your campaign and categorize them for the client. That then makes it easier for the client to see who you are chasing for inspections and how you are going to create their interest.
Differentiate between local area marketing and regional coverage (where the property makes it necessary). There are differences in approach for each market segment, so treat them differently in your marketing.
Split campaign focus into primary and secondary coverage both online and offline – When you have done this, you can stage the campaign into segments and points of focus.
Use a private website portal to help the client see your feedback and results coming in – Make it easy for the client to see the results of recent marketing and inspections. A private portal can easily be merged into your website for the VIP clients and Exclusive listings that you have now and those that you will convert.
Put yourself into the property campaign – Help the client see that you are important to the promotion of the property, because you will be doing certain things that are critical to getting results with both inquiries and inspections.
From these simple and yet specific things, you can drive better levels of property enquiry. Look at your listing processes in commercial real estate now and consider how you can convert vendor paid marketing with each and every presentation that you make; your career will escalate faster if you can resolve the equation.
When it comes to marketing a commercial property for sale, the right choices have to be made based on location, property type, recent levels of inquiry and local demand. So there are some important factors to look into. Make the right choices. Attract the enquiry.
Some methods of marketing can be tuned and optimized both online and offline. Don’t do the ‘ordinary things’ that all other agents use in property promotion. Be different and bold in your promotional message.
Here are some tips on audio about commercial real estate promotion and marketing today specifically relating to sales. See what you think:
Don’t complicate the marketing process in commercial brokerage today. Keep things simple and get out and about locally among the people that matter. Our industry is based on personal contact and professional relevance. If either of those things are lacking in your property business, then you have issues and you will struggle to stand out as a top agent.
Resolve the property challenge comprehensively by and through a process of direct marketing. That’s how things happen in our industry; everything else is just luck and luck doesn’t do much for market share.
Here is a simple and yet effective process of direct marketing for brokers and agents. See how you can modify your business skills using some of these contact ideas:
Find new people each day – the best way to get this started is by using the business telephone book (the online and offline versions). There are thousands of businesses in that list for your town or city that you can call direct. Ideally you just want to know if they have a property challenge or issue where you can help them. Make the calls and talk to the business owners. It’s a simple way of connecting with new people. Some of those business owners will lease the property they are located in, whilst others will own the property. Either way you get to connect with property interested people.
Create discussions – the people that we class as ‘clients’ or ‘prospects’ are typically business savvy, and they are very experienced with direct business conversations. Master the art of the business conversation using local property information as leverage. Facts about sales, leasing, listings, developments, and marketing will always create some form of a discussion. Practice your meeting and call conversations.
Take notes of meetings and conversations – given that you will be contacting lots of people in a location, you will never remember everything that is said to you. Your database has to track conversations and contact processes. Put your marketing processes into and around your database; you cannot delegate that process. Take ownership of your database so your prospect list is up to date and growing each day. Build momentum in direct contact.
Send follow-up material – every quality conversation, be it across the telephone or in a meeting will give you a chance to send out material in follow-up. Choose the right material for the location, and not some generic ‘fluff’ that no one wants. Be specific and be real in the information that you send out.
Use a database pipeline – a contact today is potentially a listing or transaction in the future. Everything depends on what you do with that contact and how you open up the pipeline of information; your database should be at the centre of that contact. Relevant local property information will always help you open doors on business contact so create a regular informational marketing process around email, telephone calls, meetings, and referrals. Consistency and regularity will help you with that.
The promotional marketing process in commercial property doesn’t have to be complex, but it does need to happen. Keep your direct marketing activities local in focus and frequent in momentum. That’s what the top marketers do all the time. Are you up to the promotional challenge?
In commercial real estate brokerage, the best way to structure and implement a marketing program is to comprehensively cover a geographic location in many different ways. Don’t make the error of working with too many properties over a large location.
Drill down into smaller location with a greater level of coverage and connection. Get to know all of the property owners within a small location; the same principles apply when it comes to.
What Can You Do?
So there are two directions to consider when it comes to establishing a specific marketing program to help you win listings and client opportunities. You will always need to know plenty of clients and prospects as part of your database coverage. You also need to know the property owners by location, Street, and building type.
The research that you undertake will help you find the right people to make those very important connections. That research can take time given that some people are harder to locate and connect with.
Diligence and drive will get you through the research process. Remain on task and highly organized as you question the property ownership records and the businesses locally.
Here are some ideas to help you establish the system and find the opportunities:
Understand the property activities in your location. Some precincts will be more desirable than others for business occupancy and investment property. Determine where those locations are, and then drill down into the ownership and occupancy factors. The property precincts will also have trends that are essential to know when it comes to prices and rentals. Look at how the transaction results have been changing over time. Local market information and intelligence will always help you as part of your prospecting model.
Set specific criteria when it comes to targeted properties and targeted clients. Try to focus on the best clients and the best properties so that the level of quality that you create with your listings is always desirable to the market generally. When you have a good quality property to work with from sales or leasing perspective, take the property listing personally to the location and talk to plenty of property owners and local business owners. Every property listing can give you plenty of reasons to talk to people in the location.
Look at a map for your location and the positioning of roads and freeways. Understand how people move in and around the city when it comes to business activities. You can set a primary zone of prospecting where most of your business will be identified and created. Outside of that zone will be the secondary zone of prospecting where you may still be comfortable in taking listings, although you may not be highly active in prospecting through that region. When you compare the two zones, you will need about 2000 or 3000 properties in the primary zone to generate plenty of property churn and opportunity. That number can also be varied based on the number of businesses and also the property types that you focus on for the region. When you set the primary zone of prospecting activity, consider those specific elements.
Undertake an assessment of other listings and competitors in your primary zone of prospecting. When considering the competing brokers and agents, look at why they are currently active and what property types they specialize on. Are there segments of the market that you can service more successfully? Can you do things more comprehensively than your competitors locally?
When it comes to property marketing you really do need to stand out in a relevant and real way to the local business owners and the property investors. Your marketing has to be of the highest quality to be seen and to activate the levels of inquiry that you need. Every high-quality property should be the subject of a well-staged marketing campaign. Every exclusive listing should be taken through that process.
In commercial real estate brokerage today every exclusive listing should be part of a staged marketing campaign. In other words, the listing and the advertising should be shaped and released strategically.
In a staged marketing campaign, you can create significant market suspense and better inquiry. Avoid being ordinary when it comes to commercial real estate marketing and advertising. Stage every exclusive campaign so that you can pull in more inquiry over the duration of the promotion.
Strategy is Everything in Marketing
So there is a strategy here. Every advert builds towards the next promotional message; every advert leads to the next advert releasing more information and enticing the tenant or buyer to make an inquiry. Here are some ideas to help you do that with commercial real estate listings:
A typical marketing campaign for an exclusive listing will be structured over a period of two or three months. Over the nominated time the advert should feature alternative copy and a good selection of professional photographs. Every 30 days the advertising copy should change as would the digital images. In that way you are attracting different levels of inquiry, and hopefully better interest. You are making people think about the listing and the advantages of inspecting the property.
A timed campaign such as that for an auction or expressions of interest, will have a shorter campaign duration of around 4 to 6 weeks. The same strategic process applies in that the advert should be staged and shaped for different times within the campaign. You have a beginning, a main promotion, and then a summary reminder to the property listing or release. You see this process quite often with project sales and leasing. The same rules apply with investment property promotions or vacant properties for owner occupation.
You can consider the different target markets that apply to the particular property listing. When you have identified the different target markets, you can specifically design adverts for special release. Those efforts can be released into the media channels and newspapers serving the chosen target markets.
You can mix and match your advertising through different media outlets and types. Consider using preliminary adverts to be followed by the major adverts, and then to be followed up by smaller summary advertising at the end of the campaign.
The first two weeks of a property release are quite important to make sure that you have the promotional strategy correctly balance during that time. The first two weeks of every campaign are the real foundation and will be critical to the momentum of promotion from that point onward. The advertising should be carefully crafted to create maximum levels of interest and inbound telephone calls. Use facts and figures together with a good balance of written content and digital images to do just that.
Always track your advertising results through levels of inquiry, inbound calls, hits or clicks on the Internet, website referrals, website hits, and property inspections. In that way you can understand where the results are converting through the different elements of your marketing campaign. When you know what works, you can repeat the process.
You can create variations in the marketing campaign so that the inquiry rate can be optimized and shaped over time. Soon you will know how to best approach the promotion of a particular property type in your local area.
To do that well you can feed ‘keywords’ into the marketing and editorial content for each and every listing; the internet search engines then pick up on the property more easily. The listing then potentially has a greater search result and consequently ‘hits’ from interested parties.
Be Specific and not Generic
This says that you should not ‘generically’ advertise a property online; be specific and target market relative. Think about the property, the improvements, and the location, and then what the buyers or tenants may use as searching criteria in their property search. Design your property marketing with those factors in mind.
To do something positive with this, take this back a further step. Where are the inquiries and hits coming from with your properties and listings? What are or where are the websites that are taking the inquiry? Usually it is a mixture of the following:
In each of these online sources of activity you can feed into your online marketing strategy.
So What are the Words to Use?
So let’s look at what those keywords could be for your property promotion:
Location – There will be certain suburb names that will be relevant to you and your listing. Those names must be fed into your advertising copy. Some suburbs or streets will be used by inquiring parties. Get those location names into your advertising.
Property improvements – Think about how you can describe the improvements, such as ‘clear span industrial warehouse’ or ‘high exposure retail showroom’. There are many variations you can use here when you really think about things. Be different in your description but be relative to the property and its ‘points of difference’.
Lease or Buy? – Ultimately the property will be offered for sale or lease so those base words should be fed into the property headline, so there is no misunderstanding of what is happening with the property.
Size – Many times you hear of or see a buyer or tenant searching for a property by size and location. So those factors will be essential to your property marketing processes and inquiry generation.
You can use these words in the following ways. Put them into these promotional layouts:
When it comes to promoting a commercial property for sale or lease, try to put some suspense and anticipation into the property campaign. Get away from ‘generically’ marketing, and be very specific in your promotional efforts.
Know the Property
Look at the property for what it is and the strengths that the property provides over time for the buyers or tenants. Understand the target market for each exclusive listing so that you can really tap into creative marketing processes that pull in the right segments of people.
Ultimately you want a reasonable level of property enquiry with every exclusive listing; from that you will create inspections and lots of them. How can you do that? In simple terms you look at your property and build the marketing campaign or plan using relevant promotional leverage. You then implement that promotional plan.
Your Promotional Plan
Here are some ideas to help with promoting your next high quality listing:
Give your property a name or identity – If there is some history about the property or the location, you can use that information as a point of leverage and branding in your advertising copy. People relate to a story. The history of the property is likely to have a few stories that you can use in your headlines, feature points, and editorials.
Set the time for the campaign – Start the property promotion at the right time of year or month. Seasonal holidays and business cycles all put pressures into property promotion. You want the right people to see the advertised property so start the campaign at the right time of month and on the right days of the week. The campaign can be ‘rolled out’ in a staged way using ‘early release’ information, and then primary promotion coverage.
Use the right media channels – When you really understand your target market you can choose the best media channels to tap into your segments of buyers or tenants as the case may be.
Personal involvement – Put yourself into the staging of the property promotion. Tell the client what you will do personally to get the message about the property to the right people. Most top agents win more property listings because of the promise and strategy they offer in personal involvement. In exchange for that personal involvement you should insist on exclusivity with your listings for a reasonable period of time.
In commercial real estate brokerage today, every property and every listing can present unique challenges when it comes to the listing presentation. In every case you will need to understand the property market, the client, and the listing so that you can match your recommendations to the clients required outcomes in selling or leasing the property.
A persuasive presentation is one that addresses the concerns of the client in a proactive and relevant way. To achieve that, here are some recommendations that you can adopt or merge into your commercial real estate sales pitch strategy:
Determine whether the property and the client are correctly matched to the levels of inquiry coming into your brokerage today for that property type. Is the property so unique that it will have limited inbound inquiry? If that is the case, you will need to choose the right method of sale or lease for the best possible outcome. The duration of the exclusive listing will also need to be extended to support the special and diverse marketing process. It is not unusual for unique properties to be on the market for many months and in some cases over 12 months. To devote the right focus to that type of listing, exclusivity is required in such cases.
Prepare and structure your proposal following a complete and comprehensive review of the property and the market place. As part of that, understand the competing properties, the prices and rentals currently being achieved, and the levels of inbound enquiry.
Present your recommendations to the client based on their needs in price, rental, timing, and outcome.
Review the property for any weaknesses that will need to be addressed prior to the commencement of the marketing campaign. In the case of investment properties, make sure that any weaknesses in the tenancy mix or existing lease documentation are addressed prior to commencement of the promotions.
Check out the cash flow from an investment property with due regard for passing income, expenditure management, outgoings, and net income. If the property is to be resold back into the investment market, the checks and balances need to be correct when it comes to investment performance.
Property performance will need to be supported by proof and evidence. You will need to ensure that all the elements of property activity, performance, and structure are available for scrutiny and due diligence.
Talk to the customer at their level of understanding. Lead them through the recommendations required for a property of that type in today’s market conditions. Give reasons for your recommendations and evidence from the local market.
It is not hard to win a listing in today’s market providing you are correctly matching your listing and marketing recommendations to the property, the client, and the local area. Local market knowledge and professional skill will help you complete and convert more commercial real estate listings over time.
Every commercial real estate broker should be putting out a newsletter by email once a week or once per fortnight. This strategy will help you stay in touch with your clients and prospects whilst also telling them of the changes in the market and the listings that are available.
To make this work you need an autoresponder, and some good marketing material to feed into the newsletter on a regular basis. Make it interesting in every way possible.
Here is an MP3 audio file for agents and brokers considering starting this process.
To improve your sales pitch in commercial real estate brokerage today, you should have a significant presentation strategy factor to help you connect with your clients and prospects. In simple terms, you need to believe in yourself, your information, and your capabilities. Confidence is the key to a top presentation outcome.
The confidence that you can show your clients and prospects as part of every presentation will help you with your conversion factors and listing opportunities. The clients and the prospects that we serve like to work with the best property agents with the right skills; in this way they know that they can achieve the results that they require efficiently and effectively. It stands to reason that your presentation needs to reflect those personal factors clearly and directly.
The top agents of the industry have plenty of confidence, commitment, and knowledge. In this way they can attract the clients into the highly successful listing pipeline and marketing process that they have developed over the years.
Here are some tips below to help you improve your sales pitch and presentation for the property market today. You can add to the list based on your town or city, and property speciality.
Gather relevant information from the market that can be used in any sale or lease discussion. That information will include time on market, pricing strategy, best methods of sale, and best methods of lease, marketing alternatives, and negotiation strategies.
To help you convert or attract the clients to your ideas, have stories from the marketplace that can be shared during the presentation. The stories should be of a successful nature and can be supported by necessary photographs, statistical information, and local property market trends. Don’t breach confidentiality as part of your ‘stories’ or sharing of information.
Inspect the subject property comprehensively before you create your proposal and recommendations. Take plenty of photographs in and around the property to use on a laptop as part of your client connection process. Those photographs should be in a ‘rolling photo presentation’ as you talk to the client about the listing alternatives and marketing recommendations. The client’s property will be of great interest, far more than some other ‘PowerPoint’ marketing package that you have created.
Review the competing properties through the region so that you can understand the strengths and weaknesses that they present to your listing. You will also see some trends from those other competing properties that can be acted upon or avoided.
It is very difficult for a client to ignore an agent or broker that has a significant database of ‘up to date’ prospects. Use your database as leverage in the property presentation, by talking about it. Shortlist a group of people from the database to show the property to when the listing has been accepted by the client. Tell the client about the ‘short list’ and show them some detail of it without breaching confidentiality.
Determine the target market that should be the centre of your marketing campaign. Establish your marketing campaign with due regard for generating inspections. Get away from any generic approach to marketing and promotion. Given that you are asking for exclusive listing authority, put yourself into the marketing recommendations so that the client knows you will be personally involved in promoting the property.
It should be said that ‘practice makes perfect’ when it comes to attracting new business and listings in our industry. Certainly the rule applies to your property presentation and listing proposal. Be prepared to show the client how you can improve their situation quickly and effectively. Show them the confidence that they want to see.