Posted on

Exclusive Listing Tips for Commercial Realtors and Agents

 

commercial real estate agent thinking with hands joined
Exclusive listings are always better listing stock

 

In commercial real estate, there is a lot of difference between the servicing requirements behind exclusive listings versus open listings.  Any open listing situation is virtually an experiment on the part of the client and they will have minimal commitment to you as the salesperson or agent helping them.  The client will generally be listening to many agents and trusting none.

So it is the exclusive listings that will bring us better quality stock and trusting clients.  That being said, it is important that we give our clients reasons to choose the exclusive listing method of sale or lease.  As part of the sales presentation or pitch process, you should have some solid reasons to recommend an exclusive listing process with your agency. Why are you better than other agents?

Many agents will choose or recommend the exclusive listing method to the client, and then make some fairly generic statements regards the reasons to choose an exclusive listing process with their agency.  Just about every experienced property investor has heard a variation of the following:

  • We know the local area very well.
  • We have sold or leased a lot of property recently.
  • We have been in the area a long time.
  • We are the best agent in the local area to sell or lease this property.
  • We have the property knowledge to do the job for you.
  • We have good people in your agency that will move the property for you.
  • We have relationships with the other agencies across the country and they will also market your property.
  • We will market the property and our cost.
  • We will fully target your requirements of price range and timing.
  • We will lower the commission because you are a good client.
  • I will keep you fully informed.
  • We are the best agency to sell this property for you.

None of this will make an impact on an experienced property owner or business proprietor.  The listing decision will be made on your relevance to help them and the confidence that you give them.

It is quite disturbing when you look at this list to understand how generically similar a lot of agents and salespeople are when they do their sales pitch.  Top agents will go a lot further than the generic sales pitch approach.  Top agents will drill down into the matters that really count regards the property and its position in the local area.  They will also come up with very specific strategies to market, inspect, and negotiate the single listing.  Clients really do know when they are dealing with top agents.

So here are some tips to help you service your exclusive listing clients.

  1. Tell them how you will be marketing the property and show them some solid examples of that process.  Give them some choices in the marketing approach whilst still making your recommendations.
  2. Take the client to the property and walk them through the inspection process as you see it, explaining how you will build on the features of the property and the improvements.
  3. In each week of the exclusive listing marketing campaign, you will need to be connecting with the client with a updates regards inspections and enquiry.  The client should be spoken to at least every two days throughout the entire listing agency period.  If nothing has occurred from any part of the planned marketing activity, it is still important that the client knows that.  Lack of information will turn them against you and make any future negotiations difficult.
  4. When an inspection has occurred with the property, direct feedback should be given to the client.  This third party feedback will be valuable in helping you condition the client to the prevailing market conditions.

Clients are always important to a commercial real estate agent.  In times of a slower property market, is imperative that we provide high levels of interaction and service at all times.  In this way you will achieve better results with all of your listings, and the chance for referral business at a later time.

Need more help to get exclusive listings in commercial real estate?  You can get them in our bulletin.

Posted on

Commercial Real Estate Job Specifications Work Well

  If you work in commercial real estate sales and leasing, get a good job specification and stick to it.  Here are some ideas as to why this works in a sales career.

Posted on

How to Win Your Sales Presentation and Make It Really Great

How can you close more property presentations and sales pitches? The pitches that we do as real estate agents in the one transaction are numerous. Think about these to name a few:

  • Pitch to get a meeting with the property owner
  • Pitch to get a listing opportunity
  • Negotiate on the listing creation
  • Sell the advertising package
  • Attract the right enquiry
  • Present the property to the buyer
  • Negotiate and close on the buyers offer
  • Negotiate with the seller regards the offer from the buyer

One of the real secrets in pitching your services or offering is to help put the client or other party in some degree of perceived control. In simple terms you give the client some options to consider around the key decision. When the client has options, they do not feel like they are being closed. The key decision becomes simpler and easier. I call this the ‘Option factor’.

The nature of the human mind and psyche is that it does not want to be forced or manipulated. You can use this ‘Option factor’ as a tool of negotiation in commercial real estate sales and leasing.

You can get more free tips and articles online for real estate agents at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Posted on

Build Your Commercial Property Market and Sales Territory

When you work in commercial real estate sales and leasing, the territory dominance that you achieve is largely created by your own personal endeavours.

There are far too many ordinary salespeople out there today. When the property owner wants to sell or lease their property they really do need the agent with territory dominance. That is the agent that knows:

  • Where the enquiry is coming from
  • What the enquiry is looking for
  • The limitations on finance in the local market
  • The marketing campaigns that really work
  • What deals are being done and on what basis
  • How to draw in the right target market for the property.
  • When to close in on a genuine enquiry from a buyer or tenant
  • Has the majority of quality property listed in the local area

Whilst every agent should know and provide these things, the reality is that many do not do well on the performance specifics.

Looking at these simple issues, they are all related to things that you as the real estate agent can and should take to the seller or property owner as part of the sale or leasing campaign. This is where value and service stands alone as the best way to attract the client to your specific property solutions. Market and territory dominance supported by knowledge and experience will help you attract more quality listings.

You can see more of my free tips and articles for real estate agents at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Posted on

Talk About Commercial Property and Its Liquidity

When working as a commercial real estate agent you will see many types of property in many situations and levels of quality. When it comes to selling the property, there is a factor known as the ‘liquidity factor’, and it will impact the sale and price outcome. In simple terms the ‘liquidity factor’ is the time it can take to sell the property.

By comparison to other types of investment, commercial property has a high liquidity factor as it takes time to sell it; usually days or weeks. The share market as an investment type is just the opposite with a low liquidity factor, as shares can be sold almost within the hour. People choose to invest in commercial property as it is relatively stable and less volatile than shares. There is however the liquidity factor to contend with when it comes to property sale time.

It pays to take the seller of the property through the liquidity discussion so the right choices are made when you take the property to the market for sale.

Essentially the ‘liquidity factor’ is all about the time the property will take to sell. It is driven by things such as these:

  1. Location of the property
  2. Tenant mix
  3. Anchor tenants
  4. Size of the property
  5. Amount of money required to purchase the property
  6. Lease profiles and documentation
  7. The age of the property in the local area
  8. Changes to the population locally
  9. Changes to the business sentiment locally
  10. Methods of sale to be adopted
  11. Identity of the property in the local area
  12. Price pressures locally
  13. Comparable or competing properties in the local area

All of these factors will have positives and negatives when it comes to the time of sale. Importantly it is up to you as the real estate agent to help the seller understand the ‘liquidity’ of the property and how it will impact the choices of property sale.

You can get other free tips and resources for real estate agents at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Posted on

Secrets to Dominating Your Market as a Commercial Real Estate Agent

As a real estate agent myself of many years, I hear the words ‘territory domination’ used in many ways. Every experienced sales person and agent wants to dominate their territory and the competition agents in the area. So what does it mean?  You can check out some of my thoughts below and also at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Here are a few things that it means to me:

  1. Getting a greater share than anyone else in quality enquiry for property to buy or rent
  2. Having more landlords coming to you to rent or lease their property
  3. Having more sellers coming to you to sell their commercial real estate
  4. Having the best quality listings in the local area on your books to sell or rent
  5. Having no problem at all in converting new business to exclusive listings of a reasonable length of time
  6. Attracting other agents unsold or unrented listings to you for a fresh listing
  7. Having the best salespeople with other agents ring you up to look for a job

Every agent would like most of these facts and events in their business. So just how do you get to the pinnacle of territory domination as a real estate agent? After working with the top agencies and with some great people over the years I have set some rules or secrets to the process:

  • Work hard personally at prospecting each and every day in your business
  • Get as many quality signs into your territory as possible on good quality listings
  • Service your listings with great attention to detail and target market every single listing
  • Monitor your marketing efforts so you know what works and what doesn’t
  • Use the internet as a massive marketing tool and keep abreast of the changes and systems evolving from it
  • Send out success letters to property owners and businesses around every property you sell or lease
  • Concentrate on two markets of people, the business owners and leaders, and the property owners and investors. Both of them will give you significant opportunity
  • Set up a constant contact process of keeping in touch every 90 days with prospects so you are top of mind.
  • Be honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and skilful in your commercial real estate talents

Great salespeople create great market share. Start working on these things right now.  Great salespeople take control of their own destiny.

Posted on

Commercial Estate Brokers – Prospecting and Cold Calling Success

Do you want more commissions and listings?  You simply have to be great at prospecting and cold calling.  The rest of your business will follow.

Guess what? Most real estate agents and brokers are not sufficiently disciplined to do the right levels of prospecting on a daily basis.  That is the most significant opportunity that exists in the property industry; you just have to be better than the rest at prospecting.  Sure listing, negotiating, and closing are other important skills, but they will come as a natural by-product of prospecting.

Focus on cold calling and prospecting. So how do you do this?  You set some prospecting rules and you start practice.  The words ‘rules’ and ‘practice’ are another couple of problem words for many in the industry.  Many struggle with doing both.

So let’s get away from the negative and presume you have the determination, the focus, and the drive to prospect for new business on a daily basis.  Here is a ‘killer prospecting model’ that really works.  The rest will be up to you.  This model takes 3 hours a day, 5 days per week. 

  1. There are no gaps and Saturdays and Sundays are the only days off in the prospecting process.  That is the first rule; probably the most important.
  2. The second rule in the process is that you must prospect on the telephone in the morning because after that you will be distracted by other things and not stick to it.  Without going deeply into it, there are established facts of personal performance in business that show the morning is the right time to do prospecting.
  3. Get away from setting any meetings in the morning.  Tell the boss that you prospect at that time and that you would prefer to set meetings with him and anyone else in the afternoons.  Even meetings with clients and prospects should not occur in the morning unless it is an absolute necessity.  The only reason to break the rule is if the meeting is for an active deal that is closing.
  4. The 3 hours of prospecting each day in the office is done from the telephone.  In commercial real estate you are predominantly dealing with business people and they generally will take your call if commercial real estate is an issue for them.  If it is not an issue then you simply move on.  Do not set up a meeting with someone who has no interest; remember that your time is precious.
  5. Drop the cold calling scripts and use your own words; that will be the way you will feel comfortable with the process.  Use trigger words to flow the discussion, but do not use scripts as the listener will sense the processes and turn off.
  6. Know that it takes you about 20 minutes of cold calling every day to get the process into momentum.  Once you are through the 20 minutes you must keep going and not stop for 2.5 hours.  In that way you will make progress.
  7. Find a quiet place to make your calls so that you can focus without distraction.  Your success in tele-prospecting depends on it.
  8. Research your call list the night before so you do not waste critical call time in research.  This is critical to the call process.
  9. Create a series of simple forms to use in the call process so that you can capture the results later in the database.  You must not stop the call momentum.
  10. Try to contact 10 new people on the telephone each day.  If they are not in the office when you call then simply make a note to call back.  You should be able to make 50 calls in 3 hours.
  11. Your only reason for calling prospects is to see if they have a need or an interest in commercial property.  When you really understand that yourself, then the calls will be easier and the quality of the discussion will be higher.
  12. Have a great database to record everything.  Use something that you are comfortable with.  At the basic end of the database alternatives you can use Microsoft Outlook, or Access.  Both are useful, low cost and user friendly.  When you want to move to something more relevant to the property industry you can spend many hundreds dollars; personally I believe you can do very well with the basics providing you know how to use a computer well (in that you have no choice).

These are the rules that you need to set in your cold call prospecting.  After you set the rules, you start the practice and you will need to do that for a couple of weeks until things are moving well.  To your success in commercial real estate prospecting!  You can get more detail on prospecting and cold calling in real estate here at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Posted on

Cold Call Prospecting in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate you have to make many cold calls every day.  The people that make the most income and take the best listings are the ones that make the calls.  Everyone else, and that is the majority, are earning smaller commissions and getting less listings.  You have a choice.

It is interesting that many salespeople avoid the cold calling process and rarely do it every day.  There are some averages which show that you need to make about 100 calls to get one good listing.  The calling process creates a funnel of opportunity that revolves every day.  Without you making it happen, the business will not come.  If only more salespeople had the discipline to make the calls.

Taking the 100 call number, I recommend that the salesperson has a system of calling that allows them to call about 50 people a day.  It will take about 2 to 3 hours if you are organised.  Understand this, you will not be able to get to 50 people on the telephone, in fact you will only get to about 15 to 18 people, however of those people you are likely to get 2 or 3 appointments.  That is where the business starts to grow.  It’s all up to you.

When you get good at the calling process, and that will take about 2 weeks of struggle, you will be converting more appointments, and that will lead to listing opportunity.

To make the calling process work for you there is a base plan which should be considered:

  • Plan your calls the night before so that nothing holds you up in the 2 to 3 hours
  • Start your calls at the same time every day regardless of any other pressures.
  • For the first few weeks of making the cold calls, do some practice each morning before you leave for the office
  • Do not use a fixed script, but use your own words.
  • Find a private area with no distractions to make the calls
  • Choose a simple group of words that guide your conversation
  • Get used to people saying ‘no’, as there will be a lot of that
  • Make the call simply to see if they have a need, not to push where there is no need
  • Only make appointments with people that have an interest in what you are saying – your time is too precious to do otherwise
  • Keep a tally of calls made and appointment converted as you proceed, the numbers will encourage you
  • Businesses in the area are a great source of call targets and you can get those from the telephone book

So if you are new to commercial real estate and you want to generate market share the best way to do that is to talk to many people each day on the telephone and then later in face to face meetings.  Use the technology that sits on your desk to its fullest capability.  Good hunting.

Posted on

Lease Details Matter in Sales

As the opportunity for listing commercial investment property arises, we can sometimes be too eager to take the listing without getting all the important facts that effect price.

Check the leases on a commercial investment property before you talk about price on the property as the leases may assist or hinder the sale.  They can also dictate a sale strategy.  This says that a good commercial real estate broker or agent must know the structures of a lease and what makes a good lease.

Depending on the age of a property, the next phase of its lifecycle may be refurbishment, demolition or remix of tenancies.  Every phase is different.  The demographics of the region in which the property is located will also have something to do with the future of the property.

A property that has a majority of leases that are soon to expire may be attractive to a purchaser that wants to owner occupy the property or a developer that wants to change the site and create a new building.  On the other hand the same property in such circumstances will not be attractive to a new investor unless they want to undertake refurbishment works and re-position the property with new tenants.  Decisions are based around strategy needs and timing; as agent or broker for commercial property you need to be the ultimate strategist.

When looking at the potential sale of the property, the lease aspects requiring future awareness and understanding in the sale include:

  • Rent review profiles – are they strong and well timed or do they just gear to the consumer price index?  Also look for the market rent reviews and see if they are well timed or
  • Lease expiries – these are always a concern if the property requires stable cashflow, so look for multiple lease expiries that are close to each other and that may consist of a majority of the lettable space in the building.
  • Option periods – from a landlord perspective, lease options are not always a good thing to have as they can frustrate the future of the property; it really depends on what the landlord thinks that they want to do with the property.  It is of note that many large shopping centres and malls do not allow lease options for that very reason.
  • Details of any current incentives with existing tenants – some lease incentives carry on impacting the property for some months or even years.  When the property is to be sold, these incentives must be offset or discharged at settlement as the future purchaser may not want to take over the burden of such.
  • Outgoings recoveries – leases and most particularly net leases will allow the landlord to get back some of the building operating costs.  It pays to check the leases to see exactly what those recoverable items may be as it can impact the property sale or buyer interest
  • History of income and expenditure performance – I always go back at least 3 years to check these numbers and to see what have been the major changes in the outgoings.  What you are looking for is overly large imbalances in outgoings from year to year that indicate that something major has impacted the property or a strategy has changed.  Get reasons for any changes of this type so that any astute buyer can be given logical explanations.
  • Current budget of income and expenditure performance – every commercial investment building of any type should function to a budget each year and the details should be available for your review.  Parts of the expenditure that impact greatly on the property are the rates and taxes as they take up on average a full 33% of most building expenditure.  You need to know that these rates and taxes are on average with other properties in the region.

 

Property performance elements such as these will affect the potential income from the property well into the future and will also dictate the best time to sell the property.  In an ideal world you would time the sale so that the income is optimised and the outgoings are controlled to acceptable levels.  This cannot always be done especially in markets like that which we have today, but you should know where you stand on the property performance before you proceed into a sales program.  Strengths and weaknesses of cash flow should be identified and logical reasons provided before any sale campaign starts.

Posted on

High Value of Real Estate Agency Advice

Some clients in commercial real estate are unaware that they have a problem with their property, or do not really know or can define specifically what the problem is.  They struggle to find the way ahead; they do not really know or will admit that they cannot get themselves out of a property problem.

Do you think there are some businesses and property owners out there at the moment with problems? Of course there are, and you as the real estate agent or broker have to be the relief to the property pain.  You can only be so when you really know what you are doing.  That means a really good knowledge of property types, leases, and rents, building costs, regional demographics, and operating costs.

It is not sufficient to think you know how to sell or lease a property.  That skill is not enough as most other agents will think the same.  After coaching agents for many years, I know that the reality is most of your competition is very ordinary in knowledge and property understanding.  That is the leverage you should work with to generate a massive real estate sales and leasing business.  Serve your clients as the best choice in the industry.  Is that hard?  Perhaps it takes more personal effort and certainly more study, but the rewards are significant.

Let’s just look at the types of clients you could have for a moment; they are landlords, business owners, tenants, and investors.  Within those groups you have differing relationships to the property improvements, rent, lease, location, operating costs, tenancy mix, and the list goes on.  So what do you know about these things?  What should you do?

Become an expert in every sense of the word.  Supply the best and most important information about property that you can for the client.  Make sure that you are better than the rest of the real estate people in the local area.  Become the property strategist and not just a salesperson; know what are the real reasons for a sale or lease, and help the client understand them.  Provide the best timings to use in the sale or lease processes.

The problems and challenges that these client groups have are radically different than each other.  Your solutions and responses should be set accordingly.  The best model for a real estate agent or broker in a client relationship is to become an advisor that is trusted.  Your knowledge should stand head and shoulders above the rest.  There are three stages to the process.

  1. Seek to become the clients trusted advisor from the outset.  This means building the relationship before the client really wants to do something with their property.  Prospecting is essential every day of your business life.  Your database is the tool to progress.
  2. Get the client to agree that there is a need with their property or business.  Knowledge of the property types, performance issues, lease strategies, development alternatives, tenant mix alternatives, are just some of the things to learn.
  3. Plan your solutions around the problems.  When the client fully understands the problems that you have identified with the property, and that you really know what you are doing, the choice of property agent becomes an obvious choice.

Stop thinking that as an agent you must discount your commission, or pay all the advertising costs for the client just to win the new business.  These clients are not the ones you want.  In most cases they are the hardest to deal with because their motivation is ‘cheap’.  Logical decisions are not part of their mindset and negotiations are therefore harder with these clients.  More often than not the listing does not sell because the client will not listen to the market trends and choices (they think they know better).  Time does invariably take care of these unreasonable clients, with no sale resulting and a distressed property sale or lease later on.  You can then move back into the picture to offer your special services.

Be the best real estate agent out there and make sure your clients know it.  Chase the quality listings owned by quality clients that will listen to the market trends and choices that you offer.

Posted on

Finding Buyers Commercial Real Estate

In this commercial real estate sales market you need to find well qualified buyers effectively and quickly.  As part of this process it is worthwhile to sit down with the seller of the property to brainstorm all the regional property activity and history that they have seen recently.  You do this by asking specific questions at the time of listing. 

Well directed questions give you a well directed property campaign.  In many cases you can set your sights on a good channel of buyers by just taking some of the further steps below.

Local Market Intelligence

Certainly some of the local market intelligence you should bring to the seller as part of the property listing and appointment process, after all that is the main reason that they will hire you as the real estate broker or agent.  Do not however overlook the market intelligence that the seller could have gained from owning the property and the business in the region for a number of years.

It is quite likely that these questions below will help you extract more ideas from the property owner and perhaps even highlight the ideal type of buyer that you should be targeting.  After all is said and done, the seller of the property knows the property, the industry, the precinct, and its history better than anyone else.  This then makes your job of selling the property all that much easier. 

Key questions to explore to help find the right property buyer:-

  1. Who has a similar property and possible expansion objectives in the area? – This should be all the local businesses in the precinct for the surrounding 1km.
  2. What companies in the region have recently undertaken acquisitions? – Even in a difficult economic or financial market, some businesses are still going very well, so you need to look out for these growth activities or needs that require more property to occupy.
  3. What companies in the area are highly active and quite profitable?  Who or what are they and do they need more space in your precinct?
  4. What are competitors of the subject property and its business?  Do these competitors need more property to operate from in your area?
  5. What established contacts have enquired regards other properties recently from other sale campaigns?  Are they still active and could they look at the new listing coming on the market?
  6. Who sells to the same customers that the subject property sells to?  Could this be a channel of interested buyers?
  7. Are any of the existing customers of the property vendor considered potential purchasers of the property today?
  8. Are there any industry related executives seeking to move into their own property and run a similar business themselves?

From the above list, you will achieve an ideal profile for the property being sold and the targeted buyer that is suitably placed to purchase.  Document the profile to the seller of the property and achieve mutual agreement on the profile before you start any campaign.  You should be attempting to profile the purchaser with the following categories in mind:-

  • public or private company
  • private individual or investor type
  • target industry
  • target equity
  • target timing
  • target location
  • target cash flow

From the above list, you can then match your property promotion to the buyer profile most easily.  The sale of a commercial property and the location of a buyer is not just a function of advertising and waiting for enquiry.  Gone are the days of advertising the property and waiting for the telephone to ring.  In this market you have to make the telephone ring.

The most successful agents and brokers in this market are exploring many channels of property interest for buyers.  In markets like this, it is the targeted market that you identify and how you tap into it that really matters.

You can get more on this strategy for finding property buyers here http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com

Posted on

Lead Generation in Commercial Investment Property

In commercial real estate and investment property your leads for new business come from a number of sources.  The more leads that you can generate and optimise, the more successful you will be in getting the best listings.  In this market, the quality of the listings is so important given that the buyers and the tenants can be so selective.

When the market is saturated with owners and businesses that are struggling to keep afloat, it is the quality properties that you want to market.  These are the ones that will generate the momentum even in difficult times.  The banks are also not as reluctant to lend on the higher quality asset with established cash flow.

Does this mean that you turn your back on poor and unattractive commercial real estate listings?  Perhaps you should for this time given that you want results to your marketing.  It’s your choice, but at the very least, be selective as to what you list and how you do it.  Your time is your only resource and how you use your time is essential to generating fresh and marketable listings.

What are the Sources of Leads?

We cannot cover all the sources of commercial real estate leads here as they are unique to your market in many respects; however it is worthwhile raising the main common ones so that you can have them covered.  Importantly you must know what a lead or source of new commercial real estate business looks like in its early stages, and then you must know how to convert it to fresh momentum and a deal.

There is one main rule on the topic of leads; when you see a lead, you must react to it in a professional and timely fashion before someone else does. 

Leads in commercial real estate are not just for the things that happen today; they can be for things that are potential deals in months or even years.  The more clearly you see this, the further business you will generate for yourself.

So here is the most obvious leads generation list that you must have covered in one form or another.  See how you score on these items and make sure that these foundational matters are under control.

  1. Business Acquaintances locally – these are most particularly those people who you have known for some time and who are likely to cooperate as an extra set of eyes in the market place.  Choose of these people with care and remain in contact with them constantly.
  2. Professional Business People – in your marketplace, there are a number of categories of business people to whom you must remain connected.  The highest on the list are solicitors, accountants, town planners, financiers, architects, local politicians, and engineers.  All of these people have significant involvement with the commercial property industry and the property owners.  They will likely hear about a commercial property transaction before you do.  In many cases these people need the assistance of a good commercial real estate broker to help their clients in a variety of ways.
  3. Local businesses – local businesses produce change and flux in the marketplace.  As time progresses, you should constantly encourage ongoing contact with all the major businesses in your precinct.  They are the ones that regularly need to buy, sell, and lease premises; this means all the local managers and business proprietors who are involved in property decisions and creating commerce generally in the community.  Recognise that they do not normally know much about commercial real estate.  You can bring them updates on rental and property prices regularly to assist them with a future property need.
  4. Colleagues within your office – many commercial real estate offices are cooperative business environments with salespeople working productively with each other.  This means that they share leads and opportunities in sales and leasing.  Sharing part of your commission with other colleagues in your office is far better than giving the commission to another outside competitor an agent in the same region.
  5. Building tenancy schedules – from time to time, you will see or obtain tenancy schedules or inventories that relate to major buildings in your area.  Whilst they should be regarded as confidential documents, they will give you a wealth of opportunity if used correctly.  Any lease that is to expire inside the next three years is a target for future contact.  The relative tenant will need to do something to preserve the function and occupation of their business.  It is surprising how many tenants leave such matters to the last-minute.  The ongoing contact with tenants of this type is highly productive.  Your main focus with these people is to establish trust so that they come to you when they need you.
  6. Competition agents and brokers – normally speaking, the competitor agencies in your area will cooperate on conjunction transactions with their exclusives.  The commercial real estate industry is relatively specialised and such cooperation is common in sales and leasing of office, industrial, and retail property.  Importantly, any conjunction arrangement involving other agent’s listings must have a completely signed and documented conjunction agreement before you proceed.  Cooperate with other agents, but do so with care and professionalism.
  7. Satisfied clients – your agency business, if it’s been operating for a number of years, will have a significant list of established happy clients from previous transactions.  It pays to keep in contact with these people given that most transactions in commercial real estate happen every 4 to 10 years.  The satisfied clients are going to need your services again. 
  8. Old campaigns – any commercial real estate campaign and marketing event will have created leads and people who ‘changed their mind’.  All of these people should be on your constant contact register or data base.  Feeding them regular market updates is essential.
  9. Other Agents old deals – as a further extension of this item above, you can also monitor the transactions of other competing agents in your area.  Any transactions that occurred through other agencies over the last 4 to 10 years should be monitored for future re-activity.  It is interesting to note that many real estate agents and brokers are lax when it comes to keeping in contact with others.
  10. Industry publications – any newspaper or industry publication in your area should be reviewed daily for information involving businesses relocating, expanding, contracting, or merging.  It is surprising how so many agents overlook this obvious source of listing.  These publications will also frequently name the key people in a business such as the CEO, President, or CFO.  In all cases these business leaders go on your contact list and get a letter on a regular basis.  Note that I said a ‘letter’ and not an ‘email’.  In this high-tech world you want your correspondence to be seen and read; an email will not achieve this in most circumstances.
  11. Other agent’s signboards –when another agent puts a signboard on a property, it is imperative that you contact the other adjacent and nearby owners of commercial property in that street.  These people are likely to have an interest in competing with the property that’s just come on the market.  They are also more likely to use you as a competing agent whilst the other agent’s property moves through its promotional period.
  12. Financiers and bank managers – these people need property transactions for their business to survive.  They are also receptive to working with professional real estate agents who understand commercial real estate and act professionally.  If you can supply them with the source of a new large mortgage or property development, they are likely to offer you the opportunity for a listing or a sale with their clients in the future.
  13. Planning approvals – keep close to the local council or office of the planning committee in your region, as they constantly consider new planning matters.  Some of these offices have minutes of planning approvals that are available for public scrutiny. Check out these minutes and follow through on the opportunities that you can see.  The historic planning approvals over the last few years are also great sources of leads and listings.

The inventory above comprises the most obvious categories of leads and opportunities.  You will be able to add to this as time progresses in your marketplace.  Importantly make sure that you have these items well under control as the essential foundations of your business.