Those clients that fail to adjust to market circumstances deserve what they get (or fail to get). The best clients will always listen to market circumstances and allow their agent to refresh the property and push on with other marketing and pricing ideas.
A Brokers Job
Our job is to match the strengths of the property listing into the market conditions and make things happen. It is also our job to resolve the weaknesses that may be present in the property so results can happen with inquiries, inspections, or offers. There are some real skills to be tuned and developed there.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the ways that you can and should approach those difficult commercial property listings to get better results.
In commercial real estate today, most of your results (in commissions and listings) will be created through specific involvement with just the top 20% of your clients. Understanding just who are the clients in the top 20% is the important issue to work through. You could say that they are the VIP clients that you should be working with.
The 80/20 concept is called the ‘Pareto Principle’ and it was identified as a general business rule back in the early 1900’s. So what is it? It is a known fact of business and a proven equation when you are looking to covert more results from your efforts. You can use the rule quite comfortably in commercial leasing, sales, and property management.
So we move the concept into commercial real estate for your location and apply it to your business. It doesn’t really matter how many clients you have in your database now, it is the top 20% that you need to identify and then comprehensively service over time. Approximately 80% of your revenue activity will come from that group of elite clients.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the 80/20 rule and how you can work with it. You can listen to the program or download it below.
Build some sales magnetism in commercial property. Here are the rules to help with this idea:
Your listing will be location based. When the property comes to the market, get into the location and talk to lots of local people. Tell them about the new listing, why it could be important to them, and how you can help with more information.
Target market your properties. Every listing can be taken to certain business owners, investors, and industry professionals. Make this a special part of your client services. Define the target market as you pitch for the listing, and then comprehensively connect with the target market through the campaign.
The people that inspect your property listings should be comprehensively qualified so you can show them other things as they come to market. It is interesting to remember that the best listings create the best leads and prospect inquiry. If you lift your listing focus for that very reason, you will find that your database will grow faster and with higher conversion factors.
Choose the best method of sale and particularly use the exclusive listing process. When you look at any subject property, the methods of sale that you use should be high on inquiry generation and inspection creation. Do you know what types of campaigns and methods of sale are better than others currently?
Help your clients succeed. A successful outcome for your clients could be a higher price or rent, a shorter time on market, or a timely sale that fits into their business activities and investment plans.
When you seriously think about these things, you will soon understand that most agents and brokers are very ordinary. They don’t do much with the listings that they win. What a mistake! They list, advertise, then hope for a result. That is the generic marketing approach; it doesn’t do anything for your brokerage profile or client base.
Commissions get easier in commercial real estate when you understand that one single listing or one deal can easily be used as the foundation for other things and particularly opportunities. That’s when you can refine your actions and focus.
Take your single client, listing, or transaction and open up the opportunities that exist around you.
Need some more real estate business?
Here are the facts and some valuable ideas:
A good listing in any location can be the basis of making lots of calls to property owners in your town or city. Talk about your listings with the local people.
A signboard that you place on a property will be the foundation of connecting with nearby business owners and property owners. A signboard is a great business tool and will give you conversational leverage locally.
A quality property listing will (or should) be the origin of a door knocking program in your business precincts or territory. Get into your local area and talk to people about your listing stock.
Every time you get a call from an advertisement, ask the person calling you about what they have seen locally. They may have looked at other properties and therefore be an active buyer or tenant.
When you hold a property inspection, get the fuller perspective from the inspecting party about where they are now, what they are doing, where they want to be with their property needs, and when they have to do something. Ask good questions and make lots of notes.
List exclusively so that you can control your listing stock. Some agents just take on open listings for the sake of having a property on their books. Whilst I can understand the basic idea, open listings give you little leverage and ability to grow your market share. Exclusivity is the only thing with listing that will help you build your real estate business.
Know the market locally. Your comprehensive awareness of the listings, deals, negotiations, and time on market will help you through any client conversation and listing process. Be prepared to quote the facts.
Build on your successes and tell the ‘world’. When you have done a deal, get the message out to your location, your database, and your clients. Let people know that you are the person that has created a result. Encourage them to talk to you and discuss what happened.
Look for referrals in each contact and relationship. Use the power of referral business to grow your database with ‘warm contacts’. It is very easy to open a new opportunity from the basis of a referral.
This list is just the start of the process, and particularly so when you look at all the opportunities that are around you.
Every conversation, every lead, and client relationship can be expanded into something else. Ask and you shall receive.
In commercial real estate brokerage today, you will always be on the lookout for new listings and new clients. One strategy to consider that is well proven and successful is that of marketing your services around general location of other agent’s boards. The strategy is quite simple and yet effective.
So how does this work? When another agent or broker places a signboard on a property within your territory or location, you can approach the other property owners and business proprietors in the immediate location and particularly with the adjoining properties. They may like to compete with that new listing nearby. You can be the person to help them.
The logic works
This listing and prospecting strategy is based on the logic and premise that one listing will create local area interest and churn. You can help with that; you can provide solid reasons for property owners that the strategy would work locally for different property types. Build your marketing strategy around that.
Other property owners in the area may consider competing with the other brokerage competition and their listing. Other business owners in the area may consider taking property action as part of the other local listing. Market yourself into the location based on those two assumed situations; you will find leads and changes in that way.
Factor of attraction
You could say that this is potentially a real factor of attraction when it comes to new business generation. When you understand the process and how it works, you can attract your new business opportunities from in and around the activities of other agents through your listing territory and city. Use their listings to find more property churn nearby.
To establish the system of your business conversion and listing attraction, you will need to track all of the new listings with your competitors as they come to market. As soon as they place a signboard on a property, you then canvass the street and the location personally.
Assess the local area
Given that there are plenty of signboards within your location, you can use these signboards as points of leverage to get started and to attract other listings from the location. There are some rules to make this work:
Get personally involved – When another agent places a signboard in a street or on a particular building, get into the location and meet with the local business owners. Also separately and directly approach the property owners in each case; this will require a degree of research so be prepared to put in the effort. Talk to local people about how you can help them with their property needs at the same time as the other listing may be on the market. One property listing will create local property interest; you can market your services on the property churn. The extra new listing that you can create in the location can be positioned competitively and keenly for alternative property marketing. Your listing can compete competitively with other listings in the immediate location. Your listing presentation and service pitch should be structured accordingly, and that is to build on the momentum of the other listings. Explain to your clients and prospects how your marketing process will integrate into the area whilst providing leverage and greater value to the target market with price, rental, or improvements.
Demand exclusivity – To make this work consistently, you will need to convert your listings exclusively. There is no point in focusing your efforts on listing marketing and local area coverage unless you have exclusivity. Many agents and brokers struggle with this concept and can’t sell their services ‘exclusively’; exclusivity is the only way to dominate market share as a relevant and important agent for the location. When you have an exclusive listing, you can drive new business using unique and special marketing processes.
Focus on quality – A good listing will help you stand out as the agent of choice for the targeted segment and the location or territory. A quality listing should be comprehensively marketed locally at a personal level, and then comprehensively both online, and offline. The marketing process and the campaign that you create will involve vendor paid marketing funds. Given all of these facts, your listing pitch needs to incorporate the base strategy of exclusivity and vendor paid marketing, giving the client plenty of reasons why that will be so important to their achieved price and time on market.
Target marketing – With every listing that you pitch for focus on the target market and help the client see that factor as being critical to the momentum they require. Show the client exactly where that target market will be located and how you will tap into that category effectively and directly. When the client can see that you totally understand the target market and how to tap into it, your listing conversions will be easier to achieve.
So you can now see why you should have some quite specific prospecting and listing strategies that you can improve on and develop over time. Show the local area why you are the agent of choice, doing that through relevant and real marketing for the location and the target audience.
Walk away when you have to
As a final point here, be prepared to walk away from listings and clients where the ‘package of property’ seems unrealistic and unmatched to prevailing ‘market’ conditions. Your time is precious, so only take on the clients and properties that offer potential.
In commercial real estate brokerage, things change frequently throughout the year. The only object or fact that you can control is your response to the property market and its changes. There is always opportunity in change, but you have to dig for it. Local property market awareness will help your responses.
What do you do?
It doesn’t matter whether you are specializing in sales, leasing or property management, the location changes and the market sentiment will be there for you to work with and turn into commissions and or leads. It is a valuable process to monitor your activities each day and direct them into particular strategies that you can shape and refine.
How do you rank with these?
Here are some specific ideas that can really help drive better results for agents and brokers. See how you rank with these ‘change factors’:
What you say – Given that we are communicating with people every day, what you say and how you say it will be a great leverage factor in business conversions. Learn about the conversational factors in telephone prospecting, negotiating, pitching and presenting. Notably all of those situations are quite special in our industry. Develop the voice and the right words that support conversational confidence with people.
Property market awareness – Check out the local listings and the trends in enquiry, prices, and marketing strategies. Understand just what formula is creating the best enquiry and momentum towards a successful sale or lease situation. Watch the top agents in your location so you can see the strategies and differences that are potentially giving them the edge in listing conversion.
Recent enquiry – Clients like to hear about recent levels of property enquiry. If you are tracking the enquiry numbers for your exclusive campaigns, you will have some valuable information that can influence the listing processes with your clients. Also assess the numbers of people that you are talking to every day. Lift your contact numbers on a daily basis; set some contact benchmarks that you can improve given the available time.
Marketing solutions – There are many ways to market a property today. How can you make your promotional processes more specific and relevant? What can you do to leverage more enquiries from the advertising that you have both online and offline? There are many ways to creatively and professionally improve property marketing. Try better photographs, creative promotional copy professionally created, layouts, keywords related to your area and property type, and place the property in a matrix of online portals, social media, and database newsletters.
From these four simple factors you can see why personal performance is a big thing in commercial real estate brokerage today.
Most of the property market ‘slumps’ are a reflection on personal agent or broker performance rather than true market conditions. Are you up to the challenge?
To get a reasonable market share around you in commercial real estate brokerage you should consider your daily efforts and actions. Understand what you are doing and not doing. Understand the things that are wasting your time. From that point it is just a matter of change.
Caution! Some agents and brokers never change their ‘problem’ habits, and on that basis they struggle for their entire career. Things don’t need to be that way.
How’s Your Business?
Perhaps you are wasting your own time in real estate due to a lack of process and quality in your business systems? So it is time to step up to move into a better level of property performance. It’s a good year in the industry and there are things out in the market to be done.
If you are lacking listings, enquiries and clients, then you are likely to be lacking good business processes centred on the best clients and properties. Here are some ideas to help you resolve that:
Think about and action your prospecting around your listings – When you have a listing in your area and within your property speciality, you have something to work with. Use your listings as reasons to talk to others in the street or suburb. Remember that business owners need to relocate from time to time, and property investors look to upgrading their portfolios. Help those people remember you at the right time by getting in contact and staying in contact in a relevant way.
Referrals – When you have finished a successful transaction you will have the opportunity to explore referrals, leads, and repeat business. If the client is satisfied with your professional efforts then there are things to do with referrals and leads. Help other people to direct you to the next clients and property owners that you can serve.
Previous clients – Go back in your sale and leasing records to find those people that you and or your business has helped over the last 5 years. It is likely that some of those people are still active in the property market. Do they want some more help?
Other agent’s clients – Don’t be afraid of positioning yourself with clients that currently use other agents and brokers. There could be some reasons for those clients choosing a different agent. Professionalism will help you connect with those people and stay in their memory for the right reasons.
FSBO – This is a strange market segment, although a useful one. Some FSBO owners eventually give up trying to resolve their property problems. Let’s face the facts; they probably don’t have the contacts, the database, or the skills to negotiate a sale or lease deal professionally. Can you help them?
Investors – Local property investors are great clients for the long term. They need all types of help across tenant mix issues, leasing, selling, renovating, and portfolio mix. When they trust and respect your skills, you can do something to help them.
Business Owners – Stay in contact with local business owners. They will require professional property assistance at some time in the future. Keep them up to date with prices, rents, enquiries, and stock availability. Share your facts about the property market and pull in the local business owners that can use your help.
These simple strategies will help you attract more new business in the best possible ways. Make yourself known locally as the agent of choice; that agent that people must go to when property challenges present.