Commercial property activity and hence brokerage should be simplified. Don’t overly complicate things. Establish a system that can work for you with a bias towards simplicity and action. That will then allow you to establish a plan of momentum and track the results that you are achieving.
Condition your clients to the prevailing market conditions – throughout the year certain things will change in your property location and within the property categories. Keep a series of charts and statistics that relate to the prevailing market conditions. You can use those charts as a conditioning process in listing and negotiation activity.
List your properties exclusively – avoid the open listing process. Open listings are of little or no benefit to you. Exclusive listings really do matter in our industry and will provide you with controlled listing stock. When you control the listing, you control the negotiation, the inspections and the marketing. The inquiry with an exclusive listing comes to you as the client’s representative. You can do more with that inquiry and shape the momentum of the deal.
Consolidate and grow your database at every opportunity – from the very start of your career, establish a database and grow it each and every day. It is a personal process and will require your total effort consistently and persistently. You cannot delegate the process. As you talk to new people, you can track the relationships that you establish, and the opportunities that you identify. The conversations that you create with new people will allow you to understand the pressures and the challenges of property ownership, investment, and occupancy.
Look for the pressures of the property market and the people that are needing some pressure relief. Segment your database into locations, client types, and timing requirements.
Every time you create a new listing, revisit your database and see if you can create a match or a short list of people to discuss the listing with.
Many transactions today are the result of off market listing activity and database contact. The conversations that you create as you build your database will be very important to your professional career. Practice the process and improve your client list.
There are all sorts of procrastination problems in commercial real estate brokerage today. Don’t let them hold you back or derail your business efforts. Break through the barriers and issues that are holding you back. Time is your most valuable resource, so use it well and dedicate your time to the things that really matter.
Get your business diversions under control and stop procrastinating. Know what is important to your market share, client list, listings, and commissions. Somewhere in that awareness will be listings and leads. You (and only you) are the person to resolve the ‘quandary’.
Your key resource?
So, as I have said, the most important resource that you have is time. Use your time wisely and specifically. Yes, you will have challenging and difficult things to deal with every day, but do the work in an organized and specific way; that is how you build your real estate business. Are you ready to move ahead in the industry?
Solutions to common problems?
Here are the solutions to help solve procrastination, given the typical commercial property agent problems:
Unrealistic clients – some clients will waste your time, so don’t let that happen. You are (or should be) the property expert, so tell the clients what you can recommend with the property listing and or the challenge of the client; if they won’t listen, then you have a choice as to whether you should take on the property and the challenge. Don’t take on a listing or client requirement that is too far off the market. Give good reasons for your recommendations and be very specific when working with clients. Be prepared to walk away from an unrealistic client in a professional way.
Too many meetings – some brokerage businesses are overly controlling of their agents and brokers. The fact of the matter is that top agents don’t need to be controlled; they know what they have to do and they will go and do it if you let them. One brokerage meeting per week is more than enough to control and direct a real estate business, and that meeting should be at a time of day that is not ‘peak’. On another note, any of your junior agents and trainees should be controlled through direct mentoring and not frequent meetings involving others. Allow your good agents and brokers to get out into the market each and every day. ‘Kill’ the extra meeting requirements.
Complex listings – some of the larger properties take a lot of research and investigation before the property is released to the market. That is your job and you can’t avoid the full property investigation requirements. However, when the investigation is done, the mundane listing issues can be done by others. Make sure you have the right administrative support to get this extra work done.
Complex marketing campaigns – this is a special problem to watch. Your marketing has to be specific to the property and the location. You should be taking a good degree of time in structuring and releasing your marketing campaigns on your exclusive listings. Sure, open listings are a different situation and they should not take much of your time, but differentiate your marketing efforts and only spend extended time on your exclusive listings.
Unqualified inquiry – we have all been impacted by people that seem to say that they can purchase or lease a listing. Deeper qualification about their market awareness, intentions, budget, and inquiry will prevent you spending too much time on ‘time wasting’ people.
So you need a plan to solve these things. What could you do with that plan? What could you put into it? Some of the answers here will help you get your plan in motion.
When it comes to leasing commercial property today make sure that you understand the current market conditions, and that you convey those market conditions to your local clients, landlords, and the tenants that you serve. Our industry is not an experiment; it is a very specific process and it is established on set investment, marketing and negotiation principles.
Help the Client Understand the Facts About Leasing
Any misunderstandings or missing information when working with tenants and landlords from a leasing perspective should be realigned to current day market conditions with clear market evidence and relevant supporting material.
Your job is to have that ‘comparable’ material available and handy solve any negotiation, listing, or leasing challenge. Condition the people that you work with in the correct and the most professional way; use market evidence.
Your Message on Leasing?
The concept here is that you are the best person to ‘recondition’ your property market and the people that you work with; you understand the realities of the property market far better than they do. Help your clients and prospects realize that the real market conditions are here to stay and brief them on those conditions. Explain the prevailing market conditions comprehensively.
Gather the facts and then help the landlords and tenants that you work understand the prevailing market conditions across:
Rental activity – track and measure the levels of rental activity across all recent leasing transactions. Compare the differences between net and gross rentals in each case. Understand how they relate to the location and the property type. Provide the rental details to those that do not fully understand what is happening locally with property segments.
Market rentals – real market rentals are determined as a result of negotiation between willing and committed tenants and landlords. Some of those rentals will be impacted by local vacancy factors, the available competing properties, and the asking rentals applicable to each property and landlord.
Competing listings – where appropriate take your clients to see competing properties in the location. The visual approach will help them understand the influencing factors that impact levels of enquiry and offers.
Property improvements – with older properties there will be issues with the standards of property improvements. Do assessment of improvements, services, and amenities when it comes to every leasing vacancy.
Industry enquiry – understand where the levels of enquiry coming from today when it applies to particular locations and property types. If you are marketing effectively in an ongoing way then the enquiries coming to you should show trends and opportunities. Every inbound call generated by a quality listing should help you understand what tenants are looking for today. You can chart those requirements and provide recommendations to the landlords that you work with.
Methods of marketing – certain methods of marketing in commercial real estate will be more successful than others. A lot depends on the target market that you are chasing however choose the right marketing solutions to suit the situation, the current market conditions, and the target audience. The Marketing Solutions that you adopt will be somewhat subject to the amount of available funds and the prevailing market conditions. +
Inspection processes – some properties require specific inspection strategies allowing for the improvements, the property layout, the strengths and weaknesses of the listing itself, and the landlord. As part of every exclusive property listing process, establish the inspection processes that will feature the property correctly and directly at all times. In a complex property, establish the track or route that you will take across floors and through common areas.
So, all of this is informational and helpful when you are working with property investors, business owners, landlords and tenants today. Are you prepared to provide and explain all the elements of the property market to those people? Have you got all of the information to help ‘close’ on a leasing transaction?
Recondition the clients thinking and perceptions in leasing properties and premises locally. You are the specialist to do that.
If in commercial real estate agency today, you need to condition the clients and the prospects that you work with. To do that successfully, you do need market information and market knowledge. The conditioning process is quite special and requires practice as well as supporting information.
Most clients will have an inflated opinion of their property in the market today. As part of the listing process, you will need to shape their thinking in preparation for a realistic price or rental; be prepared for the listing and structure it on terms and conditions that are favourable for the prevailing market conditions. You will also need to position the property for the correct marketing campaign and negotiation situation.
It is interesting to note that many top agents will not take on a listing that has been overly inflated in price or rental. Invariably what will happen in such circumstances will be a stale listing, and a lot of wasted time on your part. Your goal should be to only list properties that are realistically close to the prevailing market conditions; condition the client accordingly.
Here are some ideas to help you with the client conditioning process:
Identify the other properties in the local area that remain unsold or vacant. They will have an impact on your marketing campaign and your clients listing. Take photographs of those properties and get details of the current prices or rentals. Show your client the marketing strategy used in each case.
Prices and rentals will change throughout the year. As an industry expert, you should track those numbers and be prepared to show the client those trends through a graphing process. You can add to that process the current status of time on market when it applies to each property type locally. That should also be graphically displayed.
New property developments will come and go from the local area. Large and new property developments can have a serious impact on any prices and rentals with existing properties. On a monthly basis, visit the local planning office to identify any new property developments in the early stages of approval and implementation.
The capitalisation rates and yields that are achieved when you compare rentals to prices will be a good indicator of the buoyancy of the investment property market. When the property market is soft or slow, the yields tend to rise. When properties are in short supply and in high demand, the yields tend to fall. That assessment will be a reflection of the condition of the market today. High quality properties and those that are in scarcity will always attract a higher price when compared to the income cash flow. Understand what you are looking at when it comes to prices and rentals. If you are going to compare the yields between properties, make sure that they are directly comparable when it comes to location and improvements.
Show your client the different alternatives that can apply in the marketing process. Give your client at least two or three alternatives when it comes to the marketing approach for the given property. Whilst you can make your recommendations in marketing, the alternatives will help the client make a choice that they can afford.
Every property will have an ideal method of sale or lease. That decision will be made on the basis of the target market and the prevailing market conditions. Your recommendations to the client should be quite clear when it comes to the prevailing property conditions today and where the listing will be best promoted.
The client conditioning process should be seriously considered with every property listing. Be prepared to talk the client through the best promotional strategy and package the listing for optimal enquiry.
If the client will not listen to logic and reason as part of the listing process, your only choice is to whether you should take the listing on, or walk away. If the price of the property is too unrealistic, it is better to walk away. You can then protect your professional image and your time.
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