We all have a database of some form or another if we work successfully in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. The key to the process is that the list we create is up to date and is comprehensively used in client and prospect contact. So how do we use that list? Here are some ideas:
Letters of a marketing nature
Regular contact with property updates
If you are struggling with your property market commissions and or your listing activity, have a good look at your database of people and fully review what you are doing with it.
Look at the key issues of:
Filling the list with new people every day
Connecting with the people in your list now
Providing real value in your client communication
Being relevant in your contact processes
Staying in contact for the longer term
Having worked with a number of brokerage teams over the years, I know that the previous points are ‘struggle factors’ for some. That being said, I have put my comments in this audio program that I know can help most brokers and agents with client and prospect contact. They work for me, and I know those points can work for you. (NB -if you are struggling with team performance in brokerage, you can get more facts in Snapshot right here – its free)
In commercial real estate brokerage, you should be looking for the ways that you can match your VIP clients into the right listings and property situations. There will always be a good group of your clients looking for more investments or a portfolio change. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate training right here)
So what can you do with this?
When you know lots of local people, you will find those key clients that you can work with in a productive way. You can move those clients across sales, leasing, and property management activity.
Understanding the clients situation is at the center of all of this. If you are connecting with your clients regularly, there will be things that you can help with.
In this audio based coaching session, John Highman, Commercial Real Estate Coach, talks about the ways that you can match your clients into the opportunities that you know about.
In commercial real estate leasing, there are plenty of lead generation opportunities to be had when it comes to tenant placement and leasing activity. In any town or city at any time, there are usually plenty of tenants looking to move for a number of different reasons.
Your job is to locate those tenants at the earliest possible time before they consider moving and changing premises. The relationships that you strike with tenants locally will help you grow leasing activity and opportunity.
There are two sides to the levels of new business that you create as a property leasing specialist. Firstly you should be working with landlords helping them with vacancy problems and tenant mix strategies. That in itself is quite specialised process. Secondly you should be working with local businesses and tenants to help them relocate at the right time as part of their business activities and growth strategies.
What’s it all about?
So the message here is that you should be focusing on lead generation with both landlords and tenants. Separate strategies are required. You should be connecting with these two groups in a regular and ongoing way. That is why your database and your prospecting activities are fundamentally important to lead generation in commercial property leasing. Tenants and landlords should be segmented within your database, and relationships should be growing with each qualified lead or prospect.
Specialist leasing services for a location and property type are always in demand. Consider your answers to these questions:
What is your specialist service?
What values and opportunities do you bring to the landlords and tenants that you serve?
How can you improve your professional service offering to both landlords and tenants?
Why are you the leasing expert for the area and the location?
How can you market vacant premises more directly and effectively?
An important factor to remember?
It is an interesting fact that your database and the people within it are perhaps the most important factors of leverage that you can apply to the lease negotiation process. If you are growing your database daily and regularly, the landlords and the tenants within your list will allow you to quote any property, vacant premises, or a new leasing opportunity quickly and directly.
If you are struggling in the property market now with leasing activity, take a serious look at your database and start to improve it and grow it through regular contact with new people.
CONTACT SYSTEMS: Keep in contact with all local businesses. You will find that businesses are moving and changing premises for many different reasons. Make sure that they remember you at the right time when it comes to changing location.
QUALITY CONTACTS: Network the tenants in high quality buildings. The tenants in high quality buildings are generally those businesses that can afford better quality occupancy and longer term leases. The commission you achieve from such a high quality property leasing transaction will generally be higher per unit of space under lease. Many corporate tenants today require the services of a tenant advocate to help them find new premises and other properties. You can offer comprehensive and specialised tenant advocacy services.
LOOK FOR CHANGE: Look for tenants moving premises or those that are under some form of business pressure. When you canvass through an area or a location, look for the signs of change. You will see some businesses that are under pressure to relocate. Levels of stock, lack of parking space, lack of storage, and growth of business activities are all signs of a tenant or a local business needing help.
SERVICE OFFERING: Establish some comprehensive tenant placement services. As mentioned before, tenant advocacy can be part of the services that you offer. In other words you will be locating a tenant into a new property. In that case the tenant will be paying your commission and they will be your client for the purposes of the transaction. The larger corporate tenants are generally quite comfortable in seeking out and using the services of a specialised tenant advocate. They are also prepared to pay the necessary fees for service.
FRANCHISE BUSINESSES: Establish contact with local franchise businesses. Many franchise business models focus on factors of location first and foremost. They generally need to locate a new franchise business into a zone or precinct after they have undertaken the necessary market research and study. Make direct contact with local franchise businesses to understand the preferred business locations and lease circumstances that they prefer. They may also share with you the terms and conditions of the typical franchise agreement at they use. The franchise agreement will need to be integrated into the lease terms and conditions that you may negotiate.
So there are some things that you can do here when it comes to lead generation in commercial real estate leasing. Understand the differences between landlord activity and tenant activity. You can offer specialised services in each case.
Like it or not, the database process in commercial real estate brokerage has to exist at a personal broker level, and it has to be up to date. Old and redundant information in any database will bring with it problems and time wasting conversations.
Every broker should be very focused on their data growth, content entry and accuracy. The process can’t and shouldn’t be delegated.
So It’s Logical!
So this sounds very logical and yet why is it such a problem? Some brokers struggle with the processes of list management. These are the most common issues in commercial real estate database creation and growth today:
Choice of the wrong record keeping process – Many agents and brokers still keep information on basic spreadsheets. They do so in an effort to contain costs and or for the purposes of simplicity. The fact of the matter is that a spreadsheet with a lot of contacts will leave itself wide open to data loss and or errors.
Doing the work of data entry – It takes time to load data into a software program. Many brokers either do not have the time or do not want to enter data; they try to delegate the process. Unfortunately the person delegated the work of list management has little involvement or commitment to the end result. The message here is that the work has to be done personally by the broker, and the best time to do so is after hours at the end of the day. Keep a standard form process underway so you can write things down during the day that could be required as a new entry in your lists.
Set targets for growth – Determine where your client and customer numbers are now. Set some simple growth targets of perhaps 5 new people per day. Over time you will lose some current contacts as they will have moved on, so a growth strategy is important.
Making categories work for you – Categories will be required to help you find the right people to talk to. Split your list up into zones, budgets, property requirements, VIP’s, owners, tenants, and business owners. Your selected software for recording the data should allow you to cross reference categories to find people and situations.
Regularly making contact – When a person is captured into your list, they should be entered for one reason only, and that is because they have a property interest now or in the future. From that point onwards regular meaningful contact is required with clients. Talking to them or connecting with them at least once every 90 days will help with list momentum and new business conversion.
If you are looking for new business in commercial real estate today, the answer is in your list. Refine your database activities and drive relevant contacts and conversations through it. Over time the listings will emerge as will the commissions.