How to Win New Clients in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage sales and leasing today, the clients that you know and work with are the foundation of your listings and commissions over time.  Your client list has to grow in a continual way and that should be the ‘top priority’ of your working day as an agent.

Note: if you want more client contact ideas as an agent or broker, you can get them here in our ‘Snapshot’ program – its free)

 

Client Focused Questions

Here are some key client questions for you to consider:

  1. What is the best type of client for you to serve locally?
  2. How can you ‘stand out’ as the agent of choice in your region?
  3. Why should clients remember you as an agent when they need property help?
  4. Why are you a better choice than your competitors from a ‘broker’ perspective?
  5. What is your service approach to ‘exclusive’ clients and how is that special?

As you strive to build market share as an agent, these questions are quite important.  Your database, and client interaction should be built around these core issues.  Your answers to these questions should not be ‘generic’ if you are to capture a good share of the local property market and client base.

In this audio program by John Highman, you can learn some more facts about client contact and conversion in commercial real estate brokerage.  You can get the audio below:

How to Engage with More VIP Clients in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage it is important that you segment your client list into groups and opportunities. As part of that, you should identify the VIP clients that you know and those that exist in your local area. They should be the primary targets of your prospecting model in an ongoing way. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate training right here)

In this audio program, John Highman talks about the strategies behind VIP database management and the professional skills of commercial real estate sales and leasing today.

Learn how to improve your real estate business and grow the opportunities with the right clients in the right way.

You can access the audio program right here:

Things I Have Learned About Database Systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you work in commercial real estate, you really do need a good quality database that you can rely on to find the right people and properties as part of a matching process.  Whilst it seems so logical, most agents struggle with the discipline of a database.  They have issue with things like:

  • Finding the time to make the calls
  • Capturing all of the information from meetings and calls
  • Keeping up the call momentum
  • Integrating the client list with emails and brochure dispatch systems, etc.

So the list can go on.   The database is the prime way to find real estate opportunities and do something with them.   Today there are plenty of options with software brands, data collation methods, and pipeline tracking, for some positive results to be achieved by any broker or agent in commercial real estate.  Everything comes down to personal application and effort.

You don’t have to pay a lot of money to have such a program helping you grow your real estate business.  One key decision in all of this is whether you should go ‘cloud based’ in your data storage.  Common consensus says you should, given that most people like to access their client and prospect information from a variety of devices when they are away from the office.

In this audio, John Highman talks about the client list processes and how you can work the data that you gather from your clients today.

How to Get a Prospecting Pipeline Established in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you start a career in commercial real estate brokerage, your new business or prospecting pipeline should be established quickly and comprehensively.  Its a personal thing that you cannot delegate.  (NB you can get our prospecting training in commercial real estate here)

What you are wanting to do here is drive new leads and opportunities your way so that you can establish a good list of clients and property opportunities.  That’s how the industry works.

Think about your client list right now. Here are some simple questions:

  • Could it be better?
  • Have you prioritized ongoing contact with key people into the future?
  • Have you segmented your VIP clients from everyone else?
  • Do you know where your next listings will be coming from?

So these are the questions that will have positive answers if you build a prospecting pipeline at a personal level in your real estate business.

In this audio program, John Highman, Commercial Real Estate Coach, talks about how you can build a good prospecting model that can work for your real estate business in a positive way.

You can listen or download the file here:

 

How to Build a Network of Commercial Property Investor Clients Faster

Local property investors will and should be an important part of your real estate business in commercial and or retail property.  The important thing here is that you are building your network of investors in a constant and relevant ongoing way.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

 

Know the uniqueness of investors

Commercial and retail property investors are unique when compared to those others investing in residential property.  Commercial and retail owners have challenges and opportunities arising in property ownership and development; they work from a base of logic and opportunity.  Tenants, market conditions, and rentals are quite volatile and can disrupt property cash flow; I call it the ‘disruption factor’.   You can control those things.

 

What do they know and want?

Investors shift and change assets based on the market conditions and how they are placed in that from an asset perspective.  Get to know your clients and their assets from a strengths and weaknesses perspective.  It’s really important when you are looking for listings and commissions.

So how can you work with this ‘disruption’ factor in a positive way?  You can be the solution provider, by staying ahead of rentals and occupancy issues locally.  Your database of businesses, tenants, and property owners will help greatly with that.

 

Your database and client list

Look at your database now.  How comprehensive is it?  More importantly, how up to date is the information and contact detail in it?  Put your database at the center of your real estate business, and you will then find leads and opportunities to act in sales, leasing, and property development.

 

Fast formula for investor services

So how can you build a local network of investors and then keep them as property clients for the long term?  There is a fast formula here to create.  Think about these things:

 

  1. Market rental updates – Rental changes will happen in precincts, property types, and particular buildings. Stay ahead of those rental changes and chart the gross and net rents for the asset classes.
  2. Supply and demand assessments of the local area – Why are businesses and people moving in and out of an area when it comes to business operations? Look at the historic supply of land and property, and then do some projections in looking at the next 5 years.  There will be some property redundancies and new developments to work with if you delve deeply enough.  Research your property market comprehensively for both supply and demand and tell your clients what is expected to happen locally.
  3. Regional zoning changes – Pressures of the community, the environment, and local business growth will create situations of zoning change. Roads and local transport activity will also create that change.  Stay ahead of zoning activity at the local property planning authority.  A simple zoning change will likely create business movement.  Look at that factor for listing and commission development.  Get copies of the local zoning maps so you can see what property changes are possible in locations.  Show your clients the local zoning maps and keep them appraised of what developments are coming up on the ‘investment horizon’.
  4. Tenant movements in and from local buildings – When you know the tenants that are moving locally, you are of real value to the property investors that you serve. Market your professional services on the basis of tenant movement and coverage.

 

All of this says that you should have a precinct focus for new business and investment service.   Don’t spread yourself too far as a property expert; you simply cannot cover every location and property type and then be aware of what is happening in rents, sales, and the supply and demand for the zone.

Be the specialist for the location, and on that basis you will be far more useful to the investors that you serve.  It’s not ‘rocket science’.  Keep things simple in commercial real estate brokerage and understand how you can serve the investors locally.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Why it is Better to be a Listing Agent in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate today you see so many agents and brokers that work for buyers and tenants of all types without a formal appointment to do so.  Those buyers and tenants claim to be looking for something by way of a property to own or occupy, and then the agent spends lots of personal business time and resources looking around for that ‘magical’ property and investment.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Why is this a problem?

Invariably the buyer or tenant is very likely talking to many agents locally at the one time, and all of those agents are committing precious resources chasing around the local property market to find the ‘ideal’ occupancy or ownership solution.  The person making the inquiry is very likely going to transact a property sale or lease at any time and with any agent that finds the right property.

So what is the problem here?  You cannot control that inquiry or negotiation therefore you cannot control your real estate business or any negotiation that may be possible.

The message?

There is a core message that is so important in our industry.  You, as the agent or broker must control the listing stock.  When you do that, the local people are coming to you (be they tenants or buyers) to inquire or inspect.   It is far better to be a listing agent working on controlled stock for that very reason.  You control the property and the client; on that basis the inquiry comes to you automatically, and you negotiate the deal for the client.

A good process, don’t you think?  Don’t just chase around after buyers and tenants if you have a choice; find the property listings and capture them exclusively.  The buyers and tenants will then come to you.

Let’s put a ‘proviso’ on this listing agent focus.  Exclusivity is part of the listing process, and open listings don’t really matter, and certainly have little value to the growth of market share for any agent or broker.  Can you accept that rule and work with it?

The right things

When you are the listing agent a few things fall into the right places, and that will help you with your property business.  Here are some ideas for that:

  1. Client creation and retention – When you find the client, you control the relationship over time. That ownership puts you in a favorable position for long term income opportunity.  How many clients do you really know deeply now?
  2. Focused negotiation – You are then the only agent or broker that the client is listening to. You have their attention and trust.  The negotiation process gets a lot easier.
  3. Referrals are more achievable – When you work closely with the client, a successful transaction is more easily obtained and the resultant referrals can be converted when the time is right. Repeat business is also a by-product of working closely with a client in this way.

From these three simple facts, you can see why the ‘listing agent’ process is more important than any other business strategy in our property industry.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Commercial Real Estate Brokers – Why Reputation is So Important in Your Career

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Understand the significant value of commercial real estate broker reputations.

Assess the reputation of your commercial real estate brokerage today as it stands in the current property market.  Also assess your reputation as an agent in the location.  What are the levels of reputation currently? Can things be improved?

Trust and reputation are big issues in commercial real estate today.  There are some ‘reputation’ issues here to consider when it comes to commercial real estate brokerage performance and market coverage.  Where do you stand and what is the position?

Why is this so?

The reputation of any brokerage and or agent can significantly impact current and future enquiry rates and conversions.  The reputations can also impact future referral conversions and repeat business over time.

Many of us will have seen agents and brokerages that are struggling to find listings and convert commissions.  There are many potential reasons for those things to be problems; however real estate brokerage marketing and reputation are key elements and indicators to watch in the success of any agent today.

If you are to be newly employed as an agent by a commercial real estate brokerage, explore the local area first to understand the reputation of that business today, and what it may have been over the years.  There will be strengths and weaknesses of reputation to identify and review, some of which will impact your ability to locate and convert new business.  You want to work with the best brokerage in the best location.

The Indicators

What are the indicators that you should look for here and question when it comes to the brokerage reputation?  How can your business activities fit within the brokerage?  Consider the following:

  • Previous transactions – Any active commercial real estate brokerage should have had plenty of previous business activity in a location. That will be a good indicator of market coverage and market share.  A brokerage with a good market share will be an advantage to you when it comes to prospecting for new business, listing conversions and client growth.
  • Referral business – Over time you will want to convert referral business where possible with your existing clients. That means you will need a good business reputation and a high level of professional service to support your referral activities.  Asking the right questions at the right time with your clients will help you convert referral business.  Most clients will allow you to access referral opportunities if your professional skills are sufficiently high and they have a good level of trust in working with you.
  • Repeat business – Some other clients that you work for will be repeat customers in many different ways. You will be able to move across sales, leasing, and property management opportunities.  Will your brokerage have the necessary staff and skill mix to support those special property disciplines?
  • The client database – Any established brokerage should have a comprehensive and up to date client database. That then allows for cross selling and leasing across the broader client and listing inventory.  Ask a few questions about how you can interact with in the client database of the brokerage.  Also ask a few questions about how you can grow your own database and who will own the data within that prospecting effort.
  • Market coverage – Look into the area and the precinct that the brokerage currently covers. From that investigation you can assess the levels of competition and the levels of dominance that you will be competing against.  Get to know the top agents and or brokerages that you will be the competing with.  When you understand those competitive factors, you can modify your marketing and prospecting activities accordingly.
  • Client interaction – Our industry is predominantly client related. Most of the listings that you create will be centred on client interaction and the client relationships that you build over time.  If you convert new clients as part of your prospecting activities, how can you protect those clients from your competitors?  How can you stand out as the agent of choice when it comes to the location and the property type?  Your strategies relating to client interaction and market coverage will need to be well defined and established.
  • Online marketing – The brokerage should have some active and professional online marketing strategies underway at all times. Generally those factors will include the industry portals, websites, social media, and database interaction.  How can you tap into those specific online marketing strategies?
  • Newspaper marketing – Understand the levels of newspaper marketing undertaken by the brokerage in your location. What are the levels of marketing that apply?  How much inbound enquiry comes from newspaper marketing today?  Marketing is not the only way to pull in the new business although it is a big part.
  • Community involvement – Can you say that your brokerage is deeply involved in the local community, and particularly the correct segments? Is your brokerage doing everything it can to attract enquiry from local property investors and the overall business community?  Given that most commercial real estate activity comes from the business community and the investors that are investing locally, your brokerage should have specific strategies active at all times across community groups to tap into both of those segments.  How can you be part of that community involvement?  What community groups can you join?

So there are some good things for you to do here when it comes to reputation building and brokerage coverage.  Ask plenty of questions within your brokerage as to each of these factors mentioned.  You will soon see the place for you to build your marketing and listing activities, as well as commission opportunities.

You can get more broker marketing tips in our eCourse ‘Snapshot’ right here.