Its the end of the financial year. A turning point in the market where some businesses and clients consider property occupancy, leasing, sales, and acquisitions. Its a good time of year for brokers and agents to get back into the growth phase of what we do. From now until December 2015 we have clients to call, listings to convert and commissions to raise.
In this podcast I am focusing on Sales related topics to help Brokers and Agents with market share and database growth.
The topics are:
How to systemise the commercial real estate business and why that is a good idea.
What you need to know about simple contact management systems.
How to improve your prospecting efforts for the year ahead.
A 3 stage formula of action for Brokers and Agents this year.
This is another podcast for commercial real estate agents and brokers
around the world. In this program John Highman talks about business
generation and the factors that you must understand.
The property market is quite special and John helps you relate to the
more important things that really matter as you strive to get your
business and commissions underway.
It doesn’t matter if you work in sales, leasing, or property
management, there are things to do with prospecting for new business
There are 3 ways to consider growing your real estate business, so we
have split this audio program into those factors:
1. How to determine the client opportunities of the property market
2. Ways to divide up your real estate market so you can find the new
business opportunities more easily.
3. How you can choose the right marketing mechanisms for real estate
These are commercial real estate training programs for real estate
agents and brokers around the world.
Here are 3 more topics for commercial real estate agents and brokers around the world. 1. How to start a career in commercial real estate brokerage today, 2. How to create a commercial real estate listing kit, 3. How to qualify a tenant in commercial real estate office leasing. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.
In this property market there are many things to consider. In this podcast I have covered 3 issues that are so common across many brokerages. Here they are:
How to structure a commercial real estate property management budget in a large building
How to remove negativity from the sales team
What you should look for when it comes to results and team performance this year
We are 7 months into the calendar year. Now is the time to get things really moving so the end of the year finishes with good results. It doesn’t matter if you work in property sales, leasing or property management, now is a good time to consider and plan important actions that will create results over the next 6 months. This training audio will help:
Most commercial real estate agents will have a database. More often than not the database they have or use will be well out of date and poorly maintained. With all of this technology around us today you would think that the life of an agent would be easier?
I have seen agent databases that are many thousands of people only to find that most of the contacts are redundant, incorrect, or outdated. My view is that it is far better to have 600 people that you do know very well, than 5000 people that would not know you from a ‘bar of soap’. Our industry is built around the strength of relationships; remember that!
So, it’s the time of year where we should talk about refreshing and revitalising your database. It’s a personal process, and you can’t delegate it to anyone else in your team. Work your contact list comprehensively so you tap into the future deals in the market. It’s that simple!
A good real estate database will help an agent do all of the following:
Provide leads and opportunities
Integrate into automated newsletter systems
Give you sources of commissions and listings
Allow you to dominate market share or property type
Track and measure all client contact
So why do agents let their databases ‘self-implode’? It’s an interesting question; I think the answer has something to do with a personal lack of focus and not enough time to update the database information.
If there was a ‘golden rule’ in commercial real estate brokerage, it would go something like this:
‘Grow and maintain your database each working day.’
It’s a simple rule to understand; keep your business simple and centre your business on local people and prospects. Talk to lots of people every day and track your contact processes in your contact database. Ongoing relevant contact is required.
Here are 7 very good ways to ‘spring clean’ your contact list:
Make 10 calls into your list every day to update contact information. By calling people you already know you will find ‘changes to circumstances’ and future property needs just waiting to be tapped into. That’s a very good reason to make calls every day!
Check emails with all of your contacts so you can put them into an auto responder for ease of regular contact (you will need their permission to do that).
Update mobile telephone numbers where possible so you can keep in direct contact when the right property listing comes up. As part of that process, load all of your contacts into your mobile telephone for convenience of access and a ‘heads up’ when they call you.
Check websites for the business people that you connect with. You will find changes in information worth talking to them about.
Segment your contacts into VIP’s, Sellers, Buyers, Tenants, Business Owners, and Developers. Ask them about their property preferences and update your records accordingly.
Ask your VIP clients and regular contacts about property requirements and timing of needs. Whilst they may not require a property change currently, they are likely to do so in the future.
Integrate your contact list to your social media, blog and your email newsletter. Keep your communications business like and frequent. You want to be ‘top of mind’ when your contacts are seeking property change or help.
It is relatively easy to ‘spring clean’ your database and keep it that way. It just requires a daily process and consistency at agent level.
In commercial real estate agency today, you need to be an entrepreneur in your business practices and your focus. Your successes in the industry as an agent will come from your personal endeavors.
The agency that you work for will have little to do with the process of building greater personal commissions and generating listings. Successful agents are individually driven and have a comprehensive marketing plan to promote themselves comprehensively through the region that they work in.
There are some very simple strategies to apply here if you wish to rise to the top of the market. That being said, all of those strategies require personal effort and deliberate focus. They take time and effort each and every working day to implement effectively.
Here are some of those strategies to help you develop the entrepreneurial mindset of a top commercial real estate agent:
They say that you can learn a lot from experience. You can also learn a lot from the other top agents in the area. Whilst some of those top agents may work with competing agencies, you can observe what they are doing and how they do it. You can replicate their successful processes when it comes to knowledge, skill, and marketing.
Every client that you serve today will be an opportunity for repeat business in the future. The cycle of commercial real estate is quite long and on that basis your relationships will need to be built and nurtured. Focus on quality clients and quality properties. It is the quality properties that will bring you more enquiries from any marketing campaign. Poor quality properties bring poor results.
Referral opportunities can be generated from successful transactions. Stay close to your clients, customers, buyers, and tenants as part of closing a transaction and moving on. Ask for the referral at the right time.
There are certain skills which are absolutely critical to the services that you provide as an agent. You should have significant skills in prospecting, presenting, marketing, inspections, negotiations, and documentation. These six aspects of your career require constant upgrade and practice. When you do this, it makes it a lot easier for you to rise up in the ranks of the commercial property industry.
Every listing, sale, or lease is an opportunity to talk to other people in the local area. Send a direct letters to the local property owners and the property investors as part of your marketing efforts. In many respects, one single listing can allow you to talk to several hundred people. It is simply a matter of developing a mindset to do it and commencing the process.
If you choose to be an entrepreneur in commercial real estate agency today, you do need to take a serious look at your business activities and systems. They will help you take advantage of the local property market providing you implement the appropriate action on a daily basis. Success in this industry is driven from personal activity and nothing else.
In commercial real estate agency, your time is highly valuable. The best agents manage their time efficiently to the tasks that are most important. It is a known fact that a controlled salesperson achieves more in income and listings. They stick to a system and they get the right things done.
It is a fact that things will happen every day that you cannot plan for. Clients, prospects, and fellow staff members will direct issues at you that need to be responded to. To remain efficient through this pressure, it is wise to control at least 1/3 rd. of your day. In that 1/3 rd. of the day you can do the right things that you know will help you build market share and your commissions.
Here are some tips to develop a time management system in your commercial real estate processes.
You must control your time. That has to be the rule. Your diary is something that is ‘sacred territory’ and only you put things into your diary. In this way you can choose what you do and how you do it.
I go back to the point that part of the day is to be fully under your control. In this time frame you should do the things that really matter to your business and your goals for the year. Prospecting is usually the thing that applies and should be actioned in this window of time.
Map out your activities for the week ahead. Sure, changes will occur, but put the big and important issues into your diary and keep them there for action.
When you arise each morning, spend 5 minutes reviewing what has to be done and checking the priorities of things.
Build some break time into your schedule so you can think and plan. You will also need some administrative time later in the day to capture the events of the day.
Move the unimportant things out of your day to times that are less critical.
Learn to delegate the things that can be done by others.
Control the things that relate to business generation, clients, marketing, and negotiation. All of these things will impact your business and cannot be overlooked or passed to others.
Create habits when it comes to the most important things in the business day. Do them to a schedule at the same time. Habits help you move ahead and get traction on the things that matter.
Don’t let other people have access to your diary where they can add appointments to your day. Only you should set appointments as you are the one that understands your focus.
If you want to be a top agent in commercial real estate, protect your time and do the right things as part of your working day. Take control.
In commercial real estate agency today, you can drive more opportunity in listings and commissions if you use a personal assistant. That being said, that assistant needs to provide the correct support to you in a professional way.
Many commercial real estate agents are not sufficiently organized to use a personal assistant successfully. All they do is extend the chaos from their desk to someone else’s. Some may say that it is OK to do that; I disagree. Top agents are not disorganized, they are systemized and focused. They can then use the assistant more effectively and comprehensively.
So it is the top agents that understand the processes behind working with other people and administrative support. Here are some ideas to help you with that administrative process and the duties that you provide or direct to your personal assistant.
Advertising and marketing can be a time consuming process especially when you create more quality exclusive listings. If you are a good ‘lister’ of quality property, you will find that there are limits on the number of exclusives that you can work with. Depending on the size of properties that you work with, you will usually strike a working limit at about 15 to 20 exclusive listings. So let’s assume that you have got this number of exclusive listings. The marketing for this should be controlled by your administrative support team. You are the best person to negotiate the listing and have the client agree on a marketing campaign. It is the administrative team that will take the campaign forward and place it in the necessary media channels.
The administrative team should be monitoring your market share in signs and advertising. This means that each week they should be tallying the number of other properties that you are up against in the local area. Get them to monitor your position against competing agents. Be careful that the difference is established between open listings and exclusive listings. Open listings have very little relevance to market share.
Your support team can take telephone enquiries for you and administer your diary remotely. This then allows you to get out into the field and talk to the people that need your services. Every agent should be out of the office for at least half of the day and thereby the support team can provide the backup that you require.
Every transaction today needs to be followed through. The more leases or sales that you create, the greater attention to detail and follow-through is required. Your support team can check the progress of all transactions on your behalf as well as follow-up on documentation that may be outstanding.
It should be said that the support team should not overly interact with your clients. The client relationship needs to be preserved by direct connection with you at all times. At the end of each day you should be connecting with all of your clients on all of your exclusive listings. Keep them up to date with all recent enquiries.
As a final note on this industry strategy, any disorganized agent or salesperson should not be given a personal assistant. They will just be spreading their inefficiencies to other people and dragging the office backwards.
Top agents are highly effective with the right support team behind them. Choose to be a top agent, and improve your services accordingly.
There are plenty of problems out there in the commercial real estate industry for us to solve. The landlords and property investors are challenged with vacancy factors, redundant properties, and high operating costs to name just a few. We thereby become the solution provider in the local area. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
It is not a seller’s market, it is not a buyer’s market, but it is an agent’s market. We have the opportunity to reap the benefits of change; that is change in property ownership, occupancy, and eventually some new developments. The longer you stay around the industry you will know that the business is always out there, we just need to help the right people at the right time. Your database is critical to the process.
The property market is going through some reasonable change at the moment, and in many cases it is starting to consolidate and improve. There is a cycle to things, and right now the cycle has opportunity.
The moment businesses start to see better sales and improved client numbers, the flow through to commercial real estate is quite fast. The changes in tenant mix and property ownership start to occur.
So what problems can you help with?
What value do you bring to the clients and prospects currently?
Here is a list to think about; see where you can qualify as a ‘problem solver’ for your clients.
The tenants in the property are struggling to pay the rent.
The vacancy factor is too high.
Occupancy costs are higher than necessary.
New tenants are needed.
Renovation and refurbishment should occur to maintain tenant interest in remaining in the property.
Leasing strategies are non-existent or unsuccessful.
The tenant mix is wrong and needs adjustment to improve tenant sales.
The shopping centre needs a boost in customer numbers.
There is no business plan for the property.
Competing properties are taking all the tenants.
The property needs to be sold and enquiry is low.
The new property development is planned but tenants are hard to find.
These are all specialised processes. They require good agents with experience to move the property issues forward. You can provide specialist services and market yourself through them. Every problem that a client has is an opportunity.
A tenant retention plan is a good way to help current property owners with the tenant mix and the vacancy factors. You should charge a fee for the plan and get a fee from all of the leasing activity that you create.
Think outside the square and decide what services you can provide that the property market requires. To be a top agent you need to solve problems and specialise.
As a commercial real estate sales agent, you will get benefit from establishing systems to list, market, and negotiate on your listings. The fact of the matter is that systems will help you stay under control when things get busy or change.
The property market changes from time to time. Currently there are lots of properties for sale and fewer buyers that can put a purchase together. Given that our primary task is to sell a listing, you can develop some dedicated processes to help the overall sales and marketing process.
Commercial real estate sales is all about finding the quality listings, attracting the right enquiry, and converting the transaction. To help you with the process and the outcomes, you can take a serious look at the procedures that can be improved in your agency, or personally.
Here are some core procedures that apply to the commercial real estate sales process today. Review the ideas and test your existing processes and strategies.
Create a marketing packet of information that can be sent easily and quickly to any person that requires more information from you. The marketing packet will relate to a particular listing or a service that you can provide. The marketing packet should be dispatched by e-mail and or mail very easily and quickly. If you are sending the marketing packet via e-mail, ensure that the documentation is converted to PDF format. In this way the layout and the presentational aspects of the information will be preserved.
When it comes to commercial, industrial, and retail property, you can have specific prelisting kits that apply to the property type and the location. Those kits will contain the latest market information, samples of advertising and marketing, some details regards your agency and the key staff, plus testimonials from previous happy customers and clients. You may also have some market share information that proves your agencies relevance and specialty in the local area.
Canvassing and prospecting will always be a critical component of commercial real estate sales. Every salesperson should have a specific canvassing and prospecting program that they undertake daily and weekly. In this way they can build their pipeline of opportunity. On average, a top agent should be bringing in at least two exclusive listings per week. Those listings should be controlled for a period of at least six months. In this way those top agents can control the property enquiry and the client communication. Over time these factors will give you better market share and better clients. If you find it difficult to convert exclusive listings, then you need to improve your listing sales pitch and presentation. That will require some practice, but over time you can achieve better conversions of exclusive listings.
The marketing campaigns for the properties that you sell will be unique and different. On this basis you will need to track the results of every marketing effort with every exclusive listed property. Each week your marketing efforts should be adjusted to optimise the enquiry that you can achieve. Be quite specific in your marketing effort, and ensure that every quality listing is the subject of a specific and well directed promotional activity.
A top agent in commercial real estate sales will have their job and their market share totally under control. You can’t do this without having significant systems and focus into the local area. If you are looking to improve your client base, commissions, or listings in commercial real estate this year, take a serious look at the procedures and systems that are currently being utilized in your agency and by you personally.
In today’s commercial real estate market, tenants know exactly what they want when it comes to a property and the location. They also know that they have the favored position when it comes to lease negotiation. There are plenty of vacant tenancies to choose from. The rents and or deals that are offered today give tenants great flexibility when it comes to lease negotiation.
The landlord today needs to be guided through the facts of the market so that they suitably match the needs of tenants as part of the typical property negotiation. Unrealistic landlords waste everyone’s time. It is the job of the agent to help the landlord through the facts of the property market as they exist today. You will need evidence to support your rental recommendations and negotiations.
So exactly what do tenants require when it comes to leasing premises today? The situation will vary from property to property, but here are some common facts for you to consider.
They want a quality property that is well maintained. This means that the landlord should optimise the presentation of the property at all times. The maintenance processes will help stabilise existing tenant occupancy and attract new tenants to vacancies.
Regardless of how much the landlord thinks the tenancy is worth in rental, the tenant will not pay above the market rental. Given the large number of vacancies generally available, most lease negotiations will need to be keenly structured with lease incentives, landlord funded fit out works, and attractive lease occupancy conditions.
Quality services and amenities as part of occupancy should be provided. The convenience of being a tenant in the building should be an obvious factor to help the tenant negotiate through any new lease.
Tenants today really do not need to negotiate on vacant premises to any great degree. There are plenty of tenancies to choose from and the first offer you get from the tenant may be the only offer that a tenant provides. They will soon move on to another property. Landlords with an inflated view of rental or lease terms and conditions, may very well lose an interested tenant.
As a general rule, early occupancy for the purposes of fitout establishment should not be provided until the lease is signed and all other lease obligations are paid by the tenant. Many tenants have changed their mind on a property between commencing fit out design and construction, and signing the lease for occupancy. Be aware of the problem and do not fall into the trap.
Today’s leasing market is quite active from a tenancy perspective. The tenants can call the deal or negotiate keenly. As agents we need to align ourselves to the tenants in what they are looking for when it comes to property occupation. We then need to help our clients as landlords adjust to that process.
When it comes to listing commercial and retail property today the listing process is perhaps one of the most important things that will have an impact across your entire marketing campaign and property negotiation. As a commercial real estate agent it is a matter of gathering all the correct information, and preparing the client for the upcoming inspection process, marketing effort, and negotiation.
Here are some listing strategies that can be adopted in your commercial real estate agency:
From the outset, it is important that you understand the client and their current motivations. There will be reasons behind their actions in marketing a property today. Those reasons will impact the pricing, the marketing, and the eventual negotiation. It may be that they have certain challenges relating to property ownership that need to be satisfied. Discharging a debt could be part of that process. Ask the right questions and get to the real facts.
Comprehensively inspect the property so that you really understand the target market that will be relevant to the marketing campaign. Review all of the improvements within the property, the layout of the property, services and amenities, the precinct, and the property zoning. All of these things will align to some form of strategy when it comes to property promotion.
The prevailing market conditions should be assessed relative to the property type and location. You need to know exactly how much enquiry is coming in for a property of that particular nature. When it comes to people making property enquiry today, what are those people looking for when it comes to property purchase or property occupancy?
Check out all of the other properties locally that could be competing with your listing. The assessment should include improvements, time on market, pricing, services and amenities, agency marketing strategy, and client motivation. Some of those listings will give you hints as to what works and what doesn’t in today’s property market.
As a priority, your listings today should be on an exclusive basis wherever possible. That exclusive listing process should include vendor paid marketing funds. In only this way can you comprehensively connect with the buyers or tenants in the local area.
An exclusive listing with a satisfactory marketing campaign will always shorten the time on market. In most cases, that is what the client will require. Show them the advantages and the differences between open listing and exclusive listing. In many respects, it is not unusual for some top agents to walk away from open listings. Open listings are generally a waste of time unless you know that the property is well positioned for potential enquiry within your database.