As you work through your career as a broker or an agent, take the time to understand where you are positioned professionally and competitively in your town or region taking into account the levels of broker and agent competition. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate broker course right here)
In the property market today, it is best if you take the time and make the effort to stand out as an industry professional.
Top agents of the market understand exactly where they are professionally in today’s market terms; by professionally I mean listings, market share, commissions, and client service. They also understand exactly what they are going to do to improve their market position over time.
Here are some ideas to help you establish some performance indicators and professional targets for commercial real estate clients, as a broker or an agent. You can very likely add to the list based on your property specialty and location:
Signboards – do a signboard count on a monthly basis so that you can understand and relate to the numbers of signs that you have in the market by comparison to the other agents and competitors around you. Local area presence and signboard activity will always help you attract more inquiries and activities from your exclusive listings. Your signboards are a marketing process to refine and optimize.
Listings by type – compare the numbers of listings that you have in your territory by way of open versus exclusivity. Your exclusive listings are the only ones that really matter when it comes to market share. At least 75% of your property presentations should convert to exclusivity. Open listings are generally a waste of time although the strategy can be a last resort if necessary with a difficult client or a unique property.
Database – review your database on a monthly basis so that you can understand the levels of improvement and the growth of activity with meetings, calls, conversions, and inquiries. You cannot easily delegate the data base process to others within your business. Ultimately the database supports your commercial real estate activities into the future and that client list will be a critical component of your growth of market share. If you are struggling with commissions, listings, or clients, then it is very likely that your database is lacking in some respect. Take the time to understand that client list now and your prospecting activities to grow the database.
Internet – on a weekly basis, review the new listings coming onto the market across all the Internet portals. Compare your online listing numbers to those of your competitors. Understand the positioning and the ranking of your listings within your targeted suburbs and locations. To boost your business, you will really need to take the time to bolster your online profile and the exclusive listings that you have placed on the portals. There are various strategies that you can use online such as search engine optimization, social media, and article marketing. They are all very effective when it comes to establishing and growing a personal marketing profile for any broker or agent.
Commissions – look at your commissions and conversions as they exist today in both sales and leasing activity. Break the commissions down to a transaction level so that you can see the size and the types of property that you are working on per transaction. This simple strategy will allow you to assess preferred listing types and listing sizes. Focus on the listings that the market requires and where the enquiry may be centred at the moment.
A successful career in commercial real estate brokerage will usually be centred on predictable trends and activities.
Do you want to lift your brand locally in commercial real estate sales? You will need a plan to achieve that. Each day you can then take more steps towards the top agent status that you require.
Why is a brand so important in commercial real estate brokerage today? Well, the fact of the matter is that you really want the prospects and clients in the local area to remember you. Your brand, your professional skills and your local area knowledge are all part of that.
There are plenty of competing agents around you all chasing the top clients and prospects. Deliberately stamp your brand on the local property market. Make an impression of the highest professional standards.
The clients and prospects today are smart; they will very likely have made their inquiries and undertaken their investigations to determine who is the best agent to help them with their sales or purchase requirement. In the presentation or listing pitch that they are asking you to provide, they are testing you.
They want you to demonstrate your ideas and confirm that you are the best choice of agent to help them. Are you up to the challenge? Can you prove that you are relevant and special to the client’s situation? What are your points of difference?
Here are some ideas to help you to lift your profile as a top broker or agent in investment sales:
Canvas the quality buildings in the location – talk to all the occupants in the best buildings in your territory and the priority precincts. Give the facts of the buildings or assets, the location, and the leases, look at how you can help with investment improvement or new property purchase. You can service both purchasers or sellers (not at the same time though – you can only have one client). Your services can be ‘tweaked’ accordingly for the clients that you believe have the most opportunity for you; match your sales knowledge and local area coverage into those client types. You can be a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. Specialization helps in each case.
Talk to specific property owners of high value – perhaps the clients that you know own multiple properties locally. Perhaps they spread their investment risk across different property types. Portfolio ownership and investment performance is quite special today.
Create a VIP list within your database – those people are the very special prospects and clients that you will be servicing at a higher level over time. Develop some special VIP services to achieve that.
Hold regular industry updates – you can hold industry briefings for your best clients and prospects on a quarterly or half yearly basis. Treat them differently and give them plenty of comparisons and case studies from the location and the recent transactions. Have a few stories to tell from the local region.
Establish an online marketing strategy incorporating social media – as you talk to more people from the region, share your ideas with them through social media. Your online presence today is really important; don’t just market your listings, but also market yourself.
In building your brokerage brand and your personal profile locally, search through all the property ownership records and the business registers to start your contact processes in a complete and logical way.
Don’t leave one property owner out of your contact processes. Build your brand with the people that own the assets. List your properties exclusively and control your listing stock.
It is one thing to say that you are the best local property agent; it is another to prove it. There are far too many ‘ordinary’ agents out there, and clients can easily get confused as they try and solve their property challenge.
The clients in the property market today want the best agent or broker for the job, and that person has to commit to the listing and marketing processes. It’s not ‘rocket science’, if you know what I mean?
Ordinary agents take far too many ‘open listings’; top agents on the other hand convert ‘exclusive listings’ most of the time and then get a sale or a lease result.
Top Agents are Different
Top agents are special to the clients that they serve, and they get to that point of local area achievement through just two things; relevance and coverage. When they prove that to the client, they generally win the listing.
Listing conversion today is not about providing commission discounts, and free marketing. At the top of the property issue the client wants a result in a timely way, and most quality clients understand that discounts do not create the best results.
Provide the Bare Facts
Our industry is not an ‘experiment in marketing’; it is a skillful and deep specialized process. Are you up to the challenge? Can you sell yourself to the client as the ‘best agent for the job’?
Let’s be specific here. Show the client that you are the right person to help them today by answering these questions in the listing or presentation pitch:
How to find the right buyers for the listing?
How to find the right tenants for the property?
How to market a listing comprehensively?
How to get the best price?
How to get the best rent?
What are the other listings on the market?
Who is looking for a property now or soon?
What is the best time to sell or lease?
When should the listing be activated on the market?
Who is on the ‘short list’ to be shown the property immediately?
These are very special questions. They take deliberate study and dialogue with the client as part of the listing presentation. You cannot ‘fudge’ a listing conversion with this information.