If you have chosen commercial real estate as your preferred career, you have likely done so for a reason. Perhaps someone has introduced you to the profession, or you have seen what some agents do and achieve in their career and you want to get similar results.
Many ‘Roads’ to Take in Commercial Property
Certainly there are many ‘roads’ of focus and activity to take in commercial real estate brokerage; all of those ‘roads’ are specialized in some way for both property type and location. All of those ‘roads’ involve client contact, personal performance, commissions, and listings.
You have to be a person that will focus personal effort into all of those things, and that is certainly the case if you want to get more or improved results from your industry and from your efforts over time.
You need a plan as an agent or broker, and that plan when started can be refined over time. The commissions come to those that work with professional skills that are improved over time. Are you that person?
Get More Real Estate Traction and Focus
Here are some ideas to help you get more traction in your career as an agent or broker, and attract better levels of commissions:
Specialist skills – choose the property types that you understand and can match your professional skills into. Boost your skills through practice. There is no point specializing in something that sells or leases in low volume. Look at the end result of what could happen in your property specialization. Improve your skills through deliberate effort.
Local area – choose the local area that shows the best possibilities for your efforts over time. Review the streets and precincts. Look at the buildings and investment properties in the chosen location.
Owners, Tenants and Business owners – you can work for clients in all 3 of these categories, but in saying that, each category requires understanding and unique qualities of service. Given your location, how much business could you extract from the segments? You could be an agent for landlords, tenants, buyers, or sellers; match your services into the segments that you prefer and then prospect the segments comprehensively in an ongoing way.
Referrals – when you know a customer or client with reasonable familiarity, the referral process gets a lot easier. Encourage your clients to tell you about other people that they know who may be interested in property investment.
Repeat business – some clients will transact commercial property in a number of different ways over time. That is especially so if they own multiple properties or a portfolio. Review your clients on that basis.
Quality properties – work with the better quality properties as they will attract more inquiry and that will lead to a better churn of listings and properties. As you work with more listings piggy back your listings and inquiries so you can move an inquiry from one property to another and eventually find the right solution for the buyer or tenant.
A quality database – review the database software that you use an understand its potential for you in finding the right people to transact real estate in some way. Spreadsheets don’t offer a complete level of coverage; the larger that they get, the more difficult it is in finding the right people to match into a property listing or inquiry.
There are some special things that you can do here with a listings and commissions focus. If commercial real estate is your career, then the elements mentioned here will be vital to the outcomes that you seek. Refine them and improve them over time. Top agents are created and shaped over time; luck has nothing to do with the process. Your career and its results are influenced by deliberate choices and refined actions.
If you are looking to grow your market share and improve the results for your clients, then you simply must seek and convert vendor paid marketing as part of your business model. It is the best solution for creating inquiry. It is also the best solution for getting results for the clients that you work for.
Lift Enquiry in Better Ways
As the level of property inquiry escalates as part of a dedicated and special promotional program, this is what typically happens:
Your database grows with quality people calling you on the better listings
Better quality listings allow you to speak to active investors and business leaders for the location
Your existing listing stock allows you to talk to other local people.
You get known as a property specialist for the location and that then helps you build listings with other locals
Other local property owners get to notice you as the ‘go to person’ for the location and property type
So these are all good things. Your ability to create vendor paid marketing will help you get started on the road to improved market presence.
So here are some ways to sell the marketing message and the requirement for vendor funds in your listing pitch:
Vary your packages offered – Most clients like to have a choice when presented with property matters and challenges. Give them 3 different approaches to marketing and advertising coverage (also provide the reasons for the different packages). When they have choices, the advertising spend gets a bit easier.
Show the value of a timed campaign – When should the campaign start and why is that the case? You should have answers to those questions and feed those matters into the client presentation.
Focus in on a target marketing – Put your targeted buyers or tenants into your campaign and categorize them for the client. That then makes it easier for the client to see who you are chasing for inspections and how you are going to create their interest.
Differentiate between local area marketing and regional coverage (where the property makes it necessary). There are differences in approach for each market segment, so treat them differently in your marketing.
Split campaign focus into primary and secondary coverage both online and offline – When you have done this, you can stage the campaign into segments and points of focus.
Use a private website portal to help the client see your feedback and results coming in – Make it easy for the client to see the results of recent marketing and inspections. A private portal can easily be merged into your website for the VIP clients and Exclusive listings that you have now and those that you will convert.
Put yourself into the property campaign – Help the client see that you are important to the promotion of the property, because you will be doing certain things that are critical to getting results with both inquiries and inspections.
From these simple and yet specific things, you can drive better levels of property enquiry. Look at your listing processes in commercial real estate now and consider how you can convert vendor paid marketing with each and every presentation that you make; your career will escalate faster if you can resolve the equation.
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.
When a commercial investment property is taken to the market for sale or lease, you will get some property owners that like to control the process and on that basis they can be very reluctant to give out the listing ‘exclusively’. They think that by spreading the listing across a number of local property agents, they will get the best coverage of enquiry.
Of course, that assumption is very wrong and quite counterproductive. Most open listings stay on the property market for a very long time. Exclusive listings sell faster due to the marketing efforts and dedication of the particular listing agent.
Here are some facts about ‘open listings’:
The client will not generally tell you the whole story about the property listing until you bring them an enquiry.
Many agents will be feeding the client at the same time with stories and ideas from the property market.
Negotiating with clients that have their properties ‘openly listed’ is a difficult process given that they will not generally trust everything you say.
Multiple agents confuse the client with conflicting market trends and evidence.
These listings will stay on the property market far longer and will by comparison have limited enquiry.
The marketing spend by clients will be limited and therefore enquiry will be ‘luck’ generated more than personally driven.
These clients think that their ‘friend’ in the other brokerage should have a chance to sell the property as well.
Inflated pricing will generally attract open listings. Why would you take on a property that is priced well above market?
So if you really want to market a listing of this type, what do you have to do? Try some of these ideas:
Pitch the listing at the right price. If the client will not adjust to the market conditions and price ranges, then walk away from the listing.
Condition your client to the types of targeted buyers as you see them. You can use the results of any inspections to do that.
Show the client the limitations on inbound enquiry for those properties without ‘exclusivity’. Given them the chance to take up ‘exclusivity’ with you.
Convert some vendor paid marketing funds. If the client is serious about wanting a sale, then they need to spend some money on marketing. Show them why that is the case.
Give plenty of feedback so the client knows that you are the better agent helping them.
You can convert ‘open’ listings if you really try. It is hard work and the pressures of other agents talking to the same client can be derailing to the results that you are promoting. Make your choice to work on the best listings and clients that show a reasonable chance of conversion.