In the commercial real estate industry, you will get plenty of pressure from your clients and prospects to reduce your commission or service fee. If you truly believe that your services are superior in your location and with your property types, then fee reduction is not an option.
Ask for the appropriate fee for services to be rendered. Talk about the value that you provide to the client and their property challenge, and then wait for an answer. Be prepared to walk away from a fee reduction request if it is unfair or too onerous.
Desperation is not a good look in commercial real estate nor should it be the basis of your commission or listing agreements. If you truly believe that you are offering a top-quality service, then ask for the fair fee, and stick to your request.
One thing should be remembered here when thinking about listing fees and commissions. The client needs your services to resolve their property challenge to get the best outcome achievable and to do so in a timely way. If you sell your services through those two points of focus, the conversion of the listing at a fair commission is quite achievable.
Who Do You Work For?
You do not want to work for clients that are unrealistic, or not aligned to the property market situation today. Local area investigations will show you and the client what the chances may be of getting property enquiry and inspections underway.
So, a focused listing approach and presentation process will help you achieve better outcomes with your clients and with your service commissions. Try these ideas for starters:
Show that you understand the facts. That then is those facts relating to the client and their property and its position in the location. Inspect the property with the client to discuss presentational issues, strategies, improvements, and tactics.
Define a clear target market. Every property will be suited to certain target markets. The more direct that you are in defining that fact will then help with client engagement and decision making.
Tell a few stories. Property stories always help with a client conversation and decisions required. Choose the stories that are best suited to the property type and the challenges faced by the client in today’s terms. Show that client that you understand the solutions required. Talk about how you will direct your efforts towards solutions.
Choose the best method of sale (or lease). There are different ways to approach the marketing of any property. Make your choices for the client and give them some alternatives to work with. It is then easier for the client to decide what they are doing and why they should act in a way as part of moving on your recommendations.
Give real strategy to your professional approach. Don’t be generic in your business approach to listing or selling a commercial property. The ‘common’ approach to marketing and negotiation should only apply to ‘open listings’.
Give timelines to the campaign and marketing process. There are many things to do in marketing a commercial, industrial, or retail property. Show the clients the stages of your approach and how they are so relevant to moving things forward. Put yourself in the equation of property marketing and negotiating.
Seek exclusivity for work to be undertaken, as that is the only way you can devote the required time to the client and their property. Show the client why your exclusive listing processes are superior in resolving their challenge today.
If you follow these rules, it helps you convert listings and achieve better commissions. Always document the sale or lease agreement comprehensively and legally, so you do not have to revisit the commission discussion again. Simply put, get into the marketing of the property and resolving the client’s property targets and obstacles in a timely way.
In commercial real estate today, your contact system is critical to the results that you seek with listings, clients, and commissions. The property market will change throughout the year and your database list is the one consistent process that can take you across and into all types of properties and opportunities. NB – you can get plenty of client contact ideas here in Snapshot – its free)
There are plenty of ways to establish and run a contact management system in commercial real estate brokerage. Similarly, there are plenty of software programs to support the client list process. Whilst you can always choose a good and well proven CRM package to support your contact processes, everything still comes down to personal momentum and commitment as part of a prospecting model.
Growing your business?
If you are looking to build your real estate business, seriously consider your database activities and your prospecting model. Establish a system that works for you comprehensively and consistently across the location and your targeted groups of clients or prospects.
Understand who your clients are by type and by location. Understand the targeted properties that you should be working on overtime. Define your territory and your priority buildings. From that point on, your prospecting model can take shape and the database can grow effectively and directly.
In this audio, I share my thoughts about contact management and list creation. Grow your list of clients and prospects and put more ‘logic’ into the process.
You can talk about recent levels of enquiry, trends in prices or rentals, the best methods of marketing, and feedback from recent inspections. You can display your information graphically, as statistics in the form of the chart, and also pictorially. Recognise the different ways to engage your client in the listing presentation with valuable local property market information.
In this audio by John Highman, you can learn some of the very specific ways to improve your sales pitch and presentation with a new client when it comes to listing their property in today’s market. You can listen to the audio below, where you can download it as required.
There are things to practice and things to learn. Don’t put off the process of cold calling for too long, develop the practice that you require to generate conversations with new people in your territory or client list.
Factors to Learn
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the factors of cold calling that are important to converting listing opportunity today. It doesn’t matter with you work in sales, leasing, or property management. Calls need to be made to new people on a regular daily basis. In fact, cold calling should feature in your diary as part of your brokerage activities. It should be a priority process each and every working day.
Learn the strategies behind cold calling and prospecting as a broker or an agent. Develop the skills required to connect with new people each and every working day. It doesn’t take too long to find the opportunities that you are looking for with listings and clients.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the different ways of prospecting and how commissions can be improved when you get your new business focus refined and tuned to particular properties and clients.
Learn about the challenges and the opportunities with:
Clients as Investors, Business Owners, and Developers
In simple terms you can improve your real estate business.
Given that you have a territory and property type to focus on, look at the indicators and look at the opportunities.
Given that things change so frequently throughout the year across sales, leasing, and property management, a good degree of brainstorming and business planning should occur regularly and specifically for your target markets and business territory.
Actions and Ideas
In this audio, John Highman talks about the importance of brainstorming your actions and your results. He gives you ideas relating to the essential facts to watch as some of the key performance indicators and categories of trending.
Improve your position as a broker or an agent through some simple direct and reliable brainstorming activities at least quarterly, and perhaps monthly. In that way, you can understand what is happening with time on market, enquiries, prices, and transaction activity.
You can get the audio here below, where John Highman talks about this essential business skill in commercial real estate brokerage today.
Each day you simply must get out the front door of the brokerage, and into your territory. It is a precise process that requires a plan. Build your real estate business around people first and foremost. Talk to more people and take a record or notes from valuable conversations and relationships.
What can you learn from this? Your database should be at the center of your tasks, your diary, and your daily activities. Choose a good database program that works for you and your property specialty, and then use it each day; revisit the details of earlier contacts, meetings, and conversations. Look for those small pieces of information that could turn into a valuable discussion or new real estate business.
So, let’s get some more focus on this concept. Here are some ideas to help you get your ‘human contact’ plan up and running in your real estate business:
Door knocking local areas, businesses, and tenants – get to know all the firms in the streets and the zones that you control. It is always likely that a simple conversation with a local business owner can lead to something of value, be that in a sale, lease, or property management.
Meetings in a regular way – when you have established a link and relationship with a new client or prospect, stay in contact so that you are seeing or talking to them at least once every 90 days. Regularity is important to build profile and relevance.
Getting to know the clients comprehensively – some customers can have ongoing property needs and or challenges. Get to know their portfolios and locations. Look for the elements of change in investment.
Establish a VIP prospect and client program – some of your contacts will be more ‘valuable’ for future business in so many different ways. Differentiate your customers based on value, location, capability to act, and property requirements.
Creating ‘leave behind value’ for all your meetings and inspections – when you have made a contact or connection, send some follow-up information immediately after the event. The information that you submit can ‘open the door up’ for ongoing communication.
Every inquiry or inspection is a reason to keep connecting – when the first inquiry comes in, keep the conversation and connection flowing through a series of professional processes including brochures, emails, and case studies. Local property information is always of interest to investors and business owners. Share information that is relevant and real for the location.
Through these strategies, you can build a solid business profile as a top agent for a location and property type. Go for the opportunities that you can sense or see. Keep connecting at a personal level.
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.
When you work in commercial property sales you will soon know the pressures of the day, the listings that you work with, your clients, and the prevailing property market. There are lots of things that can distract or divert you into many different activities. That diversion can lead to a loss of listing opportunity and ultimately commissions.
In investment sales your main focus should always be on:
Prospecting for new business
Clients currently served
Listings on your books now
Inspections of listings
Negotiations of property offers
Documentation of listings, sales, and contracts
Followup of transactions
You could add other items to this list given your location and client base. The fact of the matter is that you will always be busy in commercial real estate brokerage. There are plenty of things to do. Systems and factors of focus will help you get through the working day and the week. Always track your progress in what you are doing, so you can see where improvements are required.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about setting the right priorities in your real estate business and how that will help you with sales and listing results.
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.
Some things really matter in commercial real estate and I like to categorize them as ‘strategic goals’. They are the goals to generate and support results in your real estate business. If you achieve those goals it will have a valuable impact on where you are heading as a broker or agent. They are the big things that can help drive your business forward.
Don’t Be Ordinary
It is common for ordinary agents and brokers to have a ‘wish list’ but little or no ‘goal focus’. That is perhaps the largest reason why they struggle. Those same ordinary agents have big fluctuations in listing and commission activity. On average their commissions at the end of a financial year are typically ordinary.
Make no mistake here; there are many opportunities to be had from a career in commercial real estate brokerage. Converting those opportunities takes directed action; that is where the strategic goals come in.
Here are some common observations to be made in broker activities:
Every day there will be ordinary issues that will divert your focus; those things will have to be done by someone. If that is you, then devise a time each day to get that administrative work under control.
Clients can take a lot of your time and put pressure on your results.
Your peers and competitors will ‘infiltrate’ your day and its routine.
It takes a good degree of effort and persistence to set new habits and break old ones.
Whilst these things are frustrating, every broker or agent has the same elements of the market to work through. Some agents resolve their challenges; others don’t. The top agents break through the pressures because of persistence and action.
Strategic Goals for Brokers
Here are some strategic goals worth considering and implementing in your career plan:
Listings by type – get more exclusive listings so that you are pulling away from open listings. Exclusivity is the way to build market share. When you control your listing stock, you can control the enquiry, the inspections, and the negotiations. There is no better way to build market share. Everything else is a matter of luck, and luck has nothing to do with growing a commercial real estate business.
Listings by volume – look at the property types and then the volume of listings that you are attracting. You need plenty of listings over time. Your pipeline of prospecting needs to support that listing process with plenty of strategies across marketing, inspections, and territory management. Convert more listings by volume and make sure those listings exclusively controlled.
Shorter time on market – be known as the agent that gets things done. Tell the clients and prospects of your sales results locally so that they remember you as the expert that they can use at the right time.
Commissions – look at the amount of commission that you are converting from each completed transaction in sales and leasing. The amount of commission will vary by property type and size. On that basis, focus your efforts into the properties that bring the better returns and attract the higher levels of interest from tenants and buyers.
VIP clients – segment your clients so that you know where the better clients may be located and what they may require. Set some clear factors and criteria so that you can work with the better clients for the location. Spend the majority of your prospecting time in building your VIP client list. Service that list comprehensively.
Database size – throughout the year there will be fluctuations in the commercial real estate market. Some clients and prospects will shift their interest when it comes to ownership and occupancy. To work through that change and churn, keep adding new people to your client and prospect list each day. Set some simple targets to build the client list with the right people each day, and do so in the right segments or property precincts of your territory.
Signboards – you should have plenty of signboards placed on exclusive listings in your control territory. Those signboards will always improve your market profile and presence; they will help you generate more enquiry. The agent or the broker with a dominance of signboards placed locally will usually attract better levels of local enquiry from business owners and investors. As part of your personal approach to marketing, track the number of signboards that you are placing into your location and within certain property types.
Meetings – create the contact systems that encourage meetings in a regular ongoing way. It can take quite some time to convert a new person to the level of prospect or client in your database. Personal contact will help you achieve more momentum, so get your meeting program established in your database activities. Set some targets for new meetings each day. Track the meetings and the results achieved in each case.
As you strive to improve market share, client lists, and commissions in commercial real estate brokerage, your most important resource is that of time. You simply have to make every minute in your working day count, by focusing on the right things. (NB – You can get our other free commercial real estate broker resources here)
Let’s say you have 8 to 10 hours in the average working day where you can do some valuable things relating to your career. At least half of that time can be lost to the the unavoidable pressures of administration, clients, and team issues.
Some things you cannot avoid, so I get that…….. however at least 1/3rd of your business day must be well controlled towards the outcomes that you seek.
In this audio recording, I talk about the valuable resource of time in a property career and how you should use it. In sales, leasing, and property management, the factors of time will impact your day, so set up some rules. As the seasons of business change during the year, measure your brokerage efforts against an index of effectiveness.