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.
Most agents and brokers that are struggling in the property market today are doing so for the simple reason that they are not ‘relevant’ to the prospects and clients that are looking for property help.
Relevance wins property business; the ‘generic approach’ to commercial real estate has little magnetism for pulling in listings or commissions.
Disaster strikes when there is no real reason for clients, business owners, investors, or tenants to remember a particular broker or agent, and particularly so at the right moment when they are handling property issues and challenges.
So where are things now?
Want to improve your real estate business? Answer this question. Why should a commercial property client or prospect choose you to help them with a property challenge? It’s a scary question to ask; commonly the answers given by most agents are ‘generic’ and bland like these. They can provide:
Local market knowledge
Team service for the client
Client communication, etc.
All of these things are too ordinary, and just about every agent or broker uses the same ‘ordinary stuff’ which inevitably makes little or no difference to the clients that they serve. The statements are of no real attraction or interest to any client wanting property help.
So what can you do here when pitching your services? Clients prefer ‘specifics’ that are matched to their property challenges. For example:
A database of 2000 tenants in the location, 250 of which have been shortlisted to the client’s property listing (Leasing)
15 parties ready to inspect the new listing in the next week (Sales or Leasing)
Savings of $40,000 to be found in energy by load shedding (Property Management)
4 investors that missed out on the last local campaign are to be contacted (Sales)
If you haven’t got a very specific answer to that question given, then it is likely you will struggle for some time in converting business leads and opportunities.
Why do you have to determine a clear answer to that question? In simple terms you must be able to market yourself specifically as the best agent for the job. The only way you can do that is through a mixture of the following:
Locational coverage – Split your city up into a ‘primary zone’ for implementing all your prospecting, and a ‘secondary zone’ where you will still take business if it arises. In this way you can really cover the right people and the right properties in your ‘primary zone’. This extra level of focus in prospecting helps you with local area information, market evidence, and personal marketing. The question arises as to how many properties and or owners you should have in your ‘primary zone’. The answer is related to your capabilities to cover the patch with a direct marketing approach. You are the person that has to make the calls, create meetings, and door knock streets. In an ideal city location, choose a primary zone of properties and streets containing about 2000 properties. Then you can split the location up into activity zones that you can move through in a logical way.
Marketing mastery – Ensure that all of your promotional efforts are well crafted and implemented. Use words, phrases, photographs, and layouts that pull in the enquiry. Top agents are usually respected and chosen for their marketing skills.
Database depth and relevance – If you prospect directly into your area, you can build a database that will help you build your business. It is very hard for a client to overlook an agent that has a top quality database containing people from the location and within the targeted segment of business owners, tenants, buyers, or business leaders.
Property speciality – Get to know everything that you can about a property location and speciality. From that effort you will then understand where the next listings are likely to evolve and why that is the case. You will also know what things are selling or leasing for. You will understand why some levels of enquiry are better than others with certain listings. When you understand the enquiry, you can do something with it and improve it over time. Know what people are looking for in local commercial property and then market comprehensively into that.
Commercial real estate brokerage does not need to be complicated but it does need to be relevant. Get involved with your property market and show the right people why you are highly relevant to them as they seek to solve a few property problems.
Commercial investment sales is a special part of the property market. The rewards can be high in commissions providing you have sufficient listings, market share and qualified enquiries.
I also like to insist on ‘exclusivity’ as part of the property listing process. In this video I explain why that is important if you are to tap into the investment sales opportunities in your town or city.
See some ideas on Video about how Brokers can establish themselves in that lucrative segment of the industry.
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