In commercial real estate today there are all types of properties to work on as well as zones of activity. The opportunities are out there. That being said I get a lot of questions from new agents as to how they can tap into their property market effectively and directly. Some simple strategies will help. I have put together these notes on how that should be done.
As a commercial real estate agent or broker, you can use a blog as a professional and personal marketing strategy. There are plenty of things that you can write about when it comes to your local area, your town or your city.
The blog is something that you can do individually at very low cost. It is also something that you can do in your spare time or perhaps in the evenings when the pressures of the working day are diminished.
As a special note and as part of the blog marketing process in real estate or commercial property, you should not write about particular property listings and clients. Leave that marketing strategy to the brokerage websites and the portals where you can and already do promote existing listings and particular properties.
The blog process is all about providing commentary and information or knowledge. That is why the search engines rank the process so highly when people offer valuable information and insights. As a real estate agent you can do exactly that and hence the blog strategy can help you greatly when it comes to building an online personal profile.
So what would you write about in the blog and why should you do it? Consider the territory in which you work and the specialisation or the property knowledge that you can bring to the market; if you are truly the specialised property agent or broker that you claim to be, there will be plenty of things to write about and information to share. Here are some ideas within those factors to help you get this strategy underway:
Look for the changes in the property market in prices, rents, and future supply. The changes in the property market and the analysis of history will give you plenty of things to write about. You can create simple graphs relating to growth in prices or rentals, shifts in yields, or enquiry rates relating to property types.
If you are a specialist in a particular property type you can talk about the future growth and opportunities that apply within the zones or precincts in your town or city. Property investors will always show an interest in a well-crafted article giving valuable information about recent property trends and predictable changes. As a case in point and as an example, the retail property segment and particularly that of shopping centre performance stands alone as a specialist part of the property market. Within that topic there will be plenty of things to talk about when it comes to tenancy mix, rental strategies, vacancy rates, leasing opportunities, customer requirements, franchise tenants, and shopping trends. I go back to the point that valuable information provided by industry specialists will always be of interest to the players in the property market.
Any upcoming property developments will shift the balance of supply and demand when it comes to particular property types and property occupation. From that new supply of high quality modern space, you will find that the older properties will become redundant and be potentially ripe for redevelopment. Consider the changes that apply within a property type with any new developments coming up and write about them in your blog. Talk about the changes and the investment opportunities or adjustments; look for the strengths that evolve from newer property developments shifting the balance of occupancy and property ownership.
There are plenty of things for you to write about when it comes to the blog and Internet Marketing process. In this way you can build your online presence as an agent or a broker, and show your expert comprehensive property knowledge and experience to the right people in your town or city. A good article written around the facts of the market can also be linked to your property newsletter and your client emails. When something is worth talking about in our industry, it is worth sharing.
A career in commercial real estate does not need to be complicated but it does need to be focused. Above everything else that you do in the industry, one thing will stand ‘head and shoulders’ above everything else as a success factor.
Exactly what is it that will help you convert more listings and commissions?
The answer to the question is quite simple; it is the number of people that you know at a personal level who are the relevant players in the property industry in your town or city.
That is the most important factor to incorporate in your marketing efforts and professional promotions. Get to know the right people in a comprehensive way.
If you are looking to build your career as a commercial real estate agent, or perhaps you are looking to improve your market share, take a serious look at your database and the depth of relevance you have created with every prospect and client. Those people need to know you as the best agent locally for the property type and the location.
In keeping your real estate career simple and direct, as well as successful, look at your database and the communication processes associated with it. Here are some ideas to help with that:
Over time you will find that some people or clients will fall away from the property industry and become less interested in buying, leasing, or selling. For this very reason you do need to top up your database continually with new people and fresh contacts. That is then a prospecting strategy.
You will find that many people will take months if not years to take the next step in property activity. For that reason your database should be structured around a pipeline process and a staged level of contact. Every 60 to 90 days you should be connecting with the best people within the database in a relevant and real way. That will help you build a professional profile as a top agent and industry professional.
As in any other professional sales career, your communication and negotiation skills will be critical to the outcomes you achieve. Practicing those two skills will help you improve conversions from listings, inspections, and negotiations. Develop a practicing process that you can merge into your weekly or daily diary; role plays are valuable to help with the challenges of the property market as they apply to your industry type and location. Keep practicing the challenges that you see every day and develop real responses that you can give to solving the problems your clients may have.
It is quite clear from this simple strategy that you do need to know a lot of people in your local area. Those people should be recognized prospects or clients that are acting or will act on a property investment situation now or in the future.
Take a simple and direct look at your database processes. Understand how you are finding new people and connecting with them over time. Improve your client and prospect connections at every opportunity and practice your professional communication skills to suit the challenges of today’s property market.
In commercial real estate prospecting some people will want to do business with you and others will avoid any real connection. You will get the feeling that some people really do not care for a connection or information. Look for the ‘signs’, and understand what is going on (or not going on).
You can spend far too much time in chasing people that are ‘not interested’. Whilst it is great to have a good degree of professional persistence in prospecting, the fact of the matter is that you must protect your time. If someone is not receptive to your genuine approaches and communication you should remove them from your contact process and simple move on to talking to others.
In any town or city, there are plenty of people to talk to. Momentum is really important when it comes to growing your market share and your contact database. In most towns or cities you will have several thousand business owners and property investors to talk to. Finding them remains the challenge; however diligence will get you there over time.
Here are some guidelines to help you with a system for prospect and client communication:
Set some daily prospecting goals that you can relate to and believe in. That will usually involve a mixture of outbound calls, personal meetings, and property inspections. From that contact process you will find the people that really want to talk to you and build a relationship.
If you are at the beginning of your career and prospecting activity, start with some achievable numbers so that you can grow your momentum easily and effectively. Ultimately you should be prospecting for 3 hours every day. In that time you should be making 40 to 50 outbound calls. That can be a daunting target for many people. If you are at the early stages of your professional career and prospecting is a developing habit, then make 15 outbound calls every day until that becomes an achievable habit and target. From that point onwards, you can grow the numbers at five extra calls per day to reach the level of 50 calls. When you reach the level of 40 to 50 outbound calls, your prospecting time will be saturated with activity and meeting opportunities. At that level you can sustain reasonable activity and attract new business. From 40 or so calls you should be able to connect with 15 people. From that connection you should get 2 meetings per day. That is how you build your prospect list.
Practice your dialogue so that you can improve your connections and conversations progressively. In approaching a new person for the first time, the conversations should be based on trust and information. There is no point in pitching your professional services or pushing for a listing opportunity over the telephone; that can occur when you meet with the person and truly understand their needs in property today. Help the person trust you by providing valuable market intelligence and genuine property solutions.
So the key message here is for you to establish a contact and prospecting cycle based on trust; understand the necessity for filtering out the people that will not do business with you over the long term. Read the signs in any conversation, and avoid time wasting people. When you look at your sales territory and property speciality, there are likely to be many more people for you to research and connect with.
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