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.
In commercial real estate brokerage today develop a personal focus on performance relative to your location and property specialities. When you focus in this way, you can develop some real momentum and levels of outcome in both listings and commissions.
The agents the struggle in the industry are those that generally do not know where they are currently when it comes to industry based performance. That is a problem but it can be easily fixed.
Top Agent Focus
The top agents of the market understand exactly how they have performed over recent time when it comes to:
Listing Activities within their specialized property type – you cannot be a specialist across every property type and location so determine the things that you can get some results and listings from in the local area.
Commissions per listing – when you drill down into the commissions per listing you will soon see levels of quality that can be improved on a listing by listing basis. Good quality listings will always move faster and the time on market will be shorter.
Commissions per transaction – you can split your transactions into sales and leasing activity. You will then see the levels of activity created from each transaction and then you can assess the size of the transaction taking into account the amount of effort required in the marketing and the negotiating. Selective listing activities will help you improve commissions per transaction.
Listings per location – assess your current listings on a precinct and locational basis. Do you have a good sure of listings in the prime precincts and areas where people are making most of the property enquiry? You may need to adjust your property prospecting activities to convert more listings per location. The best locations will always create better levels of enquiry and that has a direct flow through into levels of inspection, frequency of negotiation, and database size.
Commissions relative to database size and activity – review your current database for both size and relevance. Also consider the accuracy of the information contained within the database. If you are struggling in the market today when it comes to new business opportunities, then it is time to look at your client list and your prospecting activities. The database will be at the centre of that assessment and review process.
Referral business opportunity – from your recent successful transactions the referral question should have been asked and encouraged. It is reasonably easy to reach out into new market segments and property opportunity through a deliberate and direct referral strategy. Your VIP clients should be at the centre of your referral business and referral questions.
VIP clients – understand exactly who your VIP clients are today and why you should consider them for future business opportunity. Segment those VIP clients into levels of activity, location, financial capability, and timing. You should be connecting with the VIP clients more frequently and directly as part of your prospecting model.
Competing agents and brokers locally – an assessment of competing agents locally will help you re-position yourself into the market segments that are underserviced or offer the best opportunity. As part of your professional business plan is a commercial real estate agent or broker, make some deliberate choices when it comes to personal marketing processes and strategies in and around your competing agents.
Be a Problem Solver – make it easy to your clients and prospects to see that you are the agent of choice when it comes to solving a property problem in a timely and direct way. When you have a successful transaction, be that in sales or leasing, spread the word about your success and the results achieved for your clients. Get some success letters into the location with a particular focus on property investors and local business owners.
From the list mentioned, it is easy to see that commercial real estate brokerage business is all about assessing the numbers and developing appropriate levels of personal improvement.
In commercial real estate today, the competing agents in your local area will leave clues and opportunities for you to act on. Many agents are not very systemised in what they do. On that basis you can seize the opportunity of targeting the weaker agents in the local area and their expired or soon to expire listings. You can also take action when it comes to the activities of the other agents.
As a general strategy, you can do a ‘secret shopper’ call approach to the other agents to identify how relevant and professional they are when it comes to taking a telephone enquiries about property listings. You will be surprised to note that many of them do not return calls in a timely way, and have no plan or approach to asking the right questions when it comes to taking enquiries.
When you understand just who the weaker competitive agents are, you have some targets to focus on.
Here are two specific clues and opportunities that I have used extensively over the years in agency work. They may also work for you.
When a signboard is placed by any of your competing agencies on a local property for sale or for lease, the other properties around that particular listing become primed for your personal and direct approach. It is a fact that other listings can be obtained in the same general location of a property that is on the market today. Other property owners and business owners may like to seize the opportunity and momentum of the marketing of the property nearby. They generally like to do this with a competing agent that has no conflict with the local listing. You can be the marketing solution for those other property owners and business proprietors.
When a commercial real estate agent has transacted the sale or a lease, they generally move on to other properties and other clients. They tend to forget about the deal and the client that they had just served. Keep an eye on all of the sales and listing activity in the local area. When another competing agent has just done a deal, make contact with the client approximately six months after the transaction. Then build the relationship with the client into the future. It is quite likely that the original agent is a overlooking the original client that they served.
From these two simple activities, you can use the momentum of other agencies to build your database of client contact and listings.
Commercial real estate is just like any other sales profession. You are required to sell yourself as the industry specialist that clients can use locally. Use the activities of other agents as a trigger of contact. Watch what the other agents do and replicate the things that seem to work. At the same time you can build your personal marketing strategy and points of difference.
Open listings with other agents will also be something that you should monitor and check out in case you want the open listing on your books. This then says that the open listings with other agencies are an opportunity for you to check with the property owner to see if you can serve them in a particular way. You cannot however build and control your market share from a basis of open listings. You can get the occasional and convenient property sale or property lease transaction.
If you want to build your market share as a top agent, exclusive listings are the only way to go. You can control your market and the client. Over time you can be seen as the expert handling the best properties in the best possible way. That is how you build market share.
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