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The Ultimate Checklist for a Tenant Database in Commercial and Retail Property Leasing

city buildings on river

When you work in commercial or retail real estate leasing, your tenant database is critical in your business processes and ultimately the lease conversions.  It must be separated from everything else as there are special issues and situations to track with all tenants.  A good quality tenant list will help you find and win more landlord clients.  It is hard for a landlord to ignore a comprehensive list of tenants in a location or across a property type.

leasing system for brokers
Commercial Real Estate Leasing System

 

Database Structure

So, what do you track in your database?  You track future business and tenant changes as well as property and lease requirements.  Here is a list:

  • Location preferences – that will be the precinct or zone of the city or suburbs. Some tenants need to be near main roads, transport hubs, other businesses, customer bases, or city zones.  Ask questions when you talk to a business owner about location priorities and put that information into your tenant list.
  • Size of premises – understanding the different types of buildings and businesses, there will be factors of focus with office area, warehousing, showroom, car parks, and common areas. A specialist leasing person will probe into those factors and questions.
  • Lease expiry dates – ideally, it pays to work with tenants at least 12 months out from a lease expiry date. In that way, you can prepare them for premises change, budget, and the logistics of changing a building.
  • Special needs – some businesses have unique requirements of building choice and layout. The best way to investigate that is to know where they are coming from now and how they operate as a business unit through the year.
  • Improvement requirements – staff and customer activities will impact improvement locations and fit out design. Differentiate between the customer and sales areas of a business, and then look at the way in which staff and business processes occur.  Typically, a business will have ‘pods’ of focus such as sales, service, administration, storage, technology, and production.  A good architect should be consulting with the business owner to advise on how those zones are positioned and how they operate in a building and new lease situation.
  • Expansion and contraction – know that most businesses are going to change operations over the coming 2 to 5 years. Given that most leases are between three and five years long, the requirements of expansion and contraction should come into the discussion with business owners.

So, a tenant list and database should have the capabilities of storing and tracking this information.  One of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to set up a list that contains the information that you seek to track is to use Microsoft Access or similar.  YouTube offers plenty of free instruction on Access Databases and how to build them.

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Things I Have Learned About Database Systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

city buildings at sunset

When you work in commercial real estate, you really do need a good quality database that you can rely on to find the right people and properties as part of a matching process.  Whilst it seems so logical, most agents struggle with the discipline of a database.  They have issue with things like:

  • Finding the time to make the calls
  • Capturing all of the information from meetings and calls
  • Keeping up the call momentum
  • Integrating the client list with emails and brochure dispatch systems, etc.

So the list can go on.   The database is the prime way to find real estate opportunities and do something with them.   Today there are plenty of options with software brands, data collation methods, and pipeline tracking, for some positive results to be achieved by any broker or agent in commercial real estate.  Everything comes down to personal application and effort.

You don’t have to pay a lot of money to have such a program helping you grow your real estate business.  One key decision in all of this is whether you should go ‘cloud based’ in your data storage.  Common consensus says you should, given that most people like to access their client and prospect information from a variety of devices when they are away from the office.

In this audio, John Highman talks about the client list processes and how you can work the data that you gather from your clients today.

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How to Know Exactly Where You Stand in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

hong kong harbour at sunset

As you work through your career as a broker or an agent, take the time to understand where you are positioned professionally and competitively in your town or region taking into account the levels of broker and agent competition.  (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate broker course right here)

 

When you fully appreciate your market position, you can take steps to improve your conversions, commissions, and results.  You can do different and special things with marketing, negotiating, prospecting, and client services.

 

In the property market today, it is best if you take the time and make the effort to stand out as an industry professional.

 

Top agents of the market understand exactly where they are professionally in today’s market terms; by professionally I mean listings, market share, commissions, and client service. They also understand exactly what they are going to do to improve their market position over time.

 

Here are some ideas to help you establish some performance indicators and professional targets for commercial real estate clients, as a broker or an agent. You can very likely add to the list based on your property specialty and location:

 

  1. Signboards – do a signboard count on a monthly basis so that you can understand and relate to the numbers of signs that you have in the market by comparison to the other agents and competitors around you. Local area presence and signboard activity will always help you attract more inquiries and activities from your exclusive listings. Your signboards are a marketing process to refine and optimize.
  2. Listings by type – compare the numbers of listings that you have in your territory by way of open versus exclusivity. Your exclusive listings are the only ones that really matter when it comes to market share. At least 75% of your property presentations should convert to exclusivity. Open listings are generally a waste of time although the strategy can be a last resort if necessary with a difficult client or a unique property.
  3. Database – review your database on a monthly basis so that you can understand the levels of improvement and the growth of activity with meetings, calls, conversions, and inquiries. You cannot easily delegate the data base process to others within your business. Ultimately the database supports your commercial real estate activities into the future and that client list will be a critical component of your growth of market share. If you are struggling with commissions, listings, or clients, then it is very likely that your database is lacking in some respect. Take the time to understand that client list now and your prospecting activities to grow the database.
  4. Internet – on a weekly basis, review the new listings coming onto the market across all the Internet portals. Compare your online listing numbers to those of your competitors. Understand the positioning and the ranking of your listings within your targeted suburbs and locations. To boost your business, you will really need to take the time to bolster your online profile and the exclusive listings that you have placed on the portals. There are various strategies that you can use online such as search engine optimization, social media, and article marketing. They are all very effective when it comes to establishing and growing a personal marketing profile for any broker or agent.
  5. Commissions – look at your commissions and conversions as they exist today in both sales and leasing activity. Break the commissions down to a transaction level so that you can see the size and the types of property that you are working on per transaction. This simple strategy will allow you to assess preferred listing types and listing sizes. Focus on the listings that the market requires and where the enquiry may be centred at the moment.

 

A successful career in commercial real estate brokerage will usually be centred on predictable trends and activities.

When a broker or an agent understands where things are changing in the property market, they can direct all of their efforts into the appropriate business activities and predictable listing challenges. That is how the industry works.

 

 

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Get Permanent Results with the Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Fundamentals

city buildings

In commercial real estate brokerage, you can do plenty of things to grow your market share and your client list. That being said, you can also do far too many things and lose focus.

It is always best to remain diligent and persistent at a personal level to a few special processes that can drive your business forward.  (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate course here)

 

Simple is Good

 

Keep your business and your efforts simple and direct; that’s the secret to getting anywhere in the industry.  Action is very powerful if it is deliberately directed into the things that really matter; they are usually clients, properties, marketing, inspections, and negotiations.  Nothing else has priority in our industry.

 

So what are the things that really matter in the industry, and what are the fundamentals to take you forward? Put yourself into your property business and market yourself accordingly.

Each and every working day, connect with new people, qualify them for the location and their interest in property, and then stay connected for the longer term.  Put yourself into the property market; the relationships that you build are really important in so many different ways.

 

Use the Marketing Tools Available

 

Use the different tools of communication that you have available both online and off-line so that you can grow a profile of professionalism and market coverage. Most agents and brokers take an ordinary approach to communication today; you can do better than that. Use the marketing tools that are available at your fingertips and within your brokerage.

 

You are the point of difference that can drive more real estate opportunity over time. There are plenty of other agents and brokers in the location all chasing the same properties and clients. Your relevance and professionalism will be the factors of importance to take you forward as a top agent or broker.

 

Be Different but Relevant

 

Build some points of difference into your professional services, so that you can stand out as the agent of choice for the location. The clients that we serve understand the value of a highly skilled agent or broker with deep and meaningful market coverage. Clients will usually choose their agent or broker on that basis.

 

Here are some ideas to help you build your business from the essential and required fundamentals:

 

  1. Database growth – at a personal level, you should be building your database each and every day. You cannot and should not delegate the process. Talk to new and fresh people as part of your prospecting model, and then into the detail into your database records. Build your business on local area information and personal contact.
  2. Local area marketing – become a specialist for the location and market every exclusive listing comprehensively on that basis. When you have some listings to work with, you have plenty of reasons to talk to other people in a meaningful way. Use your listings to open the doors of opportunity and communication across the local area.
  3. Connecting with people – there are always plenty of people to connect with locally across the different industry segments. Deliberately research and communicate with business owners, investors, tenants, and property developers. The process of research takes time and effort, so you will need a segment of your day devoted to the required research.
  4. Understanding the property market – look at the factors of change in your area with a focus on listings, prices, and rentals. Understand the future supply and demand for the location, and also track the levels of inquiry for the area.
  5. Refining your professional skills – certain skills are more important than others in commercial real estate today. Put some real effort into marketing, presentation skills, and listing skills, so that you can move most of your listings to negotiation and closure. Every broker and agent should be practicing their skills in a regular and ongoing way. The industry is competitive, and yet the rewards are many. Position yourself for the best properties and the best clients through constant and ongoing practice.
  6. Building your relevance for the location – the clients that you serve understand the value of a top agent who understands the area and the property types. Build your relevance for the location so that you understand the streets, the buildings, and the levels of recent inquiry. When you understand what is happening locally, you can convert your listings more successfully and directly. Exclusivity is also a lot easier when you understand your location in a comprehensive way.
  7. Marketing properties – the properties that we list today can be promoted comprehensively both online and off-line. Look at the tools available to you when it comes to marketing, and then match those tools into the best methods of sale or lease as the case may be.

 

A successful transaction will usually be the end result of a carefully constructed marketing campaign directed at a target audience. That strategy requires effort and money. Always seek vendor paid marketing funds as part of your listing processes.

 

So the message here is that you cannot and should not complicate your real estate business as a broker or an agent. Simplify your prospecting and client contact processes. Market yourself deeply into a location as the industry specialist that the people are looking for.

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4 Key Strategies to Help You Stay On Top of Your Game in Commercial Property

city building investment sales caption

Commercial property activity and hence brokerage should be simplified. Don’t overly complicate things. Establish a system that can work for you with a bias towards simplicity and action. That will then allow you to establish a plan of momentum and track the results that you are achieving.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

It doesn’t matter with you work in sales or leasing today, a plan of attack is required using simple strategies and daily momentum.

Some agents and brokers frustrate their own progress because of a lack of consistency and persistence in certain tasks and strategies.  Don’t make that mistake.

Take control of your property career and drive your listings and commission conversions through consistent action.

 

4 Simple Steps

Here are four simple strategies to help you establish your game plan and professional profile locally as a skillful agent or broker:

  1. Talk to new people every day – you will need plenty of people in your database and client list. As a direct result of that requirement, talk to new people each and every day as part of a contact program and prospecting model. You will also need to connect with existing clients and existing prospects that you have spoken to previously. Use some local area knowledge and update information to make the conversions and the connections with people more successful. Relevance is the key to establishing professional communications in our industry.
  2. Condition your clients to the prevailing market conditions – throughout the year certain things will change in your property location and within the property categories. Keep a series of charts and statistics that relate to the prevailing market conditions. You can use those charts as a conditioning process in listing and negotiation activity.
  3. List your properties exclusively – avoid the open listing process. Open listings are of little or no benefit to you. Exclusive listings really do matter in our industry and will provide you with controlled listing stock. When you control the listing, you control the negotiation, the inspections and the marketing. The inquiry with an exclusive listing comes to you as the client’s representative. You can do more with that inquiry and shape the momentum of the deal.
  4. Consolidate and grow your database at every opportunity – from the very start of your career, establish a database and grow it each and every day. It is a personal process and will require your total effort consistently and persistently. You cannot delegate the process. As you talk to new people, you can track the relationships that you establish, and the opportunities that you identify. The conversations that you create with new people will allow you to understand the pressures and the challenges of property ownership, investment, and occupancy.

Look for the pressures of the property market and the people that are needing some pressure relief. Segment your database into locations, client types, and timing requirements.

Every time you create a new listing, revisit your database and see if you can create a match or a short list of people to discuss the listing with.

Many transactions today are the result of off market listing activity and database contact. The conversations that you create as you build your database will be very important to your professional career. Practice the process and improve your client list.