Here are 4 topics for commercial real estate agent training today. 1. Create Around the Clock Motivation, 2. How to Control Your Commercial Real Estate Sale or Leasing Deal, 3. Why you should keep accurate information, 4. How to do a Tenant Mix Analysis and Create a Tenant Mix Strategy. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.
When you work as an agent or salesperson or agent in commercial real estate, sales letters should be part of all your marketing campaigns. Those campaigns can be for you personally, your office, or your listings. Whatever the reason for the letter, they have a place and a use.
You can convert good enquiries and listing opportunities from these letters providing you follow them up. Not many agents do the necessary follow-up; interesting isn’t it? So many agents will send out several hundred sales letters for a marketing campaign of one type or another, and then make very few follow-up calls.
Ratios Prove it!
Here are some ratios for you. A direct sale letter with no follow-up will have a conversion of about 1% or 2%. When you follow-up the sales letter with a direct telephone call to the key person, the conversions lift up to somewhere between 5% and 10%. I know that skill and dialogue will have some impact on the result by I assume that most people know the importance of professional dialogue in making calls.
So let’s set some clear rules for the typical sales letter:
- Keep the letter simple. Rarely will you need to go over one page, and it is preferable that you do not. Everything that you want to say should be on the single piece of paper in 3 or 4 paragraphs of text
- Personally sign each letter legibly in blue ink. The person then knows that you are sending an original letter.
- Your signature should be readable and better than a ‘scrawl’ at high speed. You are sending a marketing letter, and your name is part of the marketing message. It is preferable to write and sign your full name.
- If you must go over 1 page in your letter length, ensure that the first page ends mid-sentence and therefore encourages a person to turn over the page.
- Personalise the letter and make sure you have the names correct in all respects. Errors made in addressing a letter to a person will see it hit the rubbish bin faster than you can imagine.
- Typo’s and mistakes are unforgiveable in a sales letter. They show a lack of attention to detail in the correspondence. Get your sales letters proof read before they go out.
- Enclose a business card in all your sales letters. Generally speaking, a loose business card is likely to be kept after everything else hits the rubbish bin.
- Encourage telephone and email response to your sales letter. Make it easy for people to find you.
- Use dot points and sub headings in the letter. This will make the readability much higher. Most adult readers only skim marketing material and will read it only if it has some interest. That interest comes from the dot points and the sub headings.
- Use a plain blue envelope that is personally addressed in neat handwriting.
- Use a good headline for your letter that is relevant to your message. Some words sell better than others; some words attract attention better than others. Get a good book on ‘words that sell’ and use the words with skill in all your marketing material.
These concepts for a sales letter can be the main part of your commercial real estate marketing effort as long as you follow through on every message. Get to know your market and the people through constant contact and relevant messages. Use the sales letter strategically and regularly.
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When the property market slows or changes, you need to develop specific strategies for finding new tenants in commercial and retail property. Specialist leasing agents have ongoing tenant connection strategies for this very purpose. Here are some tips from our bulletin for Commercial Agents.
As business and economic cycles change, tenants will come and go from the local business community. Importantly you really do need to understand the changes and opportunities that are occurring locally.
Regular contact with business leaders and business proprietors will give you greater leverage in future tenant placement and lease negotiation. Every day you should be talking to more tenants in the local business community. Once the door of contact has been opened, it is wise to speak to these business leaders at least once every 90 days. Potentially they will at some stage require some property assistance and a new lease or lease occupancy.
Here are some strategies for finding new tenants in this property market. Given the volatility of your business community and local area, you can add to this list as appropriate. The resultant checklist becomes very powerful in finding the right tenants for the right property when circumstances require it.
- When it comes to a particular listing that has remained vacant, check out all other adjacent properties in the local area. There will be successful businesses nearby that may need to expand premises for a particular business reason or business unit change. Use your current vacancy as a reason to talk to other local business proprietors nearby.
- The local accountants and solicitors are a good source of business intelligence and leasing change. They work with the successful business proprietors needing property assistance and property adjustment. They are more likely to know those local businesses that need leasing help over the coming 12 months. If you can establish your reasonable level of trust with these professionals, you will find leads and opportunities being fed back to you. The way to open the door here is to provide local market information relative to commercial and retail property. Regular contact will see the levels of trust being established.
- The business franchise groups in your city may have a need for another business location. Check out all the franchise groups and understand who their property decision makers are. Speak with them regards the typical property needs that apply when they lease new premises. Also ask them for a summary of the standard terms and conditions that apply in any new lease negotiation. These facts will help you with positioning and negotiation with your landlord clients and their properties.
- Some tenants need to consider expansion or contraction of the business operation. On that basis you can be contacting the business proprietors throughout the local region. When they get to the last 18 months of their current lease, they are quite likely to be receptive to discussions on the current property market and lease or rental issues. Providing them with a monthly update on the property market is a sensible strategy.
- Check out the decision makers in all the large local businesses. They are likely to be looking for property change, expansion, contraction, or investment from time to time. They may also purchase a property for future expected business needs.
- Understand the lease renewals and lease cycles that apply to all the major properties in your local area. Tenants will seek local property information before they make choices regards moving or relocating. Constant contact is part of the process to open the door on a potential new lease.
- Look for sale and lease back opportunities with those businesses that own their premises but want to release some capital from their property ownerships.
It is quite possible to find new tenants even in the toughest of property markets. The process requires strategy and system on the part of the leasing specialist.
When the property market appears slow and sluggish, you really should look at it in reverse understanding that you have an abundance of quality listings to put to the potential tenants looking to change location. Lease opportunity is always out there and will be a great source of commission when sales slow.
Need some more tips on how to do leasing of commercial or retail property? Try our regular bulletin right here.