The commercial real estate leasing process is quite special. You can work with tenants or landlords, but either way you will need some local area information and the tools to help you through any property inspection and negotiation.
A vacant commercial property is a significant frustration for an investor. They are loosing out on rents and outgoings recovery. Over time that can all add up to a large amount of money and financial discomfort. Look at vacancies for the opportunities that they are for you in leasing brokerage.
Leasing is a lucrative part of the commercial real estate brokerage market. There are always vacant premises to lease and landlords to serve. The leasing agent with the largest database of tenants will usually make more in commission income than those agents that do not have a good database.
It should always be remembered that a good lease opportunity today that is converted to a successful transaction will quite likely move towards a sale opportunity in the future. It stands to reason that your personal leasing services and specialisation will help you with growing market share in a number of different ways. When you get to know a number of landlords, you build the levels of trust and the key relationships that are required for sales opportunity.
The fees for leasing a vacant property or tenancy will reflect the size and the quality of the premises. On that basis you should concentrate your leasing efforts on the better properties and the larger tenancies. In that way you will achieve better inbound enquiries and inspection conversions. Low quality listings are just as much work if not more than the better quality properties.
In considering the commission and fee opportunities from a landlord or a property, understand the following factors:
Lease rent review fees
Lease renewal opportunities
Assignment and subletting requirements
Vacancy management and leasing
Tenant mix advice
Lease renegotiation as part of a refurbishment
Franchise leasing opportunities
Tenant advocacy work
So there are a good number of ways for leasing brokers to attract fee opportunities from professional leasing services. Local area specialisation and leasing knowledge will help you achieve the momentum required. I go back to the point that the size of your database will be critical to the market activity and commissions that you generate. As a leasing specialist, you do need to know a lot of tenants and a good number of high quality landlords. That is where your database will help you greatly. Every day it needs to be nurtured and grown through ongoing contact.
So let’s look at some strategies and that you can implement in your professional leasing services. Here are some of the important things to understand and implement. You can add to this list other factors relating to location and property type:
Review the history of the area as it relates to business change and opportunity. There will be certain properties and locations that are more popular than others. Understand the locations that will create the best levels of interest when it comes to property occupancy.
Check out the market rentals that apply to your property type. Give due regard to the variables across suburbs, towns, and cities. Those market rentals will vary greatly and have a lot to do with property condition, ease of access, services, and improvements.
Lease incentives will vary subject to the factors of supply and demand for lettable space. Watch the number of new property developments coming into the area that could change the balance of occupancy. They will also have an impact on incentive size and availability.
With this basic information, you can focus your efforts when it comes to property leasing opportunities. Every day you should take further steps into building strong tenant and landlord relationships.
The leasing segment of the commercial real estate market is particularly specialized. Many agents choose only to work on leasing opportunities within their property specialty. That being said, if property leasing is your primary source of real estate income, then you need to consider the quality of property that you work on and the clients that you serve. Low quality listings can be huge amount of work for very little personal outcome or commission. Choose your listings well. Don’t let low quality listings drain your resources and time.
Vacancies in good properties will always attract enquiry. Poor quality properties and vacancies achieve lesser enquiry; that will drag down the inbound enquiry and the achieved rental rate. The net result will be lower commissions. So you need to be selective on the properties and the premises that you work with from a leasing perspective.
So the first priority here is that you should focus on the servicing of good clients and good properties in the market. Research the local area to understand exactly where these clients and properties are located. Put them at the center of your prospecting processes.
It can take time to build the necessary relationships with the appropriate and the best landlords. To make the matter a little bit easier, build an extensive database of business tenants through the region. In that way you improve your value to the landlords that you serve. Soon they will know that you have the necessary tenant contacts and leasing opportunities that they need.
Here are some essential things to do every day as part of specializing in property leasing services:
As a general priority, focus on achieving exclusive listing appointments with the landlords and the vacancies that you service. In this way you can control your market. An openly listed vacancy will give you little opportunity to grow market share, and if you achieve a leasing result it will be by luck more than process.
The first thing that you should do every day would be in telephone prospecting and cold calling. Given that you work with business type tenants, most of your prospecting can occur between 8.00 AM and 10.00 AM. Most of the businesses in your local area will be operational in that time. Your focus should be to talk to the business proprietors and to understand their leasing and occupancy needs. So the prospecting call is a questioning process a rather than a sales pitch. Seek to understand the tenant’s needs and upcoming leasing issues.
Build a significant database as a result of your prospecting activity. That database should be split into tenants of different business types and locations. The tenant database should be separate to the landlord database; it should also be a lot larger. One of the factors of attraction when it comes to pitching your services to a landlord will be that of your database size and its relevance to the property type. For this reason, ensure that your database is comprehensive, large, and totally up to date. It is difficult for a landlord to ignore an agent that has total control and awareness over tenant movement in the local property market.
Stay in contact with all of your clients and most particularly those with an exclusive listing. Keep them advised of the changes to the local property market when it comes to supply and demand for leased space. Watch out for the new property developments that could impact market rentals, lease incentives, and occupancy rates.
Check out the listings that are still on the market and those that are new to your property segment. Wherever possible, identify the resultant lease terms and conditions relating to any finalize lease deal. There will always be a difference between an asking rent and an achieved market rental.
Make sure that your current lease deals are progressing based on the terms of the lease agreement and or current negotiations. Every lease transaction should be supported by valid market rental, guarantees, accurate and legal documentation, and suitable deposits. Stay on top of your current agreements and the parties to the negotiations. Make sure that your lease negotiations are not stalling for any reason.
A leasing agent is always closely watching the activities of tenants and landlords in the local area. You can add to this list above by understanding the greater property opportunity locally and the good clients that you are targeting. Set some rules and start prospecting.
When you are working in commercial sales or leasing, the tenants in buildings and in properties locally can give you so much information. It’s a fact that tenants know the area better than you; they have worked it for some time and can understand intimately what is going on with other property owners and businesses nearby. With the right questions you can open up some real tips and ideas to tap into. Starting the right conversation is the key to the process. Here are some tips from our recent newsletter.
These are the things that I would be looking for using this process of tenant contact:
Who owns the property next door? They are the landlords or investors that you can track down.
Do they have a lease and when does it expire? Would they like you to contact them towards that date to help them with market information?
Do they know much about the local property market and can you help them with some prices and rent information? • Who runs the business next door? They are the tenants that you can talk to for future leasing opportunity.
Have other businesses been in the street for a very long time? They could be the next ones to move or expand.
Have any nearby businesses indicated change in any way? They are opportunities to be tapped.
Are any local businesses showing pressure or problems of occupancy?
As to how you ask these questions is up to you, but asking is the key. To really get a grip on the local business community for leasing opportunities, so much good work can occur on the telephone from the comfort of your office.
Good leasing agents will spend about 2 or 3 hours on the telephone each day as part of the process. To build better market share as the local commercial real estate specialist agent, here is a contact process and model that you can adopt.
Research your area on a street by street basis. Visit all the businesses to leave a card and see if the boss will talk to you. As a bare minimum you should be able to get the name of the business proprietor for a later call.
Document all information that you get into a database so you can follow up on matters.
Spend at least 50% of your day out of the office in your territory talking to people.
Look for properties and businesses that are under pressures of change.
Contact property owners that purchased about 3 years ago and beyond as they will be the next ones to look for more property or change property.
Commercial real estate is a great business. It just takes dedication and focus for results to be achieved. So many agents struggle with that discipline. The small percentage of agents that handle it well soon rise to the top of the local market and do the larger share of the deals. We have got lots more tips in our newsletter if you find this of use in your property market.