When you work in commercial property sales you will soon know the pressures of the day, the listings that you work with, your clients, and the prevailing property market. There are lots of things that can distract or divert you into many different activities. That diversion can lead to a loss of listing opportunity and ultimately commissions.
In investment sales your main focus should always be on:
Prospecting for new business
Clients currently served
Listings on your books now
Inspections of listings
Negotiations of property offers
Documentation of listings, sales, and contracts
Followup of transactions
You could add other items to this list given your location and client base. The fact of the matter is that you will always be busy in commercial real estate brokerage. There are plenty of things to do. Systems and factors of focus will help you get through the working day and the week. Always track your progress in what you are doing, so you can see where improvements are required.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about setting the right priorities in your real estate business and how that will help you with sales and listing results.
When you pitch and present your listing strategies to a client, are you clear and precise about how the client should move ahead with you and why that is the case? Help the client see that you are the best solution to their property challenge; be special and real to their situation and property asset.
So how can you do this?
Give them some property listing and marketing strategies that then cannot refuse or ignore. Show them that you really understand the current situation that they find themselves in, and that you have a definite path of resolve. Have some stories from the location of others that you have helped move ahead in similar property situations.
Here are some other ideas to apply to the listing discussion with the client or prospect:
Inspection strategy – demonstrate that you have a clear strategy and method of inspecting the property that will give the client a better chance of attracting offers from the target market. You can walk the client through the property as part of that strategic approach; you can also use your mobile telephone to record the inspection process in video, and show them the factors that you find really important to the property marketing and presentation process.
Short listed interested parties – using your current database, you should have a short list of buyers or tenants to apply to the property inspection as soon as the listing comes on market. With suitable anonymity, show the client the short list so they know that it exists and explain how you will be using that list in moving ahead.
Marketing solutions and alternatives – your marketing recommendations for the asset should not be ordinary, so take the time to build a marketing campaign that reaches deeply into the target market. Provide 3 alternatives with the campaigns so the client has some choices and budget alternatives. Give the client your clear marketing recommendations so they can see the best ways forward, and show them samples of other adverts used locally and tell them why certain solutions are better for their property in the current market conditions.
Targeted marketing and personal direct marketing – the property has to be placed firmly in front of the current prospects and target market that you have in mind. Explain how you will do that, and provide the client with a way in which you will be communicating progress on each stage of the campaign.
Negotiation control – tell the client how you are to be preparing for the negotiation well before it is to occur. When you have qualified a seller or tenant as the case may be, you will have stages of qualification and communication that should be professionally controlled so the offer is encouraged in the correct legal format. Exactly how will you do that? Explain those facts to the client as part of your listing and or presentation pitch.
To capture the interests of the client as part of any listing presentation and brokerage pitch, you have to stand out as relevant and real for the location and the property type. Help the client see that you are the best solution to assist them through the challenge with their property and the current market conditions.
To convert more listings over time, make sure that you are providing your clients and customers with a clear strategy to move ahead that is carefully crafted for the situation.
Commissions get easier in commercial real estate when you understand that one single listing or one deal can easily be used as the foundation for other things and particularly opportunities. That’s when you can refine your actions and focus.
Take your single client, listing, or transaction and open up the opportunities that exist around you.
Need some more real estate business?
Here are the facts and some valuable ideas:
A good listing in any location can be the basis of making lots of calls to property owners in your town or city. Talk about your listings with the local people.
A signboard that you place on a property will be the foundation of connecting with nearby business owners and property owners. A signboard is a great business tool and will give you conversational leverage locally.
A quality property listing will (or should) be the origin of a door knocking program in your business precincts or territory. Get into your local area and talk to people about your listing stock.
Every time you get a call from an advertisement, ask the person calling you about what they have seen locally. They may have looked at other properties and therefore be an active buyer or tenant.
When you hold a property inspection, get the fuller perspective from the inspecting party about where they are now, what they are doing, where they want to be with their property needs, and when they have to do something. Ask good questions and make lots of notes.
List exclusively so that you can control your listing stock. Some agents just take on open listings for the sake of having a property on their books. Whilst I can understand the basic idea, open listings give you little leverage and ability to grow your market share. Exclusivity is the only thing with listing that will help you build your real estate business.
Know the market locally. Your comprehensive awareness of the listings, deals, negotiations, and time on market will help you through any client conversation and listing process. Be prepared to quote the facts.
Build on your successes and tell the ‘world’. When you have done a deal, get the message out to your location, your database, and your clients. Let people know that you are the person that has created a result. Encourage them to talk to you and discuss what happened.
Look for referrals in each contact and relationship. Use the power of referral business to grow your database with ‘warm contacts’. It is very easy to open a new opportunity from the basis of a referral.
This list is just the start of the process, and particularly so when you look at all the opportunities that are around you.
Every conversation, every lead, and client relationship can be expanded into something else. Ask and you shall receive.
In commercial real estate brokerage today, you will always be on the lookout for new listings and new clients. One strategy to consider that is well proven and successful is that of marketing your services around general location of other agent’s boards. The strategy is quite simple and yet effective.
So how does this work? When another agent or broker places a signboard on a property within your territory or location, you can approach the other property owners and business proprietors in the immediate location and particularly with the adjoining properties. They may like to compete with that new listing nearby. You can be the person to help them.
The logic works
This listing and prospecting strategy is based on the logic and premise that one listing will create local area interest and churn. You can help with that; you can provide solid reasons for property owners that the strategy would work locally for different property types. Build your marketing strategy around that.
Other property owners in the area may consider competing with the other brokerage competition and their listing. Other business owners in the area may consider taking property action as part of the other local listing. Market yourself into the location based on those two assumed situations; you will find leads and changes in that way.
Factor of attraction
You could say that this is potentially a real factor of attraction when it comes to new business generation. When you understand the process and how it works, you can attract your new business opportunities from in and around the activities of other agents through your listing territory and city. Use their listings to find more property churn nearby.
To establish the system of your business conversion and listing attraction, you will need to track all of the new listings with your competitors as they come to market. As soon as they place a signboard on a property, you then canvass the street and the location personally.
Assess the local area
Given that there are plenty of signboards within your location, you can use these signboards as points of leverage to get started and to attract other listings from the location. There are some rules to make this work:
Get personally involved – When another agent places a signboard in a street or on a particular building, get into the location and meet with the local business owners. Also separately and directly approach the property owners in each case; this will require a degree of research so be prepared to put in the effort. Talk to local people about how you can help them with their property needs at the same time as the other listing may be on the market. One property listing will create local property interest; you can market your services on the property churn. The extra new listing that you can create in the location can be positioned competitively and keenly for alternative property marketing. Your listing can compete competitively with other listings in the immediate location. Your listing presentation and service pitch should be structured accordingly, and that is to build on the momentum of the other listings. Explain to your clients and prospects how your marketing process will integrate into the area whilst providing leverage and greater value to the target market with price, rental, or improvements.
Demand exclusivity – To make this work consistently, you will need to convert your listings exclusively. There is no point in focusing your efforts on listing marketing and local area coverage unless you have exclusivity. Many agents and brokers struggle with this concept and can’t sell their services ‘exclusively’; exclusivity is the only way to dominate market share as a relevant and important agent for the location. When you have an exclusive listing, you can drive new business using unique and special marketing processes.
Focus on quality – A good listing will help you stand out as the agent of choice for the targeted segment and the location or territory. A quality listing should be comprehensively marketed locally at a personal level, and then comprehensively both online, and offline. The marketing process and the campaign that you create will involve vendor paid marketing funds. Given all of these facts, your listing pitch needs to incorporate the base strategy of exclusivity and vendor paid marketing, giving the client plenty of reasons why that will be so important to their achieved price and time on market.
Target marketing – With every listing that you pitch for focus on the target market and help the client see that factor as being critical to the momentum they require. Show the client exactly where that target market will be located and how you will tap into that category effectively and directly. When the client can see that you totally understand the target market and how to tap into it, your listing conversions will be easier to achieve.
So you can now see why you should have some quite specific prospecting and listing strategies that you can improve on and develop over time. Show the local area why you are the agent of choice, doing that through relevant and real marketing for the location and the target audience.
Walk away when you have to
As a final point here, be prepared to walk away from listings and clients where the ‘package of property’ seems unrealistic and unmatched to prevailing ‘market’ conditions. Your time is precious, so only take on the clients and properties that offer potential.
If you are struggling to find new listings in commercial real estate then you can improve the situation by reviewing and understanding the listings of other agents in your location and your territory. You can use their listings as triggers to improve your listing and new client situation.
Use Other Agents as Listing Leverage
Here are some ways you can do that quickly and effectively:
Other agent’s listings for both sales and leasing – If another agent puts a signboard up on a property in a street, you can use that signboard as a reason to talk to local property owners in the immediate vicinity. Why is that the case, and why is it useful? Firstly it is likely that the other agent has not spoken to those nearby property owners to check out their property situation and interest; secondly any nearby property owner considering a sale or lease of their property, could be interested in competing using you as their agent. You can convert more momentum on your listings based on the marketing of the other properties.
Methods of marketing – Many if not most agents market their listings generically. You can use other agent’s listings as poor examples of marketing. The proof of that fact is usually seen in the time on market.
For sale by owners – There will always be an assortment of commercial real estate listings marketed by owners locally. Their motivation in doing so is usually to save money and avoid commission. The reality of the situation is that they do not have the resources of a good client database or marketing strategy. They cannot comprehensively market their property without a top agent to help. You can pitch your services to those property owners but do not discount your commissions; if they want your services to solve their listing problem then they should pay for it.
Properties in the same street – Review properties by street and location. Slowly move through the street and research the owners that you can talk to. By concentrating on a street by street basis you are delving deeper than most other agents. The property research as this level is time consuming and comprehensive; you will however find people to talk to and that is what the industry is all about. Find the right people and ask questions. In most streets you will find one or two listing opportunities now or in the future.
Poorly marketed properties – When you look at some listings on the internet you will see obvious signs of poor marketing. Usually those properties will be incorrectly photographed, and the advertising copy will be average at best. You can do much better with your property marketing and your listing or sales pitch you show the client how you can do that. Keep a selection and samples of recent listings with you where you can show the client that you really do have a different approach when it comes to property promotion. To be a top agent your marketing efforts should be superior and visually so.
Stale listings – Some properties will stay on the market for a long time. There are reasons for that and those reasons are usually easy to see. When the listing expires with another agent, you can offer a different approach of marketing and method of sale or lease. Base your listing and sales pitch on the tools that bring results.
So you have some good things to do here. Focus your marketing efforts around the weaknesses of other agents. Stand out as the best agent locally.
You can get more tips and ideas for commercial real estate brokerage right here in our bulletin.