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)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Those clients that fail to adjust to market circumstances deserve what they get (or fail to get). The best clients will always listen to market circumstances and allow their agent to refresh the property and push on with other marketing and pricing ideas.
A Brokers Job
Our job is to match the strengths of the property listing into the market conditions and make things happen. It is also our job to resolve the weaknesses that may be present in the property so results can happen with inquiries, inspections, or offers. There are some real skills to be tuned and developed there.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the ways that you can and should approach those difficult commercial property listings to get better results.
A sales team in commercial real estate brokerage is typically (or should be) a group of like minded sales professionals in control of their market, their clients, the territory and their special property types. When you look into the team there are special indicators to watch and track as the team gets results in listings, clients, commissions, and referrals.
Commercial property today is as competitive as ever; top sales teams should be working to a plan and strategy for their location. The real estate ‘year’ is most commonly between February and November each year. Most of the sales and leasing transactions will be done in just those 10 months.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the importance of tracking and monitoring the performance of the sales team.
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 a commercial real estate team, you cannot have negativity in any way or form. Individual agents performing poorly can easily influence the activities of others simply through sharing their negativity in the office and during sales meetings.
If this is a problem for you, the particular team member will need to be personally managed and redirected to solve their listings slump or commission problem. If the problem cannot be solved quickly, the person should be removed from the team.
It is a fact that most under-performing agents in any property market will have created the problem for themselves through lack of planning, a lack of action and poor focus. Training and skill development can help redirect those agents back to the important tasks and industry standards to build the business. That being said, any agent or broker with a negative attitude needs to be willing to learn and improve under the pressures of poor performance. That is where the leadership skills of the sales manager or team leader become very relevant.
Here are some good ways to control and remove negativity within the real estate agency team:
Whilst the property market will have variations of enquiry and seasonal change, there will be listings to attract, properties to market, and deals to negotiate. The attitude of the team and the actions of individual people within the team should be encouraged and promoted to a high level. You can do that through regular role playing, team meetings, and industry updates. Every sales meeting should be a positive event encouraging feedback from every team members and discussing market opportunity; high performing team members can be encouraged to share their experiences with others. The story of success goes a long way towards building ideas and momentum across the team.
Agents and brokers that are struggling with any part of their business may need to work with high performing agents for a period of time to experience and see the successful ways of working in the industry. Whilst every top agent or broker will do things differently, it is the advantage of a personal system that takes them forward; their system takes them into the opportunities of the property market in sales, leasing, and property management.
Every broker or agent should have a specific business plan relating to personal performance, territory management, prospecting, and new business focus. The plan should set the momentum for the financial year and be tracked on a monthly basis. It is unfortunately common to see agents create their plan for the year and then forget about the document and its application from that point onwards. Top performing agents structure a plan based on their skills, the property market, the location, and the identified opportunities of the property segment. In the case of top agents, that plan will be formulated prior to the beginning of the financial year and will be pursued vigorously each week and each month through the year. Adjustments will be made by the agent when necessary to ensure that growth of listings and commissions occur efficiently and directly in any property market.
On a weekly basis, every agent and broker should be tracking their results when it comes to essential activities such as cold call prospecting, meetings, listings, negotiations, and commissions. The best way for them to track the results will be through a chart or graphing process. That information can then be shared with the team leader, and on that basis by compared across the team. The team leader can then see areas of poor performance in agents that are struggling with certain segments of property activity. In identifying problems early, it is easy for the team leader to provide the necessary guidance and professional training. For
So the message here is that any negativity can be removed from a commercial real estate brokerage team through direct action and close monitoring. The skills of the team leader will have a lot to do with the results achieved.