Commercial Real Estate Agents – Networking Local Businesses for Real Market Opportunity

commercial real estate agent looking to the sky
Local business owners are a great source of leads and opportunity for commercial real estate agents.

When you work in a commercial real estate agency you can get a lot of valuable information from the local business owners.  For this reason they should feature in your cold calling efforts every day.

Many agents will focus on just property owners as part of their networking process for new business; whilst that in fine, the reality is that the process is hard and slow.  It takes a lot of time to find the right property owners and chase them down for a conversation.  I am not saying that you should not do it; I am just saying that you should mix it up a bit and add the local business owners into the networking process.

Talking to new people every day is part of building your business and your market share.  When you do this regularly you will find that the property market and opportunities within it will open up for you.

How do you do it?

So how do you get to these local business owners?  The easiest process is in using the local business telephone book.  You can also door knock the businesses locally on a street by street basis.  Either way the process is easy.

Many commercial real estate salespeople tend to analyse the process of networking far too quickly and critically.  They think that they should get results from just talking to just a few people.  That is not the case.  On average, you do need to talk to perhaps 40 people to get one opportunity.  For this very reason, the networking process should be a daily event and continue throughout the year.  Keep yourself organised as you speak to new people; gather any leads and information into your database.

Not interested?

Many of the people that you talk to will not be interested in commercial real estate. For this reason, you should simply be asking a few questions to see if they have a need or a future interest in commercial or retail property.  There will always be plenty of business owners and property owners to talk to providing you get yourself organised and talk to lots of new people.

Commercial real estate is a specialised part of the property industry.  Landlords, tenants, and business proprietors will need your assistance from time to time providing you show them your relevance and provide local market knowledge.

When you establish the initial connection with new people, and have satisfactorily qualified them as relevant to you, keep the contact open so they can find you when the commercial real estate need arises.  You should be networking all of your contacts at least once every 90 days.  That is the secret to building market share.

Through this connecting and networking strategy, the following information will help you with future business opportunities.

  1. The business owners will tell you what is going on in the local area.  They will likely know the intentions of some of their neighbouring businesses when it comes to property activity.  They will also have observed changes and pressures that exist with their neighbouring businesses.  Asking the right questions will help you here.
  2. Some of those business owners will be tenants in occupancy.  For this reason they will one day require potential relocation and or market information relating to rental and leases.  Building a relationship over time with these people will help you tap into that opportunity when the need arises.
  3. Some of those business owners may share information with you regards the landlord that owns the property in which they are located.  That can then short circuit the process of finding the property owner.
  4. Some businesses today will own the property in which they are located.  Over time they can have pressures of occupancy, expansion, contraction, or relocation.  They may also consider a sale and leaseback strategy.  You can help with all of these things.  It is simply a matter of building the right relationship.

Sometimes we tend to complicate the networking and cold calling process.  It is not hard or difficult, it is simply a system.  When you understand that, and develop your own processes within the system, you can create massive opportunity in your local property market.

Commercial Property Agents – Set Your Targets in Sales and Leasing

businessman giving thumbs up signal
Start to focus your career in commercial real estate agency. The results are great in any market providing you work hard on the right skills.

When it comes to working in the property industry, commercial real estate can be very special and unique.  The knowledge required to be an expert in your field is quite specific.  For this very reason it pays to specialize in a property type and a location.  All the ‘top agents’ do exactly that.

You can be a sale and or leasing expert, or perhaps a commercial property management and leasing specialist.  The important thing is that you are very good at what you do and you can talk to the service you provide in a comprehensive way.

I should also make a special note here about ‘retail property’; retail is much more specialized than office or industrial property.  If you are a true ‘retail expert’ then focus on the special issues of retail property performance such as tenant mix, leasing strategies, and increasing sales performance for the retailers.  All of these things lead to a great property performance.

Our clients like to deal with ‘property experts’ that have a very good command and control of the market.  Whilst your office can have a good marketing position and perception in the local area, you personally should also have the same.

Here are some tips to help you get the right focus in your career and steer the process forward.

  • Find a top agent or mentor to help you with ideas and focus.   Experience is a great thing and those that have been working successfully in the industry for a long time will have ideas that they can share with you.
  • Watch the good people in the industry to see what they do.  Some of your competitors will be better than others in market share and closed transactions.  Some salespeople in those competitor businesses will be ‘top agents’.  How did they get to that position and what do they do every day to build their market share?  Look at their marketing efforts and their property speciality; are there any differences in what you are doing?  How can your mirror their ‘good’ processes?
  • Systemise your day so you stay on track and move ahead in your plan.  The only real resource that you have in the industry is the time that you use every day.  Don’t waste a minute of time on things that do not matter.
  • Personally create a database that grows through your daily prospecting efforts and directed action.  You will capture a lot of information in that database that can take you forward into new property opportunities.  The capturing and recording of the right information is a personal skill; ensure that you do all of this work yourself so you take ownership of the information and use it to the fullest of its circumstances.
  • Avoid poorly organised salespeople that make excuses.  There are a lot of these people around.  Negative comments and ideas from these people do nothing for your momentum and market share.  Whilst the property market may appear slow or sluggish, don’t let the comments of ‘poor performers’ hold you back from trying something new and relevant.

In any property market there are always opportunities to be captured.  In most cases your results are driven by the number of relevant people that you know and maintain contact with.  It always comes back to who you know and how you keep up the contact.

Commercial Realtors – The Secret to Better Market Share

business men outside office building
Take the right steps to build market share in commercial real estate and property.

Here is an interesting question to ask any commercial real estate salesperson.   ‘What are you not doing today that you should be doing?’   In the answer that you get you will likely find the big problems that are holding them back from achieving more from their market.

Here are the things that most commercial sales people do not do enough of:

  1. Prospecting for new business and new clients.
  2. Inspecting the competing properties so they know what they are up against in the local property market.
  3. Keeping in contact with those clients that have the really tough listings to market and sell or lease.
  4. Touching base with all the local businesses on a daily basis to see what property ‘needs’ they may have in the future.
  5. Personally taking each property listing to the local business community through a street walking cold canvassing process.
  6. Finding and connecting with new property investors that may want to expand their property portfolio.

I could go on but I think you get the message here.

Step Up to the Challenge

Salespeople avoid the things that are hard or challenging.  Reluctance soon sets in and the salesperson is then about the same as all the others in the local area.  I don’t know about you, but being as good as the competition doesn’t thrill me too much; better is a good target and a benchmark.

Many, if not all salespeople join the commercial real estate industry knowing that the opportunities are huge in both income and lifestyle.  That fact is always there in all markets, good or bad (even now).  The good results that we get are driven from the actions that we take.  It is the big and important things that we do not do each day that hold back the results that we get.

So opportunity exists right now today in your property market; you just need to tap into it.  The best place to start is with the really important things that you are not doing.

Some underperforming salespeople just move from agency to agency every 18 months or so, thinking that the move will solve their market share and listing problems.  Other salespeople of similar type stay with the same agency and just go nowhere special when it comes to listings and commissions.  The income ‘pain’ just goes on. 

Enough is enough!  It is time to make a change and take charge of the future.  A better time in the industry is available for all; the key lies within all of us.

Top agents take charge of what they are doing.  They move strongly ahead with a consistent plan of attack.  They are prepared to take the difficult steps forward every day.   Soon they set new habits as part of taking action and dominating the property market.

In just a short time things can change in a major way.  Are you up to the challenge?  Are you ready to rise to the top of your market?  Now is the time to get started.

Need more tips to help your commercial real estate business?  You can get free tips at our website right here.

Commercial Realtors – Marketing Proposals that Impress Clients and Prospects

business man and woman looking at laptop
Make every proposal a top document with plenty of client focus.

In commercial real estate you will be doing proposals for your clients and prospects on a regular basis.  You would think that being asked to do a proposal is a good thing; in some ways it is, although many a prospect will ask you for a proposal simply to get rid of you.  The hard truth of the matter is that many a prospect is going to use your proposal as a reason to choose another agent to sell or lease their property.  Here are some tips from our Bulletin this week.

If a prospective client asks you for a proposal, and you are meeting with them when they ask the question, respond by saying something like this:

‘Why would you want that?  Have I not been clear and helpful in the discussion here with you today?  What is it that you need more information on?’

Top agents know that the best time to sign up the client is ‘now’; not at some later time when ‘they have had time to think about it’.

So the request for a proposal is actually a strategic way of not making a decision on the spot.  What are the chances of agreeing to your proposal later when you give it to them?  Probably it is no better than 20% in most cases.

If you do decide to create a proposal for the client, do so understanding that the client is genuine in the request and that you will not be wasting your time.  A good proposal to sell or lease commercial real estate will include some or all of the following:

  1. A clear statement of the clients requirements to sell or lease the property
  2. A description of the property or the tenancy so that there is no misunderstanding in what is intended and what property it applies to.
  3. A summary of other properties in the local area that are regarded as competing with the listed property.  You will need to include a statement that describes the prices and rentals of those other properties.
  4. A description of the local property market as it exists today, taking into account the factors of supply and demand.
  5. The factors that will make the property relevant to the target market in the local area.
  6. A marketing brief as to how the property should be taken to the target market.  You will also need to supply samples of advertising and content that will apply to the property as you know it.
  7. Expectations of price or rental given the prevailing market conditions.
  8. A resume of issues that should be attended to before the property is taken to the market
  9. A visual strategy to the process of moving forward.  That can be a Pert or Gantt model that summarises the sale or lease process in stages

The list can be expanded subject to the prevailing market conditions and the property type.  If you are going to do a proposal for the prospective client, then make sure it is a good one.  First impressions are everything.  Get some more tips in our Bulletin.

Commercial Property Agents – Internet Marketing Tips to Build Market Share

business woman using laptop computer
You can improve your internet profile as an agent.

When you work as a salesperson in commercial real estate, you really do need to build your personal profile in the local area.  That profile needs to extend to property investors, business owners, property developers, and professionals associated with those groups.    Here are some tips from our Newsletter.

To build your profile takes continual effort in a number of different ways.  The most obvious ways to build your market share and profile would be through the following:

  • Direct connection with the key people that own significant property in the area
  • Meeting with the business owners that occupy significant properties and run significant businesses in the local area
  • Cold call prospecting and marketing on a daily basis throughout your precinct
  • Door knocking all of the local business proprietors.

Many salespeople overlook the value of the internet to their profile and business activity.  Sure they may have some listings on the internet but rarely will a salesperson do anything more than that to lift their profile on the web.  So there are some things that you can do here.  Have a look at these:

  1. You can write articles about property trends and types in your local area.  What it does is it helps consolidate your name as a local expert.  One of the best article sites to do this is www.ezinearticles.com
  2. Create a personal business blog on either ‘Wordpress’ or ‘Blogger’.  The blog process is free and will be yours to run and own.  Everything you say is of your creation so be professional at all times.  This blog process allows you to write about the area in which you operate and the property market.  You could also talk about different ways of buying or renting commercial property today.
  3. Use email newsletters with auto responders to connect with your clients.  The cost of this is very low and initially you could get a free account with a newsletter service such as ‘Mailchimp’.  They have templates and lots of instruction to help you get underway.  You could set up an auto responder to connect with your clients monthly or more frequently.  You can personalize the whole thing.
  4. Social media tools today are numerous.  Many of them are at no cost, but they do require you to take a strategic approach if the target of contact is commercial real estate.  Initially the best to use would be Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Googleplus.

So the opportunity here is for you to move to the top of your market with a great internet profile that is a combination of the listings that you have currently, but also these other very effective strategies.

Given that most of your competition will likely only do the Social Media part of the equation at best, there are many other things that you can do yourself to step up higher in the internet as a commercial property agent of relevance.

Need some help with building your profile?  You can get a lot of good information from our parent website http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Gathering Market Intelligence

office buildings in city
Know all the buildings and the property owners.

The intelligence-gathering efforts that will help you build opportunity in the market should include analysing your commercial real estate marketplace.  The property sales and leasing market is always changing.  Seeing those changes early and adjusting your efforts or focus will always be the best strategy:You can then make choices on which you will focus:

  • What are my market segments? How do the segments differ?
  • Does local property needs differ in sales and leasing?
  • Are some property segments destined for obsolescence because of changes in the market?
  • Which segments within my niche are prosperous and under growth? Are any of them recession-proof? Recession-sensitive? Which are doing poorly? Why? You should always be in tune with financial and business publications, their data, information and value.
  • Which segments of my niche are most price-sensitive and competitive? In this case you should identify the other agents that you are up against and how they impact your activities and listings.
  • Which are most profitable property types for you to list and work on?
  • What trade journals or publications in my market niche are the best for marketing, the most comprehensive, and the most objective for commercial sales and leasing?
  • Subscribe to every relevant publication and read the papers daily.  It is remarkable how much local property information you will get from the local paper.
  • What can I learn from our own competitors and peers that can help me serve the needs of my niche? Your prospects may have uses for commercial real estate sales and leasing that you never previously thought of.
  • Are any of my real estate competitors exhibiting any behaviour in the property market that seems strange or unusual? If so, what are the true reasons behind it?
  • What must I do to become a recognized expert within my commercial real estate niche?  What should an expert cover and offer to the local property owners and investors
  • Do you understand the differences between sales, leasing, and property management?  Can you cross sell your services in each discipline?
  • Are there any certification mechanisms or awards for which I can qualify? Associations I need to join? Groups in which I might need to assume a leadership role?

Having this intelligence information on your commercial real estate market can be likened to knowing the rules of the game.  When you know the basics, you are ready to gather scouting reports on other teams in the “ big league”.

We need the truth when gathering market intelligence.  Whenever we have accurate intelligence on our competitors, we can leverage our own strengths and weaknesses against theirs and apply the most concentrated, effective pressure we can muster.

Need more ideas to help your career in Commercial Real Estate?  Sign up for our Newsletter here.

How to Map Your Territory for Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

 

business man and woman in car
Always map your territory before you start prospecting.

In commercial real estate sales and leasing, it pays to map your sales territory so you know how to optimise the advantages contained therein.  This becomes even more important when you have a large territory to cover.  Here are some tips from our Prospecting Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

Here are some tips regards identifying and tracking the activity in your sales territory:

  • Get large maps of the area covering the entire potential sales territory.  At the extremities of the area, define the road boundaries that will be at the very end of the territory.  You cannot sell and lease everything in the broader town or city, given that it is too hard to service; you will never create a dominant market share that way.  Top agents dominate, that’s the rule!
  • Inside the defined sales territory, circle the pockets of properties that produce more interest from the market, action, and attention.  You will know where most of the buyers and tenants congregate when it comes to business location and property investment location.  The pockets of properties should be segmented into A grade, B grade, and C grade opportunity.
  • Within the A grade property zone you will need to know the owners of all the quality properties.  This will require considerable research and effort over time.  You should also take the time to identify the tenants within each of the high quality properties.  The owners of the properties and the tenants within those properties should be contacted for potential new business.  Develop your prospecting model around this group.
  • The B grade property zone is that which has some reasonable activity although it may be in some transition or pressure when it comes to property occupation.  The property zonings or development plans may be changing, the tenants may be leaving or relocating, or the roads and highways may be difficult for access to the area.  Within the zone, you can identify the key property owners and businesses of some substance or relevance.  That means you should understand the ideal customer type that is attractive for your business model.  Select the right people to contact and remain active with from and networking point of view.
  • The C grade property zone will produce some new listing business but you recognise that it is not the desirable area for a number of local reasons and pressures.  It is likely that this precinct will have pressures on occupancy, high vacancy factors, and smaller businesses or property owners.  If any listing opportunity comes to you from this area, you should selectively decide whether the opportunity is realistic and achievable.  When in doubt, don’t take the listing.

When you split your territory into the three zones, you can understand where to focus your prospecting efforts and where your progress is being made.  Ideally you will be seeking to dominate your property type and property location over the next two or three years.  Top agents can do this when they dedicate real focus to the personal marketing plan they require.

Get signboards into your territory on all the quality properties that you list.  Prioritise your listings and prefer to take exclusive listings in most situations.  You want to be known as the agent that does the deals, not the agent that takes experiments in property marketing.

Need some help with prospecting in Commercial Real Estate?  Get our Newsletter right here.