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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Protect Your Commissions and Fees from Shifty Clients

Whilst I may be biased, I have seen so many commercial real estate clients over the years take the advantage where they can to avoid paying full or any commission to the agent that has served them in a sale or lease transaction.  Some agents and salespeople that should have known better have been impacted by many tens of thousands of dollars after the client has avoided payments.

If the client wants to avoid something they just need to hand their agent’s appointment to their solicitor to look for a loop hole.  Solicitors are good at that!

So what is the message here?  Make sure that your agency appointments are ‘water tight’ and accurate.  If you do not know what that means or looks like, then find someone who understands just what a good listing document looks like and how it is completed.

All too often we see the media knock agents for an array of reasons; rarely  if at all will you see the reverse happen in the media when a client does the wrong thing by an agent when that client seeks ways to avoid paying commissions or fees.

We as agents have to be so focused on our documentation today.  Every appointment to act as agent on behalf of a client should be correctly signed and completed accurately.  If we do not do that we leave the door wide open for the client to avoid commissions and fees.

Here are my rules on that:

  1. Never trust a client no matter how long you have known them
  2. Question a client deeply and comprehensively regards their property and legal title
  3. If you are to introduce a buyer to another agent that has a listing of a property, make sure that they have legally been appointed to act as agent for the client and that your share of the commission is agreed to be paid by that agent at the time of settlement.  Get the conjunction agents written agreement to the process before you introduce your buyer.
  4. Get every appointment to act as an agent correctly signed by the client before you take action with the listing
  5. Get all instructions in writing from the client or in the case of verbal instructions evidence back to them in writing any instructions given
  6. Collect sufficient funds to cover your commission and fees before you settle a deal
  7. If you have a marketing commitment made by the client to vendor funded marketing, then get the money paid and in the bank before you lodge the adverts.
  8. Draw the attention of the client to the fees and commissions involved by getting them to sign the agency appointment and initial the clause relating to payment of costs and commissions

Remember that you are not a charity and that you provide some very special skills for the clients that you act for.  Do not provide those skills unless and until the correct documentation has been legally and accurately signed by the right property owners for the subject land or building.

If you want some more free tips on commercial real estate, visit our website at

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – What’s Your Marketing Message

Skyline of office buildingsWhen you connect with commercial property investors and business property owners, it is really important to send out the right message that gives confidence to all the client and prospects that you deal with.  Clients do not want to be an experiment or a test case for new salespeople.

This does suggest that it is really difficult for a new salesperson to demonstrate that they know what they are doing and can provide the right property solution for the client.  If you are a ‘newer’ salesperson, you should spend extensive time in building your skills at marketing, negotiating, and documentation.  You will also need to know a lot about the local property area when it comes to results and market evidence; when you talk from a base of knowledge you can convey confidence.

What does the right property solution look like for a client?  It is something that will lessen the time on market and yet still achieve the right price or sale outcome for the client.

Let’s set up the best message for your offering.  The right message to send is that you are relevant and well qualified to handle the property task.  The message to send is that you can comprehensively cover each of the sales stages for the property such as these below:

  1. Listing all the property detail comprehensively with accuracy so that all issues and challenges are captured and handled.
  2. Marketing today is really special.  Each property on an exclusive listing has to be matched to the right target audience.  If this is not done the client wastes time but more importantly so do you.  Marketing is part of the process.  There are many things that you can do in the marketing process; you have choices.
  3. Inspecting a property requires strategy.  How you enter the building and how you move through the building can really be made quite special.  If anything this will make the end result sales negotiation more effective.
  4. Negotiating skills improve for everyone over time.  When it comes to commercial property, the sooner you get the negotiation process right, the better it is for you.  Clients expect a top negotiator to help them shift their property, so take the steps to improve yourself in that regard.  You can practice the skills here and lift your individual results.
  5. Closing a sale or contract is a timed process.  Understanding when to close is a balance of timing and facts of the property transaction.  Each party to the sale will have a set of ‘must have’ issues that will be the deal breakers that you have to resolve.
  6. Follow through after the negotiation is one of the significantly overlooked or neglected parts of the industry.  When the deal is done it is really only just underway.  So many things can go wrong or derail when solicitors get to the elements of the deal.  Questions are asked and challenges are raised.  If you have negotiated a deal, stay with it to the very end.

Commercial property is a skilled part of the industry where property knowledge will be critical to your negotiation and close process.  If you have chosen commercial property as your industry or career for sales and listing success, then take the steps to build your personal processes so you can optimise results.  It is surprising how many agents do not do this well.

You can get more ideas for commercial property agents at the website