Get Permanent Results with the Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Fundamentals

In commercial real estate brokerage, you can do plenty of things to grow your market share and your client list. That being said, you can also do far too many things and lose focus.

It is always best to remain diligent and persistent at a personal level to a few special processes that can drive your business forward.  (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate course here)

 

Simple is Good

 

Keep your business and your efforts simple and direct; that’s the secret to getting anywhere in the industry.  Action is very powerful if it is deliberately directed into the things that really matter; they are usually clients, properties, marketing, inspections, and negotiations.  Nothing else has priority in our industry.

 

So what are the things that really matter in the industry, and what are the fundamentals to take you forward? Put yourself into your property business and market yourself accordingly.

Each and every working day, connect with new people, qualify them for the location and their interest in property, and then stay connected for the longer term.  Put yourself into the property market; the relationships that you build are really important in so many different ways.

 

Use the Marketing Tools Available

 

Use the different tools of communication that you have available both online and off-line so that you can grow a profile of professionalism and market coverage. Most agents and brokers take an ordinary approach to communication today; you can do better than that. Use the marketing tools that are available at your fingertips and within your brokerage.

 

You are the point of difference that can drive more real estate opportunity over time. There are plenty of other agents and brokers in the location all chasing the same properties and clients. Your relevance and professionalism will be the factors of importance to take you forward as a top agent or broker.

 

Be Different but Relevant

 

Build some points of difference into your professional services, so that you can stand out as the agent of choice for the location. The clients that we serve understand the value of a highly skilled agent or broker with deep and meaningful market coverage. Clients will usually choose their agent or broker on that basis.

 

Here are some ideas to help you build your business from the essential and required fundamentals:

 

  1. Database growth – at a personal level, you should be building your database each and every day. You cannot and should not delegate the process. Talk to new and fresh people as part of your prospecting model, and then into the detail into your database records. Build your business on local area information and personal contact.
  2. Local area marketing – become a specialist for the location and market every exclusive listing comprehensively on that basis. When you have some listings to work with, you have plenty of reasons to talk to other people in a meaningful way. Use your listings to open the doors of opportunity and communication across the local area.
  3. Connecting with people – there are always plenty of people to connect with locally across the different industry segments. Deliberately research and communicate with business owners, investors, tenants, and property developers. The process of research takes time and effort, so you will need a segment of your day devoted to the required research.
  4. Understanding the property market – look at the factors of change in your area with a focus on listings, prices, and rentals. Understand the future supply and demand for the location, and also track the levels of inquiry for the area.
  5. Refining your professional skills – certain skills are more important than others in commercial real estate today. Put some real effort into marketing, presentation skills, and listing skills, so that you can move most of your listings to negotiation and closure. Every broker and agent should be practicing their skills in a regular and ongoing way. The industry is competitive, and yet the rewards are many. Position yourself for the best properties and the best clients through constant and ongoing practice.
  6. Building your relevance for the location – the clients that you serve understand the value of a top agent who understands the area and the property types. Build your relevance for the location so that you understand the streets, the buildings, and the levels of recent inquiry. When you understand what is happening locally, you can convert your listings more successfully and directly. Exclusivity is also a lot easier when you understand your location in a comprehensive way.
  7. Marketing properties – the properties that we list today can be promoted comprehensively both online and off-line. Look at the tools available to you when it comes to marketing, and then match those tools into the best methods of sale or lease as the case may be.

 

A successful transaction will usually be the end result of a carefully constructed marketing campaign directed at a target audience. That strategy requires effort and money. Always seek vendor paid marketing funds as part of your listing processes.

 

So the message here is that you cannot and should not complicate your real estate business as a broker or an agent. Simplify your prospecting and client contact processes. Market yourself deeply into a location as the industry specialist that the people are looking for.

The Key Principals of Push and Pull Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate brokerage the principles of push and pull marketing are quite special and deliberate. As the broker or the agent working on specialist listings, you need to know exactly how you are pushing people towards your listings and pulling in their interest.  Special strategies apply to sales, leasing, and property management. Understand the outcomes that you are trying to achieve to attract sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords. The marketing coverage is quite special and unique in each case.

Given these facts, you are working with a particular listing and the target audience relative to that listing. On that basis every property and client situation should be carefully considered to attract the results at you seek from a promotional aspect.

You should also consider your own marketing strategies as a professional in the industry. There are many alternatives of promotion today both online and off-line that relate to both individual and listing marketing. Soon you need a promotional plan to address both of these issues.

Here is an audio recording by John Highman explaining the important facts of push and pull marketing as it relates to commercial real estate brokerage today.

Commercial Real Estate Brokers – Ways of Establishing Penetrating Online Marketing

real estate agent using laptop computer
Build your brand comprehensively as a broker or agent online.

If you haven’t worked it out yet, online marketing is taking over commercial real estate advertising and property promotion.  Every year there are new things to do and learn as part of property promotion in both sales and leasing.  It is regrettable that many agents and brokers just do the ‘ordinary stuff’ in commercial real estate marketing.  They don’t ‘step out of the box’ when it comes to property promotion.

If you want to rise to the top of your local property market, you will have to get your property marketing under control and drive it comprehensively online.  Only you can do that.  A system of marketing is required.  Have you got one now?

Here is a challenge for you.  Factor up your online marketing and drive a solid marketing strategy online with all your exclusive listings (open listings really don’t deserve the extra effort).  Penetrate your online marketing activities across your location and property specialty.  Here are some specifics to help you with that:

  • Frequency – The search engines love ‘frequency’ and that means doing something every day online. The thing or things that you do must be tuned to specific keywords relevant to your location and your property type.  Put your name behind and into everything that you do online.  You are part of the promotion, so remember that key element and make it work for you.
  • Blog – Every agent and broker should have a property blog that they professionally write and service. Each day that agent should be posting something about their location or property activity.  Make it interesting and put some good facts into your blogging activity; talk about your town or city, and how property facts are changing and shaping.  You have plenty to talk about when you really think about things.
  • Branding – Your branding online may be something to do with your brokerage, but you should also be promoting yourself online. People do business with those agents that they remember and trust.  Your branding and personal marketing has to position you in that way.  It’s a personal thing.
  • Images – Always use good quality images to pull in the eye and interest of the reader. Take plenty of photographs locally and keep them for placement in your blog and or articles online.  A good image will help your brokerage brand.  First class marketing solutions always include excellent quality images.
  • Advertising Copy – You can get quite good at writing advertising copy and property editorials. There are some good books available that provide marketing ideas to attract readers, words that sell, and phrases that sell.  Get away from the ‘ordinary stuff’ in your property advertising online.  Use words and phrases that pull in the reader’s interest.
  • Headline – A good headline is 50% of the equation in pulling in the reader to any property article or advertisement. Look at how newspapers and magazines use headlines in this way.  You can get plenty of ideas from those sources to help you with headlines.
  • Keywords – You are a broker or agent working in a location and with a property type(s). From those 2 factors you can use specific keywords in all of your marketing and articles online.  Search engines look for keywords when matching property inquiry to search results.
  • Social media – I have deliberately put social media last on the list. That is because you should not start your social media activities in commercial real estate unless you have all the other issues underway and under control.  You can link all of your social media efforts back to your articles, blogs, listings, and noteworthy helpful hints.

From these ideas you can now see how you can and should build your online marketing presence as a commercial real estate agent or broker.  When you do that comprehensively you can penetrate your property market online and put your personal brand forward as the ‘agent of choice’ for the location.  This is not a random process; it is very specific.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Classic Commercial Real Estate Sales Letters

address book
Send prospecting letters in commercial real estate.

In the commercial real estate brokerage today, the classic sales letter will always create opportunity for an agent or broker if the process is put in place successfully and consistently.  It is necessary to understand the logic behind the process, the timing of the letters, and the requirement to do it regularly.

It is a fact that the e-mail prospecting process has taken over a large section of the real estate industry.  For this very reason, the traditional sales letter sent through the Post Office System will create a major point of difference in marketing when it comes to the prospecting activities of an agent or a broker.

If you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to your marketing efforts, merge the sales letter process into your personal marketing efforts.  Here are some rules to help you:

  1. The sending of letters needs to occur regularly.  Send your letters to groups of prospects on a monthly or bimonthly process.  Given that each letter is specifically written for the target market of property owners or tenants, it is quite easy to group your prospects into segments.  At different times of the month you can send your letters to selected segments.
  2. So a key factor here is to write letters specifically to the targets within each group.  You can are groups for landlords, tenants, business owners, investors, and developers.  Specific letters are used in each case.
  3. As a general rule, and wherever possible, take the time to follow-up each letter with a telephone call.  If you know the telephone number of the person concerned, make the call.  Many letters will help you convert more meetings.
  4. It is preferable that the letter process is simple and select.  Three or four paragraphs on a single page will get the message across.  Sign your letters individually and ensure that they are personally addressed to the people concerned.  Enclose your business card with every letter.  You are marketing yourself and your contact details; that is what the letter and the message must do.
  5. Given that this is a prospecting process, the letter is designed to connect with the person you are sending it to, so that you can get more meetings and opportunities.  On that basis the message and the letter needs to be simply designed.  Do not fill the envelope with bulky marketing material that will confuse the central message.  Marketing letters are best left to a different approach and a generic mail system.
  6. Make it easy for people to contact you as part of the mail out.  Some people will call you as a direct result of getting the letters regularly.  That is why you enclose your business card as part of the process.  It is quite likely that the receiver of the correspondence will keep your business card for future reference.

So the direct mail process is a real and important part of the commercial real estate brokers marketing system.  Make it an important part of your regular marketing efforts.

Get more tips in our Newsletter right here.

Finding the Right Clients in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

woman with laptop
Focus on quality clients and quality properties.

In this property market it pays to work with the clients that are open and honest with you.  Secure those clients on an exclusive listing.  You will find all types of clients in the market today.  Those clients that give you an ‘open listing’ are quite likely to be more difficult to deal with; so understand the differences and pressures of the listing types.

So what is wrong with an ‘open listing’ approach?  Most of the time you will see that it is influenced by other agents and brokers talking to the client; frequently a client in that type of agency relationship is ‘closed’ to the realities of the market today.  They want their price and fail to accept the facts of the recent market evidence.

So what does a ‘good client’ look like?  Try some of these:

  1. Open and honest
  2. Ready to act
  3. Understanding the current market conditions
  4. Are motivated to make a decision
  5. Will keep you fully advised of their intentions and changes
  6. They give you some leverage in negotiating and closing on a deal

It is a fact that clients of this nature are more likely to be secured on an ‘exclusive’ listing for a reasonable period of time.  Providing you get that listing, you can really drive the marketing process at a personal level.  Exclusivity helps you believe in the listing and marketing process.  You can then easily see the results at the end of the marketing ‘tunnel.’

It is worth noting that prospects and clients will come to you in a couple of ways.  Some will feed to you through the office or brokerage leads.  Others will respond to your prospecting activities.  Lastly and most importantly many more good clients will convert to you by ongoing contact and relationship building.  They are the ones that will likely be the ones to give quality to your market share and new business.  For this reason your database and prospecting model is really important.

When you serve a top client well, it will ‘open the door’ on referral and repeat business.  Look at those clients that you have helped over the years.  Have you placed them into a ‘VIP’ process of contact in your database?  Have you differentiated them from the general contacts and people that you have in your pipeline?

So the message here is quite clear.  Focus on creating great client relationships that encourage ‘exclusive’ listings.  Over time that will give you traction in building your market share with quality listings.

You can get more tips for commercial real estate brokers in our Newsletter right here.

Successful Blogging Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

computer keyboard
Market yourself on-line in commercial real estate brokerage.

In commercial real estate brokerage today, the blogging process will help you build market share and professional profile.  That being said, the strategy does require commitment and focus.  It is certainly something that you should carefully consider as part of building your professional image and social media strategy.

It is worthwhile noting that this process should only occur if you have a reasonable command of the written word and your property topic.  Quality and information should flow through your article and your blog process.

So why is this so important?  The process of blogging allows you to display your skill and knowledge to the Internet world, and potentially the clients and the prospects in your market today.  When you do this correctly, the search engines will see you as an industry expert.  You can also link up your social media activity into your blogging process.

There are always plenty of listings on the Internet, and you will have your fair share of those.  The blogging process is entirely different to property advertising, and is based on information sharing.  You will be writing about the marketplace in a valuable and meaningful way.  Blogging is not a process of advertising properties, as that already occurs on your website and the industry portals.

So here are some things to think about as part of building your online profile in this way:

  1. Understand your niche market when it comes to property activity.  Also determine the critical issues that relate to your geographical region, town, or city.  From these factors, you can select keywords that apply to your region and property type.  Those keywords can be fed into the articles and blogs that you write.  You can research some of those keywords on the Internet based search engines using a keyword search tool.  In most cases you can download the keyword search results using an excel spread sheet.  That information will be quite valuable when it comes to connecting with your marketplace, writing advertisements, and building market share.
  2. Every article or blog that you write should be content rich.  In other words you should write to a topic and a specific local property issue.  The search engines love to see quality content relating to a topic.  Choose your topics wisely and match them to the concerns and the activities of the property market today.  Think of your blog as a newspaper that is talking to the market about relevant issues related to property.  What would the readers like to hear?  Within reason, you can be controversial and yet also remaining professional to the industry and the current property market.
  3. When you place a blog online, you can use tags or labels in each case to focus the search engines on your article.  Choose those tags or labels based on the central topic, your location, and the property type.  When you correctly do this, you will find that the blog will receive good hits and maximum exposure.
  4. From any blog that you write, you can link the article back to your social media activity.  The same rules apply to linking back to your e-mail newsletter.  Interesting information displayed in a concise and well-presented way will help you when it comes to professionalism as a top agent.
  5. To make the blog and the topic meaningful, write approximately 400 words in each case and with each topic.  Split the article up into sensible paragraphs and dot points.  That helps the readership conversion and retention.
  6. It should be noted that this marketing process is relatively low cost if not free.  You only resources required will be your time and your intelligence.

So this becomes a specific strategy within your personal marketing plan.  The blog should be something that you control and write to on a daily or weekly basis.  Frequency is quite important when it comes to attracting the search engines.  Most of your competitors will not be doing this at an individual level.  On that basis, you can easily move up in the search engine rankings as an industry professional.

If you want more tips on commercial real estate brokerage, join our Newsletter here.

Grow Your Principal Selling Position in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

women standing in line
Market yourself in commercial real estate brokerage.

In commercial real estate today, the local property market has plenty of competitors chasing your clients and listings.  The clients and prospects that we serve have lots of choices when it comes to the right agent for the right property.  In the end, the client will choose the agent or broker with the best market penetration and control for the property type.

The marketing of commercial, industrial, or retail property is not an experiment, and your clients will be seeking the best solution in sales or leasing.

Your reputation matters from a business growth point of view in commercial real estate.  Are you promoting yourself comprehensively to the right people in your town or city? Can you do it better?  What is your ‘principal selling position’?  Is your brand so strong that the clients and prospects seek you out?

Here are some good ways to grow your personal brand:

  1. Understand the differences between clients and prospects.  Some are better than others.  Some will own multiple properties in various locations.  These special clients are what I like to call VIP’s.  They should be encouraged and serviced at a top level.
  2. Ask for exclusive listings at every opportunity.  If the clients want a top service from you, they must commit to you for a reasonable period of time.  Give them clear reasons to do just that.
  3. Why should clients and prospects use you?  Ensure that the answer is specific and not generic.  Elevate your value to your clients with market coverage and knowledge.
  4. From every inspection, negotiation, marketing effort, and internet listing, there will be facts and information to feed back to your client.  Put them at the centre of your response process.  With the convenience of email, SMS, and voice mail you can communicate quickly and directly.  Great client communication leads to referral opportunity.
  5. Every exclusive listing should be targeted to the right tenants and buyers.  That takes real effort on the part of the broker or agent.  Tell the client exactly what you will do on a personal basis to take the listing to the market today and how that should attract enquiry and inspections.
  6. There will be plenty of stories and examples that you can share from other properties locally.  If your client is struggling with decisions and choices, give them a story of experience from another client that you have serviced.
  7. Establish a social media platform that is comprehensive across your client base.  Feed into those social channels the updates of the market, recent listings, and comparable prices and rents.  You can easily become a marketing expert in commercial property by providing up to date information.
  8. Give your client choices when it comes to taking action on a key issue.  Choices facilitate momentum.  That will help your listings and negotiations.

One last comment should be made here about personal branding in commercial real estate brokerage today.  Take your business cards everywhere; you never know who you will meet and what the circumstances can be in the future.  Your business card is the best marketing solution that you have.

Want more tips on commercial real estate brokerage?  Join our newsletter for regular updates.