Make no mistake, the commercial real estate industry can be intensely competitive in so many different ways. That being said, most agents and brokers are typically ordinary when it comes to client contact and prospecting activities.
The fact of the matter is that new business growth and opportunity over time should be a central part of your business model for your location and your property type. Make sure that you have a specific prospecting model that drills into the investors and businesses in your location on a daily basis.
Here are some ideas to help you sweep aside the competition as you work towards more listings and an increase in sales and leasing transaction activity:
Ignore peer pressure and innuendo. There are too many so called ‘experts’ in the industry many of whom are quite average when it comes to business performance. Everything that you do and achieve in your individual real estate business is self-generated and has nothing to do with anyone else. If you deliberately ignore the other average agents around you, you can soon get traction within your own market share; build your confidence accordingly. You can then assess your own progress and opportunity. Judge the market yourself and understand with the market is heading for you. Make your adjustments based on personal experience and personal effort.
Be yourself and improve yourself. Understand your skills for what they are and how they can help you grow your real estate business with both listings and clients. Improve your strengths through practice and knowledge development. Any weaknesses can be removed through personal training and personal development.
It is best if you can specialize in a combination of specific services such as sales and leasing, or property management and leasing. There are distinct linkages between those services that will give you more business over time.
Know where you are headed in the industry and the location. Establish a business plan that deliberately focuses you into a specialized property type and a specific location. Beyond that point you can drill down into various strategies of personal marketing, database growth, and client contact. You need to be the best choice as an agent or broker when it comes to property activity locally, so that strategy needs to be at the centre of your business model. Understand your competitors for who they are and what they do. You can then differentiate yourself appropriately for the location, for the client base, and for the predictable changes in the property market.
The message here is that you can specifically focus your commercial real estate business for better results over time. It is a personal skill and it is a personal strategy.
Understand exactly where you want to go when it comes to property market activity, income, and market share. Develop your commercial real estate business through personal and deliberate efforts.
In commercial real estate brokerage, there are plenty of pressures on deals and clients. That pressure can lead to frustration and the temptation to ‘loose your cool’. Stay away from the problem. Maintain your professionalism at all times. Your image as an agent or broker is really important locally.
In our industry, what goes around, comes around. Remember that.
Here is an audio MP3 talking about that very issue.
As a commercial real estate agent or broker, you can use a blog as a professional and personal marketing strategy. There are plenty of things that you can write about when it comes to your local area, your town or your city.
The blog is something that you can do individually at very low cost. It is also something that you can do in your spare time or perhaps in the evenings when the pressures of the working day are diminished.
As a special note and as part of the blog marketing process in real estate or commercial property, you should not write about particular property listings and clients. Leave that marketing strategy to the brokerage websites and the portals where you can and already do promote existing listings and particular properties.
The blog process is all about providing commentary and information or knowledge. That is why the search engines rank the process so highly when people offer valuable information and insights. As a real estate agent you can do exactly that and hence the blog strategy can help you greatly when it comes to building an online personal profile.
So what would you write about in the blog and why should you do it? Consider the territory in which you work and the specialisation or the property knowledge that you can bring to the market; if you are truly the specialised property agent or broker that you claim to be, there will be plenty of things to write about and information to share. Here are some ideas within those factors to help you get this strategy underway:
Look for the changes in the property market in prices, rents, and future supply. The changes in the property market and the analysis of history will give you plenty of things to write about. You can create simple graphs relating to growth in prices or rentals, shifts in yields, or enquiry rates relating to property types.
If you are a specialist in a particular property type you can talk about the future growth and opportunities that apply within the zones or precincts in your town or city. Property investors will always show an interest in a well-crafted article giving valuable information about recent property trends and predictable changes. As a case in point and as an example, the retail property segment and particularly that of shopping centre performance stands alone as a specialist part of the property market. Within that topic there will be plenty of things to talk about when it comes to tenancy mix, rental strategies, vacancy rates, leasing opportunities, customer requirements, franchise tenants, and shopping trends. I go back to the point that valuable information provided by industry specialists will always be of interest to the players in the property market.
Any upcoming property developments will shift the balance of supply and demand when it comes to particular property types and property occupation. From that new supply of high quality modern space, you will find that the older properties will become redundant and be potentially ripe for redevelopment. Consider the changes that apply within a property type with any new developments coming up and write about them in your blog. Talk about the changes and the investment opportunities or adjustments; look for the strengths that evolve from newer property developments shifting the balance of occupancy and property ownership.
There are plenty of things for you to write about when it comes to the blog and Internet Marketing process. In this way you can build your online presence as an agent or a broker, and show your expert comprehensive property knowledge and experience to the right people in your town or city. A good article written around the facts of the market can also be linked to your property newsletter and your client emails. When something is worth talking about in our industry, it is worth sharing.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In today’s commercial property market, the Internet provides some real marketing solutions for commercial brokers and agents as they promote listed properties and build their personal profile.
It is interesting to note that many agents at a personal level fail to fully utilise all the available tools on the Internet; they will commonly promote their listed properties efficiently and effectively, but they regularly overlook the requirements of personal marketing and promotion.
To build your personal profile online, it is necessary to do specific things consistently and regularly. Placing a blog or an online article once a week to a website will not be enough activity to give you a meaningful ‘online presence’. Doing something on a daily basis or at a minimum every 3 days will significantly improve your online presence.
The search engines look for consistency and relevance. So the consistency aspect can be handled by regular activity undertaken in a meaningful way. Relevance on the other hand has a lot to do with writing about your location and property speciality. The articles and the blogs that you create should be quite specific and rich with content.
Here are some ideas to help you with establishing your online presence as a specialized commercial real estate broker.
Visit the major search engines to do a ‘keyword search’ based on your location and property type. Many of the search engines offer a ‘keyword search tool’ to help you get that information. From that searching process, you can identify the words that are commonly used and searched on the Internet when it comes to your location. Make a shortlist of 25 words that can be merged into your profile and online activity.
Your consistency in the marketing process will then be to use those words regularly in an ongoing way. In an article of 300 or 400 words, your keywords could be featured three or four times in a meaningful way. In that way you will be optimising your article or your property to the search engine profiles. As a special note, do not overly saturate the article or the advertisement with the identified and targeted keywords. When that occurs, the search engines will penalise your article because of your intended keyword manipulation and will fail to rank you.
Establish a blog online where you can write about the property marketplace and your property speciality. Do not promote your property listings in the blog. Property listings should be featured on a website somewhere and handled separately. So the idea behind a blog is for you to talk about property market trends, activities, and issues in your town or city, and your property speciality.
In an article of 400 to 500 words, you can say many things that are useful to the prospects and clients that you serve. As a general rule, you should be writing a blog at least two or three times per week. Again, I go back to the point that consistency and regularity in the process will be really important. Let the search engines see that you are an expert in your field, and that you are prepared to share your information on a regular basis. They will then rank your articles more favourably in their search results.
Also write some articles relevant to your property marketplace and speciality. Those articles can be placed on ‘article submission sites’. To understand how those sites work and which ones will rank better for you, do a search on the search engines for ‘article submission sites’. Choose one of the sites and services that are ‘highly ranked’. Understand the rules that apply to the process of writing and submitting articles with that site, and set up an account to get the process underway. The articles that you create should be informational and relevant to your property location and property type. The articles can link back to your website or your blog. Do not promote your listings in the articles as you will not be allowed to do so. The article writing process is one of authority and speciality.
From your regular online activity, link your articles and blogs through to Twitter and LinkedIn. The same linking activity can be used for Facebook. As you build your list of prospects and contacts in each of those social media channels, your blogs and your articles will be of interest to the property based community that you are connecting with. In that way you will be seen as a specialist of relevance to the people that you serve.
So there are a number of things for you to do here in building your online presence as a top commercial real estate agent or broker. Promote yourself at every opportunity in specific ways. Use the social media channels effectively and efficiently. Regularity is the key to making the process personally successful.