When you are pitching for a listing in commercial real estate brokerage, consider the focus points of the client and the specific factors of the property itself. Then review the local market conditions. Your dialogue can evolve from those elements.
Develop your lines and ‘patter’ to engage the clients thinking. Avoid the jargon that we commonly use in the industry, and break things down into the core facts that really matter with the property. Simplicity tends to win more attention and closure on listing situations.
Give the Client a Clear Picture
Be specific and relative to the location and property type. Understand how you can add value to the listing process by specialising within a specific location and marketing the property specifically and directly to the right target audience.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the ways you can direct the client’s thoughts in the listing pitch towards the things that matter so you are reducing the impact of any competing brokers.
When you pitch and present your brokerage services to a new client in commercial real estate, the connection and engagement process should be well considered before you get to the property meeting.
In simple terms you only have a short period of time to capture the interest of the client and move them into and across your property recommendations. Clarity is really critical to getting the client to see what your saying and why that is so important to their property situation or resolution.
So what can you do? It doesn’t matter if you are pitching in sales, leasing, or property management, the same rules apply. You should have an engagement strategy that moves a client into your ideas and property recommendations.
In this audio John Highman talks about that very process of pitching and presenting your services to a client.
In commercial real estate brokerage, the sales pitch or the presentation that you provide to the client should have plenty of character and commitment from you at an individual level. You are the ‘first point of sale’. Everything with the listing hinges on your ‘first point of sale’.
First and foremost in any listing presentation, the client needs to commit to you as the ‘agent of choice’ before they will listen to you with your recommendations and marketing solutions. Your character and commitment needs to flow into the presentation in a valuable way. Your skills and knowledge need to be superior to your competitors when it comes to winning the listing. Confidence and local property knowledge will help.
The presentations made by top agents are geared to personal involvement on the basis of an exclusive agency. When you control the listing, you can control the opportunity of a valuable transaction over time. Exclusive listings are easier to convert when you get involved in the marketing process at an individual level.
So how can you add ‘character and commitment’ to your listing presentation? Here are some ideas to help:
Connect with the client so that you can totally understand their property needs and priorities. Question everything before you provide recommendations. Drill down on the needs of the client to get to the true facts of the matter.
Every client will have certain challenges when it comes to price, rental, and timing. They will also have targets within their own mind as to what could be achieved. Those targets may be totally out of the question when it comes to the current market conditions.
Provide the correct recommendations to take the client forward, and put yourself into the marketing process at an individual level. Let the client see how you will be taking the property to the tenants or the buyers in a direct way. Forget about generic marketing; it simply doesn’t work.
Show the client the results you have achieved recently when it comes to properties of a similar type locally. Summarize the marketing solutions and the challenges in each case. Tell the client exactly how you promoted the listing and reached the target audience. Compare those actions to the subject property and what will be required to achieve inspections and negotiations.
Your database is likely to be quite valuable when it comes to winning listings. Keep your database up to date and use it as leverage when it comes to pitching for a listing. Show the client the short list of prospects that you have already identified as part of marketing the property. When the property is released to the market, the people on your shortlist should be encouraged to inspect the listing as part of a pre-release. It is very difficult for a client to overlook or walk away from a prospective list of tenants or buyers. Use your database and your short list as leverage in the presentation to the client.
Any quality listing should be directly marketed to the local area. That will be at a personal level in addition to any generic advertising you may be doing. Prepare a suitable flyer or brochure to take to the property owners and businesses in the same general location as the listing. As soon as the signboard goes on to the property, you can be door knocking the businesses and the property owners locally.
It is easier to win a listing when you get personally involved in the marketing process. That involvement can only occur with exclusive listings. Help the client understand the difference and commitment that they and their property will receive when it comes to an open listing and an exclusive listing.
To improve your sales pitch in commercial real estate brokerage today, you should have a significant presentation strategy factor to help you connect with your clients and prospects. In simple terms, you need to believe in yourself, your information, and your capabilities. Confidence is the key to a top presentation outcome.
The confidence that you can show your clients and prospects as part of every presentation will help you with your conversion factors and listing opportunities. The clients and the prospects that we serve like to work with the best property agents with the right skills; in this way they know that they can achieve the results that they require efficiently and effectively. It stands to reason that your presentation needs to reflect those personal factors clearly and directly.
The top agents of the industry have plenty of confidence, commitment, and knowledge. In this way they can attract the clients into the highly successful listing pipeline and marketing process that they have developed over the years.
Here are some tips below to help you improve your sales pitch and presentation for the property market today. You can add to the list based on your town or city, and property speciality.
Gather relevant information from the market that can be used in any sale or lease discussion. That information will include time on market, pricing strategy, best methods of sale, and best methods of lease, marketing alternatives, and negotiation strategies.
To help you convert or attract the clients to your ideas, have stories from the marketplace that can be shared during the presentation. The stories should be of a successful nature and can be supported by necessary photographs, statistical information, and local property market trends. Don’t breach confidentiality as part of your ‘stories’ or sharing of information.
Inspect the subject property comprehensively before you create your proposal and recommendations. Take plenty of photographs in and around the property to use on a laptop as part of your client connection process. Those photographs should be in a ‘rolling photo presentation’ as you talk to the client about the listing alternatives and marketing recommendations. The client’s property will be of great interest, far more than some other ‘PowerPoint’ marketing package that you have created.
Review the competing properties through the region so that you can understand the strengths and weaknesses that they present to your listing. You will also see some trends from those other competing properties that can be acted upon or avoided.
It is very difficult for a client to ignore an agent or broker that has a significant database of ‘up to date’ prospects. Use your database as leverage in the property presentation, by talking about it. Shortlist a group of people from the database to show the property to when the listing has been accepted by the client. Tell the client about the ‘short list’ and show them some detail of it without breaching confidentiality.
Determine the target market that should be the centre of your marketing campaign. Establish your marketing campaign with due regard for generating inspections. Get away from any generic approach to marketing and promotion. Given that you are asking for exclusive listing authority, put yourself into the marketing recommendations so that the client knows you will be personally involved in promoting the property.
It should be said that ‘practice makes perfect’ when it comes to attracting new business and listings in our industry. Certainly the rule applies to your property presentation and listing proposal. Be prepared to show the client how you can improve their situation quickly and effectively. Show them the confidence that they want to see.
In commercial real estate agency and brokerage today, you do need to have an effective presentation strategy that connects to the client and encourages them to commit to your listing strategy and approach.
Your approach to every listing presentation should be carefully considered and planned to improve your conversions. Your strategies and recommendations to the client need to stand out as the most suitable and successful.
The promotion and marketing of commercial real estate today is not an experiment. Property specialists are required to formulate the right approach to match the client’s needs and the existing property in the current market. Location, competing properties, market strategies, and the current levels of enquiry will all have something to do with the presentation and listing process. Be specific and not generic with your presentation.
It should be said that the generic approach to listing presentation simply doesn’t work. There are too many competing agents chasing the same listing in today’s market. Given that our success in the industry relies on the control the listing stock, you have two clear and relevant things to focus on. They are:
Your prospecting processes in your sales territory,
Your presentation and sales pitch with every client and listing
Practice is required with both of these issues. A systematic approach and self-improvement over time will help you capture more listings in the right way.
Here are some steps to an effective sales pitch or listing presentation:
Inspect the property comprehensively and fully before you do anything. As part of that process, meet the client on site so that you can talk through the issues as you see them, get the feedback from the client as to their current motivations and marketing requirements. Find out if the property has been put to the market previously and if that is the case, how successful that may or may not have been.
Review the other listings currently available in the market for any pressures of competition and any indicators of success. Some of those listings will give you trends and indicators to apply to your current client’s property.
The improvements and the location of the listing will dictate a particular target market. Determine how that target market will be active and how you can reach into it. Your marketing plan and the campaign should be structured around the target market with due regard for seasonal timing, and length of campaign.
The previous three points will allow you to establish your proposal and your presentational recommendations. Take plenty of photographs around the property to use as part of your pitch to the client. They will always be interested in their own property on the screen of a laptop as you talk to them about your recommendations.
Provide the client with two or three alternatives of marketing so that they have some choices based on your target market and your recommendations. Choices allow flexibility and the client will not feel so pressured.
Don’t provide discounts to entice the listing. Provide points of difference and relevance that help make your recommendations stand out as important to the client and their current property needs. A property owner will be prepared to pay a reasonable commission and the required marketing funds, providing the agent has the suitable skills and ideas to solve their current property pain. A good presentation will do that.
Show your speciality and your recommendations quite clearly. Stand out as the agent of choice and not just another agent providing a generic solution. All of that being said you need exclusive listings when it comes to providing the quality service that the client requires. Open listings are based on ‘luck’ more than anything else. Control your listing stock and convert more exclusive listings.
It is no secret that the commercial real estate industry is quite competitive. Most of the clients and the listings that you work with will have some impact or involvement with competing agents. This then says that you need to stand out as the best agent of choice with the correct amount of experience and knowledge to the property type.
Let the client make the choice when it comes to the best agent for the property listing. Show that you have the confidence and knowledge that’s more relevant to the client than those competitors around you.
This then says that your presentation and sales pitch process needs to be of the highest quality. This is a positioning process and requires ongoing daily strategy. Here are some ideas to help you dominate your market share and increase your client or customer profile:
Don’t be too eager to take on every listing that comes your way. Look for quality properties and quality clients. Stay away from the bottom end of the market where listings are too hard to move or distressed clients are not being flexible on price.
Specialise in a property type in your local area. Research the trends when it comes to time on market, supply and demand, pricing, rentals, and marketing strategies. Understand what works and give your clients clear reasons for accepting that information.
Use a checklist as part of your client meetings and client discussions. Let the checklist improve your questioning process and responses. In that way you will be more professional than those agents that rely on memory rather than establish systems.
Develop a series of stories that relate to the local market and your property speciality. Stories will always help you when it comes to the property presentation and the interest of the client.
Carry with you a selection of marketing alternatives and marketing successes in the local area. Chart the trends from the inbound property enquiry when it comes to each property type.
Build your profile personally on the Internet through social media, blogging, and article writing. Those three things would do a lot for your personal branding as an industry specialist. That being said, they do require time and ongoing effort.
When a competing agent puts a signboard on a listing in your territory, talk to the other property owners and the businesses in the immediate vicinity. They may wish to compete with that property already listed.
Build a database that you can use as leverage with your client meetings and discussions. Is very hard for a client to ignore a large database of relevant and accurate information. Show the client as part of your sales presentation that you have a number of prospects already available to inspect the property when the listing has been agreed.
Simple processes like these allow you to position yourself as a top agent of relevance and success. The clients that we serve, like to work with the best agents in the local area; we need to give them the reasons to choose our services over others. Develop the skills, the knowledge and the experience that will help the client work with you when it comes to existing property needs and challenges.
In commercial real estate agency your sales presentation or pitch should be simple and direct. In saying that I still see so many agents front up to the client’s office for the presentation looking like a ‘pack-horse’ with every conceivable marketing tool imaginable. What a big mistake!
First impressions mean a lot in our industry. As you enter the client’s office or work environment, the message you send must be simple and professional; you must look the part in every respect. How you dress, what you say, and what you do in the first 2 minutes of the meeting will impact the remainder of the client connection.
Your sales pitch or presentation has to be simple. The client has to grasp what you are talking about and see some clear and relevant solutions to their property challenge. When you complicate things, you lose the clients attention.
Top commercial real estate agents know how to be relevant and real for the current property market. They prepare the right information that connects to the current market conditions, the property, and solutions available to the client.
The agent that wins the listing is usually the one that has fully prepared for the meeting with high level content and facts about the market. They also offer specific strategies that go beyond the ‘generic rubbish’ that ordinary inexperienced agents provide.
Here are some ways to connect with the client in a professional sales pitch or presentation today:
Ensure that you have seen the property before the meeting so you can relate to it in many different ways.
Check out the other competing properties on the market nearby. Be prepared to talk about them and how they are being marketed (successfully or unsuccessfully).
The only tools you need for a presentation will be your marketing folder, and perhaps a laptop computer.
In your marketing folder have listing forms, samples of marketing, maps of the area, subject property details (searched and checked), Gantt charts of sales and leasing processes, testimonials, and market research information.
In your laptop (or tablet computer) have plenty of photographs of the property so you can run a slide show as part of the client connection.
Have a brief marketing proposal ready with recommendations as part of taking the subject property to the right target market.
Get away from long and tedious proposals for the client to read. Use dot points, checklists, graphs, and photographs in the proposal. That will help capture the client’s attention.
Ensure that you have a few good stories to tell about some other property owners locally that have gone through the same pressures as the client you are talking to. Stories always help the connection and will be appreciated by the client in the presentation. Good stories will be remembered.
Simplify your strategies when it comes to meeting new potential clients. Take less information and clutter with you, but make sure that the things that you do have are of the highest and most relevant quality. Practice your pitch beforehand. Show the confidence that the client wants to see in the listing process.
In commercial real estate agency, it pays to role play and personally practice your listing presentations. Now it is known that many agents dislike ‘role play’ immensely, but it is still a fact that those that regularly practice are better agents and can convert the listings at a greater rate than their competitors.
When your income and your listings are at the centre of such an important process, wouldn’t you think that the matter is non-negotiable? With role-playing you can improve your client contact, sales pitch, and presentation skills.
Here are some facts that can be put into your sales pitch and listing presentation practice process.
Understand the client as to property priorities and pressures. They will have some key things that must be satisfied for a listing and subsequent sale or lease to occur.
Knowing the property prior to the presentation is essential. The property will have factors of location, improvements, presentation, income, and expenditure to be considered. Take plenty of photographs around the property to use as a simple photographic presentation on your laptop computer or tablet. Photographs can help a lot when it comes to connecting correctly with clients as you talk to them about the property.
Market facts and information should be checked and up to date. The client will have some perception of the prevailing market conditions. Invariably most clients really don’t have any understanding of the real facts that have the impact on their property.
Competing properties will be of concern, considering that there are so many properties unsold or vacant currently. Provide the client with clear information relative to the other properties located nearby and that remain on the market.
Show the client what is happening when it comes to inquiry, marketing, and inspections. Give the client some strategies that avoid the problems identified with the other listings.
A successful property presentation is really all about providing the right information in a confident way; showing the client how to move through the property challenges that they currently have. You can use a Gantt graphing process to show them the clear stages of property marketing, inspections, and negotiation.
It should be said that some properties are quite unique when it comes to the listing presentation. That is certainly the case when it comes to larger office and retail properties.
The complexity of the property will require an in depth evaluation prior to any sales pitch. Top agents tender specialise when it comes to property type and location. This helps the conversions when it comes to the listing presentation.
Start practising your sales pitch and listing presentation. Role play the process as part of your weekly team meetings. Every salesperson in the team can learn from the experiences of others.
Many agents today struggle to provide a relevant and interesting sales presentation. Generic presentations seem to be the order of the day, and in most cases the client will be meeting with four or five agents before they make a decision. You simply cannot do a generic sales presentation. Your pitch or presentation has to be interesting, relevant, and useful. It must relate to the current property market and the subject property.
Here are some tips to help you focus your sales or listing presentation:
The first stage of the presentation should always be to connect with the client and restate their need or interest when it comes to the particular property matter. The client needs to see that you are on the same wavelength and fully understand their current situation.
Next, you should summarise the attributes of the property as you see them. Explain the factors of the property that are critical to the potential promotional campaign and marketing process. Some of those features will be fed into the advertising and media material to attract the target audience.
Given the previous point, explain to the client the target audience of prospects as you see it and then relate to the current levels of enquiry from that group of prospects. The client needs to understand exactly what enquiry is out there and how it is coming to you at the moment. Have due regard for the time on market factors for the property type and the prevailing market conditions. Tell the client exactly how you will be attracting those prospects to the property.
Given all of the three points, you can now move into a summary of current and prevailing market conditions. Tell the client where the competing properties are currently located, and how they are being marketed. Give the client a summary of the time on market factors as they apply to those other properties still on the market.
Give the client some clear solutions relating to marketing. Vendor paid marketing should be the norm and not the exception when it comes to listing. Give the client three alternatives when it comes to vendor paid marketing and marketing costs. Invariably they will usually choose the middle solution.
The firm and resolute when it comes to the type of listing and the method of marketing. Exclusive listings are required to help you attract the necessary enquiry over the marketing period. All of your listing sales pitch should be geared to the dedicated focus and action generated from an exclusive listing.
In most listing situations, you can give the client a summation of price or rental as it applies to the listing process. Current market evidence and existing other properties will support your logic and recommendations.
As you move through all of the five stages, you can ask questions of the client to see how they relate to the information you are providing. Always make your presentation or pitch a two way conversation. Keep the client with you through the presentation logic and property recommendations.
Lastly it should be said that the typical property presentation should not go for an excessive period of time. In most cases the presentation should be completed within 20 minutes. If the client shows further interest or raises a extra questions, then the time can be extended to 30 minutes.
Keep to the point, and provide the right information for the client to make key decisions. Top salespeople do less than 40 per cent of the talking when it comes to a sales pitch or presentation. They get the client involved at all stages of the process. At the end of the presentation ask for a commitment. Most agents are afraid to ask for the listing.
When you do a commercial property presentation today to win a listing, the competition agents are likely to be ‘breathing down your neck’ and connecting with the client with all types of bonuses and ideas. On that basis your presentation just has to be the best and most relevant to the client.
Why are you the best agent to market this property? The client has to see the answer quite clearly and efficiently. Your presentation will do that.
Here are some common problems that we see in today’s market.
The competition agents will be chasing your client or prospect constantly for a listing. They will be filling the clients head with misinformation and ideas to destabilise your listing or opportunities.
The price or rent that you offer the client is likely to be different than that which they require. Show them some relevant market evidence to help them understand the circumstances of the market today.
The listing type that you need may not be what the client wants to give you. Always go for an ‘exclusive’ listing. Open listings are a great waste of your time and effort; if they sell or lease, it is more from luck than anything else.
Your fees in both commission and marketing can be a hurdle. Set fees that are based on a quality service and the time that you are going to apply to the listing. Tell the client how you will take their property to the market.
The method of sale or lease can be of concern to the client. They may not want to take too much risk in the sale or lease process. That being said, if you know the right way to sell or lease the property then have strong evidence to support your arguments.
Here are some presentation tips to use as you present your ideas to the client about their property and their needs today.
Do not use a fixed or written script that is likely to limit the presentation. Be open and natural as you talk to your prospects to show your confidence and knowledge that can help them. The confidence that they see from you will come from the body language and the words that you use.
Use all the clients’ senses to convey the message. Bring together two or more senses in your presentation so the client is involved and connected to your story. You can do that by giving them something to hold (a proposal) whilst you show them some images or photos of the property, and as you explain your ideas and strategies. Fully connect at all levels.
Have solid recommendations that are innovative and relevant to the best outcomes for the client.
Show them the competition properties that they are up against and how you can adjust around those issues.
Know the market and the relevant property solutions that are applicable to your market. It is notable that many agents and realtors are too general in the presentation. You must build your presentation on relevance and speciality that is connected to the property. The client has to see that you are the best choice of agent to help them.
When it comes to you the agent connecting with the client or prospect and pitching your commercial real estate services, practice and relevance will help you convert more listings in the right way and at the right time. In a tough commercial property market, you really do need top presentation skills to match your sales pitch.
Most quality property listings today are achieved through a competitive sales pitch or presentation process. Many other agents will be doing their variation of presentation to the same client before any agency appointment is decided and signed. Some of those other agents will also be offering discounts and incentives to influence the clients thinking.
In many cases, the client will have already decided on a particular agent before the presentations are made from all agencies. They will use the presentation process to satisfy their choices and make a final decision. It is the early relationships with the client that influence the decision they make in any competitive presentation. Top agents build relationships on a continual basis for this very reason. You need to do the same.
Here are some tips to help your presentation strategy in today’s property market.
Ensure that you have complete and comprehensive local market knowledge relative to the property type. You will need to know about prices, rentals, supply and demand, time on market, and current levels of enquiry.
Take the time to review the individual property and inspect it comprehensively before the presentation. That will also include a review of the other properties adjacent to and nearby the subject property. Look for any issues or relationships that will have impact on the subject listing.
Review all the other properties currently on the market in the local area. Look for challenges relating to quality, price, method of marketing, and availability. Your property listing may need to be adjusted around these other competing properties.
I’m not a big believer in the use of laptop computers as part of a commercial property presentation process, given that they are usually poorly handled by the relative salespeople. If anything they can be a big distraction to the client and confuse the message or sales pitch about the property. That being said, there is one strategy that really works with the use of a laptop computer. It is quite simple but very effective.
Take a significant number of photographs in and around the property together with other competing properties in the immediate adjacent area. You need probably 30 or 50 photographs for this process. Set the photographs up on the laptop so that you can run them from one folder as a continual automatic slide show.
When you get to meet with the client for the presentation, you simply let the slide show run automatically in the background as you talk to the client. The photographs help you in two distinct ways; they keep the attention of the client given that the photographs relate mainly to their property, and they also allow you to move in and out of points of discussion relative to any property matters in the photograph. Do not focus too much on the laptop and allow the client to glance at the photographs as you talk.