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.
In commercial real estate agency it is common for the property owner to put you under some pressure to accept their price or rental in a listing situation. If you do that, you will commonly finish up with a listing that is over the mark or could contain errors. A listing with problems will not sell or rent well and can be on your books for a long time.
The key facts should always be known when you list commercial property. Investigate everything before you comment on price or rent. For example:
A lease in a property may be a positive or negative when it comes to the potential sale, and you will need to look at the lease to understand those facts before the listing is marketed.
The property itself may have issues of ownership or orders and notices that can impact the sale process. In all cases you should do a title search and a detailed property search at the local council before you complete the listing.
The improvements in a property may have compliance issues with the building codes, or orders may have been issued on the property for alterations to certain issues.
So the list can go on. Asking questions of the property owner is a good thing, but sometimes they do not have all the answers or know about the issues. For that reason you should ask for more time in the listing process.
Here is a checklist that can help you with some of the bigger concerns when listing a commercial or retail property today:
Get copies of the leases for the property and in the property so you know what impact they can have on the sale or lease process. Look at the critical dates in the leases in case they require response or action before the marketing of the property.
Notices and orders may have been issued on the property by the local council or building authority. The client should normally know about these things however a checking process at the local council will be a wise move.
Boundary issues relating to the borders between adjacent properties should be checked. That may require you to get a copy of the latest survey plans that apply to the area. If any questions appear regards boundaries, then the client should get a survey check done as required.
Property usage currently should comply with the existing tenancy or ownership. Property usage will or should comply with the requirements set out in the local zoning planning regulations.
Tenant lease issues can vary enormously from property to property and tenancy to tenancy. This says that you should be comfortable in reading and interpreting lease documentation. When in doubt see a good solicitor that understands the property type and the leasing process.
Outgoings and other property operating expenses will vary from property to property, although they should compare on average to other properties of similar type and size. This is where your local property knowledge is quite important in the listing phase.
Improvements in the property should be checked for relevance to the target market, building code compliance, and existing property usage. Look for any improvements that could require upgrade or refurbishment prior to the marketing process commencing.
This list can be expanded given the property location, the property type, and the improvements. It is best to have a questioning approach to the listing process so you can get issues and hurdles out of the way prior to the marketing process.
In this commercial real estate market, the competition is fierce and the quality of enquiry coming back to you is selective. That being said, you should never ‘wing’ your presentations and inspections of properties.
You can do far too much damage to your chances of winning the deal or the listing. You can also send out the wrong message when it comes to your skills and relevance to the client or the prospect that you are presenting to.
What’s going on?
This property market is significantly competitive. Many of the agents you are up against will choose to use discounts and other enticements to influence the listing or the decision of the client.
On that basis your presentations need to be carefully planned and relevant to the solution that the client requires. That is why you cannot ‘wing it’ when it comes to your presentations.
Most clients today will initially be influenced by statements such as the following:
Low marketing costs
Availability of immediate property inspections
Open vs. exclusive listings
To help with the entire sales pitch and presentation process you can specifically discount all of these distractions providing you plan your presentation for the property and the client. Best results will be obtained when you completely understand the focus of the client and the challenges that are troubling them.
Set up your Checklist Strategy
Here is a checklist that you can apply to a planned sales pitch and presentation process. Into this model you can feed elements of the local property market and the particular property.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: Define or restate to the client the challenges that you know they are facing. Clarity is important here so that they can see you fully understand their opinions and concerns. Generally they will be focusing on the expected outcome of price or rental, and the time required to achieve a satisfactory outcome. Part of that process will also involve the money required to market the property in the best way possible. It should be said that vendor paid marketing is the norm and not the exception. Always ask for a reasonable amount of vendor paid marketing.
COMPETITION: Be quite clear to the client when it comes to the competing properties in the local area and the achieved prices and rentals of similar properties over the last 12 months. Market evidence is a powerful tool if you use it correctly.
GET THE FACTS: A detailed inspection of the property prior to your sales presentation will allow you to build on the features of the property that you know will help you convert enquiries to potential sales or leases. Show the client that you really understand the factors of the property that will help convert a positive result.
SHOW THE STAGES: Prepare a timeline to the process of listing, marketing, inspecting, and negotiating. The timeline should be a visual process incorporated into your proposal documentation. You can use a Gantt graph for this process. One simple graph is far more powerful than five or six pages of your proposal document. Strategy is everything in this tough property market. Show the client that you really understand the right strategy for the property and can implement it conveniently and efficiently.
PICTURES: Take plenty of digital photographs in and around the property prior to the final sales presentation. Those digital photographs can be automatically scrolled on your laptop computer whilst you talk about the property and the solutions that will fit the client. It is remarkable how much positive attention and client focus these photographs will provide to your presentation.
A good sales pitch or presentation to list a property takes about 1 hour. Many clients will try to compare your presentation to other competing agents. Providing you have comprehensively covered these five items above, the client will find it very hard to overlook the strategies that you are providing.
There are lots of commercial real estate salespeople and agents around the local property market. Some of them are less professional than others, and the best top agents will be few and far between. When it comes to a sales pitch for listing presentation, you have to connect with the client and convey your credibility and experience in an effective way. You will be up against some top agents.
The good thing is that most agents take a generic approach to the sales pitch process. That means your presentation can be more successful if you choose to make specific steps in building your credibility and showing it in your sales pitch or presentation.
What Does the Client Want?
When it comes to selling and leasing commercial or retail property, the one thing that really matters to the client will center on the success of the process. They need to see that you have the experience, tools, and strategy to make the sale or leasing process as fast and as painless as possible. They want the right agent with the dominance in the market and the credibility to make the process work.
Ultimately they want the best price or rental, but they also need a reasonably short time on market. They understand that the longer the property remains on the market, the more difficult it will be in attracting new and fresh inquiry.
To lift your credibility as a specialist commercial agent in your sales pitches the following factors will be of great assistance.
Show the client similar properties that you have successfully transacted in recent time. Give them details of the time on market, the starting price or rental, and the end result. Emphasize the strategies necessary to complete the transaction quickly and effectively.
Show the client some comparable properties in the local area that are just not selling or leasing. These properties will be with the other agents in the local area and on that basis should be suitably explained. Tell the client why you believe these listings are not moving and how those other agents have got the wrong processes underway.
Explain to the client the recent levels of enquiry that you have had from buyers and tenants for similar properties. You should be able to provide specific case studies of the requirements of some of these parties. Show them the size of your database.
Pricing and rentals should be broken down to a unit level; in this way you can compare properties of different sizes in the same general location. That analysis will be per square foot or per square metre as the case may be. You can then also relate to the cost of replacement of the improvements on various properties; split the properties into levels of relevance.
Take digital photographs around the client’s property and then compile a slide show of photographs that can run on your laptop whilst you are making your presentation. Make sure that the slides running automatically are only photographs. Do not attempt to put any words into the slides process; just use the photographs as trigger points for discussion and let them roll through continually during your presentation. For a typical commercial property, a selection of 30 or 40 photographs will be adequate.
Show the client how you will be inspecting the property with potential tenants or buyers as the case may be. Give details of the features of the property that will be emphasized in your inspections and in the marketing process.
Give samples of relevant advertising that can apply to the client’s property when you take it to market. Itemize the trigger points and focus points that should be featured in the advertising.
Provide a timeline to show the client exactly how you will be preparing the property for marketing and how you will then be taking it to the market as part of a dedicated and specially designed campaign.
All of these things help you build credibility as a specialist commercial agent. Show that you are fully prepared to take on the subject property with all its challenges and attributes. Confidence and strategy will underpin your market knowledge and allow the client to see that you are really the agent of choice when it comes to the property solution that they require.