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4 Essential Prospecting Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

business woman sitting at table
Develop effective prospecting systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage.

Every commercial real estate agent should have a prospecting model.  In an ongoing way they should be connecting with new people each and every day.  That can be a challenge for some brokers and agents as they balance workloads and property listings.  The fact of the matter is that we should all be careful when it comes to personal time focus and client commitment.

Attract and Focus on the Best Properties and Clients

We should be focusing all or our prospecting activities and model on the best opportunities and the best clients locally.  Applying that back to the beginning of the contact pipeline cycle, we should be concentrating our prospecting skills into the best segments of the market and particularly the best people owning an occupying the prime buildings and the prime properties.

We all get our fair share of poor quality listings and redundant properties.  That being said, we do have a few choices to make when it comes to accepting a listing and working for a particular client.  As you grow your market share, be increasingly selective as to the properties that you list, and the clients that you work for.

Size Matters

The larger properties and the better listings will always create better enquiry churn and activity from your marketing activities.  If you focus on the higher quality listings within a location, the levels of enquiry will always be higher, more active and interesting.  That is how you can build a pipeline of investors and prospects faster within a location.

Here are some ideas to help you improve your prospecting activities within your town or city:

  1. COVERAGE: Understand the coverage of your prospecting activities. There is no point in spreading your prospecting activities across a huge area or a large town.  You have limited resources and time to cover the market.  Consider your territory and split into priority precincts of prospecting focus.  You should have your primary zone of prospecting.  Most of your new business should come from that defined area.  Everything else outside a primary zone will be a secondary focus; listings may come to you from the secondary zone but you would not specifically prospect into the secondary zone.  Understand your time as a resource, and focus all of your prospecting on a time basis into the primary precinct of property activity.  Typically you will need about 2500 properties to focus on in that primary precinct so you will need to get organised.  Over the year you can get to know all of the best property owners, the business leaders, the lease expiry dates, and investment opportunities.
  2. LOCAL PROPERTY: Focus within particular property types locally. When you focus your prospecting activities within a particular property type, you can get to know exactly what’s happening when it comes to prices, future supply, and time on market, contracts, and leasing.  You can also predict what challenges may exist when it comes to the segment and the location.  That then allows you to adjust your marketing activities and any negotiation factors that arise.
  3. PRIME PRECINCTS: Get to know the owners of quality properties in prime locations. As a commercial real estate specialist, you will already be focusing on certain segments of properties such as office, industrial, or retail.  Within those segments, identify a small group of prime properties locally.  Determine the ownership identity of those properties and make contact.  Connect with the owners and build relationships at professional level.  Understand that those property owners are likely to be talking to many local agents, so your connection will need to be comprehensive and professional at all levels.
  4. THE BIG END OF TOWN: Track the property ownership and occupancy activities of the larger businesses and corporations in your primary prospecting precinct. Certain businesses will be more successful than others and therefore more active when it comes to property.  Certain industries will be looking for resolving factors of expansion and contraction.  You can and should focus your prospecting into the active segments of the local companies and businesses.

These four simple approaches to commercial real estate prospecting will help you find the right people to talk to in a timely and ongoing way.  Focus on building relationships.  As a general rule, don’t list or work with low quality listings unless there is a bigger agenda to support the approach.

Understand that your pipeline of prospecting will be an ongoing event and will require a commitment at a personal level to keep up the momentum and the persistence.  Over time you should be talking to many hundreds of people in an ongoing and relevant way.

Keep it moving

Connect with all the people in your database at least once every 90 days.  When you can identify a property need or challenge, the frequency of contact will be shortened to monthly or even weekly.

Relevance is the key to making the contact prospecting process work effectively with reasonable levels of conversion.  The relationships and the trust that you build through that regular contact will eventually lead to listings and property requirements.  That’s how any top agent will build market share and grow market relevance.

You can get more prospecting tips for commercial real estate brokerage in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.

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Develop Some Simple Territory Tactics in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Commercial Real Estate Territory Planning
Commercial Real Estate Territory Planning

In commercial real estate today there are all types of properties to work on as well as zones of activity.  The opportunities are out there.  That being said I get a lot of questions from new agents as to how they can tap into their property market effectively and directly.  Some simple strategies will help.  I have put together these notes on how that should be done.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in commercial real estate sales, leasing, property management, or tenant advocacy; the same rules apply.  You can get my base territory planning strategy here in pdf form.

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Why More Appointments are Required in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Prospecting

real estate appointment generation
Commercial real estate training by John Highman

 

In commercial real estate brokerage most of the new business that you create will be through ongoing prospecting and appointment creation. If you are finding that the property market is a bit tough or slow, then take a serious look at your prospecting model and activities on a daily basis.

  • Can your processes be improved?
  • Can you spend more time on connecting with the right people in the right way?
  • How will you show them your relevance as an agent for the location and the property type?

They are interesting questions that all require specific answers.

In this Appointments are Everything in Commercial Real Estate I have covered some specific ideas relating to appointment generation and direct prospecting in our industry.

The ideas will help you get back in to the key issues of the market and property opportunity existing. There will always be people looking for solutions and strategies surrounding office, industrial, and retail property. They need experts to help them move through the challenges and the stages of investment property improvement or occupation.

Why are you special?

The clients and the property prospects in the market today need to know who you are, why you are so special, and how you can help them specifically with property market trends and opportunities. The personal marketing process and requirement in today’s commercial real estate brokerage is very high and specific.

The skills required in selling, leasing, or property management activity today are quite specific and direct. Gone are the days of generic Property Marketing and openly listing properties. Exclusivity is the only way to dominate market share over time. Actively pursue the Appointments are Everything in Commercial Real Estate as part of your property presentation pitch and presentation.

You can get our free online Commercial Real Estate e-course right here.

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Tips for Making Successful and Professional Cold Calls in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

black telephone
Make more high quality cold calls in commercial real estate.

 

In commercial real estate brokerage the cold calling process is an essential part of new business generation. Making direct cold calls is a real skill and requires personal effort and systematisation.

 

One of the most important factors to help when it comes to telephone prospecting and new business generation is that of practice. Making telephone calls in this way does not come easily to many people. Most agents and brokers will struggle when it comes to the right words and phrases to use when telephone marketing. Regular daily practice can help when it comes to call conversions and meeting opportunity. The more calls that you make, the easier the whole thing becomes. Over time you will feel comfortable when it comes to telephone prospecting.

 

Before going too much further here, it should be understood that the principal target of cold calling as an agent or broker is mainly to achieve meetings with people that could need professional property services in the future. To achieve that knowledge and to create those meetings with the right people requires a conversational approach, not pitch and push process. If you push too hard for business in any telephone call, it is likely that you will lose out on the conversation and the call will come to an end.

 

Here are some ideas to help you with your professional cold calling process and meeting conversions:

  1. Commitment – Commit a particular time of day to the process. The best time to make those calls will be first thing in the morning before other things take over your activities and focus. You will need to spend approximately 2 or 3 hours in making cold calls each working day. During that time you do need to have absolute focus on the process and avoid any distractions or diversions.
  2. Mindset – When you have the correct mindset to make the calls, conversions to meetings are a lot easier. The best mindset to use is that of confident questioning. You are simply making a call to understand if the person you are speaking to has an interest or a potential future need in commercial investment property into the future. If that is the case, then you have a reason to stay in contact and/or create a need for a meeting. As the local property expert, you have the professional skills and the market information that is valuable to the right people.
  3. Focus on Groups – In making your calls, focus on two distinct groups of people. Firstly you should be talking to all of the local business owners and business proprietors. Secondly you should be talking to all of the local property owners and investors. Within both segments you will find needs and opportunities when it comes to property selection, acquisition, and disposal.
  4. Database Software – Choose a database program to help you with tracking conversations and opportunities. The database that you choose doesn’t need to be expensive or complex. It does however need to be readily accessible and user-friendly. Every day you should be shaping and changing the detail within the database subject to recent conversations and meetings with key people.

 

Taking these four simple factors into account, telephone prospecting and cold calling requires real personal effort and deliberate activity. There is no easy way to get around the process other than hard work and commitment. That is how you will find new business leads and opportunities in commercial real estate today. You can then professionally drive your business further when it comes to new clients and quality listings.

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Cold Calling Success in Commercial Real Estate Today

In today’s commercial real estate market there are so many challenges for agents to address and conquer.  On of the big ones is prospecting for new clients.  Cold calling helps the process greatly but so many agents struggle with the rejection factor and the organisation that is required on a personal basis.

Here are some tips on audio MP3 to help agents with their prospecting efforts and outbound calls.

If you want more resources you can get more tips like this at my main website on commercial real estate training.

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Straight Thinking Wins More Commercial Real Estate Business

telephone sitting on desk
Shift your mindset to make cold calling in commercial real estate more effective.

It is a fact that the way you think when you are prospecting will impact the results that you get.  This then carries through to the prospecting that you make in commercial real estate.

Has someone told you that you need to prospect and they have given you little facts on how to do it?  Perhaps they have told you to get out of the office and start doing something to build your market, yet the facts behind the process seems to be a bit lacking?

It is a very common issue that many salespeople do not know how to prospect at all very well.  They simply know that they must lift the telephone and talk to prospects and more new people to see if there is a problem that they can solve.

To help the process here are some rules to help you get better results in commercial real estate prospecting.

  1. It is extremely important to start a contact and prospecting system that you can work to every day at the same time.  As part of that process you will need a few tools to use and stick to such as a database or spread sheet to record your contacts.
  2. Track your numbers of outbound calls to meetings arranged.  Out of 40 or so calls, you should be establishing 2 or 3 meetings with people that you have not spoken to before.  It should also be said that you will not reach 40 people in all those calls; you will be lucky to reach 20.  Those that you cannot reach today can go into the system for call contact later.
  3. Protecting your thinking in call contact is very important; many people will decline your offer or your request for a meeting.  Over time your conversions to meetings will rise, however it is the first 3 weeks of making the calls where your thinking processes need to be protected.  Read some good books on making calls so you understand the importance of the mindset and thinking process in commercial real estate.
  4. Having a reason for the call will help your conversation.  If you do not know the person, the best approach is to see if they have a need or an interest in commercial real estate of any type.  It is a question that can lead into a telephone conversation.  As the local real estate agent, you can keep them updated with market trends and property changes in the local area.

I have coached many salespeople through the barriers of making cold calls.  Just about all of those barriers I have noticed are self-inflicted and self-generated with most salespeople.  Change your thinking and you will open more doors faster with the people that need your services.  Making cold calls professionally will fast track your career in commercial real estate today.

You can join our Newsletter right here and get more tips on Commercial Real Estate Agency Practice.

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Key Prospecting and Networking Tips for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate agent walking to appointment
Plan your prospecting and networking in commercial real estate agency today.

In commercial real estate today, the prospecting process is critical to your career.  On that basis, the earlier you start prospecting as part of your daily activities, the more successful you can be over time.  If you neglect your prospecting processes, you are doing yourself a lot of financial damage, and creating a loss of market share.  Over time you can be looking for another job!

It should be said that the prospecting process is quite hard for some salespeople and requires considerable focus.  It is hard in the sense that it is a process that not many salespeople are comfortable with or familiar with.  Essentially it is a new skill and requires discipline to create a new habit.  Prospecting does require a specific mindset that will allow the skills and momentum to improve into daily habits.

Finding the right people to talk to is all part of the prospecting process.  When you start talking to them, regular ongoing contact is the rule and not the exception.  This industry is based on personal ongoing contact and networking.  It is a people based industry.  It takes some time for the property owners and business proprietors to trust you sufficiently to help them with their property needs.  Commercial real estate is not an experiment; it is a specialized business process requiring expertise and knowledge.

Here are some tips to help you with your prospecting processes:

  1. The commercial real estate industry is built around local businesses and business people.  It is the business people that occupy the premises and pay the rental.  In starting your career, you can get a lot of information from local business proprietors.  They will also be excellent sources of leads and opportunity.  On a daily basis you should be talking to at least 10 to 15 business people as part of a new prospecting process.
  2. Property investors are on the lookout for quality properties and or future investments.  As you identify these people, your ongoing relationship with them should be nurtured for the opportunity and situation where you can help them.  In many respects, some of these investors are in contact with many agents at any one time.  For this very reason, your relationship needs to be stronger and more productive than those that the other agents may have with the same investor.
  3. Property owners will always be a target from a new business perspective.  The fact of the matter is that they are hard to find and hard to connect with.  In many situations the true owner of the property is hidden within a company structure or Property Trust.  Getting to the required person can be a frustrating process.  That being said, it still needs to occur and it is part of the prospecting process for each and every commercial salesperson.  Set yourself some simple benchmarks in regards to contacting these people and building relationships.
  4. Check out all of the significant local properties and local businesses.  They should all be entered into your prospects list and networked over time.  It may take some time for you to connect with the right person and or get the necessary meeting.  Persistence is the key to getting the results that you require.

Prospecting in commercial real estate does not need to be complex; it simply needs to be done.  When you establish your own prospecting system and merge it into your time management processes, you will find that the property market will open up with the opportunity that you need.

Need more tips for networking and prospecting in Commercial Real Estate Agency?  You can get them here at our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Networking Local Businesses for Real Market Opportunity

commercial real estate agent looking to the sky
Local business owners are a great source of leads and opportunity for commercial real estate agents.

When you work in a commercial real estate agency you can get a lot of valuable information from the local business owners.  For this reason they should feature in your cold calling efforts every day.

Many agents will focus on just property owners as part of their networking process for new business; whilst that in fine, the reality is that the process is hard and slow.  It takes a lot of time to find the right property owners and chase them down for a conversation.  I am not saying that you should not do it; I am just saying that you should mix it up a bit and add the local business owners into the networking process.

Talking to new people every day is part of building your business and your market share.  When you do this regularly you will find that the property market and opportunities within it will open up for you.

How do you do it?

So how do you get to these local business owners?  The easiest process is in using the local business telephone book.  You can also door knock the businesses locally on a street by street basis.  Either way the process is easy.

Many commercial real estate salespeople tend to analyse the process of networking far too quickly and critically.  They think that they should get results from just talking to just a few people.  That is not the case.  On average, you do need to talk to perhaps 40 people to get one opportunity.  For this very reason, the networking process should be a daily event and continue throughout the year.  Keep yourself organised as you speak to new people; gather any leads and information into your database.

Not interested?

Many of the people that you talk to will not be interested in commercial real estate. For this reason, you should simply be asking a few questions to see if they have a need or a future interest in commercial or retail property.  There will always be plenty of business owners and property owners to talk to providing you get yourself organised and talk to lots of new people.

Commercial real estate is a specialised part of the property industry.  Landlords, tenants, and business proprietors will need your assistance from time to time providing you show them your relevance and provide local market knowledge.

When you establish the initial connection with new people, and have satisfactorily qualified them as relevant to you, keep the contact open so they can find you when the commercial real estate need arises.  You should be networking all of your contacts at least once every 90 days.  That is the secret to building market share.

Through this connecting and networking strategy, the following information will help you with future business opportunities.

  1. The business owners will tell you what is going on in the local area.  They will likely know the intentions of some of their neighbouring businesses when it comes to property activity.  They will also have observed changes and pressures that exist with their neighbouring businesses.  Asking the right questions will help you here.
  2. Some of those business owners will be tenants in occupancy.  For this reason they will one day require potential relocation and or market information relating to rental and leases.  Building a relationship over time with these people will help you tap into that opportunity when the need arises.
  3. Some of those business owners may share information with you regards the landlord that owns the property in which they are located.  That can then short circuit the process of finding the property owner.
  4. Some businesses today will own the property in which they are located.  Over time they can have pressures of occupancy, expansion, contraction, or relocation.  They may also consider a sale and leaseback strategy.  You can help with all of these things.  It is simply a matter of building the right relationship.

Sometimes we tend to complicate the networking and cold calling process.  It is not hard or difficult, it is simply a system.  When you understand that, and develop your own processes within the system, you can create massive opportunity in your local property market.

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How to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Market Today

Commercial Real Estate Agent giving Ok handsign
Develop the right systems to take your commercial property market forward with real momentum as a Commercial Real Estate Agent.

When you work in commercial real estate agency, it is important that you have a prospecting model to support your momentum and market share.  This is a personal process, and has little to do with the agency that you work for.  The agency may provide you with some profile, but they would not normally produce the required levels of listing business that you require to be successful or gain the mantle as a top agent.

Here are some tips to help your commercial real estate activities in growing market share and listing activity.

  1. Determine the geographic area in which you can locate listings.  The geographic area should be split into two zones.  The primary zone is where you will get the majority of your listings, and the secondary zone is where you will get other listings.  All of your prospecting effort should be focused into the primary zone.  Anything that comes to you from the secondary zone is pure luck and a bonus.
  2. When you focus your marketing efforts into a specific zone, the area should have sufficient property types and property numbers to allow you to convert regular business over time.  As part of the process, look at the history of the area to ascertain the commissions and listings that have been transacted over the last few years.
  3. Within the primary prospecting zone, look at the business community and its current business sentiment.  What are the factors of change?  What are the things that are changing through their business community?  What can you do to attract property enquiry in your direction?
  4. Research the number of competing agents in your primary prospecting zone.  Who are the agents that are more successful than others, and why is that so?  Is there sufficient room for you to be competing with these other agents?  What will be the points of difference to differentiate you from these other established agencies?

In commercial real estate today, the general property market may be somewhat slower and tougher, however the opportunities still exist for those agents that can systemise their approach and drive some real momentum.

When you look at your average business day, there really are only two or three things that are quite important.  Those things should feature in your diary on a regular daily basis.

In almost all situations, prospecting will be number one on your list.  When that occurs each and every day, you will drive better market share and you will create more listings.  Over time that will help you become the top agent in the local area.  Action is more important than words in our industry, so set the rules to your business, and take consistent action.

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Getting Some Goal Leverage in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

hi rise office building
Set some significant goals to build your commercial real estate career today. Move to the top of your market faster with a plan.

When it comes to winning business in commercial real estate agency, you cannot do so easily without having a reasonable plan and process to support you.  As part of that activity, you will need goals.  Goals are like the points of the compass that take you forward into the industry and will help you track yourself towards being a top agent.

It is notable that many agents and salespeople formulate goals relative to their property type and career from time to time.  Rarely will they stick to the plan; in most cases, the plan will be relegated to the bottom of the filing cabinet after it is created.

If you’re going to create a list of goals and a plan to achieve them, you really do need to stick to the process and keep the momentum heading in the right direction.

Established goals and targets should be reviewed on a weekly basis.  That will then allow you to adjust your processes and focus.  The commercial and retail property market changes throughout the year and on that basis your goals and targets will need to be adjusted.

There is no point getting to the end of the year and making a new year’s resolution with fresh goals and targets relating to your career and commercial real estate.  If you cannot stick to the goal process today, there is no point in doing it in the future.  That being said, there is massive opportunity in the industry for those that can get organized and focused.

The top agents of the industry work to a plan and that is why they are successful.  They understand what is required of them on a daily basis to consistently control property enquiry and attract the right listings.  It is all a matter of focus and the correct action.

Any goals we make in commercial and retail property are impacted by the following changes in the market:

  1. Listing opportunities in the local area
  2. The competitive agents that we must work against
  3. The amount of enquiry coming into your office from marketing
  4. Your local office business identity of your agency and office
  5. The supply and demand for property in the local area given the existing property and any future new developments planned
  6. The conversion rates that you achieve from sales pitches and presentations
  7. The stability of the local business community and the factors of property change that are resulting from that business community
  8. Your personal prospecting processes that are consistently implemented on a regular daily basis
  9. The size of your database and the accuracy of the information contained within it
  10. The regional and global economy as it relates to property ownership and investment.
  11. The availability of funds to allow businesses and property investors to purchase and or occupy commercial property.
  12. The amount of tenant enquiry coming to agencies in your local area.

There is absolutely no way that you can predict these factors 12 months in advance.  That is why the goals and targets process must be continually shaped and adjusted throughout the year.

Small adjustments to your plan that are regularly undertaken, will allow you to adjust your systems and daily prospecting systems.  The real way to achieve success in this industry is through prospecting on a daily basis, and supporting the prospecting process with personal professional skills and comprehensive industry knowledge.

If you really want to move ahead in the industry as quickly as possible, setting significant goals and formulating a plan should occur right now, today.

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Commercial Property Managers – How to Attract New Property Management Clients Today

property manager and client meeting
Attracting new property management clients and portfolios will help you build a good commercial real estate agency.

In the commercial real estate industry it can be hard to establish a property management portfolio as part of your commercial real estate business.  It is hard for the simple reason that most property owners see the change of manager or agency just too difficult to implement.

In simple terms the property owner or landlord wants to protect their cash flow and consequently will not disturb their tenant mix.  Many a property owner will put up with a poor property management service to keep stability in their property.  That being said, a poor property management service will eventually self-implode and the property will suffer.

If you want to win new property managements from clients that are using another agent, it is best to create the relationship with the client and stay in touch for the time that the property owner is ready to move.

So now let’s look at some other strategies to take matters forward and help you establish a good property management portfolio.  The stability of fees and clients produced from the property management process will help you when the sales or leasing market becomes slower or more difficult.

Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Sales activity will always be an opportunity to pitch for a property management appointment.  This then says that every property you sell to a property investor is a great opportunity to present and pitch for the property management.
  2. The sales activity of other agents will also be a good opportunity to pitch for a property management.  If another local property is sold publically (such as at auction), it is quite easy to find out just who the buyer may be.  Make the contact and see if they will take a proposal from you to manage the property.
  3. Leasing activity will be a similar opportunity to pitch for the management of the property.  If you served the client well in the leasing appointment, they should take a proposal from you to manage.
  4. New property developments are great opportunities for management.  Check out the upcoming developments regularly at the local planning office.  Most property developers require a professional property manager to help them, simply for the aspect of perception.  It helps them lease the property to new tenants; that being said you should also pitch for the leasing appointment.
  5. Portfolio owners in your local area may own a number of properties.  They may use a number of property managers, however they will have a preferred manager that stands out as ‘professional’ and of ‘high quality’.   Get to know who these portfolio owners are and connect with them on a regular basis. Eventually they may let you pitch on some new management requirement.

The property management part of the industry is quite special and requires the right people.  Do not employ ‘juniors’ for the process without having some other ‘experienced’ managers in the team.  It is the experienced managers that can win the business given their market awareness and property management skills.

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Top Presentation Tips for Commercial Realtors

boardroom of an office
Be prepared for those tougher commercial real esate presenations in boardrooms.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Have solid recommendations that are innovative and relevant to the best outcomes for the client.
  4. 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.