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.

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.

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.

Laws of Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

business woman on a telephone headset
Build your commercial real estate prospecting into your diary and do it every day at the same time.

In today’s commercial property market, listings and commissions can be a bit challenging.  That being said, top agents know how to prospect on a regular basis and build their pipeline of opportunity.  It is the pipeline that helps them with quality listings stock and qualified buyers or tenants.

In any property market, the prospecting process or system that you adopt should be well managed and implemented on a daily basis.  Prospecting is not something that you can do once a week, or when you get sufficient time.  It is also something that should not be delegated over to someone else; far too many agents are remote and distant from their market for this very reason.

It is interesting to note that so many agents and realtors will overlook the prospecting process if they have other things to do that they consider more important.  This single one decision impacts their future business in a major way.

Top agents prospect every day regardless of market conditions.  They know that the prospecting process will reap benefits over time.  Developing the habit of prospecting and cold calling takes significant effort on a personal basis.  That is where many salespeople struggle and give up.

Here are some tips to help you establish your prospecting model in your local property market place.

  1. Take charge of your time and commit to prospecting for 2 hours every day.  Choose the same 2 hours where you believe you can connect with your group of prospects and business owners.  In the space of 2 hours you should be using the telephone as the primary and introductory point of contact.
  2. When you make the cold call over the telephone, you are simply seeking to understand if the person has a need or an interest.  Many people will not require your services now or in the future.  The cold call that you make should filter those people out of your database list.
  3. As a general rule, you should never pitch or sell your services over the telephone.  That does not work in commercial real estate given that the services you offer are quite complex.  To help you here I go back to the point that your telephone call is simply to see if the person has a need or an interest.
  4. The dialogue that you use in the telephone call should be friendly and conversational.  To achieve this advantage you will need to develop your script and practice the words.  When the words you use become natural as part of the conversation, your conversions to meetings in and from the telephone call will escalate.
  5. Set yourself some targets to be actioned as part of the call process.  That will normally be the number of outbound calls, and the number of meetings achieved.  Typical ratios will be one or two meetings from 40 or 50 calls.  In making 40 or 50 calls you will not get through to that many people.  In fact you will only get through to maybe 20 people at the most.  On that basis you need to be prepared for the well-known rejection factor.
  6. Keep your prospecting and call processes organised so that you can follow up old clients and people spoken to previously.  At some stage in the future, they are likely to be prospects for active property activity.
  7. When you have done your daily calls, you can get out of the office and into the sales territory for any meetings that can occur.  Meet more people at every opportunity.

The prospecting process in commercial real estate is quite specific and specialised.  That is why it never pays to pass the task on to someone else.  Passing the ‘buck’ and avoiding the issue simply doesn’t work.  Top agents do their own prospecting on a daily basis understanding that they can achieve significant market knowledge and advantage from talking to other people.

Commercial Realtors – Get Referral Leads from Old Clients

business man and woman talking
Ask for the referral business with your old clients. They know valuable people to make contact with.

In commercial real estate we need leads and lots of them.  Every avenue of opportunity should be taken to see what listing or transaction is possible.  In this market we should leave no stone ‘unturned’.  A sale can lead to a lease (or vice versa), and either can lead to a property management appointment.  Good service and quality follow-up with our clients always positions us for the future.

One of those very valuable sources of opportunity is ‘old clients’ from closed and completed transactions.  If we served those clients well from the very start, it is likely that two things will happen:

  • We will get some referral business
  • We will get some repeat business from the same client

We can do a lot with established relationships with clients and old clients.  It is just a matter of deliberate focus.  So the question is how do we keep the relationships active and fruitful?

Here are some ideas to help you build a ‘pipeline’ of relationships with clients and keep the ‘doors open’ for the long term.

  1. Industry briefings are always useful.  So much is going on in the market that clients find up to date information on trends and strategies very useful.  Guest speakers can be sourced to speak at quarterly events or evening property briefings.  Those speakers could include a property solicitor, accountant, developer, financier, and taxation specialist.  When you add people from your team to the group of speakers you have a very powerful selection of experts to talk about the local property market today.
  2. Newsletters should be sent monthly to all clients and contacts.  That will also include new people that are being contacted as part of the teams prospecting activities.  The newsletters can be sent by email or post.  The choice is yours and should be based on what works for you.  Quality is the key to maintain readership.
  3. Property listings should be sent weekly by email to those people that have agreed to get the information.  It is best to send no more than 8 listings in each email sent.  In that way you have a greater chance of the content being read.  If you work with different property types, you could send the property emails in groups based on the interests of the reader (retail, industrial, or office property).
  4. Constant contact every 90 days with clients and previous contacts.  It has been proven that the constant contact approach every 90 days converts to meetings quite well if you keep the contact up.
  5. Cross sell your services from sales, to leasing and property management at every opportunity.  One transaction will lead to another if you keep the doors open and the discussions on track.

If you have not kept in contact with your old clients, then now is a good time to start.  In difficult property markets every lead should be encouraged and built on.

Commercial Agents – The Frustrations of Prospecting for Commercial and Retail Property Listings

commercial real estate agent prospecting
Get your prospecting system going

When you work as a salesperson or agent in commercial real estate, the prospecting process can be very frustrating.  That is because it is not easy and it does require practice and real focus.  Some people find those two things really hard to achieve on a regular basis.    Here are some tips from our regular bulletin for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

The good agents prospect every day for about 2 or 3 hours.  When this becomes a habit in your business processes and diary, the market opportunities start to evolve.  Given that your salary usually revolves around commissions, this is a good thing.

Having seen many salespeople struggle with the issue and most not handling it well, I have developed a set of rules to help the process for those that want to get ahead.

When you follow the rules, things start to happen.  I want to share those with you now:

  1. Prospecting and cold calling is the single most important thing that you should do every day.  There are no short cuts; just research and do the work.  That being said, it is best to get your ordinary business day very organised so that the same time frame is set aside for you to prospect and cold call.   Research does not fit into that time frame; researching the people to call takes time and should occur in the evening the night before you make your calls.  The internet and the business telephone book will be good sources of opportunity if you use them methodically.
  2. There are only a few simple things that will make a lot of difference to your career in the industry.  Prospecting is always number 1 on the list.  Presentation and negotiation skills fall at numbers 2 and 3.  As you can see, the industry is quite simple if you break it down to the main categories.  So what should you do with items 1, 2, and 3?  You should practice them on a regular basis.  The process of practice will fast track the results that you get.
  3. The process of prospecting involves contacting lots of people on a regular basis.  Some of those people will have no interest or need for your services and on that basis should be dropped from ongoing contact.  Others will have a need one day, and on that basis you will need to talk to them at least every 90 days until you can get a meeting and put a ‘name to a
    face’.  This industry is all about relationships, and meetings are really important to start that.
  4. As you prospect with new people, expect that most people will not want to talk or meet with you.  That is quite OK given that you do not want to waste your time (or theirs).  Look at ‘rejection’ as a simple process of advantage that allows you to talk to other people and find the right opportunities.

If you prospect well, you will build a good market share faster than those that struggle to organise themselves.  Are you up to the challenge?  I hope so.

Need some more tips to handle prospecting in commercial real estate sales or leasing?  Get our bulletin here.

Cold Calling Success Tips for Commercial Property Agents

business man on mobile phone
Cold Calling is a real skill that needs to be mastered.

When you work as a commercial or retail property agent, the process of cold calling should feature in your diary on a daily basis.  If and when that does occur, you will see that the property market will open up with new leads and opportunities.  Here are some tips from our recent Newsletter to Agents and Salespeople in Commercial Real Estate.

To be good at prospecting and cold calling it pays for you to develop a system that you can stick to.  After a short period of time that system becomes second nature in your diary and new business evolves.  It is up to you as to how you approach the system for yourself, but here are a few ideas that I have seen work for many others in commercial real estate agency.

A word of advice

Before I go further, I should say that many agents hate the cold calling process and that is because they cannot take the rejection factors and the disciplines that come with the process.  To beat this problem it is necessary that you create a mindset of making calls to see if the person has a property need or an interest.  If they have no need or requirement to talk to you, then simply move on.  There are a lot of people out there that you can talk to.  There is no need to push the envelope if someone is not receptive to your approach.

Tips for making prospecting calls:

  1. Choose a time of day that works for you to make the calls.  Make sure that you can stick to the time and that nothing (including clients and the boss of the office) will detract you from the process.
  2. In commercial real estate it is generally best to make the calls first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  You will need about 2 hours for the process.
  3. You do not really need scripts that are rigid and sound ‘canned’.  It is better that you choose words that suit you and the people that you call.  Rarely will someone else’s script suit you and your business style.
  4. If you can get the words and scripts of others, take the time to review them and turn them into your words.
  5. Get a simple database system that you can use to record the information from your calls.  Given that you will be speaking to many people, some of them you will decide are future prospects and on that basis should be contacted frequently.
  6. Put yourself into the prospecting process.  Clients ‘buy’ you and your knowledge; they do not generally select an agency on brand or market dominance alone.  At the end of the pitch and presentation process they select you because they think that you are the ‘real deal’ and will help them solve their problem.  That is why agents with a poor attitude that cannot connect with clients do not succeed.
  7. Research material will always help you build your market share.  Everything from the daily newspaper, to magazines, internet websites, referrals, and walking the streets will help you identify prospects to call.

So if you believe that you have what it takes to do all of this, then proceed with a passion of taking action.  After about 3 or 4 weeks of prospecting every day, you will have some results and you will know that you are on to the right track.  Persistence pays in all things, and you have the key to persistence.

Need some help on making cold calls?  Get our regular tips here.