If you have chosen commercial real estate as your preferred career, you have likely done so for a reason. Perhaps someone has introduced you to the profession, or you have seen what some agents do and achieve in their career and you want to get similar results.
Many ‘Roads’ to Take in Commercial Property
Certainly there are many ‘roads’ of focus and activity to take in commercial real estate brokerage; all of those ‘roads’ are specialized in some way for both property type and location. All of those ‘roads’ involve client contact, personal performance, commissions, and listings.
You have to be a person that will focus personal effort into all of those things, and that is certainly the case if you want to get more or improved results from your industry and from your efforts over time.
You need a plan as an agent or broker, and that plan when started can be refined over time. The commissions come to those that work with professional skills that are improved over time. Are you that person?
Get More Real Estate Traction and Focus
Here are some ideas to help you get more traction in your career as an agent or broker, and attract better levels of commissions:
Specialist skills – choose the property types that you understand and can match your professional skills into. Boost your skills through practice. There is no point specializing in something that sells or leases in low volume. Look at the end result of what could happen in your property specialization. Improve your skills through deliberate effort.
Local area – choose the local area that shows the best possibilities for your efforts over time. Review the streets and precincts. Look at the buildings and investment properties in the chosen location.
Owners, Tenants and Business owners – you can work for clients in all 3 of these categories, but in saying that, each category requires understanding and unique qualities of service. Given your location, how much business could you extract from the segments? You could be an agent for landlords, tenants, buyers, or sellers; match your services into the segments that you prefer and then prospect the segments comprehensively in an ongoing way.
Referrals – when you know a customer or client with reasonable familiarity, the referral process gets a lot easier. Encourage your clients to tell you about other people that they know who may be interested in property investment.
Repeat business – some clients will transact commercial property in a number of different ways over time. That is especially so if they own multiple properties or a portfolio. Review your clients on that basis.
Quality properties – work with the better quality properties as they will attract more inquiry and that will lead to a better churn of listings and properties. As you work with more listings piggy back your listings and inquiries so you can move an inquiry from one property to another and eventually find the right solution for the buyer or tenant.
A quality database – review the database software that you use an understand its potential for you in finding the right people to transact real estate in some way. Spreadsheets don’t offer a complete level of coverage; the larger that they get, the more difficult it is in finding the right people to match into a property listing or inquiry.
There are some special things that you can do here with a listings and commissions focus. If commercial real estate is your career, then the elements mentioned here will be vital to the outcomes that you seek. Refine them and improve them over time. Top agents are created and shaped over time; luck has nothing to do with the process. Your career and its results are influenced by deliberate choices and refined actions.
In commercial real estate brokerage today don’t take too long to take the required actions to boost your marketplace and client penetration. Get involved with your market so that you can identify the right property listings and the quality properties to work with over time.
There are plenty of good listings available for the agents that focus their prospecting efforts. It just takes a plan and a process of action.
Here are some valuable ideas to help you take deliberate action to boost your marketing profile and listing opportunities:
Any listed property in your location is an excuse for you to talk to the surrounding property owners. On that basis you can market yourself to the adjoining or nearby owners of properties listed with other agents. It is quite common that nearby owners will seek to compete from a sales or leasing perspective with the listed property nearby. You can be the brokerage solution to that process and have a signboard on that alternative property promotion at the same time as your competing agents.
Devote 2 or 3 hours per day to the prospecting and marketing process. There is absolutely no reason why you should be in the office sitting behind a desk unless you have a deal to negotiate or a client to meet. The rest of the time you should be out of the office talking to new people and finding new opportunities. That should be your focus for 2 or 3 hours per day.
Make plenty of calls every day to new people. Use your mobile telephone comprehensively and directly as part of a cold calling process to people within your property market. Make plenty of outbound calls every day, and as part of that have a focus on creating new meetings. Make it a personal target to establish two new meetings per day with new people.
Identify the best properties and the best clients. Undertake the required research of your property location and your targeted territory of listings. Understand exactly where the best properties are located and as part of that process determine who the owners are in each case. When you focus on the quality side of new property business and listing generation, the inbound enquiries tend to be more substantial over time. That can then help you rise to the top of your property market as an industry specialist for the location.
Ask for referral business as part of client interaction. With every positive client and prospect meeting, there is the opportunity to ask for referral business. It is far easier to convert commercial real estate business from referrals than it is from the cold calling or direct prospecting process. Merge the referral business process into your client and prospect interaction. One successful contact can lead you towards many other property owners and business decision makers.
So there are some very specific things that you can do here in commercial real estate brokerage as part of boosting your personal profile and market share. The best way to do that is by taking immediate action in your local market place, your town or your city. Talk to plenty of people in an ongoing way.
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Every so often you will hear some agent or broker say that ‘cold calling doesn’t work’. They are of course giving themselves some reason to not make the calls and avoid the process.
It is a fact that the top agents of the market are not afraid to make lots of calls every day to new people. The important issue here is that they are talking to both new people and current contacts. They are growing relationships on a daily basis.
Our industry is based on relationships. Get to know many property investors, tenants, business owners, and property developers. Keep in contact with them for the long term. Trust is a big issue when it comes to attracting new listings to your agency or brokerage. It can take months if not years for some prospects and clients to be in a position to move on a property matter.
So here are some detailed cold calling tips to help you grow your real estate business:
Determine your market area and targets. The market area is likely to be a part of a town or city and that should be determined by boundaries. Stay within your boundaries and get to know all the properties and property owners inside the zone. The targeted properties are likely to be by type and size. On that basis travel the streets in your sales and leasing territory. Find the quality properties and network the property owners and or landlords.
Call times should be set that work for your business and the people that you should be talking to. Ideally you should be making calls for 2 or 3 hours every day. That will take some discipline in your diary. Don’t let others interfere with your prospecting plans and efforts.
Record your numbers relating to calls out, calls connected, meetings arranged, and listings created. Over time you will see those numbers improve. The improvement can be fast tracked through practice each morning when you first arise.
A conversational approach works better in prospecting. Don’t pitch in any way; you really have no idea of the needs of the other person, so a conversation will get you further into understanding future opportunity.
Get a good database to track your call results. Simplicity and flexibility are important with a database. Protect your data and keep it up to date.
If you want more listing and commission business in commercial real estate brokerage, you will get there a lot faster with a professional approach to cold calling. Understand that most brokers avoid the process, and on that basis it can be a major source of leads and new business for you. Remain confident and make more calls.
In commercial real estate you will get a lot of leverage from market intelligence and local property knowledge. This then says that you really do need to know the things that are going on in your real estate zone or listing patch. That may be an entire town or a portion of a city.
At the basic end of ‘market intelligence’ you really must have a good understanding of these things:
Properties currently listed for sale or lease with all agents
Properties being marketed by owners and landlords directly
Businesses seeking to expand or contract in property use or occupation
Time on market for listings today and historically
Selling and leasing seasons of activity
Prices of properties sold
Rentals of properties leased
The key property investors that own the high quality properties
The larger businesses that operate in the area
The levels of enquiry coming into your office for various property types
The types of properties that people are looking for
Property developers that act on new opportunities locally
Solicitors with property related clients
Accountants with clients that may need property help or guidance
Connecting with these people will help you build market share. Over time they will need the help of a specialised agent or broker.
When salespeople new to the industry first start their prospecting, they find that it takes time to meet the right people and create meetings. They struggle and they can feel rejected given that most of the prospects that they talk to will not require property help at that time. That rejection is just fine and quite normal; the cycle of commercial real estate activity is long and takes time to evolve.
Do your research. Connect with the right people every day and stay with them for the long term. Relevance and consistency in prospecting are the keys to winning new commercial real estate business.
You can use market information for leverage. Here are some ideas on that:
The solicitors and accountants in your area will have clients that need property help or may own the larger high quality properties. It takes time to win the trust of these professionals because they will want to protect their clients from any ‘unprofessional’ agents and brokers. You look at these solicitors and accountants as targets for the long term value that they can give you. It is likely that they will firstly ‘test’ you on a difficult project or client. When you show your real skill and knowledge, the extended business will come your way.
The properties listed with other agents will give you a reason to talk to other property owners in the same street. Some of them may wish to compete with the nearby listing.
Gather your market information and then use it to the best of your ability. Get leverage into your sales and leasing territory.
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.
When the commercial real estate market gets slow or becomes tougher, you still need buyers to act on any property that is taken to the market. Unfortunately there are fewer buyers around today and on that basis most negotiations are slower and more protracted. Qualified buyers are at a premium and highly desirable contacts to constantly network. Here are some tips from our weekly newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.
It should be said that better quality properties will always produce better prospects and potential buyers. If you selectively work on the better listings, your chances of success as the local commercial agent will be greater even in a slower market.
Local Area Focus
At times it is best for the commercial real estate agent to focus on locating qualified buyers in the local area.
Providing the property is suitably structured and attractive, there will always be buyers available; the packaging of the marketing process becomes very important here to activate the enquiry and leverage more inspections. To find buyers in this property market today, the following are some important ideas to implement.
If you undertake any inspection on existing property, the full details of the inspecting party should be maintained for future reference and opportunity. After the initial contact with this person, and presuming they did not buy the first property they inspected, you should be in contact with them on a regular basis to maintain the momentum towards property purchase.
Attend the auctions of other agents in your local area. You will then see some other buyers that may be considering a purchase currently. If the property was sold under the hammer, you can directly approach the unsuccessful buyers to see if they are willing to work with you to find another property. If the property was not sold under the hammer, the same process should apply.
Your existing clients and prospects will be a source of referral business. Maintaining contact with them will allow you to expand your database through their referrals. It is far easier to convert new business from a referral than it is to undertake cold call prospecting on a new person. Always be prepared to ask for the referral business at every opportunity.
Existing property investors in the local area will buy more property from time to time to strengthen their local property portfolio. On average they do so about every four or five years. These investors understand the local area, the prices, the rents, and the opportunity from the business community. Keep in contact with property investors locally on an ongoing basis so that you can tap into this portfolio growth.
Local businesses that occupy premises as tenants are always a source of good buying opportunity. They understand the local area and have already established their business profile. Providing their business is reasonably successful and active, they will be good candidates for purchasing a property at the right time in the future. Always stay close to the local businesses and tenants.
All of these above categories should be entered into a personally maintained database. This allows you to keep in contact on a regular basis. It has been shown that contact made directly with your prospects at least every 90 days or less is highly effective in converting new business. You can get our Newsletter here. You can check out our main website here at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/