How to Hire Experienced Salespeople in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

man and woman standing together
Hire the right people in commercial real estate brokerage.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the hiring of new salespeople will be a critical issue to support the flow of new listings and commissions into the business.  In any 12 month period, you will lose some of your sales and your administrative staff for uncontrollable reasons.  This then says that you must have a pipeline of recruitment underway.

Hiring experienced salespeople will have distinct advantages for you in the brokerage.  To allow the targeted process to occur, make sure that you understand and have identified the key players in the market.  Your competitors will have brokers and agents in employ that can be targeted.

Here are some of the advantages to employing experienced agents or salespeople with an industry profile and track record:

  1. The agents and brokers that are active in the market today will have an established personal profile that can easily transfer to another brokerage.  A top agent will usually have a database of contacts and prospects that will move with them.
  2. They will have established significant trust with a number of key clients in the local area.  Referral and repeat business should be achieved from that connection.
  3. They will have significant market knowledge, profile, and confidence when it counts.  They will have the correct strategies and solutions to use as part of the presentation and pitch for new business.  Most top agents should convert at least 65 per cent of the listings that they pitch for.
  4. A good agent will bring with them the advantages of greater success from working with challenging listings and difficult clients.  They will know how to handle those clients and those listings that need to be repackaged, restructured, differently marketed, or personally branded.
  5. The experienced salesperson that specializes in a property type will be very useful.  That is even more so the case when your brokerage doesn’t specialize in that property type currently.  The extra skills that are brought to the business will allow you to diversify and grow market share.
  6. If you pick up a new broker for your commercial brokerage business, it is a wise move to allow them to work the territory and the property type that they have built their market share around.  This may cause some difficulty with other employees that you have now in the same territory or patch.

So the logic here says that you can and should target experienced brokers and agents.  Choose the right people based on professional character, results, and market share.  Integrate them into your existing team so that the skill base and the database will be improved.

You can get more tips in our Newsletter at our main website here.

Staff Frustrations in Commercial Property Management Today

woman wrestling with cables
Choose the right commercial property managers

There is no doubt that commercial property management is very different to residential property management, yet so many real estate agents put their ordinary property managers (with only residential experience) on to the management of commercial or retail property.  The process sets the scene for incompetency; the problem is magnified when the property in question is retail given the uniqueness of retail property performance and tenant mix.

The two people that suffer through all this are firstly the property manager because they just do not know what to do and secondly the landlord because the property is poorly managed.   If the situation is not closely monitored the agency will lose a client and expose itself to the potential of litigation.

Agency principals beware; if you are going to manage any commercial or retail property, only do so with the right people and give them the knowledge to support you.

Without knowledge and experience in commercial property, residential managers find the change of property type really hard.  They just do not have the experience in the things that happen every day such as:

  • Vacancy management
  • Lease optimisation
  • Tenant mix strategies
  • Maintenance controls in larger properties
  • Budgeting property performances
  • Lease documentation and enforcement
  • Expenditure controls
  • Risk management
  • Landlord reporting
  • Supply and demand management of available space
  • Forms of lease documentation and negotiation
  • Critical date management from the leases
  • Rent review and renewal negotiations
  • Environmental and heritage issues
  • Lease assignments and sublets
  • Lease negotiations and variations with new tenants to the property
  • Essential services management and compliance to codes
  • Occupational health and safety

The list can go on into many different things and special challenges.  The larger the property that you manage, the more complex the issues that will have to be handled.

At the very centre of the commercial and retail property management processes and the basic keys to what you are attempting to do.  Here is a summary:

  1. Manage the tenants in the property to the rules of the leases and the occupancy codes applicable to the property and the location
  2. Maximise the income for the property given the local property market, the leases, and the focus of the landlord
  3. Control the expenditure of the property given the requirements of each lease and the authorities of the landlord
  4. Maintain the property to the targets of the client, the budget and the pressures of occupancy
  5. Integrate the property into the community and the business segments that it serves.
  6. Optimise the income through vacancy minimisation.

If none of this makes sense, then knowledge is required to build up the skills and processes in commercial and retail property management.  I did say earlier that retail property is very special; it requires a unique awareness of rents, tenant mix principles, and retail leasing property legislation.  When in doubt see a good property solicitor.

If you want to learn more about Commercial Property Management join our mailing list here and get our bulletin.

Lifting Productivity in Your Commercial Real Estate Team

Commercial Real Estate Sales Team
You must solve problems of productivity in the commercial real estate team the right way and do it fast.

There is no doubt that a commercial real estate office is a busy place with agents coming and going at all times of day.  The situation gets worse the more salespeople that you have on your team.  It should be said that productive salespeople should not be in the office much during the day, but out in their territory.  The only time that they should come into the office is when they have some calls to make, or paper work to complete.  They should be in the office for only 2 hours per day maximum.

The office principal or team leader that wants the salespeople in the office most of the time is really not giving enough trust to the team to get on with the job. 

Sure, if you have some members of the team that are not producing then they are likely to be wasting the business day and not doing the right things.   In that case you need to know where those sales team members are and what they are up to.  But do you really want them in the office?  Wouldn’t it be better for them to get out and about and meet the people?  Couldn’t you get them to give you a diary update of movements at the end of the day or week that would satisfy your questions?

Poorly performing salespeople that cannot account for their movements should be dismissed as part of an ongoing business cleansing process every 3 months or so.  There are ways to manage out the underperformers.  A constant recruiting process goes hand in hand with running a real estate business.

Salespeople are intelligent and will make their own choices.  If their choices do not match your business model then they should go somewhere else and be helped to do so.  Do not let any underperformers become the ‘elephant’ in the sales team that is frustrating everyone else and taking the majority of your focus.  You and the team do not need the stress of the issue.

Why would you want to tolerate a member of the team that is not producing and is destabilising everyone else?  Sure, they may be providing some income and that fact may hold back your decision to sack or dismiss them, but eventually the ‘elephant’ issue will become so frustrating that it will have impact on your personal performance as team leader.  Remove on any ‘elephant’ issues quickly.  Get on with supporting and helping your good people achieve.

Here are facts that apply to running salespeople in a team:

  • Great salespeople like flexibility and support to get on with the job and produce commissions
  • Great salespeople will produce business their way if you give them the flexibility and the trust to do the business
  • Great salespeople know that they are responsible for the results that they achieve and will get on with the process if you give them the leverage to do so.

If you do not trust any or all of the members of the sales team then you either have the wrong people, inexperienced people, or your need to adjust your business practices.  Trust is really important when it comes to optimising listings and commission results from the real estate team.

Whilst you want the team to perform, the sales team need to see and feel the trust between you and them.  If they know and feel that you do not trust them, they will break the rules anyway and eventually leave the business to move somewhere else where they think they will be ‘trusted’.

Don’t make the sales office a ‘roller coaster’ of emotion for the sales team.  If you are the team leader, give them stability, trust, and direction in the office.  Give them the real flexibility and trust to do a good job and achieve.  Manage yourself first and foremost.

The team needs the leverage and opportunity to be out in the market place most of every working day.   Track their performances by KPI’s and if they do not soon show their results in the figures, then you have the wrong people.  You cannot micro manage salespeople for too long; they will take too much of your time and soon revolt and move on.  Give your top performers flexibility and trust above everything else.

Check out some more tips for commercial real estate teams at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com/