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Strategies for Building Commissions in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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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:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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Why it is Better to be a Listing Agent in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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In commercial real estate today you see so many agents and brokers that work for buyers and tenants of all types without a formal appointment to do so.  Those buyers and tenants claim to be looking for something by way of a property to own or occupy, and then the agent spends lots of personal business time and resources looking around for that ‘magical’ property and investment.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Why is this a problem?

Invariably the buyer or tenant is very likely talking to many agents locally at the one time, and all of those agents are committing precious resources chasing around the local property market to find the ‘ideal’ occupancy or ownership solution.  The person making the inquiry is very likely going to transact a property sale or lease at any time and with any agent that finds the right property.

So what is the problem here?  You cannot control that inquiry or negotiation therefore you cannot control your real estate business or any negotiation that may be possible.

The message?

There is a core message that is so important in our industry.  You, as the agent or broker must control the listing stock.  When you do that, the local people are coming to you (be they tenants or buyers) to inquire or inspect.   It is far better to be a listing agent working on controlled stock for that very reason.  You control the property and the client; on that basis the inquiry comes to you automatically, and you negotiate the deal for the client.

A good process, don’t you think?  Don’t just chase around after buyers and tenants if you have a choice; find the property listings and capture them exclusively.  The buyers and tenants will then come to you.

Let’s put a ‘proviso’ on this listing agent focus.  Exclusivity is part of the listing process, and open listings don’t really matter, and certainly have little value to the growth of market share for any agent or broker.  Can you accept that rule and work with it?

The right things

When you are the listing agent a few things fall into the right places, and that will help you with your property business.  Here are some ideas for that:

  1. Client creation and retention – When you find the client, you control the relationship over time. That ownership puts you in a favorable position for long term income opportunity.  How many clients do you really know deeply now?
  2. Focused negotiation – You are then the only agent or broker that the client is listening to. You have their attention and trust.  The negotiation process gets a lot easier.
  3. Referrals are more achievable – When you work closely with the client, a successful transaction is more easily obtained and the resultant referrals can be converted when the time is right. Repeat business is also a by-product of working closely with a client in this way.

From these three simple facts, you can see why the ‘listing agent’ process is more important than any other business strategy in our property industry.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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Checklist for Creating Clients for Life in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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Make your client list a personal process.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the clients that you convert and work with can give you plenty of property business over time.  Get into your database and split it up into client categories, zones, property types, and budgets.  Update all of the contacts in your database and reconnect with the best people.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Look for the quality clients that you can work with productively and exclusively over time. They will be your VIP’s when it comes to contact and service.

Understand how you can add value to their property situation and exactly when they should need that special help in solving an investment or property occupancy challenge. Refine your services accordingly.  You are (or should be) the expert so build your brand with your clients accordingly.

Quality clients are good business

So your good clients should be with you for the life of your real estate business. If you like, that by definition is the window of your professional career. Over time your real estate business then gets easier and more consolidated; that consolidation comes from the quality of your client connections. How can you do that?

Do you have some good clients now or some targeted clients that offer more property related opportunity to you? Think about these things:

  1. Industry updates – Think about your location and explore the things that are happening. Visit the local planning office to see what new developments are coming up. From the list of upcoming development applications, you may be able to write or talk about precinct enhancements and changes.
  2. Market coverage – Most clients like to know that they are working with an agent or broker that really controls the market for the location. Specialization will help you do that. Drill down into a segment such as offices, bulky goods warehousing, investment performance, shopping center leasing, and then look at your opportunities in each. Write articles and editorials about the specialty segments. Share those articles and information editorials into your social media channels.
  3. Use Social Media with focus – Most agents and brokers don’t use social media very well at all. They simply do not lift their social media profiles enough using relevant and high quality comments and content. Consider how you can be of value to your clients and prospects. What do they want to know about? What are their local property interests? From those 2 questions you can write specific articles, share statistics, create charts, and take photographs. The increase of electronic media tools gives you a lot of alternatives to work with.
  4. Treat your VIPs differently – When you know that a client or prospect is of importance to you, consider how you will interact with them over time. Be personal, relevant, and real in how you contact people and talk to them. Ultimately you want your VIP clients to remember you as they get to the next property challenge. It is a simple recipe to remember and market your skills and knowledge with.
  5. Seek referrals and contact people often – At a basic minimum, contact all of your clients and prospects frequently. That will usually be once every month, or any period up to 90 days. After 90 days the client and prospect contact process is less meaningful. Build a contact process into your database that sets the right client momentum and awareness through personal contact.

Put clients at the center of your commercial real estate business. Create relationships with your top clients that will extend for the duration of your professional career in property.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)