In commercial real estate brokerage it is not unusual for agents to struggle or have a slump in business from time to time. The matter is resolved when they focus back on building market share and client base.
So why does a ‘slump’ in business happen? Whilst the market may change and the tenants or buyers could be slower to respond to a deal opportunity, everything comes back to the volume and quality of listings held by the broker. A good quality listing that has been correctly marketed will sell or lease most of the time.
So how can a broker or agent get out of a ‘slump’ in commissions and listings? Try some of these:
Simplify the day so more of the correct things get done. It is a sad fact that diversions occur each day and far too many brokers let those diversions take over. Focus on the things that must be done; understand the importance of those things in business generation at a personal level. An agent that is struggling is usually well ‘off the rails’ when it comes to important business tasks.
We are the products of our habits. Only our habits will help change the market and our commissions. Start a new habit per week and develop it to a high level. Focus on the key things that mean a lot to building market share. The question will then be what are the most important habits to develop? In most cases they are a mixture of the following; prospecting, presenting, inspecting, and negotiating. Take one of these habits per week at take deliberate steps to improve the process. When you have got the new skill underway, move on to the next one. I go back to the point that ‘habits’ are really important in our industry.
Track your progress each day in the things that mean something to where you are headed as a broker and agent. In tracking the numbers you can improve your results in the things that matter. What would I track? Try these; cold calls, meetings, presentations, listings, inspections, and closed deals.
We must control the working day. We have work choices throughout the day and the choices that we make will build our market share or destroy it.
If someone wants a slice of your time and asks for an appointment, understand that only the most important people get time with you. Unimportant issues can wait to later in the day when the key issues in your business plan have been done.
Commercial real estate agents and brokers do need a territory sales plan and a strategy to build market share. The plan itself needs to be quite specific and allow for ongoing tracking and monitoring. Without a plan of this nature, it is very difficult to build client contacts and new listings.
Here are some clear reasons to help you see the relevance and importance of the sales planning and prospecting process:
You can identify the right people to serve as part of your professional services.
You can establish an ongoing contact system with relevant people.
Over time you will find referral business opportunities get a lot easier.
Repeat business and cross over business will help with commission growth.
In any market and at any time, you will have a reasonable source of clients and prospects to connect with.
From these things, it is easy to see that you can grow your market share above and beyond that of your competitors. It simply comes down to a personal process and ongoing discipline. It really doesn’t matter what agency or brokerage you work for, but it does really matter what you do every day with your time and your tasks. Attracting sales and leasing opportunities is a strategic process. Don’t waste your time; take the right actions. Control your personal focus and your diary.
Many agents struggle with a sales plan simply because they do not have the commitment and the focus at a personal level. You can change that by developing the right habits into your business day and working week. Here are some ideas to help you:
Review the levels of current activity in your market today. That investigation should cover the existing listings, and all of your competitors. Take a look at the history of property sales and leasing activity over the last two years as part of that process. Understand what is actually selling and leasing when it comes to property types and locations. Is your property market in decline or is it growing? Understand the reasons for both trends.
Your property market today will be impacted by competition, economic circumstances, business sentiment, and property availability. Within all of that, your database needs to put you in front of the right people at the right time. For this reason, prospecting needs to occur at a personal level for approximately 2 or 3 hours every day. That will mean reaching out into the marketplace to new people that you have not spoken to before. You should be making lots of cold calls and creating meetings from that process. Understand the local laws and legislation that apply to the use of the telephone when it comes to prospecting. The do not call register may have some impact on how you approach certain people.
Growth of market share typically comes from exclusive listings and closed transactions. Your sales pitch or presentation needs to be structured accordingly so that you can convert more clients into exclusive listings that you can control. Open listings may be a fallback strategy however they will give you little control when it comes to the client, the property, and any negotiations. Many clients in an open listing situation cannot be trusted. They will be talking to many agents at the same time and therefore not assisting your negotiation process.
From these simple and yet time intense processes, you can see some ways to build your market share and your client connection processes. That is how you create a strategic sales plan applying to commercial real estate agency and brokerage.
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