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.
In commercial real estate from time to time, you will get a slump in sales. That will come from a variety of challenges and market changes. When that occurs, it is important that you adjust your prospecting processes and market focus.
A slump in sales is a reason to shift your personal business practices and market segments. If the sales activity is genuinely slower for a long time, then you should start to look at the alternatives of helping landlords with leasing activity in the local area. Invariably you will find that a new commission opportunity still exists, albeit in a different way.
Here are some rules that should apply to the changing market conditions and a personal slump in sales:
A slump will only continue if you fail to adjust your prospecting and business efforts. In many respects, the downturn may have been created through a lack of personal prospecting and client connection. It is easy to stop prospecting when you have plenty of business on the go. That is the most common problem we see when it comes to this type of industry downturn.
Review your activities when it comes to new business generation. Take a serious look at your database to ascertain that it is up to date and accurate in every respect. If your database is lacking in any way, it will require immediate attention and that will involve plenty of phone calls talking to those people that you have overlooked or not connected with recently.
Talk to all of the clients that you have serviced over the last five years. It is a known fact that property owners and investors work to a cycle of ownership and disposal. Many property owners will act on a property decision or transaction once every 5 to 7 years. That is why the cycle of contact is so important to the business that we generate.
Ask for referrals from the clients and the prospects that you know. This is the easiest relationship building process available to us.
Get back into your sales territory and the streets that contain the quality properties. Door-knock the local businesses to introduce yourself and question them about their current property needs and activities. Most business owners and proprietors will know a lot more about their immediate local property market than you do. They are likely to share some of that information that can lead to some good leads and other connections.
Look for any new property developments and any rezoning applications. You can get this information from the local planning office. Whilst some of these transactions take months if not years to come to fruition, you can position yourself to help those property owners impacted by the changes.
Lift your presence on the Internet through social media activity and also specific property blogging activity. Show the online world that you are a real expert when it comes to the property type and the location.
To get over a slump in sales activity, it is simply a matter of changing your focus and your business habits. Put yourself back into a prospecting mindset and reconnect with the market in every way possible.
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