In commercial real estate, there will usually be a pattern to business as it applies to properties in your local area. There will also be a pattern to business that is separately unique relative to sales vs. leasing.
If you are considering your personal business plan or your agency plan relative to commissions and listings, it pays you to consider the variations between property seasons and selling periods. In an average year, the first and fourth quarters of the calendar year will usually be slower. This then says that most of your business will be written between the months of March and October.
The performance benchmarks that you set yourself regards listings and commissions should be adjusted accordingly. Averaging your listings and commissions across the entire year on a weekly basis really does not work.
Here are some observations regards seasonal business opportunity in commercial, retail, and industrial property.
Many tenants and local businesses start to consider their relocation needs in the last quarter of the calendar year. They start to plan their property needs for the coming 12 months and will start to look around for new properties as soon as the Christmas holiday break is completed.
Some local businesses will have pressures of occupancy change relating to the upcoming expiry of their lease. For this reason you need to monitor local leasing activities and lease expiry dates. On a regular basis, you should be talking to business leaders regards their leasing and property needs. Any lease expiry inside the next 12 months should be a focus of your prospecting and client contact activity.
Particular businesses will operate under pressure of goods supply to their customer base. This then says that they will have an intense period of business focus for a certain period of time each year. It is the downtime or the slow time for the business that you need to identify. During this downtime they will be considering property changes and or adjustments.
Solicitors and accountants will usually advise their clients on property change and or investment change following the end of the taxation year or a taxation assessment. Stay close to the solicitors and accountants in your local area in case any of their clients require special assistance when it comes to property changeover or acquisition.
The commercial real estate business is relatively seasonal. Commercial, retail, and industrial property are similarly seasonal. If your local area is also impacted by population or tourism demographics, you will also need to look at how those seasons’ impact property decisions. Opportunities are always available when you understand the ‘seasons’ of property change.
In commercial real estate agency today, it is a fact that most of the marketing results that you will get will be locally based. For this reason, it is very much the case that every property and every listing should be extensively marketed locally. That is where you will find the buyer or the tenant.
The suggestion is that you should focus at least 75% of your marketing effort into the local area. That is with both the marketing for each of the property listings, and also for you as a commercial or retail property expert.
At a local level you will achieve far more results for the given amount of marketing and advertising effort. It is also a lot easier for you to talk to the changes and events in the local area when it comes to property trends, prices, and rentals.
Here are some ideas to help you with that promotional strategy in commercial and retail property sales and leasing.
Local businesses are the backbone of the industry when it comes to property occupancy or ownership. The local businesses and or their proprietors will tell you so much about the local area, the neighboring properties, and the changes in the precinct. This market intelligence is invaluable; on that basis your objective should be to meet with many business owners on a weekly basis. That will require cold calling and prospecting in a systemized way.
Local property owners are always interested in hearing about the changes to property occupancy and marketing likely. Finding and speaking to those local property owners can be a real challenge. The basic problem is that they can hide behind company structures and property trusts. Identifying them is the first problem, and then speaking to them personally as the next. That being said, they should feature as part of your prospecting model so that you can build your local database over time.
Work around your listings at each and every opportunity. Every new listing that you get in your territory, town, or city, should be personally marketed to all of the adjacent property owners and business proprietors. The ratio should be about 50 to 1. This suggests that you should talk to 50 people around each single listing. The amount of local market information and intelligence that you get will be very useful.
Work around other agents listings on a regular basis. Most other agents will simply put a sign on a property and not do the necessary surrounding precinct marketing. When it comes to the listings of other agents, any adjacent businesses and or property owners may like to compete with the listing nearby. That can then be an opportunity for you. You can feed enquiry off your signboard given that it will be seen by those parties that inspect the other agents listing.
Signboards are very important when it comes to local marketing. As a general rule, signboards should be placed on every listing. Your name should feature on the signboard to build the personal branding reputation that you require. When you get more signboards into your territory, you will get more enquiries.
Internet strategies are quite unique when it comes to local property marketing and commercial real estate agency. You can do some very specific things to build your reputation locally as the expert with your property type and location. Some of the most effective Internet strategies for commercial real estate agents are blogging, article marketing, twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. All of these initiatives are individual and personal to the particular salesperson. You can build a very good online presence when you integrate all of these factors into an ongoing marketing campaign. The secret to the process is in regularity of posting and local relevance.
When you take the above points and shape them into your personal marketing campaigns, the branding that you will achieve will be significant. That will then help you build more listings and of better database.
When it comes to selling and leasing commercial property, the direct marketing approach has distinct advantages. That being said, the direct marketing approach does have more requirements of time and effort on the part of the commercial agent.
Every property that is listed for sale or for lease should be exposed to a variety of marketing campaigns and initiatives using the following categories as a guideline:
The local property business proprietors that may need to relocate will always be opportunity. Keep in close contact with this business segment.
Property investors requiring alternative properties with a different tenancy mix and cash flows will always seize opportunity where they can afford it.
Identify the property investors that seek to diversify their portfolio in different locations and in different property types. Even in difficult times, these investors had do exist and are waiting for the right circumstances or bargains come along.
Contact all the local tenants that may seek to relocate through expansion, contraction, rental, or property acquisition.
Businesses located in the immediate proximity of the actual listing may be requiring further premises close to their existing operations.
Within your database you will have people who were previously qualified from other earlier campaigns and listings. They should be contacted again.
All of your current property listings should be cross promoted to the suitable qualified prospects that you take to inspections.
So these categories are all direct marketing tools. They require specific effort and a systemized process on the part of the agent. When the property market slows or becomes tougher, these issues above become more important than ever before. They can be used in addition to any ordinary generic marketing that you usually implement. That being said, you should only do these things based on the quality of the listing, the quality of the client, and an exclusive listing.
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/