In commercial real estate brokerage today, your time is a valuable resource and should be optimized in each and every way possible. You will have many pressures coming to you throughout the working day of the working week, and some of those pressures will change your priorities. Ultimately you can lose focus without some good controls and priorities.
The clients and the people that we work with can be very demanding. The priorities that you set today for tomorrow can shift and changes the day starts. A good degree of discipline is required to manage your time and your tasks as a commercial real estate broker.
There is a simple message to be remembered here. If you remain in control and focus on the critical elements of your business, there is a good chance that you will succeed in the ways that are important to you. If you allow others to divert your business activities away from prospecting, marketing, and client contact, you will likely find that your industry career takes a different direction and perhaps starts to stall.
Commercial real estate brokerage can provide you with all the opportunities and rewards that you seek. Manage your time deliberately so that you can stay on task when it comes to business growth and market share.
In this audio recording, John Highman talks about the importance of time management and task control in brokerage today. Listen to John as he explains important things that really matter when it comes to the property industry and your future in it.
Time is one of the most valuable resources that you have in commercial real estate brokerage. The way that you use your time will impact the results that you seek with clients, listings, inspections, and commissions.
Consider the events of the last week in your diary.
Could you have approach things more effectively?
Are there times where you could have focused your energy in different directions for better results?
Of course the answers to these questions are an affirmative yes in every respect. In hindsight we can all improve our results and our effectiveness in property brokerage. The trick here is to build that strategy into each and every working day.
Don’t waste your time on the things that really don’t matter. Understand your priorities as a broker or an agent. Get things done specifically and directly with a focus on new business and commissions.
Here is an audio recording by John Highman focusing on the importance of time management and task management in commercial real estate brokerage today.
Results are everything when it comes to growing your market share and new business activities in commercial real estate brokerage. From that concept, you need to understand how things are changing and improving over time.
You do need to track your progress as a professional individual broker or agent. Failure to do so will impact into your progress in so many different ways. Understand what is happening around you with property activity and then adjust your processes so you can move on the opportunities of the market for your town or city.
So exactly what should you track and how should you do it? You need to track the things that matter to your real estate business across a number of segments. Those segments will typically be:
Size of Database – over time you should be creating a database that is comprehensive and locally relevant. That database has to grow in both size and quality, and should include all of the right people that can or will be potential clients for you over time. Understand how your database is growing and adjust your prospecting efforts accordingly.
Client List – ultimately you need plenty of clients to help you grow market share. Those clients should return to you over time with a variety of property needs and challenges, providing they remember you and trust you as a local property expert. As the property specialist you can be there to assist your clients in the right way both professionally and locally. Differentiate your client list from your prospect list. The clients pay your commission, so the focus here is to convert more prospects to clients over time. Client conversion is the name of the game. Understand how you can take your shortlist of high value prospects and revert them to clients through specialized services.
Exclusive Listing Numbers – you can have plenty of listings locally, but the exclusive listings are those that really matter when it comes to market share and commission conversion. Adjust your presentation and pitching processes so that exclusivity is at the centre of your recommendations and listing activity. Make sure that you are converting vendor paid marketing funds as part of each and every exclusive listing. As they say, ‘You can’t sell a secret’.
Time on Market – understand how long on average it takes to sell or lease exclusive listings today. The equation doesn’t apply to open listings given that the process of marketing for open listings is so random. Look at all of your exclusive listings and track the time on market progress for locations and property types. Make adjustments to those listings that are been on the market for a long time and are not attracting enquiry. Make recommendations for price adjustments or promotional change to your clients.
Referral Business – some of your good clients will offer plenty of referral business over time is you ask for it. Ask the right questions at the right time so that you can connect with new people needing professional property assistance locally. The relationships that you have now and the contacts of others that you are introduced to, will help you build referral business. Every successful property transaction should be a referral opportunity.
Repeat Business – look at how you can offer a variety of services to all of your good clients. A single property transaction today can be moved in the future through a variety of sales, leasing, and investment opportunities. The services that you can offer should be tuned to the market conditions and the clients that need you.
Commissions per Transaction – when you look at the commissions that you are converting now and have done so over time, you will see an average earning that applies per transaction to both leasing and sales. Get that number to escalate over time so that you are converting a higher level of commission per transaction. The way to achieve this growth and result is to focus on better quality properties and clients as part of your marketing and prospecting methods.
Commissions per Client – some clients are better than others, and the way to determine that criteria is to assess the volume of commission that you are achieving per client per transaction currently. Clients have a value to you when it comes to immediate commissions. Other clients have future opportunity to you over time. So you will need to differentiate how you will be working with the different clients based on commission growth and opportunity; put that strategy at the centre of your business plan. Look at the value for each client in your database, and segment some of those clients into the categories of location, property type, and commission potential. Create a VIP list so you can drill down into the list of opportunity and the high quality clients that you serve or could serve now.
So there are a number of things that you can do here to track your progress in commercial real estate brokerage sales and/or leasing. When you know the numbers, you can adjust your prospecting and presentation processes for better results. Always qualify the people that you talk to, and do so before you spend too much time and resources in servicing them.
The commercial or retail property management process can be time intense and quite frustrating. The observation is quite common. Most property managers will be intensely busy every day of the working week. On that basis they need to be organized to the tasks that really matter as part of providing quality professional services. Here are some tips from our Newsletter.
It is worthwhile noting that an experienced property manager will bring significant skill and opportunity to the landlords that they serve. That will be across the property in a number of ways including the specialized disciplines below:
Tenant mix strategy
Safety and risk management
Property value improvement
Renovation and refurbishment
So there are plenty of ways that the manager can bring growth and opportunity to the clients that they serve. It is just a matter of understanding the plans and the targets of the client as they relate to the future of the property in the region. It is a wise process to create a property business plan on an annual basis to manage the variables of property performance for the client.
So let’s go back to the tasks and activities of the property manager. If the correct person is chosen for the portfolio and the client, the other balances required will include the following:
Be aware of the amount of time it takes to manage a property for a client. Some properties and clients will require significantly more work than others. If that is the case, the intense workload should be reflected in the fee. One way of calculating a fee is to consider the amount of time each week a property will require for ongoing control. Consider the factors of the tenancy mix, lease documentation, maintenance, customer involvement, vacancy issues, and rental collection. The larger the property, more intense these issues will be.
With quality clients and properties, the reporting process can be quite specific and tedious. The factors of income, expenditure, lease management, maintenance, tenancy mix, and documentation will require special processes and established guidelines. In a large property, it is not unusual to be reporting to each of these factors on a weekly basis. That written report will support any verbal instructions given or communications made with the landlord.
The best way to get your job and portfolio under control is to work to a daily and weekly plan. It can also be said that the end of each month will be busier with reporting requirements and property analysis. So look at the factors of work that apply to each day, each week, and each month. Split the working day into two segments. The first half a day should be devoted to documentation and reporting issues. The last half the day can be devoted to clients and tenant contact. Obviously there will be some variations and pressures that apply.
So you work in a busy segment of the market. At least 80% of your time should be under control. In that way you will preserve the quality of performance and control that your clients require in commercial and retail property management.
To manage a shopping centre effectively and efficiently, the shopping centre manager needs to be knowledgeable but also time efficient. There are many pressures to balance as part of the property management process.
In an average working day, the following activities are some of the big items that will usually require attention on the part of the manager:
Collection of rental relative to the leases
Connecting with tenants regards day to day matters
Ensuring that the customers to the property receive the correct services and experiences
Marketing vacant tenancies within the property
Staying on top of the critical dates relative to the tenancy schedule and the existing leases.
Maintaining the property physically as to maintenance and essential services.
Balancing the tenancy mix with an affective a business plan and tenant retention plan
Reporting to the landlord on a regular basis regards income activity, expenditure activity, and rental arrears.
Marketing the property from a customer trade perspective to improve sales across the tenancy mix
Finding new tenants for the property based on the requirements of the mix and the upcoming vacancies.
So there are many things to do when it comes to managing a retail property. The larger the property, the more challenging the workload and the diversity.
It should be said that the larger shopping centres will usually have a team of people splitting the key issues of the property into different disciplines. When that happens, the cost of the staffing structure will be built back into the recoverable expenses for the property. It is quite normal for the centre management cost structure to be a recoverable item within the lease documentation.
So here are some strategies to help Retail Property managers stay on top of the workload and the challenges of the job.
Create check-lists for processes. You can have check-lists across leasing, maintenance, reporting, tenant mix, tenant contact, budgeting, and landlord contact. The same process can apply when it comes to property handover.
Start the day early, and get the difficult documentation and paperwork out of the way. The first 3 hours a day should be devoted to paperwork and processes.
Where ever possible, delegate key tasks to members of your team. A successful retail property will be built around the strengths of the team, and the professionalism of communication.
Document everything when it comes to tenant and landlord contact. Over time the notes and the event recording processes will support you in the case of any litigation or negotiation.
At the beginning of the week, hold a team meeting where you can cross reference critical issues across the property, within the tenancy mix, and with the landlord. Create an agenda for the process, so that you can stay on track with critical issues. Follow things through where complex issues apply or negotiations are continuing.
The income and expenditure activities within the property will be important in many different ways. Tenant occupancy, lease structures, and critical dates will all have an impact on cash flow. Understand all of those factors as part of providing a top service to your clients. Stay ahead of the critical dates and be prepared for the negotiations that follow.
A successful retail property is one that is managed effectively, efficiently, and correctly. Give due regard to occupant and customer safety, as well as the rules and regulations that apply to building codes and essential services.
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In commercial real estate agency and brokerage today it is easy to get lost in doing the mundane and unnecessary tasks that waste time and effort. If this happens too often you will find that listing numbers and commissions will decline.
So what are the most important things that you should do every day? Try some of these:
Researching your market
Prospecting for new clients, buyers, and tenants
Client meetings with current listing updates
Presentations and listing pitches
Prospect contact with listing detail
Property inspections with qualified buyers or tenants
Creating and driving marketing campaigns
Negotiations with sales and leasing opportunities
Following up on current deals to ensure that they are progressing forward
Database growth and accuracy
It is easy to see that you have lots to do as an agent or broker. All of these things will help you get the income and the market share that you require. Only you can control your choices and actions as an agent.
So what happens to derail your focus? Well I have seen all sorts of pressures with many different agents. Here are some of the most common problems:
A client wants to see you to discuss something relating to the marketing of their property.
A prospective buyer or tenant wants to inspect a property today or in the next few hours.
The boss of the office wants to have a meeting to discuss team performance.
You have too many things to do in one day and no support to help you with the pressure.
You have some marketing to do and some reports to get out that should have been done ‘yesterday’.
These things and the others that impact your day can be controlled and redirected. Only you can control your day. If you let the priorities of others take over your day, you can say goodbye to your income and market share. It’s that simple.
Here are some ideas to help you with time management in commercial real estate brokerage:
Prospect every day before you do anything else. Your growth of market share is really important. The morning is the best time to get prospecting done.
Leave the paperwork to the end of the day or delegate it.
Move your client meetings and property inspections to the afternoon.
Only take telephone calls when you have time as they will shift your focus off the things that really matter.
If someone wants to meet with you, ensure that the reason is valid.
You should control your diary (not the office administrative staff)
Commercial real estate agency is a great profession with lots of potential for those that focus and work hard. Good time management processes are part of that.
In commercial real estate agency, your time is highly valuable. The best agents manage their time efficiently to the tasks that are most important. It is a known fact that a controlled salesperson achieves more in income and listings. They stick to a system and they get the right things done.
It is a fact that things will happen every day that you cannot plan for. Clients, prospects, and fellow staff members will direct issues at you that need to be responded to. To remain efficient through this pressure, it is wise to control at least 1/3 rd. of your day. In that 1/3 rd. of the day you can do the right things that you know will help you build market share and your commissions.
Here are some tips to develop a time management system in your commercial real estate processes.
You must control your time. That has to be the rule. Your diary is something that is ‘sacred territory’ and only you put things into your diary. In this way you can choose what you do and how you do it.
I go back to the point that part of the day is to be fully under your control. In this time frame you should do the things that really matter to your business and your goals for the year. Prospecting is usually the thing that applies and should be actioned in this window of time.
Map out your activities for the week ahead. Sure, changes will occur, but put the big and important issues into your diary and keep them there for action.
When you arise each morning, spend 5 minutes reviewing what has to be done and checking the priorities of things.
Build some break time into your schedule so you can think and plan. You will also need some administrative time later in the day to capture the events of the day.
Move the unimportant things out of your day to times that are less critical.
Learn to delegate the things that can be done by others.
Control the things that relate to business generation, clients, marketing, and negotiation. All of these things will impact your business and cannot be overlooked or passed to others.
Create habits when it comes to the most important things in the business day. Do them to a schedule at the same time. Habits help you move ahead and get traction on the things that matter.
Don’t let other people have access to your diary where they can add appointments to your day. Only you should set appointments as you are the one that understands your focus.
If you want to be a top agent in commercial real estate, protect your time and do the right things as part of your working day. Take control.