Assess the reputation of your commercial real estate brokerage today as it stands in the current property market. Also assess your reputation as an agent in the location. What are the levels of reputation currently? Can things be improved?
Trust and reputation are big issues in commercial real estate today. There are some ‘reputation’ issues here to consider when it comes to commercial real estate brokerage performance and market coverage. Where do you stand and what is the position?
Why is this so?
The reputation of any brokerage and or agent can significantly impact current and future enquiry rates and conversions. The reputations can also impact future referral conversions and repeat business over time.
Many of us will have seen agents and brokerages that are struggling to find listings and convert commissions. There are many potential reasons for those things to be problems; however real estate brokerage marketing and reputation are key elements and indicators to watch in the success of any agent today.
If you are to be newly employed as an agent by a commercial real estate brokerage, explore the local area first to understand the reputation of that business today, and what it may have been over the years. There will be strengths and weaknesses of reputation to identify and review, some of which will impact your ability to locate and convert new business. You want to work with the best brokerage in the best location.
What are the indicators that you should look for here and question when it comes to the brokerage reputation? How can your business activities fit within the brokerage? Consider the following:
- Previous transactions – Any active commercial real estate brokerage should have had plenty of previous business activity in a location. That will be a good indicator of market coverage and market share. A brokerage with a good market share will be an advantage to you when it comes to prospecting for new business, listing conversions and client growth.
- Referral business – Over time you will want to convert referral business where possible with your existing clients. That means you will need a good business reputation and a high level of professional service to support your referral activities. Asking the right questions at the right time with your clients will help you convert referral business. Most clients will allow you to access referral opportunities if your professional skills are sufficiently high and they have a good level of trust in working with you.
- Repeat business – Some other clients that you work for will be repeat customers in many different ways. You will be able to move across sales, leasing, and property management opportunities. Will your brokerage have the necessary staff and skill mix to support those special property disciplines?
- The client database – Any established brokerage should have a comprehensive and up to date client database. That then allows for cross selling and leasing across the broader client and listing inventory. Ask a few questions about how you can interact with in the client database of the brokerage. Also ask a few questions about how you can grow your own database and who will own the data within that prospecting effort.
- Market coverage – Look into the area and the precinct that the brokerage currently covers. From that investigation you can assess the levels of competition and the levels of dominance that you will be competing against. Get to know the top agents and or brokerages that you will be the competing with. When you understand those competitive factors, you can modify your marketing and prospecting activities accordingly.
- Client interaction – Our industry is predominantly client related. Most of the listings that you create will be centred on client interaction and the client relationships that you build over time. If you convert new clients as part of your prospecting activities, how can you protect those clients from your competitors? How can you stand out as the agent of choice when it comes to the location and the property type? Your strategies relating to client interaction and market coverage will need to be well defined and established.
- Online marketing – The brokerage should have some active and professional online marketing strategies underway at all times. Generally those factors will include the industry portals, websites, social media, and database interaction. How can you tap into those specific online marketing strategies?
- Newspaper marketing – Understand the levels of newspaper marketing undertaken by the brokerage in your location. What are the levels of marketing that apply? How much inbound enquiry comes from newspaper marketing today? Marketing is not the only way to pull in the new business although it is a big part.
- Community involvement – Can you say that your brokerage is deeply involved in the local community, and particularly the correct segments? Is your brokerage doing everything it can to attract enquiry from local property investors and the overall business community? Given that most commercial real estate activity comes from the business community and the investors that are investing locally, your brokerage should have specific strategies active at all times across community groups to tap into both of those segments. How can you be part of that community involvement? What community groups can you join?
So there are some good things for you to do here when it comes to reputation building and brokerage coverage. Ask plenty of questions within your brokerage as to each of these factors mentioned. You will soon see the place for you to build your marketing and listing activities, as well as commission opportunities.