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How to Put More Human Contact into Your Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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In your commercial real estate career, it is hard to get anywhere without a good degree of client and prospect contact.  Your brokerage and your office location will have little to do with the little to do with the inquiries coming in.  (NB – you can get more client contact strategies in commercial real estate brokerage right here in ‘Snapshot’)

Each day you simply must get out the front door of the brokerage, and into your territory.  It is a precise process that requires a plan.  Build your real estate business around people first and foremost.  Talk to more people and take a record or notes from valuable conversations and relationships.

Facts of Time

Why think this way?  It takes about 3 to 6 months of direct prospecting to get some real momentum up and running in a brokerage career; what you want to do here is give energy and focus to database accuracy and growth.  Get to know plenty of local people.

What can you learn from this?  Your database should be at the center of your tasks, your diary, and your daily activities.  Choose a good database program that works for you and your property specialty, and then use it each day; revisit the details of earlier contacts, meetings, and conversations.  Look for those small pieces of information that could turn into a valuable discussion or new real estate business.

Human Focus

Put the concept of ‘human contact’ back into your real estate business.  While it is always easy to send an email or make a telephone call, the traditional approach of ‘face to face’ meetings and ‘drop-ins’ tend to be the best way to get traction and momentum with new clients and prospects.  You can judge the success of a commercial real estate agent by the depth of their database and the strength of personal relationships with key customers and prospects.

Contact and Communicate

So, let’s get some more focus on this concept.  Here are some ideas to help you get your ‘human contact’ plan up and running in your real estate business:

  1. Door knocking local areas, businesses, and tenants – get to know all the firms in the streets and the zones that you control. It is always likely that a simple conversation with a local business owner can lead to something of value, be that in a sale, lease, or property management.
  2. Meetings in a regular way – when you have established a link and relationship with a new client or prospect, stay in contact so that you are seeing or talking to them at least once every 90 days. Regularity is important to build profile and relevance.
  3. Getting to know the clients comprehensively – some customers can have ongoing property needs and or challenges. Get to know their portfolios and locations.  Look for the elements of change in investment.
  4. Establish a VIP prospect and client program – some of your contacts will be more ‘valuable’ for future business in so many different ways. Differentiate your customers based on value, location, capability to act, and property requirements.
  5. Creating ‘leave behind value’ for all your meetings and inspections – when you have made a contact or connection, send some follow-up information immediately after the event. The information that you submit can ‘open the door up’ for ongoing communication.
  6. Every inquiry or inspection is a reason to keep connecting – when the first inquiry comes in, keep the conversation and connection flowing through a series of professional processes including brochures, emails, and case studies. Local property information is always of interest to investors and business owners.  Share information that is relevant and real for the location.

Through these strategies, you can build a solid business profile as a top agent for a location and property type.  Go for the opportunities that you can sense or see.  Keep connecting at a personal level.

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Ways to Get Consistent Commission Growth in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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Commission growth in commercial real estate is a planned process at a personal level.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the gross commission that you earn each year will be critical to the overall income that you generate over time. Look for the trends and pressures in your income.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Understand your current levels of earnings as they apply to sales and leasing activity. Compare those numbers to the industry averages for your town or city and within your industry, and then identify some real ways to improve commission growth. Commercial real estate success is really all about planning and action implementation. You cannot be complacent as an agent or broker.

 

Location information

Check out the level of competition in your location so that you can understand the people that you will be pitching against when it comes to new listings and client relationships. On average, there will always be a small selection of top agents converting business successfully in your town or city.

Most of the other agents locally will be ‘typically’ average when it comes to business activity. Look at their strengths and weaknesses to see how you can learn the right strategies and skills. Improve your skills and improve your position.

 So your target or goal should be to reach the levels of a top agent for your location controlling your own client base and your listing activity.

Exclusive listings are the way to achieve that momentum. Your marketing processes should be considered accordingly so that you are perceived as the property ‘expert’ for the area, and the person that can convert most of the enquiry at the right time. You will need exclusive listings to do that, so refine and improve your listing pitch accordingly. Why should a client list their property with you ‘exclusively’? You must have a good answer that is relevant to your clients.

 

Costs versus Income

Each year you should be looking for ways to increase your gross income whilst maintaining levels of control on your costs of sale or listing. The costs that you will normally be carrying professionally in your career will typically include:

 

  • car expenses
  • telephone expenses
  • some personal marketing activities
  • computer costs
  • Internet related fees
  • stationery costs
  • desk fees
  • franchise costs

 

Many agents and brokers operate under different business models including those that apply to a franchise situation, an independent operator, and/or a salary based professional as part of a brokerage team. It doesn’t really matter what business model you choose to work to, but it does matter that you are suitably rewarded for the transactions that you create and the commissions that you convert.

 

The expenses listed above will easily consume a lot of commission before you really get started in your business activities and ‘break-even’ so develop a plan to take yourself forward.

 

Ways to Grow Your Numbers

 

Here are some ideas to help you monitor and grow your gross commission numbers in your commercial real estate career:

 

  1. THE INCOME FACTS: Look at the listings that you have currently to determine the average level of commission per sales and lease transaction. Smaller transactions are generally a lot of work, and they can consume a lot of your time. Choose the types of listings of suitable size that can help your real estate business thrive and grow over time.
  2. REPEAT BUSINESS AND REFERRALS: There will be opportunities for referral business after each and every transaction, and with every client and prospect relationship. Ask the referral questions at the right time so that you can grow good client-based relationships with VIP clients.
  3. YOUR BEST CLIENTS: Understand exactly what VIP client should be to you by profile, location, and property ownership. When you know what a VIP client is, you can target your prospecting within the town or city.
  4. CLIENT CHALLENGES: Some of your clients will have ongoing property needs. Make sure that you are connecting with them frequently and directly so that you can understand where the next property challenge will evolve. Constant contact will help you build those relationships as an industry professional.
  5. HONE YOUR PROPERTY FOCUS: Target particular properties that you believe will have a good chance of creating local industry activity and sales and leasing results as the case may be. It can take months if not years to break into a particular client or property ownership structure. Be prepared to make the right connections and grow your business relationships strongly and specifically.
  6. BUILD YOUR LIST: Your database should be personally established and regularly updated. If you want to thrive as an agent or a broker in your location, then your database will be at the centre of the process. The people that you talk to, your prospects, and your clients will all feature within your database for particular ongoing contact and professional support.

 

So these ideas are not necessarily new or different, but they are quite specific. If you want to get anywhere in commercial real estate brokerage, then it is the time to look at these issues raised and identify where you can build on your strengths and weaknesses as a top broker for the location.