From time to time during the year, the commercial real estate market will slow due to seasonal factors, economic conditions, or business sentiment.  On that basis, you really do need to adjust your marketing approaches and your prospecting efforts.

Typically a slow property market will include some if not all of the following issues:

  • The time on market for each listing will be lengthy.
  • Prices will be falling to attract enquiry from buyers
  • Rentals will be falling to attract tenant enquiry
  • The properties that you advertise will achieve fewer enquiries
  • You will have fewer inspections on a property by property basis.
  • Some property segments will be in decline in popularity
  • The supply and demand for space will change
  • The tenants and buyers that you take to a property will take a long time to make a decision or negotiate
  • Finance availability will change and perhaps become more difficult for some buyers.

Whilst we have all seen a variety of these circumstances, we do need to adjust our efforts as industry professionals to achieve a positive result for the clients that we serve.  In any market and at all times, there will be plenty of quality properties, good buyers, and quality tenants.  It is just a matter of prospecting correctly on a regular basis to find them.

When you understand that you are in a slower property market, you can do something about it.  It is interesting to note that a decline in sales will usually see an increase in leasing.  You can therefore move from one market segment to another.   Tenant advocacy and buyer agents are also alternatives to consider.

It is also worth noting that quality properties will always achieve solid results and good inbound enquiries.  Most top agents will focus most of their prospecting efforts on quality clients with good properties.

When you achieve a quality listing in your local area, the marketing process should be quite specific and comprehensive.  A high quality marketing campaign will leave a positive impression in the marketplace for those clients that may need your services in another few months or perhaps next year.  That being said, a quality marketing campaign will only be driven from vendor paid marketing funds.  Your presentation or sales pitch needs to be adjusted accordingly.

So when the property market slows, you should lift your efforts in prospecting.  The following list will help you with your target segments:

  1. Identify the top quality clients in the local area that own the significant and major properties.  You should connect with them as frequently as possible.  It may take time for them to trust you sufficiently to give you a listing.  The relationship will need to be built over time.
  2. Contact all of the local businesses through the region.  Some of them will want to change premises as a tenant in occupancy.  The pressures of expansion or contraction will allow you to market your leasing services accordingly.
  3. Some other businesses will own their property.  They may also own other properties nearby.  On that basis you can get considerable sales opportunity from the business and commerce segment through your local region.
  4. Build your database each day.  The database is something that will give you the leads and the opportunities over time.  You can also position yourself as an expert in any sales or listing presentation by showing parts of your database to the client.  Is very difficult for them to walk away from an agent with a comprehensive database of leads and opportunities.
  5. Every listing should be optimised for the target market and the prevailing market conditions.  Take on each exclusive listing package accordingly.  Specific efforts in marketing will increase your chances of inspections and negotiations.  When the property market is slower, you have to do more with less.  I go back to the point that a quality listing will always give you more inbound enquiries.

So the message here is that a slow commercial property market can be handled through directed effort and dedicated focus.  This is an individual thing on the part of the agent.  If the property market changes, you simply need to change your focus and your activity.  You will soon be back on track.