Commercial Real Estate Leasing Agents – A Shortlist of Key Issues to Use with Clients in Listing

When pitching for the listing of an office vacancy with a Landlord, it pays to have a really good idea of exactly how you will approach the property and set about finding a tenant.  To do that well, you should have a predetermined focus on a few key issues or a shortlist of requirements.  Create specific comments and questions to put to the landlord from your point of view as the listing agent.

Many leasing agents are not overly skilled and organised when it comes to working with landlords and property owners and pitching for the listing.  Don’t just take on any listing that comes your way; be selective and specific in taking on quality properties in locations that should create tenant interest.

You can easily stand out as the best property leasing specialist and local agent that the property owner requires; relevance and confidence are the keys.  To do that you should prepare for the listing in every way possible and ask for the listing directly at the right time in your pitch.  It is hard for a landlord to ignore a top agent and a professional presentation.  Make those factors stand out in your listing pitch.

Client Leasing Presentation Checklist

All of the points below can help you make specific comments and recommendations to your clients as part of the listing pitch.  Merge these facts and issues into the client presentation:

  1. Tenant Types – Given the other tenants in the same general location or in the same building it is wise to set some targets when it comes to the best types of tenants for the vacancy.
  2. Rental Types and Targets – Based on prevailing market rentals, the building to be leased, and the client, rents will vary between gross and net.  Property outgoings will have some impact on your decisions about the appropriate type of rental.
  3. Asking rents – Your asking rents will be impacted by incentives and the existing supply and demand factors for the property type locally.  Higher vacancy levels in the category of property will also frustrate the enquiry from marketing, so carefully recommend the right levels of asking rents that will attract enquiry and inspections.
  4. Lease Documentation – Some landlords have a specific tenant approval process and lease document to be used in the leasing of any vacancy.  Make sure you ask the landlord about those things and that you are well prepared to work with the requirements in each case.
  5. Availability – When will the property be available for marketing, inspections and promotion?  Set your marketing plan around that ideal timing.
  6. Landlord works – The presentation of the property and the vacancy may require landlord works to lift presentation and prepare the area for upcoming inspections.  Don’t be too eager to show premises that are poorly presented; the rules of ‘first impression’ always count when it comes to influencing a tenant in making an offer.
  7. Area of Premises – Define the area to be leased and ensure that you have the necessary plans and drawings to provide to tenants as part of the property presentation and inspection.
  8. Timing – Exactly when will the premises be available for occupancy?  Will the timing suit the marketing campaign given the levels of competition locally and the other vacancies available?
  9. Permitted Use – Determine the ideal permitted uses to apply to the premises.  Target tenants within those categories.  When you get to the stage of final tenant selection, the defined permitted use can be quite specific and narrow.  In that way you will control premises and property usage.
  10. Lease Term and Options – Ask the landlord exactly how they feel about the length of the lease term and the availability of options to be provided to the tenant.  The age of the building and the location of the property will have something to do with lease term offered.  Any property renovation or tenancy relocation requirements may also have an impact on the ideal lease term to be put to the tenant.
  11. Rental Bonds or Guarantees – Every lease should provide security for the landlord in some form or another.  That could be through the provision of bonds or bank guarantees.  Some landlords have specific ideas when it comes to the ideal form of security.  You will also need to consider the size of the guarantee to be negotiated with the tenant and secured for the landlord; in most cases it will be a total amount of money that reflects the addition of rental, outgoings, taxes and occupancy costs for a predetermined period of time.  Generally that predetermined period of time will be three months of occupancy and up to six months of occupancy.
  12. Marketing – The marketing strategy that you choose will be a direct reflection of the landlord motivation, vacancy rates, tenant enquiry, and current market conditions.  In all cases you should have funds provided by the landlord to promote the vacancy comprehensively in the local area and to the targeted group of tenants.  To achieve that marketing funding of you will need to make specific recommendations to the landlord.
  13. Listing Method – As a golden rule of the commercial real estate industry, quality properties for sale or for lease should always be secured through an exclusive listing process.  In that way you can control the marketing momentum, the inspections, and negotiations, and the resultant deal between the landlord and the tenant.  Always focus on exclusive listings as part of your sales pitch and presentation.  Don’t be too eager to take on any open listings unless you believe you can do something with them.
  14. Commissions – As a general rule, commissions for leasing should never be discounted and should be appropriate for the amount of work to be applied to resolving the vacancy issue.  The commission that you achieve is something that is generated from a satisfactory tenant result.  Your pitch and presentation to the landlord should be comprehensive, confident, and specific.  If you have correctly conveyed specific recommendations to the client about resolving their vacancy problem, you shouldn’t have any issues in getting the client to agree to a fair and reasonable rate of commission.  I go back to the point that you should not discount your leasing commission as a general rule.  Commission rates will vary based on location, property type, levels of competition, and can even be a reflection of the skills of the brokerage.  If you discount your commission, you will discount your services and lessen your commitment to the marketing of a vacancy.  Stale listings and lengthy times on market are usually a reflection of the agent not being confident and committed to the property listing and promotion.

So there are plenty of things for you to do here when it comes to pitching and presenting to the landlord of any property, to help them with current and upcoming vacancies.  Cover all the issues mentioned above both comprehensively and confidently.  Show the landlord exactly why you are the best agent for the job.  Make specific recommendations to move ahead in a logical and professional way.  Make it easy for the landlord to agree to accept your services.

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