Commercial Real Estate Leasing Agents – How to Handle Difficult Properties to Lease

I was recently talking with an agent that had a vacant industrial property to lease.  The client had just rung up on the telephone to ask about progress in leasing.  The property had been vacant for 3 months and only one inspection had occurred.  Naturally the client was upset at not having a tenant in place.

It should be said that the property was modern and well located.  The asking rents were on ‘market’ and were not excessive.  The entire property was packaged well for promotion.

The agent was asking about what he could do next.  He had obtained marketing funds from the client and had spent all of that money in advertising on the internet with ‘priority listings’.  There were no marketing funds left to use now.

In answering the situation I had to summarise the problem in this way:

  • The brokerage had taken on a listing that was 20kms away from their recognised ‘territory’.
  • The agent and the brokerage had very little listed stock or business presence in the area
  • The agent had no prospects in the database to work with
  • Most brokerage activity over the last 12 months has been elsewhere in the city so the agent had very few people to talk to about the property

It is easy to see that the listing should not have been taken on in the first place.  It was way out of brokerage ‘territory’.  There is no point in taking on a listing that is way out of your territory unless you really can see a deal being done quickly.

If your database does not have relevance to the listed property then you are really only relying on advertising to attract enquiry, and that’s what happened in this case.  That only works when the market is very active; at other times the strategy doesn’t produce a result.

So how can this agent solve the problem for the landlord client?  He has four choices:

  • To encourage a local agent in the area to conjunct and introduce a tenant to the property
  • To personally market the property ‘door to door’ through the local businesses in the region
  • Advertise the property more
  • To drop the listing

Sometimes we have to be honest to ourselves and our clients.  We might think that we are the best agents in town, but the reality of the market and our market share will place restrictions on results.  If you haven’t really got the market share to list a particular property, find some other way to help the client.

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