A lot of agents and brokers start their career in commercial real estate leasing before moving to property sales and other project work. The logic does work because it gives newer people to the industry a chance to build skill levels and local property knowledge.
There are differences in commission between leasing and sales activity, but your overall focus in both property activities should always be on exclusive listings and good quality properties. There are some real property ‘time wasters’ from a leasing perspective in most towns or cities. Whilst it might be nice to have another signboard placed on another local property or even an open listing, do you really want your name on a property that will be hard to lease and sends a poor presentation or marketing message?
Top agents don’t waste time on poor quality properties (and nor should you). Understand the image and quality a property presents to the local area, and then decide if you really want your name on the listing. Move on to another property if a listing doesn’t ‘tick all the boxes’ for you.
Why Are You Relevant as an Agent?
You must control your listings so you can build market share. If you are struggling with listing exclusivity, then look at your presentation and marketing systems. What can you do to make your services superior to that of your competitors? When you know the answer, you have the basic foundations to attract lots of listings.
A special note should be made here that you should be selective in your listings and your client activity. Don’t take on any listing (or client) unless you really believe in the leasing opportunity and the quality of the property. That sense of belief helps you in building marketing momentum and in talking about the qualities of the property.
The First Two Years
Focusing on commercial real estate leasing for one or two years also allows an agent to build market share and get to know a number of successful property investors in your town or city. By helping property investors with their leasing needs, you are developing levels of trust and commitment to important clients and local property opportunity.
So let’s say that you a committed to making inroads into the commercial property leasing market. Do you have a plan of approach? What are your targets to attract leasing deals and new business? When will you know that you have reached a level of competence in the industry? You can learn a lot by watching a few other top agents in the general location. In doing that understand that any successful agent has a good database; so from day one in your career, spend time in growing your database of tenants and landlords.
The Best Direct Marketing Systems in Leasing
So what are the best direct marketing systems that you can use in commercial real estate leasing today? Here below are some of the most effective. Use them to get your name and your face in front of a lot of new people. That’s what our industry is all about.
- Letters to tenants – Write plenty of direct letters to local businesses and tenants. Every letter you send should be followed up with a call or drop in.
- Building focus – Work with a focus on particular high quality or well located buildings in your town or city. Some tenants in occupancy will be looking to change location or investigate market conditions nearing the end of any lease term. You can be the agent of choice to help them with market updates and industry comparisons. Create a regular contact process with several hundred local businesses. Talk to those business owners at least once every 90 days. In doing that, have something relevant to talk about and help with.
- Street focus – Assess the tenants in each street and methodically talk to all of them. When you work on a street by street basis it is a lot easier to stay on top of current market rents and vacancy factors.
- Landlord focus – Some landlords in your location will be investors of property substance and action. They will be doing things in leasing, sales, tenant mix, renovation, and redevelopment. They are the best landlords to work for. Research your property market so you know who these people are, and then decide how you will make contact with them.
- Cold calling – The telephone is a great business prospecting tool in commercial real estate leasing. Develop your cold calling systems and scripts so you are reaching out to many new people every day. The business telephone book is the easiest way to get started.
- Door-knocking businesses – Local tenants and business owners will know a lot about their immediate location and nearby businesses. Directly door knock at least 10 local businesses every working day. By asking a few direct questions as part of your prospecting model, you will generate lots of leads and new business momentum.
- Use one listing as a reason to cold call canvass – When you have one listing in a particular area, you have plenty of reasons to talk to nearby property owners and tenants. Wherever possible, base your prospecting efforts around the details of existing listings and properties. In that way you will have plenty of things to talk about as you approach new people.
From these specific processes you can see that direct marketing is really important in commercial real estate leasing. In saying that you still get many real estate agents and brokers that will take the ‘easy way out’ and send a lot of generic brochures in the mail without any follow up. It is easy to see which agent wins the new business and leads locally. It is the agent that talks to a lot of people that wins market share; you can’t do that when you send a generic brochure without any follow up. New real estate business is simple when you follow the rules.