In commercial real estate brokerage some of the buyers and tenants that you interact with can waste a lot of your time.  The only way to protect your time with these people is to fully qualify them before you take action and help them.

Your Time is Valuable

One underlying principle here is to remember that your time is the most valuable resource that you have.  Every day your time has to be used with care and focus.  The 8 or 10 working hours of your day should be devoted to business generation and client commitments.

When you qualify the people that approach you about a property matter, you can understand important issues including the following facts:

  1. Have they spoken to others? – Sometimes you will find that a buyer or tenant is talking to a number of local real estate agents at the same time and potentially inspecting properties on that basis. The question is have they seen the properties that you have listed through any other agent?  Get to the facts about what they have seen and when.  It is questionable as to how much time you should spend with a property buyer that is ‘shopping around’ with many other agents.
  2. Do they understand the local property market? – People form their own opinion about property market conditions and will enquire or negotiate on that basis. Through direct questioning you can determine if the person you are talking to really does know anything about rents, prices, and property types.  If they have incorrect information or perceptions about the local property key indicators then a degree of conditioning is required.  Have available a series of facts and trends from the local area with recent deals and property activities.
  3. What are they looking for? – Get to the precise facts about what they are looking for by way of a property to rent or buy. Drill down on property improvements, location, size, and budget.  The key question will be whether the property they want is in their budget for today’s property market.
  4. Time frames for the lease or purchase? – When do they want to complete the property transaction? It takes time to find, negotiate, and complete a property transaction.  The question or facts should indicate that their property requirement and changeover is realistic in time frame.
  5. Finance capabilities to buy? – Have they got the money to do the deal? In a lease situation things are not as quite focused on budgets, however in any sale, the finance for the deal will have to come from somewhere.  Understand if the potential buyer has organised the necessary cash to complete the contract and settlement in a timely way.

There are many other questions that you can ask given the property type and your local industry.  Protect your time through direct questioning and qualification of every buyer or tenant that approaches you about a property listed.