In commercial real estate brokerage a part of your database should be dedicated to VIP customers or high value prospects that you want to do business with into the future. In saying that, it is a matter of understanding what a VIP customer will be to you as a commercial real estate agent. You need to set some criteria to identify that customer by type and help them stand out within your database. They have to be given special attention from that point onwards.
Here are some questions to consider as part of this VIP contact and communication strategy:
- Some property investors will own multiple properties in various locations. In servicing these investors you will need to have a variety of skills across the property type locally, as well as sales, leasing, and property management. You may need to involve your team as part of the specialised service process to these investors.
- The VIP customer is chosen for a reason. It may be that you can achieve multiple transactions with them over time, the average potential transaction may be of larger value, or they can lead you into different market segments with referral business and new opportunities.
- The personal approach is quite important in commercial real estate brokerage. Whilst it is convenient to use the telephone as part of your client contact strategy, the VIP clients and customers will require greater levels of interaction and regular ongoing meetings. To achieve that you will need to create some relevance and service strategies for them. Develop a local property information service covering your speciality and the customer’s interest. Quarterly newsletters, e-mail marketing, brochures, and direct mail can all be specifically directed into these specially selected customers. Repeat regular ongoing contact will allow you to build your profile and brand as a specialist commercial real estate agent.
- These high value customers will need special help if you are to service them for the long term. You will need to know their property needs and challenges across locations and property types. You may be looking for some alternative properties, tenants, or development opportunities before the customer themselves approaches you to ask the questions or seek the help. On that basis a VIP property transaction can be made off market and undertaken confidentially.
To make the VIP process work successfully for you, stay organised through your business practices and database management. You will need to track your conversations, meetings, and marketing activities with these higher value people. Every time you talk to them you can refer back to the last level of activity or connection and their responses. They should see and feel that you are better than others in the industry.
It takes time to establish the high levels of trust that you need in commercial real estate, and that is particularly the case with repeat value customers and prospects; in many respects they may know more about the market for the property type than you do, so be careful and read the signs. If that client intensity is the case, find ways in which you can help them whilst respecting their specialist knowledge and market segments.
So what can you do with all of this? Make it a special process each day to connect with new people but also to follow up on your VIP customers. You will soon identify the customers that bring you the majority of your business.