How to Take Advantage of a Competitive Analysis in Real Estate

Hong Kong Harbour and city buildings

In commercial real estate brokerage, today, the activities of your competitors are indicators that you cannot and should not ignore.  Through tracking those people and their activities you will see their weaknesses and their strengths; through those things you can shift your activities for better results.  Learn from the best and the worst of your competitors.  See the things that work and those that don’t.

(NB – you can get our commercial real estate training right here)

Look Local

Look at your location and the ‘typical’ business year.  How long on average is it taking for listings to move to a successful result?  In that assessment, you should differentiate between sales and leasing, as well as open listings versus exclusives.

There will be averages that you can sense and see in the analysis.  You can do things with those indicators.  Importantly, you can move on the things that can bring you results.  When you see the trends, the strategies for you to work on will evolve.

What Can You See?

Here are some ideas to help you track the listings of your competitors:

  1. Internet listings – review the internet portals, the commercial property sites, and the websites of your competitors once per week. Tally up the listings by competitors and track those things over the year.  You may find it valuable to break the numbers down into individual agents rather than brokerages.  Graph the trends and then decide who are the competitors that you can learn from; and those that are of little competition.  You can repeat the strengths of other agents, and avoid the errors of those that are not so good.
  2. Newspaper listings – there will be certain days of the week where more commercial properties are placed in the traditional newspaper outlets and tabloids. Seasonally you will see peaks and troughs in the placement of adverts into the newspapers. Determine the newspapers that are working more than others.  Choose your marketing campaigns around the better newspapers and times of the week or year where results are happening.
  3. Target markets – look at the property markets that your competitors are chasing, also understand how they are doing that. Most agents and brokers are more ‘ordinary’ in the way they do things, but a few good agents will be targeted in who they work with and why.  Learn from that activity.
  4. Time on market and stale listings – some listings will take a long time to move. Open listings are a case in point.  Perhaps some listings are overpriced or just not marketed correctly.  Stale listings can also be actioned or chased again at a later stage.  See if the property owner wants to try their listing with another agent that may have better marketing ideas.  Market coverage is important in getting the inspections going and the negotiation momentum today.  Property specialization will help you get more results in a shorter period.
  5. Methods of sale or lease – understand what the specific methods are working in the local property market, and those that are not. If you are specializing in a location and a property type, the methods of marketing, sale, lease, inspections and negotiations are all quite special.  Develop your driven processes based on market facts.

So you can see from these facts, that some tracking systems applied to the activities of your property competitors will give you some valuable ideas and opportunities.  See the local trends in commercial real estate for what they are.  Make the decisions to move on the advantage factors from the location and the better property types.  It was once said that the commercial property market is somewhat ‘predictable’ if you consider the real facts and the history of the area.

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