Profiling and Qualifying Decision Makers in Commercial Real Estate

Profiling Decision Makers

In commercial real estate brokerage you will be working with some very diverse and some highly experienced business professionals as your clients.  It is worthwhile profiling them and understanding them from the very start of your real estate relationship.

Before I go further here, it is worthwhile noting that some of those business people are likely to be far more experienced than you are in negotiating and closing on contracts and business transactions.  It stands to reason that you should be practicing your dialogues and skills of negotiating quite frequently.

Stay up with the factors of the market today.  Within the sales team you can share current challenges of the property market today, and then discuss or role play the methods of response and action to be used in negotiating.  Practice is a good thing in our industry and will help you close more deals and listings.

So let’s look at the situation where you are helping a business leader with property selection and choice in finding an industrial property to purchase for business use and operations.  Here are some questions and concepts to work through:

  1. Name and basic contact information – That will include mobile telephone, email, and address.  If you intend to send them information into the future regards local property, you should seek their permission to do so.  Some databases have a ‘check box’ for that very purpose.
  2. What have they looked at already? – It is likely that the person you are talking to has inspected and or spoken to other agents in your town or city.  They may have inspected some ‘openly’ listed properties already and have formed an opinion about a ‘short list’ or a series of property requirements.
  3. What do they know? – Find out what the person knows about the local property market currently.  Question them about prices, rents, occupancy costs, and locations.  You will soon know if they have a full understanding of the property type and the costs and choices of relocation.
  4. Where are they coming from? – They may own other property or be coming from another location.  That other property and the moving factor will help you understand what they are doing now and how that will change in any relocation.
  5. Must have factors in property choice? – Some businesses and decision makers will have a list of factors of concern in locating another property; the list will be impacted by business size, type, staff numbers, customer interaction, business deliveries and despatch, fitout, and departmental interaction.  I like to call the list the ‘must haves’; the list helps you figure out exactly what elements and factors of property choice will clearly match the inspections and properties you quote.  If you focus on a property type or area, it pays to have a checklist for that very purpose; the checklist helps you drill down into very relevant questions and facts about creating a ‘property shortlist’.
  6. Are they genuine? – Quite often you will get enquiries from people that are deliberately vague and limited; in such case you can also ‘hold back’ on what information you provide until you know that the person you are talking to really is open and honest.  When you control the enquiry you control the deal and the negotiation.

When you are working with the decision makers of business and commerce, seek to understand their needs completely and fully.  Match your skills and information to their requirements and keep up the momentum of the deal.

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