Qualifying Questions and Answers for Commercial Real Estate Clients

When it comes to working with commercial real estate clients, it pays to understand their focus and challenges.  Most clients will come to you with issues and assumptions about the property market and their listing.  Develop a questioning technique to get closer to their property requirements.  Understand their ‘world’ before you say too much about your ‘world’.

It is a fact that with time and the ongoing experience you get as a broker you can ask far better questions.  In that way your professionalism will help convert quality listings and clients.  So what questions would you ask?  Given a sales, leasing, or property management situation there are plenty of twists and turns to a client conversation about property.

Here are some preliminary questioning and discussion ideas to help take you forward with this client connection process:

  • How long have you held the property?
  • What has been the principle use of the property over time?
  • What are you looking to achieve today in this market?
  • Tell me what you have seen in the local market with similar properties.
  • What is the ideal outcome for you in this sale (or lease)?
  • Have you quoted this property to other brokers and agents and if so who and when?
  • Has the property been on the market previously with other brokers?

From these simple questions you will soon know how you can relate to the client.  You will also see what their intentions are and how the property is positioned for marketing.

Use facts from the market to shape the client to the best marketing solution.  Those facts relate to price, rent, and time on market, best promotional solutions, inspections, and negotiations.  Expert opinion is required; that’s what the client expects.

To take a client forward in any potential property listing situation this is the strategy I would use:

  1. Meet them at the property so you can look at it together and discuss issues and trends.  Find out what the client expects from the promotion and the inspection process.  As a general rule they should be agreeing to pay the marketing funds for your promotional activity.  It is not a cost that the brokerage should pay.
  2. Set the plan in place for any ‘site works’ to be remedied by the client before the marketing commences.  You don’t need problems when it comes to inspecting a property with qualified buyers and tenants.  Presentation is everything in marketing a commercial or retail property.
  3. Establish with the client the agreed target market that you see as relevant to all promotion.  From that point you can design a very specific promotional campaign.
  4. Tell the client how you will be personally involved in spreading the message about the property.
  5. Arrange to have all draft marketing material to the client over the next 7 days so you can get final approval to proceed.  Make sure that all your property facts are correct and up to date.

From this point you can chart the progress of the listing and the marketing effort.  Make every listing an exclusive process and get your ideas firmly locked in with the client.

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