There are many different clients to work for in commercial and retail investment real estate. As brokers and agents we should be very selective with our clients; in only that way can we grow market share and commission opportunity in the most effective ways.
Some clients are good for a ‘once off’ transaction, then never to be seen again; others are more involved in the local area and the levels of property investment available. You have some choices to make here with the clients that are better to work with.
So what does an ‘ideal client’ look like to you? Have you considered the best ‘client profile’ to target in your prospecting and new business efforts? Targeted client prospecting has a greater level of success than just a ‘broad brush’ approach with little logic.
Here are some ideas to help you refine your client selection and interaction processes:
- Location – Hone down into the property ownership and occupancy records of the streets in your city or listing zones. Most property owners prefer to purchase, sell, and lease in locations that they are very familiar with. Get to know property owners by location.
- Portfolio type – Some clients will prefer properties by type; that could be office, industrial, or retail. Those clients purchase, lease, and sell within the market that they understand. They also look for the agents that specialise within the property type.
- Portfolio size – It stands to reason that a larger property and a multi property portfolio will offer many levels of business for a skilful agent. That is where the clients with a multi-property portfolio will offer opportunity.
- Repeat business – One well-chosen client will provide repeat levels of business. It is a matter of offering the skills and the service to match future and current needs. Times change for some clients where they no longer have the time or the inclination to get involved in the day to day problems of their property. Ask the right questions with your clients to look for this opportunity.
- Referrals – A job done well is a reason to ask for a referral. Many of our clients know others that we can approach for new business. You can build a very good real estate business on the back of referrals.
- Servicing alternatives – One property transaction can and should lead to another; that is where the links between sales, leasing, and property management should be remembered. It may not be this year, but the sale that you did today could very well be a leasing or property management appointment soon. Watch for those needs and requirements.
It is the case in commercial real estate that ‘not all clients are equal’. Watch the top agents in the market and you will see that most of them have a special group of higher value VIP clients that they nurture and work with over time.