In today’s commercial real estate market, there are many ways that you can help property investor clients as they deal with market changes and property performance or occupancy. In many cases those investors will be ‘VIP clients’ looking at the bigger picture of property results and ways that investment returns can be optimized.
Many agents don’t focus enough on top clients; that then leaves commissions and listings ‘on the table’. So how can you be the ‘agent of choice’ to help some of your clients? What can you do that is special and of value to the clients that you serve?
VIP Client Focus Issues
Try some of these:
- Resolving tenant occupancy issues in a timely way – Leases contain critical dates and response mechanisms for key issues such as rent reviews, options, make good, and renovation. Take the time to understand the leases that apply in your client’s property. You can do that through a tenant retention plan and an annual property review as part of the property business plan. For major clients and investors, it is quite possible that you could charge a fee for this specialized service.
- Fixing vacancy problems – When you have leases and a number of tenants, it is wise to track the lease expiry dates and upcoming lease changes. Through connecting with your tenants regularly and understanding the current leases you should be able to identify vacancies coming up before they exist. That then gives you time to market the property and find the ideal tenants to suit the mix.
- Improving the tenant mix – In a property with a number of tenants you can always make some improvements by allowing for tenant clustering, expansion, and contraction. You can also relocate your better tenants to improve the market rental for the property.
- Track competing properties – You will learn a lot from competing properties. On a regular basis check out the vacancy factors and property marketing strategies being used. Review the market rents and incentives being offered in those other properties and locations.
- Tracking and optimizing net income from property cash flow – Having a good market rent is one thing; having a solid and improving net income is another and perhaps far more important issue when you work for specific clients. It takes real skill to see how gross income can be improved and then modify property occupancy costs to improve net income (the bottom line). Understand what net income averages are within property groups or types. Compare your property to the averages. Are you on the ‘positive side’ of property performance in the income stakes? Can you help your clients move to the next level?
- Finding another property – Some investors need another property for one reason or another. It’s great when you can find the matching property and do a contract off market away from the pressures and interference of other agents. That process gets a lot easier when you comprehensively work your database.
So there are some things to do here. Many clients need help through the year. Constant contact with people in your database will help you find the deals waiting to be done.