The role of a top commercial real estate agent is complex and yet also greatly rewarding. To get to the top of the industry it is a matter of a salesperson doing the right things every day. Whilst that is easy to say, it is difficult to achieve because many people (clients, prospects, and colleagues) will put pressures on your time and skills. You can add to that the inevitable ‘lack of focus’ that some agents struggle with. Yes, I know that we all have good and bad days, but we have to handle that in a positive way. The commissions that we create are based on personal effort. When you lose focus you lose money. When you don’t have any focus, you don’t have any money. It’s a simple equation.
The basic fact of the matter is that you cannot and should not let a day pass without organisation on the things that matter. If you take the three specialities in our industry you can see that each job role is quite specific. Sales, leasing and property management are all demanding specialities that require planning. That being said they all rely on new business and customer service to maintain the required growth factors.
To help with the key roles of a top agent, I have put together some facts and issues that should be incorporated into the sales agent day. Perhaps you can add to the list based on your area and brokerage, however most of these issues will apply to you and your team. Look for your strengths and fix your weaknesses. Here is the list:
- Planning business activities – The planning process is critical to the direction of an agent with their market share. A plan helps them stay on track with the things that matter. The world is full of agents that let randomness and mediocrity creep into the working day. We all have choices and planning is a big part of that.
- Understand your personal targets and goals – Setting targets and goals should apply to listings, commissions, deals, signboards, inspections, prospecting, and meetings. They are all numbers that have a real message for us in growing our business. They should apply to every individual in a sales team, leasing team, and property management team. The property management focus is a bit different, but growth of client activities and listings will still be required.
- Creating marketing systems and strategies – Every agent or broker is required to market themselves; some call it prospecting and without it nothing happens. Ask yourself the question now, ‘Do you prospect enough?’
- New Property listings – Listing is a personal thing and it requires specialisation in our part of the industry. We have to know about property types, improvements, income, expenditure, outgoings, lease optimisation, tenants, capitalisation, marketing strategies, and the list goes on. Every quality listing should be optimised for the target market that it attracts. When you spend time on the listing process (the front end of a deal) you will usually find that enquiries lift and inspections are more productive.
- Client relations – The clients that you connect with must respect you as a top agent. To achieve that it requires a special approach of relevance and confidence.
- Market awareness and database growth – An agent without a database is like a ‘boat without an engine’. It is really common sense although many agents have poor databases that struggle to be of any relevance at all.
- Negotiating – When it comes to negotiating a sale or lease, the process can be quite specific. The complexities of how you put the deal on paper will always vary so it is incumbent on all of us to have great documentation skills for even the toughest of transactions.
- Lease document and Contract management – This is a personal thing. When you negotiate a deal, it is paramount that you stay with it to the very end. Many things can happen to derail a contract or lease. Understand who your client is in the transaction and help them close and complete the sale or lease.
- Practicing sales skills and dialogues – The more that you practice your special skills with clients and prospects, you will find that negotiations get a bit easier and your confidence in working with those difficult challenges of the market strengthens.
- Lead generation – This is the responsibility of every agent and broker. Without leads you are a ‘tourist’ in the industry. Grow your leads at every opportunity.
- Prospecting and appointment creation – Every agent and broker is responsible for finding new clients and prospects. You cannot leave it to others (when you do that nothing seems to happen and you lose market share). You cannot delegate your prospecting; that’s the rule!
- Qualification of buyers and tenants, sellers and landlords – You simply must qualify the people you connect with before you spend a lot of time on helping them. Some of the people that you work with will be connecting with many agents at the same time. They will be looking at many properties and perhaps even some of your listings through other agents. That is why ‘exclusive listings’ are so important.
- Taking and servicing property enquiries – When the telephone rings take the call or respond as quickly as you can to the message left. Every now and then I hear of those agents that ‘take the weekend off’ away from their telephone. Sure, you may not want to inspect properties every day of the week, but it doesn’t take much effort to answer the telephone and have a conversation.
- Holding property inspections with qualified parties – Don’t take any person to a property without qualifying them fully. There are a lot of time wasting people out there today. Focus on the people that are genuine. Ask questions until you know that they are truly genuine.
- Have fun even in the toughest of situations – Make your job as interesting as you can. Most importantly have fun in what you do. Put people at the centre of your activities and you will soon be talking to more prospects and clients. That’s when the ‘fun’ starts.
This type of list gives many agents and brokers a ‘headache’ simply because of the issues and complexity. Did I say that the industry is easy? No, I did not; but I did say that the rewards are many for those that work to a system and focus. Don’t be a ‘tourist’ in our industry, be a top agent and a top performer. Take charge.