There different ways to market commercial real estate and in saying that some are far better than others in getting results. The choices that you make in marketing and promotion will greatly impact your inquiry and inspection results.
When you have convinced the client to use your services as an agent in selling the property, the hard work starts at that point. There are (or should be) different levels of agent commitment to the marketing process depending on if the listing is ‘open’ or ‘exclusive’. Think about these facts:
- In an ‘open listing’ the client has not given you any pledge to work with you for the long term; on that basis you should not devote any great amount of time to the promotional effort. Only quote the property when you can see a potential match with a buyer enquiry. When negotiating with the client beware; remember that many other agents are likely to have impacted the way the client thinks on prices and going to contract. In most ‘open listings’ you will find that property negotiations are difficult and protracted.
- In an ‘exclusive listing’ the client has committed to you for the long term (hopefully at least 3 to 6 months’, and on that basis you have something to work with without the confusion of other agents quoting the same listing. You can and should devote real time to the exclusive client and their property. That is where the hard work starts.
I was running a workshop yesterday with 40 or so CBD Agents in Sydney (Australia) where the differences between ‘open’ and ‘exclusive’ came into discussion. Some agents were saying that they are simply not getting ‘exclusives’ simply because ‘that is the way things are out in there in the property market’.
They were talking about the industrial property segment in western Sydney where there are lots of properties that are currently vacant or up for sale. I accept that situations like that will occur, however we cannot build our market share as agents on ‘open’ listings. Our ability to convert to ‘exclusivity’ will depend on our ability to sell our services as relevant and real for the client’s property today.
So there are two different directions here for you to take, especially if you want to build your real estate business from your listings. Think about this:
- If you want to work with ‘open listings’, then you are going to need lots of them to keep your averages up in conversions and commissions. In that case you will need at least 50 plus listings on an ‘open basis’.
- If you can work with ‘exclusive listings’ because you are skilled in pitching for and winning those listings, then you should aim to work with up to 20 exclusives at any one time (beyond that point things get a bit difficult). The agency period should be at least 90 days in each case.
Make your choice, but make the right listing choice that works for you and based on your skills as an agent. Assuming you can list your properties effectively and exclusively, it is then beyond that point the marketing process really kicks in.
The 3 best ways to market a commercial property today and in most cases will be a combination of the following:
- Online Marketing – This process will be a combination of elite and or prime listing on the industry portals to achieve prominence in the property listing against others listed already. Your advert should be professionally written with due regard to the target market and the features of the property. Add to that process of using a number of professional photographs and perhaps even a video taken of the property.
- Direct Marketing – Take the property directly to the local area and the property investors. A signboard on the property will be part of the process, but door knock and call down all businesses and property investors in the area about the property listed. Most properties are bought and sold locally so make that the focus of 80% of your campaign. Getting ‘face to face’ with your market is really important when you are promoting a listing.
- Database Records – You will have (or should have) lots of leads and clients sitting in your database. As part of every property campaign, open up your database and find the right people to talk to about your listing. Integrate your database into your email marketing process, as this will allow regular ongoing contact with the right people. This very process of database use creates plenty of conversations and leads for all your property listings.
Considering these points, it is easy to see the importance of an agent in obtaining an ‘exclusive’ listing as opposed to an ‘open listing’. If the client can commit to you as a real estate professional on an ‘exclusive basis’, then you can commit to the listing and promote it intensely and directly.