The investment sales part of our industry is quite special. In this segment of the market you are dealing with people with high net wealth who understand exactly what they are looking for when it comes to a property type and a location. From a client perspective they are in the ‘VIP’ class of interaction. Over time they will buy and sell many different properties to achieve the investment results that they seek. They are repeat customers, and on that basis they are highly valuable to a real estate agent.
If you want to work with these clients, a high degree of trust is required; that doesn’t happen overnight. These clients must come to respect and trust your skills in helping them solve a property problem or secure a new property for their portfolio. The top agents of the market work this segment continually and successfully; that’s how they win more new business of higher quality.
So the basic issue here is in you developing a trusted reputation locally as a property specialist. That is when the property investors will seek you out to help in solving sales and leasing challenges. Here are some ways to create that profile and help your clients:
- High quality properties – If you list the higher quality properties, the property investors will seek you out. You can build a database of good contacts by focusing on higher quality listings. Every property campaign at the ‘higher end’ will direct more new people to you that are seeking to invest or change their property investments.
- Property needs – Some of your clients will have a specific property need or preference in property type, and you must know what those needs are. Get to know what each of your VIP clients require when it comes to property holdings and income growth. Generally speaking, most property investors stay ‘local’ when it comes to property purchase; it is a market that they understand or a property type that they can relate to. As the ‘local expert’ agent, you can help with upcoming property needs; stay close to the property changes and opportunities in your territory, town or city.
- Minimise Risk – An ongoing problem for investors is that of risk. Any investment property will have challenges when it comes to tenant mix, leases, vacancies, renovation, and redundancy. As the agent for the client you can help them through these ‘lifecycle’ issues using proven strategies of planning, income improvement, and tenant change.
- Finding Better Properties – Some investors will want to shift and change properties as part of ongoing investment improvement and risk minimisation. Tenant mix, rental returns, and property zoning changes will all be triggers for changing investments and moving on to the next property. The trigger for change may also be in finding another suitable asset to acquire or expand into as part of portfolio growth. Stay close to the changes and the property ownership structures in the local area, and look for those next properties that are coming onto the market. Many sales and disposal strategies can be implemented ‘off market’ away from the prying eyes and interference of your competitors.
- Market Updates – You can and should provide market updates to all of your VIP clients, so they can make decisions around property strategy and change. Give your VIP clients the ‘inside running’ and early tips on changes to the market, property availability and zoning changes. Every time you hear something of value to a client with their property challenges or ownership, consider how you may share that information (of course you must respect privacy and confidentiality where appropriate).
Simple strategies like these help you develop solid levels of trust with your VIP clients and property investors. Over time they can give you a lot of new business. Become the ‘trusted advisor’.