In commercial real estate agency, the listings that you create are the lifeblood of the commissions earned. When you focus on listing quality properties in your area, the enquiries come to you and the real estate business opens up with opportunity. The agent with the listing always wins more commissions in any market.
Far too many agents forget that listings are the most important part of our business. They work with buyers or tenants, and then chase around the industry looking for other agents with the required listing stock. The fact is that buyers and tenants can move around and talk to many agents; you then have little stability and control on the potential deal or the enquiry.
So you can do your job the ‘hard way’ or you can do it the ‘best way’. Wouldn’t you rather control all of the listing yourself and have the client on an exclusive listing with your agency? You then have the opportunity to market and sell or lease the property yourself; this then means better commissions and no fee splits with other agents introducing a buyer or tenant to the deal. You control the deal.
So the message here is that you should get refocused on creating listings and capturing the quality properties in your area. To do this you need a plan and a process to take you forward.
Here are some ideas to help you find the right properties to list locally and convert to ‘exclusives’.
- Get to know the properties in particular locations that are regarded as priority areas for businesses and tenants. Street by street you research the best businesses and property owners. You then make contact with the people that you identify. Understand that the process is complex work and to be successful at it you will need to stay organised and work to a plan of research and contact. Some property owners will be hidden behind property ownership companies, trusts, or other groups. Asking questions of the tenant will likely get you a lot of information faster.
- Understand the quality businesses in the area and get to talk to them about their property needs and challenges. They may own or lease the premises that they occupy; either way you can help them with future relocation needs.
- Talk to property developers and property investors that you can identify from local market knowledge and information. The best way to connect with these groups will be to send a letter and then make a follow-up phone call. Recognise that they will be working with other agents already so it will take time for you to establish with them your credentials, relevance, and skills. Persistence pays in building new relationships.
- Check out the zoning plans and changes that impact the property owners. Any changes in zoning and developments are reasons to talk to local property owners.
- Watch the cycle of property ownership. Every 5 years or so, most property owners or investors will be repositioning to do something else in local property. Go back in the local sale records 3 years or so ago to find these people.
When you get involved in prospecting locally, you will find leads and opportunities for new listings. Start the process and stick to your plan.