Most towns and cities today have an abundance of active real estate agents, some of whom are commercial real estate skilled. On that basis your commercial real estate market is likely to be competitive and active. It directly follows that the best agents are those that drive market share within a territory or location, and specialise in a property type.
Here are 7 tips to help you win more clients in a competitive property market location:
- Prospecting – Spend at least 3 hours per day prospecting for new business. It takes a lot of personal discipline to achieve this time commitment however the rewards are many. Do not rely on new business to come to you through the agency or brokerage that you work for as it is unlikely to happen in any real volume.
- Database – Your database is something that you should control and commit to. From the database you will create leads and listing opportunity over time. Constant contact is a critical part of growing new business today. When you connect with a valuable prospect, put them into the database and reconnect with them at least once every 90 days (or more frequently).
- Practice Core Skills – Certain skills are critical to helping you win listings and convert deals. The core skills are usually prospecting, presentations, listing skills, inspections, negotiations, and marketing. Dedicated practice in each category will help you convert more new business. The remaining part of the equation is then in taking action and tracking your results.
- Track deals and results – The things you should track should be ‘front end’ related; such as prospecting calls made, meetings created, listings presented, listings made (open versus exclusive), and commissions written. From these numbers everything else evolves.
- Marketing – Today marketing skills are just so important to our industry and the results achieved by every agent. Look at the industry portals on the internet and you will soon see a radical difference between high quality marketing activities used with exclusive listings, and comparison with the ‘generic’ marketing processes of inexperienced or poorly skilled agents. By ‘high quality’ I mean professional photographs, videos, advertising copy, planned layouts, feature points, target marketing, and headline or title ‘attention grabbers’.
- Negotiation – Some of the people or clients we work for or negotiate with are very experienced in business and property matters. That is the nature of commercial real estate when you compare it to the more ordinary ‘residential property market’ and the ‘mums and dads’ formulating decisions on their emotions rather than logic. It directly follows that as agents we must have advanced and professional negotiation skills; most agents have nowhere near the skills required to handle complex commercial property negotiations, experienced business leaders, and portfolio property investors. Negotiation is something you learn and improve over time. You can fast track the process through deliberate practice, selected actions and skill development. Role playing does help in your business team.
- Follow-up – A client today can be a client again in the future. Every client should be followed up and the relationship you have with them should be nurtured for other new business over time. One client can move through a number of service requirements such as sales, leasing, and property management. Within each segment there are specialist tasks such as income performance, lease planning, project marketing, vacancy minimisation, and tenant mix optimisation. There are quite a lot of things that you can do for your clients over time. Keep in contact over time and follow up all leads and opportunities. With a good database and contact process this is quite easy to do. Over time that leads to better commissions and higher quality listings.
These 7 simple tips are perhaps the biggest issues to get under control in your role as a specialised commercial real estate agent; they also have the most impact. Don’t complicate your business or your career; keep things simple and take action every day with these 7 tips.