In commercial real estate brokerage, every agent should have a business development area to focus within. Inside that zone or precinct opportunities can be developed in sales, leasing, and property management. The area of the zone should not be too large and ideally should contain approximately 2000 properties. On a ‘street by street’ basis the agent can then get to know property owners, investors, and business proprietors.
Business Development Area Plan
To develop this concept here are some stages to the process:
- Maps – Get maps of the area so that you can understand street names and locations. The maps that are usually of great value will be firstly be street directory, and secondly the property ownership map of the zone.
- Planning Rules – Understand the local planning and development zones and precincts. A map of region showing the planning rules and regulations will help you understand the uses that can be applied to property ownership and occupation.
- Drive Around – On a weekend when things are reasonably quiet, travel through the sales territory or area looking for current listings and major properties. Current listings with other agents will give you an idea of price and rent. You can track those listings over time to understand time on market in each case. Look for vacancies and properties under stress.
- New Development Projects – New property developments will come and go from the market. Check out the new developments coming up that will inject new property space and quality listings into the property market. Those new developments could be impacting the balance between supply and demand. They could also impact price and/or rent as the case may be.
- Vacant Property – Vacant land should be identified within your region. Depending on the zoning, that vacant land could be suitable for redevelopment or a new project. Any parcels of vacant land, be they large or small, should be researched for that reason, and the property owners contacted directly.
- Quality Buildings – The high quality buildings within your business development area will usually contain high-profile tenants and businesses. Research the buildings locally that are likely to contain and attract those businesses or occupants. You can contact those tenants and businesses directly to identify any needs for relocation or expansion.
- Know Prices and Rents – Research prices and rentals as they apply to the property types. You may specialise in a narrow segment of the market and particularly a property type for the location. Get to know the shifts and changes that apply to prices and rentals within the property type. The clients and the investors that we work with expect comprehensive property knowledge and experience. That knowledge will also help you convert more property presentation is to listings. The knowledge will also help you with bringing a negotiation to finality.
- VIP Clients – Establish a group of VIP clients from your property research. Those VIP clients should be selected for their potential when it comes to sales, leasing, and property management. Connect with these clients in a regular way into the future through some prospecting and networking process. Relevance will help you convert conversations to meetings.
- Database and Contact Systems – Success in our industry is heavily geared to personal contact and established relationships. Set yourself some targets of contact so you can meet with new people in a regular and ongoing way. Whilst you can make a lot of telephone calls as part of daily prospecting, the ultimate personal target should be to create meetings and build relationships. Those relationships will eventually lead to property opportunity.
When you look back over these nine specific issues and strategies, you will see that property research is a big part of the industry. There is no shortcut to identifying the right property people and working with them into the future. Every day devote two or three hours of your time to the prospecting and researching process.
Find new people to talk to and continue the relationships with others that you have spoken to before. That is how you build your commercial real estate business. If you stay within the defined business development area, you can focus your prospecting efforts and get to understand what people are looking for at an individual level. I go back to the point that relationships are really important in commercial real estate today.