In commercial real estate brokerage, the quality of your questions will help you get closer to the property requirements of the person and or prospect that you are talking to. As you spend more time in the industry you will and can create a list of great questions to use in supporting any property inquiry and process. The questions to ask in Sales, Leasing, and Property Management are all different. Experience will help you with your questions.
Take plenty of notes as part of taking any inquiry. Get to the facts of the property inquiry and the person that you are talking to. If the person holds back on answering your direct questions then you should hold back on providing all the information that they require. Having an ‘open conversation’ is important if you are to help the person find what they want and or solve a property challenge.
Ask About and Explore the Facts
Here are some examples of high quality direct property related questions that show the value of the ‘fact finding’ process:
- What are the best ways to contact you in the future? – You want the person to give you a personal name, a company name, mobile telephone number, and an email. If they are not willing to share that information with you then they have a hidden agenda. In that case you hold back on some of the information that you provide.
- How have you found us (me) to make this inquiry? – You want to know exactly how they have come to connect with you. Perhaps some of your marketing has been effective in creating the inbound inquiry; if that is the case it is always valuable to know what parts of your marketing effort are working.
- What are you specifically looking for? – Understand their property ‘short list’ of requirements so you can drill down on providing the right property listing detail. You want to know about the important facts such as property size, location, improvements, timing, budget, and business needs. One fact can lead to another, so when they give you some leading information, go further with more questions. Take your notes as you go deeper into their property challenge.
- What have you seen locally? – They are likely to be ‘shopping around’ with many other agents; it is worthwhile understanding if they have seen other properties and if they know anything about local property activity and availability. If they have seen other properties, it is likely to have impacted their perception of property ‘value’ and ‘comparisons’. If you know the other listings that they may have looked at you can discuss the comparable variations and locations in a useful way.
- Where are you coming from? – If they are coming from another location, there is likely to be a property exiting issue that you can help with; perhaps even a sale listing.
So this is just the start of the listing and or inquiry process. You can go a lot further with the property enquiry. Get to the real facts of what the person wants and why that is the case. Take plenty of notes as part of that process.