In any commercial real estate brokerage you are likely to have a few agents connecting with any single client on a number of different issues. That is where things get a bit complex and confusing; particularly if a number of property or project issues are underway. The only way to handle that process is by using a client contact register as part of a centralized database system.
Keep Good Client Records
The concept here is that all agents in the client contact group can see who is connecting with those VIP clients for the brokerage and on what basis; a record of all meetings and telephone calls should be created as soon as possible after a client connection.
With any major property brokerage it is likely that a few people will be helping with a VIP property challenge across sales, leasing and or property management. Know how one property activity can integrate others. Introduce your best people to the client contact group to expand on specialized services provided.
So how can you keep this special process under control? Here are some ideas that have worked for me:
- Key Account Manager – In understanding the value of the client to the real estate business, one single agent should be in charge of the client at the high end of interaction. That means all issues and processes should be referred through the ‘Key Account Manager’ for reasons of awareness and final direction. Any big decisions and client recommendations should not be put to the client without the Account Manager being briefed beforehand.
- One Person Makes the Decisions – The main agent in charge of the client contact should be highly aware of the focus of the client and the pressures that may be influencing the client’s activities and property decisions. Confidentiality is a big thing in commercial property; it is quite common for only a small group of people to be fully appraised of the client’s property decisions and directions.
- Standards of Communication Set – Understand how the client should be approached and on what basis. Who should make a call, or how should information be sent? Standards should be set for communicating with each VIP client.
- Feedback Channels – The top agent appointed to the client connection should be making regular contact with the client and monitoring how the active property issues are tracking. They should also be looking for signs of change, challenge, or discomfort with direct client services provided. If the client relationship is of high value or the property project is large and lengthy, then it may be necessary for feedback meetings to occur weekly with the client and the support team to keep things on track. In any major high rise commercial project sale or leasing appointment, that strategy would be set and implemented from the very beginning of the client connection.
- Commission Sharing – Given that many high end clients will have major project issues to contend with over a lengthy period of time, there should be a commission sharing arrangement in the brokerage where team members to the client contact group are suitably rewarded for time and task focus.
A high quality client contact register and system in commercial real estate brokerage will help in the growth of overall business at the high end of client involvement. Only the best clients should be given this service, but I am sure you will know who those clients are and how those services should be provided.