If you take the time to research your market thoroughly and completely, you will find plenty of opportunities to work on in commercial real estate sales and leasing. When things get tough and slow with clients and commissions, the best thing to do is talk to more people and focus on finding fresh opportunity. That is where the right property ownership research will help you greatly.
All of that being said, it is the research process that so many other agents and brokers overlook or avoid when looking for more clients; they see it as tedious and time consuming. They simply do not devote enough time to finding the right people and connecting in the correct way.
It is well-known fact that churn and opportunity will come mainly from two segments of the property market regularly. Those segments are firstly the local property investors, and secondly the business leaders operating businesses. Connect with new people in each group in an ongoing way; tell them about current leasing and sales activity, then ask about their property needs and intentions. Whilst you will always get some people that are not interested in sharing information, others will show an interest in some way; that is where your ability to converse and question will become important.
So you need an accurate way of moving through the territory that you have been allocated. Consider these questions firstly before you start your research:
- Is your property market growing in any way and if so how can you tap into that? Some segments of the property industry in your town or city will have ‘pockets’ of growth, so look for them and understand why that growth is occurring.
- What will be your points of difference? To attract the new business, your skills and relevance will need strengthening and marketing. That will require a plan and a process of action.
- What property types do you know a lot about? Don’t make things too hard for yourself; work the property types that you understand and then grow that level of competence in a complete way. It is hard for a client to ignore top agents commanding a good market share.
- What are the property investors and business leaders looking for? Preferences for property change can be many, and any new property developments can be the catalyst for that change. Where are the local property developments occurring next? See if you can get involved in those newer property developments and particularly so the projects with a number of premises or properties to be leased and or sold.
When you can answer these questions, you have the basis of building a better commercial real estate business. These things will give you traction in attracting commissions and listings.
So you can now build an accurate process of researching your property market, and you can do so comprehensively. Target the following segments of information and activity, and then build your prospecting model directly into each group:
- Property Ownership records – On a street by street basis, move through the property ownership records looking for people that you can call or send letters to. Ultimately you must meet will people, however the telephone and the direct mail approach works when it comes to connecting in the first instance.
- High quality properties – Identify the better buildings locally. Determine why people and business leaders prefer those properties. Canvass those property owners and the tenants in each building. Ask questions and you will soon find factors of change.
- Business types – Some local businesses will be more active than others. That will usually have something to do with the local economy and the industries centred on your communities. If your town or city is associated with a core industry then it is essential that you start your prospecting on those ‘base industries’. Get to know the business leaders of each successful local business.
- Professional associates – Some solicitors and accountants can give you a direct lead in to property investors and active businesses. It takes time to build the relationship with these people, but the rewards are many when levels of trust and respect have been established.
You can now see why it is so important to accurately research your property market as part of prospecting for new business in commercial real estate brokerage today.