When you work with commercial property investors as clients you can generate lots of repeat business for your brokerage across sales, leasing, and property management. In doing so, those clients require plenty of specialised help; the more advanced the property or property type, the greater the pressure on levels of agent knowledge and supplied property information.
High quality property investors like to work with the best agents for the location and property type, and they usually know when they have found that top agent to work with. Some clients in this category will work with a few agents at one time, so the competition is great and continual for good agents to capture and keep these investors in ‘active mode’.
To gain the attention of these investors, ongoing contact in a relevant way is essential. Asking good questions and the logging of property requirements in a good database will help you in tracking the next deals or fee opportunities with these clients.
What do commercial property investors really want?
Recognise the types of services that the investors will require individually and work the requirement with meaningful support. Here are some all important questions to ask these clients in an ongoing way.
- Preferred Property Types – Some investors feel comfortable with a certain type of property. On that basis they know how to run the property, work the leases and find tenants. The simplest form of investment property is usually that of ‘industrial’. When investors become more experienced and comfortable with portfolio growth, the next stage of property selection is usually that of ‘office’. Retail property is a bit different and only the very experienced investors should enter that part of the property market.
- Location – They may have a certain part of the city where they like to choose and invest in new property investments. Choice of location will also create issues of supply and demand, price, and rent.
- Cash Flow Requirements – Successful property investors have a great focus on net rental income and property return. To help them achieve that, you should know about property expenditure and operational costs. Investors will also have priorities in servicing loans and financial arrangements they may have as part of property investment. Understand the timings.
- Life cycle and Holding – How long do they want to hold the property? Is it a short term holding (under 5 years), or a longer term investment (5 to 15 years)? The term of holding will impact the way that tenants are selected and rents are set.
- Highest and Best Use – Some investors like to take a property to the next level of investment through a redevelopment or refurbishment. Only some properties suit this focus, so understand the focus of the investor from the outset.
- Tenant Mix Challenges – Most investment properties will have issues with tenant mix and leasing from time to time. Ask the questions and look for the next challenges coming up in the tenant mix. You can work on rents, vacancies and relocations.
- New Developments Planned and Underway – Within a property portfolio, an investor is likely to have something that they are taking to the next level of growth. New developments and renovation programs take time to implement. Special skills are required. You can help with those things.
The questions that you ask your property investor clients will help you get closer to the next fee or commission opportunity. Look into issues and challenges so you can help your clients.