city buildings on Hong Kong harbour

There are many barriers and ‘fences to cross’ in commercial real estate brokerage.  That is certainly the case for brokers and agents when they work with challenging properties and some difficult clients.  Some sales and leasing opportunities are ‘buried’ in complexity requiring experience and creative effort to put the deal together.  That’s where property experience will help you move ahead.

The most common problems that you strike will be:

  • Price or rent is too high
  • The enquiry rate is low
  • Lack of motivation on the part of the property owner or third party
  • The offer is well below market
  • Unrealistic expectations of the parties to the deal
  • Inability to commit to a formal and legal offer to purchase or lease
  • Not enough funds to proceed
  • Lack of marketing funds
  • Overly saturated market with many properties available of similar quality

Perceptions and assumptions can quite easily create bigger or larger obstacles in the path to a successful property result, positive marketing campaign, in any sale or lease.

Inexperienced agents look at the problems that the property provides; top agents look at the solutions available and the path to progress.  They then match those solutions to the property as part of the property presentation, inspection, and or sales pitch.

Don’t Assume or Accept Problems

So the rule here is that you should not assume problems but rather you should question the existence of any.  Don’t create barriers and obstacles to the property marketing campaign, the inspection process, or the negotiation; see those factors for what they really are, that is an opportunity for you to provide a positive solution and a good listing or client outcome.

A motivated client or property owner will look at solutions positively and work with you towards a reasonable outcome; you just need to provide the relative market information and the correct business solution.

Without a doubt, some of the property listings we come across can be quite complex, require extensive preparation, and take considerable time to move through.  Through all of this you need to be the solution provider, be it in sales, leasing, or property management.

Listing Exclusivity

Top agents know how to provide solutions and to do so in a timely way incorporating innovation and logical process.  It should be said that the exclusive listing process should be a prerequisite in handling any difficult property problem.  Open listings with problems should not achieve or take too much of your time; they can be a distraction that takes you away from more important properties and listings.

The Negotiation Rules

Here are some ideas to help you with property challenges when listing, negotiating, or documenting:

  • Any matters of lease occupancy or tenancy mix difficulty should be referred to the lease document first and foremost.  When you completely understand the lease document and tenant covenants you will then know how to consult with and advise the client.
  • Any issues relating to documentation difficulty should be mapped out on paper before the contract, the lease, or the letter of offer is finally created.  Look at the targets of the deal and also look at the factors you must address.  The simple fact of writing things down will help you see the alternatives available in a negotiation or property challenge.
  • If you lack the experience with a property negotiation or transaction, you should find others to help you; work in conjunction with those agents that understand the deal process and the property complexity at hand.  Proceeding into a transaction without the necessary knowledge can be fraught with danger and create a real threat of litigation.
  • Innovation and creativity are very good tools to bring to the table when a negotiation or a property transaction becomes complicated or frustrated.  Property experience and local market knowledge will help you with the factors of innovation and creativity for working with your client.
  • Understand the property laws and legislation that impact any sale or leasing transaction.  Understand the documentation that suits the relevant and local property laws, the client, and the negotiation.  When in doubt or with any difficult property deal, you may need a property experienced solicitor or attorney to help.

So when you have property hurdles or challenges to move through, gather the right information around you and check all the facts before you proceed.  Seek others to help you with the complexity of the deal and the documentation that can help you move ahead.

Over time you will know what to look for and you will know how to move through issues successfully and directly.  Experience and local property knowledge will help you greatly.