In commercial real estate brokerage, most clients care about results and feedback over everything else that they have on their agenda. They want to work with the best agent that can resolve things efficiently, directly and in a timely way. The same client priorities apply to sales and leasing no matter what the property market is doing.
Essential Client Questions
How attractive are your real estate services to help your clients? Think about these questions:
- What rules of focus do you apply to your listings on an open basis versus the exclusive listings that you have currently? You should be treating your listing types differently as to your commitment and negotiations. Spend more time on your exclusive listings.
- How do you advise your clients of listing and marketing activity for the week? Most listings take a good degree of time to process and promote. It can be weeks if not months before you get a good degree of feedback from your property promotions and inspections. Set some guidelines on how you will keep your good clients fully briefed on listing momentum.
- How can you keep the communication flowing for your clients when negotiations are underway? Any client that is fully informed is likely to agree to finalize matters or closing on a transaction for a positive outcome.
- What are the targets to be obtained when selling or leasing the listed properties you have now for your VIP and exclusive clients? Recognize that there are solution targets for most clients when it comes to selling or leasing their property.
Taking this logic a bit further, good communication always helps when it comes to getting results with your property listings. It is easy to send an email, make a contact call, or drop in to see the client to convey property facts and events.
A Good Client Engagement System
Here is a system that I apply with all my client communications with exclusive listings and clients:
- Always contact the client after a property inspection to give ‘third party’ feedback from the property walk through.
- As a marketing campaign proceeds, the client should be told about the levels of enquiry from the different marketing channels. Remember the differences between online, direct, and traditional marketing.
- When a negotiation is underway, all offers should be in writing so that the appropriate negotiation control can be applied. Control the documentation with professional documentation.
- I do not like to negotiate over the telephone unless it is a last resort given the remoteness of the parties.
- When there is money involved in a final negotiation as a deposit, bond, or part payment, I always get the money paid first as part of the signing process on the formal and legal documentation. Get the money cleared through the bank before you regard the offer or payment as ‘proven’.
- All telephone calls during the day at any time are recorded in a ‘day book’. That day book is a simple exercise book that changes at the end of each month. It is very easy to take the exercise book out of the office and use it at any time. The book becomes an important base of business records that can be called on in times of dispute or negotiation.
- If there is any doubt about property facts, records, or financials, I prefer to hold back on getting the final papers signed. A simple error or omission can be a costly event at a later stage. Stay out of ‘trouble’ and check all your facts and records.
So, what does the client care about? They care about timely solutions and controls that help them get the financial and property outcomes that they need. When you understand that fact, you can modify your services and build better client communications and services for the long term.