In commercial real estate agency today the levels of buyer and tenant enquiry will change from location to location and property to property. As the year progresses the same things happen with listings and the sellers or landlords that we work with. This change can do some damage to your listing numbers and your commissions. You must be prepared for the peaks and valleys in our business and industry. You must rise to a peak in your market and ‘stay there’.
When you work as a commercial real estate agent, you must be prepared for the fluctuations in the market; the only way you can do that is to stay focused on finding new clients and building relationships. Top agents do that all the time. You have to do it every day; no excuses please.
Prospecting is the key to building a better commercial real estate business at any time and in any property market. Unfortunately some agents prospect only when they have to and forget the process when they have other things to do. That can create great pain in your listing bank and your commission cash flow.
It takes about 3 months of poor prospecting activity to get into a ‘valley’ of depressed market conditions with fewer listings, and it takes the same time for you to pull yourself out of it. Prospecting is everything when it comes to commercial real estate sales and leasing; is a fact of great importance. Yes, I know the property market is a challenge in most locations, but that is no reason to sit on your hands and do nothing special; if anything now is the time to start your build up for the coming 12 months.
So let’s talk about ‘prospecting panic’. That is a process of prospecting when you are in a ‘deep valley’ of depressed listings and few closed deals. When things are really tough, prospecting seems like a good idea, however desperation can take over. Whilst prospecting is required and essential, you must not seem ‘desperate’ in the process. Get organized and start taking control of your commercial real estate business.
In this business it is ‘stability’ that you require as a real estate agent. Stability comes only through your deliberate prospecting and marketing efforts. When you prospect every day, new opportunities will come your way. Stop the ‘prospecting panic’; rise to the top of your market and stay there with a deliberate business system of constant contact and marketing activity. You are your own brand, and you must market yourself.
Here are the keys to working in a tougher property market:
- Systemise your day so you stay focused on the things that matter to your business.
- Stay away from other salespeople in your office that are ‘stuck’ in a downward spiral of poor performance (you can’t learn anything from them and their excuses will mess up your thinking).
- Focus your prospecting to a regular period of 3 hours every day. The morning is the best time to prospect.
- Track your ratios between calls, meetings, listings, inspections, deals, and referrals. The ratios will show you where you are improving. It takes about 3 weeks to see changes start to occur.
- Build your database at every opportunity. You must run your database yourself to maintain the accuracy of the information and the ongoing contact with key people.
- Plan tomorrow’s activities at the end of today. Organisation is the key to focusing on the things that really matter.
- When you are not prospecting, get out into the market and talk to some new people. Local business owners are a good group to start with. Door-knock the local businesses. You will get a lot of local market intelligence that way.
Make no mistake; the commercial real estate industry can be really hard for some salespeople that do not have a system of focus, and the property market will change regularly (you can’t change that). The only things that you can control are your efforts and focus.
When you get this equation right, the property market will offer you some real opportunities. Rise to the ‘peak’ of your commercial real estate industry and location. Start taking control through deliberate focus and direct prospecting action. Is it going to be hard? Yes, but you can do it.