In commercial real estate sales, your brokerage can benefit significantly from implementing a seller management process. By definition, this is a process where you can control the interaction and experience provided to your clients as owners of commercial property.
The object of the process is to ensure professionalism throughout the sales experience and to encourage ongoing client interaction ultimately leading to future referral business. In many respects the client experience in selling any commercial property can be difficult and challenging. Some clients require help and guidance through the process.
Unfortunately some agents provide a ‘generic service’ when it comes to client interaction and feedback, that then leaves the ‘door open’ for better agents to serve clients well. On that basis you should provide a specific management process for your clients selling their property through your brokerage. Help them move through the complexities of:
- Property preparation
Here are some ideas to help you establish this specific ‘Sales Management’ part of your professional real estate services. You can add to the list based on the property specialty, the location, your agent services, and the client’s needs. Here is the list:
- Start the process from the initial invitation to present your services and proposals to the client. From that point it is not just a matter of the agent interacting with the client; have your sales manager or team leader approach the client to thank them for the opportunity to review the property and quote on the sales strategy.
- In most ordinary listing cases the individual agent will be presenting and pitching for the listing. With complex properties and special clients, involve the sales manager and any other specialists from the team who can add value to the client presentation. When it comes to large specialized properties it is not unusual to have your property management specialists and leasing executives join the meeting. They can then comment regards listing improvement processes prior to the sales marketing campaign starting.
- When you win a listing it is time for action and listing control. Have are the sales manager directly contact the client and congratulate them for choosing your brokerage with their property needs. Allow and encourage the client to connect with the sales manager on any matters of listing concern.
- Provide a campaign calendar that summarizes the marketing process for the listing in question. You should also add copies of draft advertising relating to the campaign. Ensure that the client is involved in the advertising layout and campaign structure.
- The seller of the property should be contributing towards the marketing costs as part of any exclusive listing. Ensure that those funds are received prior to the commencement of the marketing campaign.
- The listing agent and the sales manager should meet with the client just prior to the commencement of the campaign. In that way the expectations of the client can be further clarified before any action is taken. The client will also appreciate the involvement of the team leader or manager in their property challenge.
- List out the stages of marketing, inspecting, and negotiating in a Gantt chart for the client. This will help them see the strategies that will be moved through and when that will occur; it will help them understand the level of professionalism that your brokerage and agents will provide.
- At least three times per week the client should be given an update by the individual agent regards marketing activity and inspection results. At the end of each week the client should receive a written activity report from the last seven days of agent marketing, together with appropriate strategies to move ahead into the next stages of marketing in the coming week.
- Make the client aware that regular meetings will occur during the campaign to adjust marketing strategy, together with price and rental as the case may be. The listing cannot be allowed to stagnate on the market. The first three or four weeks of every property campaign are very important. Ensure that you are getting results and inspections during that time. Any slow results or lack of enquiry will force you to seek property price adjustments and marketing reviews. The client should be prepared for the activity.
- When the negotiations start, offers should be submitted in writing following a full and complete qualification of the interested parties; have a check-list to track negotiation progress (this is of great benefit with complex properties). Keep the client fully updated of negotiation activities and momentum.
So there are plenty of things to do when it comes to managing the experience of property sellers as clients. Implement a client management strategy for your brokerage and ensure that your agents are fully involved. This simple professional service strategy will help with new business and referral leads.