Commercial real estate as a career can be very rewarding in so many ways providing you put in the effort. The right effort directed towards the best clients and properties will give you the best opportunities as an agent or broker.
Top salespeople work to a personal business system. They refine their system and improve it on a regular basis. Good things repeated over time will bring results. Habits are important to helping things happen and getting results. Many agents struggle with the ‘habit’ process and therefore suffer a series of ‘peaks and troughs’ in the market.
Develop a System at a Personal Level
I like to keep things very simple as a broker of some years in the industry. In doing that the following strategies have worked very well for me in building my real estate business:
- Research – There is no short cut to finding new clients and prospects to work with. Hard work and organisation is required. Each day by talking to lots of new people in a consistent way, you will find some opportunities; you only need 1 or 2 opportunities per day to convert one listing per week. Your ratios will improve with consistency in action. Make it a target to talk to a certain number of new people every day. Perhaps that is 15 – 20 people. They are in addition to the conversations that you have with established clients and prospects. You can see how the numbers are really important to getting momentum as an agent.
- Practice – The best salespeople practice the important parts of their business activities. Role playing in the team is valuable and can be merged into the weekly sales meeting. Within your team, share the challenges of the market and recent negotiations; those factors can then be practiced and improved to help your conversions.
- Position – Determine the market segments that you want to work in. They should be the segments that have growth and opportunity for new business. Establish an understanding of just how many competitors you are up against in the market. Some of those competitors will be better than others. Determine how you can provide a better service and attract new clients around those competitors.
- Prospect – The prospecting process is difficult to begin with given that you are pushing yourself into a market and a group of people that you have not connected with before. The best agents prospect consistently and they track their progress. Don’t be afraid of talking to new people; it takes time to learn but it is not a hard process. Conversations will take you forward. Learn how to connect with people rather than pitch your services.
- Action – 3 hours of prospecting action is required every day. That time factor can be difficult for some agents given that they already have plenty of listings and clients to work with. There is a balance that is required in our industry and that balance is based on contacting new people and current people; you must have both to build a long term career as an agent or broker.
- Track and Measure – There are a number of things to track in our business. In doing that you can see how the market is changing and then adjust to it. Some of the things to track include recent listings (open and exclusive), time on market, prices, rents, unsold or unleased properties, and the enquiry results of recent campaigns.
- Relationships – The number of people that you know will help with growth of market share. That’s why your database is so important. Over time your established relationships can produce some real opportunities; the trick to making the process work is in finding the right people that have the attributes of potential new business. The points of research and prospecting mentioned earlier are just so important.
- Negotiation – Just about everything we do with commercial property sales, leasing or property management involves negotiation. From prospecting to listing, and then onto marketing and deal creation, the challenges of working with people with different priorities will always be a skill that requires improvement. You can always improve your negotiation skills across all segments of activity.
- Marketing – We are blessed with some very advanced and innovative marketing solutions today. Every quality listing and exclusively listed property should be comprehensively marketed. How you do that depends on the property, the client, the money available, and the target market. When a property is marketed correctly, you will attract more enquiries back to your business; your database should grow from the marketing efforts across other properties.
All of these factors will help you turn your commercial real estate dreams into reality. It is a personal process and skill improvement will help you get there faster.