In commercial real estate agency there is no point in taking the ‘standard approach’ to a client or a property. If you want to win a listing then many factors come into the communication and presentation process. It helps if you brainstorm questions in advance that will lead you closer to completing and winning the listing with the client.
As part of your weekly sales meeting you can get the team to brainstorm questions in each of the market segments of sales, leasing, and property management. It then helps if those questions are captured into a checklist for use by all active agents in the brokerage. It is difficult for a client to ignore comprehensive and professional questioning as part of any listing presentation. Good questions help you show your experience and relevance as a top agent.
So what can you do here with this very special communication skill? Try some of these things for starters:
- Marketing Questions – Most clients think that commercial real estate marketing is fairly general. We on the other hand know that it is not. You can open up the marketing discussion by adding special factors of direct mail, direct calls, local canvassing, internet priority listing, email database promotions, and many more. Put yourself into the promotional equation; in exchange for your involvement as a quality agent, ask and insist on an exclusive listing.
- Best Method of Sale or Lease – We all know that the sale or leasing process can be very complex depending on the property and the outcome that the client requires. Some methods of selling or leasing are quite specific and detailed. Help the client understand the variables by asking questions around their level of experience locally in these things. Show them what strategies you have found as being more successful in getting inquiries from buyers or tenants as the case may be.
- Competitors – Most listing presentations are competitive. Like it or not the client will quite likely be talking to other agents before they make a listing choice. What you can do here is raise questions that are setting the other agents up for failure; without being seen to criticize your fellow peers, you can raise important ideas about the property and the marketing process that others are unlikely to consider. Give your client some questions that are likely to derail your competitors in their generic listing pitch.
These are all simple questions and yet they are so important to the listing and pitching process in commercial real estate today. Preparation is the key to making these things work for you. I go back to the point that you can create a good list of questions from your weekly sales team meeting. Ask your fellow agents to share client and market challenges and then build good questions around those things.