In commercial real estate brokerage you will frequently come across clients that have an inflated view of the property market and the price that they believe they can or should achieve for their properties. It directly follows that commercial real estate agents and brokers should be very experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to listing properties at the right price with difficult clients. Those clients can waste your time, so all elements of the listing process should be strategic and specific. Protect your time and your experience by only applying yourself to the right listings in the best of marketing situations.
Listing properties for the sake of it without due care and consideration inevitably leads to lengthy time on market factors and poor levels of commission; everyone then (including you) is then unhappy. If you are going to list a property for sale, make sure you pitch and present your services comprehensively to the client on the basis of an exclusive listing using the best price structure and the right methods of sale. Those facts are nonnegotiable.
Any property that is listed at an inflated price, or incorrectly marketed using the wrong method of sale, will usually remain on the property market for a long period of time. The first few weeks of any marketing campaign are the most important. During that time most of the enquiry will be generated and inspections will occur. A property will become stale very quickly and any inflated price will do that. If a client is unrealistic on price and marketing, it is time to consider whether you really want to waste your time on the listing.
A property will not achieve the best levels of enquiry if the price is inflated for the location. Property buyers today understand exactly what’s going on when it comes to pricing, availability, and comparable properties. The decision to purchase will take time, so all the elements of the sale need to be in balance with the local market conditions. That is the job of a professional commercial real estate agent or broker. Top agents know how to condition the clients to the prevailing market conditions; ultimately that means better levels of enquiry and inspection opportunity.
Here are some ideas to help you tap into the critical factors that impact property enquiry:
- Inspect the property comprehensively before you research the appropriate price range and best method of sale. Every property will have certain strengths and weaknesses when it comes to marketing and promotion. The weaknesses within the property should be removed prior to the start of the marketing campaign. The strengths on the other hand will be a feature of most of your marketing efforts. On that basis you really do need to understand the strengths of the property and how the target market will relate to that focus.
- Review the competing and comparable properties in the local area. Understand the deals that have been recently completed and on what basis those transactions occurred. The results from other property transactions will help you position and engage with your client as part of the listing process. If necessary take the client for a drive through the local area showing them the particular properties and the attributes of each asset involved in the sale or lease.
- Check out the other listings currently on the market. Understand the time on market factors in each case and how those properties have been positioned for sale. Look at the methods of marketing and the methods of sale to understand the best ways to approach your listing and the client’s sale requirements.
- With all of the listings that you have currently, track and measure the type and level of enquiry coming in to your brokerage. That information will be valuable when it comes to pitching and presenting your listing strategy to a client.
- Use marketing methods that are specific and direct. Know what buyers are looking for locally and match your marketing methods accordingly. Get well away from generic marketing at all times. Exclusive listings require specific marketing solutions to create enquiry.
- Far too many agents miss out on a listing opportunity due to a lack of preparation; they take the generic approach each and every time. Most of the clients and the prospects that we interact with prefer to see the real evidence before them as part of the presentation process. The emphasis here is on seeing information rather than reading the information. The visual approach to any listing presentation or client engagement should involve relevant photographs and feature specifically created graphs and charts. Statistics on numbers and levels of enquiry can be converted to visual display materials to sell a message or to convince the client about the promotional and marketing strategies you are recommending.
So the message here is that you can and should carefully select your clients and market. Be prepared to stand firm on your convictions and recommendations when it comes to a property listing and the strategies to take it to the market.