In today’s commercial real estate industry, every agent should strive to stand out in their market place as the dominant agent within a property type and location. That is why property specialisation is an important part of growing market share.
It is difficult for any agent to achieve dominance across a number of different market segments. There are just too many things to cover consistently in each market segment such as competing listings, levels of rent, pricing strategies, and marketing methods.
When you consider most market situations you have the activities of the typical segments of:
- Industrial Leasing
- Industrial Sales
- Office Leasing
- Office Sales
- Retail Leasing
- Retail Sales
- Project Development
- Investment Sales and Leasing
- Asset Management, etc
There are plenty of things to learn and cover.
It should be said that the higher quality listings owned by experienced property investors and business people will usually demand special attention and a strategic marketing approach. The days of generic marketing are well gone and the clients that we serve require higher levels of professional skill from the agent of choice.
How do you compete?
So let’s go back to the requirement of competing against other agents and brokers locally. If the levels of competition are significant and large, then this challenge can be a difficult issue to work through as a single agent with limited resources. That is certainly the case if other agents have been in the property market for a long time and have already established a good degree of client and prospect engagement.
Here are some ideas to help you define and action your personal marketing plan:
- Choose the market segment and property type that you can relate to and service. It should be the property segment that provides a reasonable source of new business opportunity for you at a personal level over time.
- How will you attract new business and clients? Whilst it is a simple question, the answer can be quite complex and critical to your time in the industry. Make your choices early when it comes to a plan for new business generation; the ‘clock is ticking’ as they say. Track and measure your results every step of the way so you can see how things are improving.
- Research your market at regular intervals to understand what is happening with existing listings, prices, and rentals. Assess the factors of time on market with each listing type. You will see seasonal patterns that apply with enquiry, inspections, and listing conversions. Your marketing efforts should adjust around the seasonal patterns that you identify.
- Focus your prospecting efforts on quality listings and convert those listings to exclusivity. When you control the listing stock, you control the client and the enquiry. Open listings are generally a waste of time and should only be tolerated when you believe you have an interested tenant or buyer for a particular property. You cannot build your market share on the basis of open listings. Exclusive listings will take you further as an industry specialist.
- Understand the linkage between leasing activity and sales results. A lease transaction today can be a sales listing in the future. A successfully concluded lease will give you an introduction to the landlord client in the future when it comes to the time of sale. A successful lease occupancy helps the client with investment results and performance.
- Always ask for referral business at every opportunity. One transaction can lead you to further contacts and client requirements. The people that you have successfully serviced in both sales and leasing can lead you to other people owning property locally. Ask the questions at the right time. It is always easier to convert new business opportunities from referrals and leads. Who do you know that can link you to others needing property help?
- Versatility is an important issue and skill for agents to develop in commercial real estate brokerage. The relationships that you establish with new clients and prospects should be encouraged across many different investment services and property solutions; help the client in diverse ways, don’t give the client an excuse to move to another agency or brokerage. That can mean you and/or your brokerage providing comprehensive services across specific property strategies that are useful for investors and property owners; for example that can involve improving property performance and/or income, tenant retention plans, tenancy placements, leasing strategies, solving vacancy problems, rental improvement, sales or acquisition solutions, and property related marketing.
So there are some specific things that you can do here to improve your personal profile as a successful agent, servicing the local property industry. Track and measure your activities on a regular basis so you know where you stand against competing agents with other listings. Strive to improve the results you achieve for your clients.
Build a database of people that you can service into the future. In a comprehensive way. Split that database into property types, client types, and timing issues. Soon you will have plenty of people to talk to in a relevant and real way. That’s how you can build your profile as a top agent in your location.