You can waste a lot of time in commercial real estate brokerage if you do not take the time to understand the client in a comprehensive and complete way. There will be many instances where you will find that a client or prospect will not tell you the whole story or give you all the facts about the property or their enquiry; sometimes that is their intention. That is certainly the fact if they are intending to talk to many agents locally.
So the message here is that you can and should qualify the client as part of any enquiry process. Get to the real momentum and the issues behind their property enquiry. Understand what they are looking for and how they can make a decision.
Know the Client’s Situation
Here are some interesting questions to consider and satisfy as part of working with any new client or prospect:
- How have they reached you? – It is helpful to know how they have come to contact you specifically about their property or property need. Perhaps certain listings or marketing efforts have directed them towards you. When you understand the source of the inquiry, you can do more with the next stage of qualification and investigation.
- Who are you talking to? – Understand exactly who you are talking to and how you can connect with them in the future. Ask those questions before you provide any detailed property information. As a general rule, don’t give out any property information without understanding the person in reasonable detail.
- What are the facts of the enquiry? – You can delve into the issue of the property enquiry quite specifically and deeply. Are they looking to buy, sell, or lease? Why are they looking to take action on a property matter? What will be the ideal timing of their activities? What are the specific ‘must have’ requirements to be satisfied in the property changeover?
- How can you provide immediate information? – Today you will find that many people want property information sent out to them before they will go to the next stage of inspection. Make sure that you have a suitable selection of PDF files that you can provide via e-mail in a timely and direct way. Many people will accept the information and then not proceed to the next stage of inspection or enquiry. If you have captured their contact details then you can follow them up in a few days.
Keep your client contact systems simple and direct. When someone wants information from you, ask the questions before you take action. Keep plenty of notes as part of that process.