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Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Common Mistakes that New Agents Make

If you are new to commercial real estate brokerage, there are things that you can learn from others in the industry in your location.  There are also weaknesses in your peers that you can observe and avoid.   Don’t repeat the common mistakes of others; build your business strengths.  (NB – you can get more real estate tips and ideas here in ‘Snapshot’)

The fact of the matter is that in most locations there are ‘top agents’ and then there are ‘ordinary agents’.  Assess the market penetration and coverage of others and then consider just who would be the agents to watch and learn from.  How do you fit into the competition?


What can you learn from the best?

Ideally, you don’t want to repeat the mistakes and weaknesses of other agents.  Your career is something that can be shaped and nurtured into a location and a property type; that then is your job to make it happen.

On another note, you can and should be the property specialist for the location.  When you specialize in this way, it is easier to market yourself and your skills.

Don’t be ‘ordinary’ and general in your agent skills and property specialty; be the skilled property specialist working on particular property types, buildings, precincts, and investments.  Al off your marketing skills, listing activities, and client contact can be as that specialist.

Here are some of the most common ‘mistakes’ that we see in the industry with new agents and brokers:

  1. Failure to start prospecting immediately – the prospecting process should start at the earliest stages of your career, so you are then building your brand and database. Each day you should be connecting with new people in a relevant way.  Learn about prospecting for new business, develop your system that you can implement every day, and then get started.
  2. Listening to less experienced ‘ordinary’ agents – whilst there may be many other agents in your brokerage team willing to share their experiences with you, career success only comes to a few in a consistent and significant way. Choose to work with your peers with some selectivity.
  3. Lack of specialization – there is no point in being the ‘agent for everything’ in commercial property. It is just too hard for you to be covering all property types, the market knowledge, and property facts.  Choose your precincts, property types, and client base, then go deeper.
  4. Overlooking market coverage and penetration – your property market is something to be investigated, segmented, and penetrated. Look at the opportunities in the location and within property types. Focus on the property types that can offer you the best of leverage and levels of market activity in listings and commissions. Quality listings are preferred, and will increase your levels of inquiry over time.
  5. Failure to convert a listing to exclusivity – when you are listing a property for sale or for lease, focus on the conversion of that listing to exclusive control. Top agents only ever work on exclusive listings. When you control the listing, you will also control the inquiry, inspections, and the negotiations. It is a proven fact that most exclusive listings will be on the market for a shorter period when compared to open listings.
  6. Inability to pitch for and convert vendor paid marketing – as a direct result of exclusivity, vendor paid marketing should be converted. That marketing spend and campaign activity will allow you to focus more effectively into the target group of buyers or tenants for the property and the location. Track your vendor paid marketing on a weekly and monthly basis, so you can see improvements in marketing dollar conversions. Practice your listing presentation to incorporate the strategies and requests for vendor paid marketing.
  7. Deficiency in skills practice – it takes time to be a top agent in a location. You can fast track the process through deliberate and daily personal practice on the skills that really matter. The skills are typically listing, negotiating, and presenting. Most of your competitors will be ordinary when it comes to pitching and presenting for a listing. You can therefore improve your offering and confidence in the listing process through a good degree of daily and regular practice.
  8. Inadequacy of personal marketing – when you have determined a specific territory to work from a listing and client perspective, a personal marketing plan needs to take shape and momentum. Every day certain things need to occur from a personal marketing perspective. It is all very fine to have plenty of listings in the location, but it is also critical to have a personal marketing plan underway to attract listings and clients.
  9. No commitment to database growth, accuracy, and depth – your database is and will be the source of future new business and commission opportunity. That database should be accurate and up-to-date always. Most agents and brokers struggle with their database activity and accuracy. There are many diversions and distractions in a business day. Don’t let the pressures of others divert you from your database and the need to improve your client list daily. Set a few simple targets to ensure that your database is growing by at least 5 to 10 people per day throughout the year.
  10. Scarcity in online marketing – there are many different marketing tools available to us in commercial real estate brokerage. It is easy to understand how to list and promote property listings. Many agents overlook the requirement to build an online profile at a personal level. A plan is required to develop online marketing penetration for each broker or agent. That plan will involve social media, editorials, articles, emails, and property reports. You can merge these things into your database and prospecting processes.
  11. Weakness in local area knowledge and specialisation – your local area will have buildings, property projects, new developments, and property churn. These factors will set benchmarks when it comes to prices, enquiry, and rental. Watch the indicators in your market, and then track the indicators so that you can merge actual and real property facts into your listing presentations and client engagement strategies. Strengthen your local area knowledge and property specialisation at each and every opportunity. Limit your territory and precinct for that very reason.

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