In commercial real estate brokerage, the relationships that you grow with your clients and prospects should be built on the foundations of trust, first and foremost. It is a fact that most top agents are selected for a listing on the basis of trust first and then skill second.
Trust being the priority factor before any skill assessment is done by the client; if they don’t trust you, then you will not get the listing.
So any networking and client contact process in commercial real estate brokerage should be encouraged on this basis. So what can you do to help with that? Here are some ideas:
- Any critical factors of client discussion or instruction should confirmed back to them in writing. That will then avoid any misunderstanding or confusion later on. Given that most of the property transactions today are complex, this rule of communication is very helpful. It can also keep you out of trouble if someone is looking to take legal action on any dispute or property claim. When you have your notes to fall back on, any claims and counter claims are difficult for others to prove against you.
- Seek to understand the client’s position before you pass opinions or comments. They may not know much about the property market or the local rents and prices. The only way you will know that is through directed questioning.
- If you say you are going to do something for a client or prospect then do so in a timely fashion. The industry is full of agents that don’t respond quickly or directly. That then makes the situation all the better for those that do!
- Keep up to date with local property market knowledge. That will especially be in rents, prices, new developments, and time on market, supply and demand. Throughout the year there will be changes to watch for. In every listing and client discussion, that market information will be invaluable. It is hard for a client to refute or challenge up to date market trends and evidence.
- Provide your clients with alternatives and recommendations relating to any property discussion. Most clients will choose a marketing package based on the ‘middle ground’ recommendation. Stage and structure your recommendations accordingly.
Some clients and contacts will be receptive to a telephone call or a meeting once every 90 days. Ideally that should be the minimum frequency of contact. As the client moves to a property activity you can increase the contact process to once every month. In doing all of this, do you have some relevant property information that you can use in each client discussion?
To help with that contact process, carry around a simple property information sheet that you can update with local market trends on a weekly basis. Every time you get the chance to talk to a client or prospect, use the sheet as a basis of conversation. Relevance is the key to capturing the client’s attention.