There are many ways to approach and create opportunities in the commercial real estate industry. Part of the process should involve identifying and connecting with qualified property buyers in a regular and ongoing way. There are some ways to do that effectively and to keep control of the information that you give out.
One very common problem I see is that many inexperienced agents will spend too much time chasing around the market for the ideal property to sell a buyer, only to see the buyer then purchase a property through another agency or brokerage. Unless you are appointed exclusively as a ‘buyer’s agent’ you cannot really trust those buyers in what they tell you and what they may do. In the general sense they are most likely talking with a number of agents at the same time across a few properties; that fact needs to be remembered. Those buyers can waste a lot of your time and then negotiate a deal on a property with another agent.
Control the Listing Exclusively
The only way to improve your involvement with buyers is to control the listing stock exclusively. In other words, you should hold the exclusivity rights for the listing stock and then you act on behalf of your client in the marketing process. All the buyers then have to make an offer through you to negotiate on the property. The same can be said when it comes to other brokers that may want to introduce their buyer to your listing. Control the listing; that’s the rule.
Here are some ideas to help you work with these property buyers and convert more property inspections to offers:
- Questions – Ask plenty of questions of property buyers. Find out exactly who you are speaking with first and foremost, and then know how to contact them again in the future. Don’t provide too much information about the property without having the contact detail and the identity of the person you’re talking to. In the case of the company or a corporation, make sure that you are talking to the decision maker for that group. Sometimes you will find that you are speaking with a middle manager that has been given the task to locate a number of property listings to inspect. Watch out for relationships that may exist with other agents.
- Property Detail – It is preferable that you do not give out the property addresses over the telephone. Certainly you can provide information about improvements, building size, sale price, and lease rent. You should not however give out the address of the property; it is quite possible that you are talking to another agent that is masquerading as a buyer for the property. Any information that you give to another agent can then be used by them at a later time to try and take the listing from you. Many inexperienced agents have lost control of the client and the deal simply because they innocently gave out too much property information without fully qualifying and checking the enquiring parties.
- Critical Facts – Drill down on the facts and the information relating to what the other person is looking for. The details should include improvements, services and amenities, location, budget (price or rent), area, timing, and availability. Quality questions will always help you with shortlisting the correct properties to include in any inspection. Take plenty of notes.
- Control all Property Inspections – In taking inspections, only show a maximum of three or four properties at the one time. Don’t confuse the buyer with too many facts and too many listings. It is better to shortlist the number of properties that you inspect so that you can comprehensively cover the appropriate listing detail and the strengths of each property in matching the buyer enquiry.
- Where are they now? – Understand where the person or business is coming from now, and why they are making the new property enquiry. They may already be occupying a property that could soon become vacant or available for sale or lease. There is nothing stopping you in approaching the owner of the other property at the right time to see if you can get involved in resolving the other vacancy or the sale.
- Property Facts – Confidentiality can be an important part of sharing property information with others and taking the inspection. It is not unusual to ask for a confidentiality agreement to be signed by any person making an enquiry with a high quality listing; that strategy is quite common when it comes to promoting and marketing investment properties with tenants in occupancy and established cash flows. Before you pass out too much information about the leases and tenancy mix, make sure that you have a confidentiality agreement signed and exchanged with the property buyer.
In taking the property enquiry, you are the person to control the conversation and the information that you choose to provide. In that way you can prepare the property buyer to see the right property in the right location at the right time. That’s how you can achieve more offers from inspections.