As you progress through your career in commercial real estate brokerage, the listings that you create exclusively will always generate far more enquiry and better levels of business over time. The simple concept here is that you must have control of the listing product and the client; you must ‘own the listing product’ professionally.
Why is this important?
It is so you can show clear ways as to how you can improve the property marketing, inspections, and negotiations. Exclusivity in the listing allows you to do that. Open listings are a total waste of time and should only be taken for the off chance of introducing someone to the property if luck permits. So all of this is called ‘controlling your listing stock’. Its logical, and it works.
When you start your career in the property business as a new agent or broker for a location, exclusivity is perhaps a hard target to achieve initially because you are starting afresh in a location and lack location knowledge and information. The clients don’t know really you and have no real reason to choose you over the other agents for the location. This then says that you need to improve your property marketing initiatives, locational coverage, and professional skills; you have to be positively different to attract the new business.
You have to be the best choice when it comes to solving property solutions. That doesn’t mean that you have to be the agent with the lowest fees or no marketing costs; all that you achieve there is poor results. Your property solutions have to be superior so you can show the client exactly how they must move ahead with the business and property choices that they have.
A prospective client should see you as the successful choice to take their property listing forward locally. If you cannot create deep professional relevance with the clients and prospects that you are talking to about their property, then the listings are hard very hard to achieve.
How to own the listing strategy and concept?
So you must own the listing product in the sense of marketing, control, and negotiation; your client and their property challenge should be at the centre of all of that. I go back to the point that exclusivity will help you do exactly that, and every listing pitch should be designed accordingly. You then have the choice as to whether you wish to take on the listing professionally as a sale or lease, and the listings that you choose should be on the basis of local reality and real market conditions. You must be able to see that the property and listing has a chance of getting somewhere.
Focus your resources!
Don’t waste your time with overpriced properties in poor locations; focus your resources on the better properties. Whilst every property will eventually sell or lease, some clients are overly challenging and unrealistic, and they can waste a lot of your time and money. Be selective when it comes to listing stock and listing standards. Make sure that the client is tuned to the local property market.
What’s the method?
So how do you ‘own’ the listing, the real estate product, and the marketing strategy? Think about these things:
- Client Services – have a series of special services that you provide to the VIP clients as part of solving the property challenge. Research the local property market and create reports to support your recommendations well before marketing and negotiation activities occur. Don’t just generically sell or lease a property locally. Don’t just manage the property in ordinary way. Be prepared to provide high-level professional services for the property types and the location. Local knowledge and property skill will help you achieve better levels of professional client service.
- Client Control – implement the communication systems with your clients so that they will know what is going on with a critical phases of property promotion, inspection, and negotiation. Feed the information to them efficiently and effectively. Communication 24/7 will help you control the client as they move through the property challenge.
- Negotiation alternatives – when the negotiation starts, keep the client fully appraised of the activities and the comments of others. Some property negotiations take weeks to move through the due diligence and negotiation process. You are the person acting for the client to keep the transaction moving ahead.
- Marketing plan – there are many marketing tools that you can use. Some are better than others, depending on the property. Choose the best marketing and promotional processes that are real and relevant to the client and the property. Don’t promote properties generically; achieve a campaign strategy, a definite timing approach to the media processes, and use high level promotional material. In most cases you will need vendor paid marketing to achieve that.
- Inspections strategy – every property inspection should be supported by accurate property and location information. Be prepared for the questions that can come your way. When in any doubt regards a property fact or detail, don’t guess your way through the information provided. Many an agent or broker has been sued for information negligence.
- Referral Business Opportunity – if you focus your activities on good quality listings and clients, the levels of inquiry that you achieve for every listing should be reasonable in volume and frequency. That then leads to better negotiations and levels of inspections. When you connect with new people through those negotiations and communications, ask for the referrals to others at the right time and in the right way. Professional business processes and successful transactions will always help you achieve good referral results.
So there are different things that you should watch here as you improve your professional client services. I go back to the point that you must own the listing product professionally and directly. The listing product ownership concept relates to how you sell lease or manage commercial property today.
Be the best at what you do and make sure that the clients and the prospects of the market understand that you are the best choice as an agent or broker to help them resolve their property challenge. This is simply a direct and deliberate personal marketing initiative. Put yourself at the center of your real estate business.