Many agents that start a career in commercial real estate brokerage commence in the leasing segment of the market and particularly in industrial property, and that is because the factors of industrial leasing are basic and easy to understand. A couple of years of negotiating industrial leases with local landlords and tenants will usually help any agent build a database and a knowledge base. From that point they can progress their skills into office and or retail property. In saying that, the agent can take the ‘fast track’ or the ‘slow track’. There are a few choices to be made in how agents work each day and what they focus on.
I will say something very relevant and important here that should not be overlooked by any agent (especially the newer ones). The rule is this:
‘Consistency is the key to getting results in commercial real estate brokerage.’
The process of consistency is measured and actioned at a personal level and it involves individual agents doing certain things every day to grow their businesses. Results come to those agents that take regular and direct action at a personal level; that is the required action in connecting with their property market and the people involved.
When I come across agents that are struggling, I can usually see that they are not directly involved in building their business in a consistent way. They may think that they are doing all of the right things but usually they are doing too many things in desperation or with little organisation, and they are not tracking their efforts to see how they can improve.
Let’s take leasing as a case in point. To create more leasing listings and commissions, you must know all the local property people; that means both tenants and landlords. Understanding just who will be taking the next step of property change or vacancy leasing is the key to winning new business. Whilst it is easy to understand, most agents get swamped by diversions and demands from other people. Choose what you do every day and control your diary at a ‘manic’ level. Obsession helps when it comes to getting things done in commercial real estate leasing.
Keep things really simple in your leasing career. Set some processes in place and stay within the boundaries of those processes; track your results. Avoid time wasting issues and other people that can add little or no benefit to your results. Here are some further ideas to help:
- Knowing the Tenants in the region – Methodically go through all the streets in your defined leasing territory. Understand the status of tenants businesses and their leases. Ask plenty of questions so you can track upcoming lease expiry dates and vacant properties.
- Contact Landlords – The landlords owning local property will require leasing assistance from time to time. Establish a contact process where you can update them on local rents, tenant movements, incentives, and vacancy rates. That information is valuable to any landlord and will help consolidate you as an industry leasing expert.
- Look for current and upcoming vacancies – A vacant property is a drain on rental and outgoings for any landlord. As time progresses with any vacancy things become more of a challenge for most landlords and desperation sets in. Most landlords will still need to be converted to the realities of the property market; conditioning is a process to be supported by comparable rents and vacancy rates. Get your local property market information so you can help landlords see the realities of finding a tenant today.
- List your properties exclusively – Don’t waste your time with landlords that will not list exclusively. If your skills are as relevant and professional as you claim them to be, then exclusivity is the only way to offer your services. If the landlord will not give you exclusivity then you have a choice as to whether you want to take on the listing. The decision is easy.
- Making frequent contact – Every person of relevance in your database has to be personally contacted at least once every 90 days. To keep up that momentum, you need to decide just who those relevant people are.
- Having relevant local market information – Specialise your leasing services in a property type and a location. In that way you can offer direct leasing services that cannot be overlooked by landlords and tenants.
- Collating your progress – Track the number of calls that you make outbound each day to tenants and landlords. That process requires organisation and commitment. Track you conversions from calls to meetings, and meetings to listings.
- Record conversation results with prospects – A conversation today with a tenant or landlord is likely to be an opportunity in the future. It all comes down to how you collate your information from every call and how you follow it up at the right time.
From these simple 8 points you can see why consistency in commercial real estate leasing is a skill to be developed at agent level and personally nurtured over time. Are you up to the challenge?