When you work as an agent specialising in commercial real estate, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities. One of those is in undertaking tenant advocacy work for larger local companies and corporations for premises that they may need to lease or relocate to.
When I say focus on larger businesses that is because of the time involved and the required fee for service. Small businesses generally do not need specialist help in this regard. Larger companies and corporations want local property experts to advise the board or the business partners. Experience is critical to the process.
Business pressures change throughout every year for many businesses. On that basis a constant contact approach with the business leaders is a good strategy to take. You never really know when they will want to change location or move some of their business operations.
Many businesses assess their occupancy costs and operational alternatives once a year as part of their business plan. It is great to be the agent of choice that can update the CEO or Board of Directors as to the property alternatives and cost comparisons.
The types of services that you can offer them include some of these:
- Rental advise relating to comparable properties
- Assessment of occupancy costs in different types of properties
- Locating different properties that will suit their needs
- Advise on rental reviews during the term of the lease
- Advise on the alternatives to exercising an option in their current location
So how do you get your ‘foot in the door’ on this with the local companies? This process tends to work for many experienced agents:
- Send a letter to the CEO or Managing Director to advise them that you will be calling soon to discuss property trends in the local area.
- Make the call a few days later to create an appointment with the decision maker.
- If you get stopped by a secretary or PA, it is a simple matter to say that you are following up an earlier letter
- Send about 4 of these every day on the basis that you have to follow them up inside a week.
- After a number of meetings you will soon see that the decision makers do appreciate help from the local agents.
Be open to the variations of leads and opportunities that you will get from this. Some businesses may own their property, and others may be looking to relocate; importantly you are ready to adjust your presentation or pitch and match your services to their needs.
A final word or reminder here is to keep in contact for the long haul. It may take a few years for some businesses to need your help. By that time they need to know you as the local property expert that can help them.