As you speak to new people in commercial real estate today, be prepared to talk about the various opportunities and changes in the local area, making sure that your ideas spread across the different disciplines in the industry. Most particularly do that with sales, leasing, property management, project leasing, and project development. You are the best person to cross-sell those services over the brokerage and the team; sell your team and sell your services. Your clients should trust you with your ideas and recommendations, so use that momentum with your client and prospect conversations.
As a skilled professional in the industry, you should be able to talk across the different disciplines and the strategies within each. Be prepared to shape a leasing inquiry into a sales opportunity. Be prepared to shape a leasing inquiry into a property management opportunity. There are different ways that you can go here when it comes to clients, conversions, and listings. A simple conversation can allow you to cross sell services and strategies.
Capture the New Business Locally
There are many things that you can talk about and feed into any conversation with a qualified prospect. Local area knowledge will also help you with that process.
Here are some ideas to help with this concept.
- Referral opportunities – when you have completed a successful transaction fully satisfying your client and their needs, ask about the other people that they know that could have an interest in commercial real estate services and/or investments. The referral opportunities are always available when you ask the right questions at the right time.
- Sales and acquisition – many investors or local business owners will shift and change their property ownership structures every five years or so. It is a known fact that the changes in the property market over an average of five years will create the opportunities for investors to sell, acquire, or re-position their assets. As the property market changes there is a good degree of re-positioning and investment consolidation going on at any particular period of time in your town or city; you simply need to know the people and their motivations. On that basis you should know plenty of local investors and keep in regular contact for the changes that will be arising over time in the property type and the location.
- Leasing – the performance of every good quality investment property will be underpinned by the quality of the leases and the tenants in the mix. The only way to achieve that balance will be through a strategic leasing process, a tenant retention plan, and property performance process. You can help with the leasing strategies to influence those factors. You can also mix and match the lease strategy to the investment priorities of the client. Each year the investors that you serve will need some assistance with lease optimization and vacancy resolve.
- Property Management – it is a known fact that professional property management services will always help the consolidation and growth of a real estate brokerage. That being said, you need the right people in your team with the experience to service the particular properties and locations. When you consider the commercial property industry today, the different property types require understanding and local area knowledge. Understand the differences between office, industrial, and retail properties in your precinct. Look at how the professional property management services can be developed in those particular segments. Some of your VIP clients will require a professional property management solution for the assets that they own today.
- Project Leasing – a new property development will allow you to undertake a project leasing solution and strategy for your clients. In saying that, you will need to determine the correct face and effective rentals for the project given the pressures of today’s property market. A successful project leasing outcome will be largely driven from the timing of the project release, the appropriate rental strategies, the quality of the building, the relevance of the project in today’s property market, and the skills of the individual agent or broker in both marketing and negotiation.
- Tenant Mix Solutions – buildings with multiple tenants in occupation should be strategically assessed at least once per year, taking into account lease expiry dates, rental strategies, lease clustering, and tenancy types. The larger buildings today are controlled through specific tenant mix activities and plans as part of the regular property business plan. With all of the clients in your VIP list, you should be undertaking a full lease review and tenant assessment on an annual basis. If you are the leasing specialist for the location, then that business approach will be practical and reasonable with your best clients.
- Property Performance – understand how you can improve the performance of a property through lease management, expenditure controls, maintenance improvements, and vacancy minimization. Look at how these things can be balanced across the performance of the larger properties and the clients that you work for. Every lease in every transaction will be contributing ultimately to the net return for the property. Every lease that you negotiate should be considered with due regard to the bigger investment picture for the client.
- Leasing Upgrades – when a lease is coming to an end, or a tenant is considering moving from a property, consider the various ways through which you can improve the lease conditions and the cash flow for the client. In most cases the landlord will be your client and the lease negotiations that you undertake will be at the centre of your services provided. When you take into account the local area market rentals, the prevailing market conditions, and the tenancy types, you can make definite and strong recommendations when it comes to a new lease or a new occupant into a building. The starting rent is one thing to consider, but the value of the rental escalation over time is even more important. Consider the full lease package and how it will improve the asset in net income over time. Most investors keep their assets for a number of years, and on that basis the leases that you negotiate should be carefully shaped for the investment targets the client may have.
- Vacancy Solutions – watch the leases and the tenants in your client’s properties. Start working on the vacancy factors and rental negotiations early. As the property market shifts and changes, all of the upcoming vacancies can be strategically negotiated so that the good tenants can be retained in the property. As part of that strategy, you can also take steps to move the weaker tenants out of the building and replace them with those of higher value to the asset over time.
- Maximizing Investment Performance for Portfolios – get to know your better clients and those that own multiple properties locally or regionally as part of an investment portfolio. Diversified investment portfolios tend to offer greater stability over time in both cash flow and occupancy. Stability is one of the important strategies that you can bring to your investors and their portfolios. Understand how you can do that.
So there are plenty of things that you can do here with your client and prospect connections. Remember the benefit of offering broader and alternative services to the clients that you serve and know. Tap into the momentum of your professional client relationships.