In the role of a commercial real estate agent, take the time to understand what is happening in your property market and where things may be headed from a supply and demand perspective. Look to the future for leads and ideas when it comes to property sales, leasing, and property management. (NB – get our commercial real estate Snapshot course here)
Questions and Facts
Ask yourself these questions. Where are the listings to come from? What will the investors and tenants be looking for locally? How can you attract that business? There are answers to those questions that you can identify, at least in part. There will be business opportunities for identification and conversion. Systems and research will help you get there.
It is a sad fact that most brokers and agents don’t do enough property research and prospecting. They fail to commit to the territory in which they operate. A random approach in our industry doesn’t work. Specific strategies and direct research will find the new business that you are looking for.
There are no shortcuts in brokerage, but there are plenty of opportunities when you delve into the local area and the factors of property ownership. Control your property market and your clients through exclusivity as a priority, and that is when you list any property. As you consolidate your market and your clients, you will get to a point in your career where you should walk away from ‘time wasting’ open listings.
Who are the people you should be getting close to in your local area? Try these for starters:
- The people (investors) that own the good quality assets in the prime property precincts
- The successful business owners of all the major corporations in your territory
- The tenants in all the major buildings
There is a good degree of research in those 3 simple things. Through delving into and asking questions of the local people, you will find some good property leads; that’s how things work in our industry.
Best Agents and Better Strategies
The best agents in the market and the industry keep looking for things and particularly the property changes that will bring sales or leasing churn. The idea here is that the best agents like to get in early when it comes to any upcoming property event; when they get in early, they can convert more effectively without the confusion and threat of other agents interacting with the client.
So, you can do the same with these ideas. Position yourself as the agent of choice and the specialist that people need when it comes to solving investment and occupancy challenges.
The idea here is that you can constantly research the opportunities and the changes that are around you in both property ownership and occupancy. In every business year, there are changes and opportunities with tenancy movements, businesses expanding or contracting, investors seeking to shift focus, and shifts in investment growth. You can tap into these things.
Categories and Trends
So, there are some categories and trends in the property market to watch for locally and tap into. Here are some ideas to help you with that:
- Business movements – some businesses will be ready to move for some reason such as building requirements, customer placement, manufacturing changes, storage, staff, property design or property restrictions. Look for the triggers of change in prospecting, and then ask questions of the business owner. Take notes from your discussions and look for the variations of sales and leasing activity with that business owner. Quote local property information and explain how the existing property market is tracking for business owners.
- Successful business types – certain businesses will be more successful than others, and they are the ones you should know about. They will need space, other property assets, and expansion or relocation strategies. Simple questions will put you closer to the facts in each case.
- Zoning changes – property zoning’s will change because of town or city change and growth. Look for the changes and track the planning and development maps. When the zoning changes, it puts a whole new twist on property ownership and occupancy. There will also be opportunities of redevelopment in the zone reclassification.
- Population data – when the population figures come out each few years, look at the factors of change with a bias towards demographic factors. Who are the people living in your city by type, location, income, and family size? From those facts, you can review the future property needs for the location.
- Highway and roadway changes – when roads change, the use of property can also vary. That places pressure on occupancy, business operations, community access, and investment.
- Services and amenities – the older properties will struggle when it comes to services and amenities. That can be an opportunity for renovation and property upgrade. Review all the properties in your location for potential renovation and redevelopment. Some of the local property owners will have sufficient funds for a renovation activity; they can undertake a strategic renovation program as they re-position their asset. Provide them with market information and the inquiry profiles that you are identifying from recent property marketing.
- Corporate merges – look for the companies that are subjected to change, merging activities, corporate re-positioning, and expansion. You can get many tips and ideas in that respect from the local newspaper. An interesting article about a company change, merger, or relocation can be the opportunity for some valuable and timely property business. In every company restructure there also will be property issues to address. With all the larger companies in your location, do the research to see what they own and what they occupy.
So, there are plenty of things that you can do as part of a research approach to your local property market. When you understand all the local facts regards property and particularly what is happening with ownership and occupancy, you can tap into the businesses and investors looking to change, expand, or contract.