In commercial real estate brokerage it is essential that you have a systematic approach to your clients and market opportunity. As part of that process, you can have a client inventory so that you can understand who you are connecting with locally when it comes to property ownership, occupation, or investment, and why that is so. When you set the rules you gain traction in client contact and conversion.
There are a number of client categories to consider in structuring this new business approach as an agent or broker.
VIP Client Inventory
Here are some ideas to help you:
- Land owners – The owners of vacant land or redundant property can provide you with the foundations for a new property development. Given that most of us work with property developers from time to time, a good patch of land suitably zoned for redevelopment will offer considerable listing and commission opportunity over time. One large property can produce many listings as part of a project appointment.
- Property developers – Local property developers will come and go from the market based on the opportunities of property inquiry, supply, and demand. In any town or city where the business community is growing and changing, there will be plenty of momentum towards new property ownership and occupation. In working with property developers, be selective and careful given that they are usually talking to many owners and many other agents at the same time. You don’t want to leak sensitive property information and opportunities to the people that you cannot fully trust.
- For sale by owners – Note any properties that are for sale or for lease through current owners. Invariably you will find that those property owners will struggle with the requirement to find buyers and tenants to solve a property problem. That’s where the services of a professional agent or broker can be invaluable, and on that basis any agent should convert the listing to exclusivity. Some common frustrations with owners of this type will be with their price or rental expectations, and the necessity for them to pay commissions. If you are going to work with these property owners, be firm and direct when it comes to pitching and presenting your services. Remember that you are the expert when it comes to accessing tenants and buyers. You have the database of leads and opportunities to create inspections on the property for the client. You have the marketing skill to build the inquiry and the momentum to solve the client’s problem. Those points of difference will allow you to demand an exclusive listing at a reasonable commission.
- Sophisticated or portfolio owners – In your town or city there will be a selection of owners that are well established with high-value property portfolios. Over time they do look to change, upgrade, or expand their property portfolios. The easiest way to tap into this segment of the market is through a consistent focus on high quality listings and top locations. The sophisticated property owners can approach you directly when you have something of high quality to sell. That’s where exclusivity becomes another essential strategy of new commercial real estate business. Without exclusivity experienced local property investors are likely to go around you rather than talk to you about the high quality listings on your books.
- Property owners with problems – Always be on the lookout for property owners and landlords with property problems and challenges. They may be suffering the pressures of change when it comes to property expansion, change, relocation, tenancy mix, vacancy factors, or lease expiry. As part of helping these people, you can provide specialist knowledge and marketing strategies to resolve pending vacancies and lengthy time on market issues. Special note should be made here regards those properties that have been on the market for a very long time. There will be reasons for a lengthy time on market. The reasons will usually be associated with unrealistic price expectations, poor property location, high rentals, poor presentation, or redundancy. If you are to take on the marketing of a difficult listing, be prepared to work through the challenging issues to achieve the best promotional process at a fair and reasonable price or rent. It is the property owner who has the problem with the property and they can typically need you to help them resolve it.
So there are plenty of ways few do create a client inventory as part of your prospecting and new business model. Working with particular categories of clients within certain locations you will find the process of database growth relatively easy and direct. Over time that database will support you with new business growth and referral business.