Every commercial real estate agent or broker wants more new business, better listings, and quality clients. Sometimes we succumb to the pressures of ‘earning’ and can scatter ourselves across too many things and issues. That’s why specialization works more successfully in our industry. When you specialize you are of greater value to your clients given that your knowledge and market share will be much more specific.
It is best to choose the part of the industry in your area that you believe will offer you the most opportunity and interest. Perhaps you prefer industrial, office, or retail property; it is simply a matter of making the right choice and the most interesting one. From that point onwards you can learn everything that you can about sales, leasing and property management relative to the property type. Get to know the variables such as these:
- Rents and rental types
- Lease incentives
- Vacancy minimization and lease optimisation
- Prices per unit of area and property type
- Yields given the property type and the market currently
- Supply and demand (existing and new)
- Time on market
- Marketing alternatives
- Best use versus current use
- Improvement requirements
- New development costs
- Renovation and refurbishment strategies and costs
- Tenant mix alternatives
- Lease terms and conditions
Now I know many of you will not want to be ‘property managers’ because the job is different in structure, focus and reward, but you should take the time to understand just what goes on in that part of your industry. It helps a lot when it comes to ‘selling’ the client on the broader services that your agency has available.
So let’s say that you have a good client; perhaps one that is stable and substantial when it comes to property ownership, portfolio growth, and investment potential. You know that over time this client will need a lot more property help and information. One client like this can bring you many different types of business opportunity and improve your commissions substantially. In saying that you should get to know the client and just what their property needs and challenges will be. Stay ahead of the competing agents in your area. Help the client trust you and your knowledge by giving them the upcoming market briefs and leads that will help them with investment decisions.
So what do you need to know about this client? What can you work with to help them with their property challenges? Here are some tips:
- Preferred property type and location
- Ideal tenant mix and growth potential (for investors)
- Permitted and legal use
- Value of property and refinancing valuation requirements
- Portfolio diversity
- Renovation and refurbishment opportunities
- Cycles of ownership and property holding
- Rental structures and lease strategies to suit investment opportunities today
- Time and decision requirements
- Financial constraints and mortgage availability
You may be able to add to this list based on the property owner and their location. The important thing is that you really understand the client and how you can help them.