Many times in commercial real estate you will hear a client refer to the requirement to get the best sale price in today’s market, and their intentions to hold back on a contract until such time as the price is right. In choosing an agent, the client is quite likely to choose the agent that gives them the highest price or price estimate as part of the listing pitch.
Inexperienced agents will take on any property at any price as an open listing, thinking that they can achieve a positive outcome over time. Quite soon they will have a group of open listings that are unrealistically priced and therefore not generating appropriate levels of enquiry or inspections. It is far better for the agent to have a few high quality listings with well-constructed marketing campaigns and pricing strategies.
The quality of the listing that you take on and into your brokerage should be carefully considered in all respects. To a large degree, in the listing of the property it is not just a matter of the agent selling their services to the client, but rather the client selling their sales commitment to the agent. An incorrectly motivated client in a property sale situation can waste a lot of your time and reduce your commission income.
That pricing focus for the agent and the client should be the ideal objective in every property listing, unfortunately many clients initially have an inflated view of what they think should be the best sale price, given the quality of the property and the current market conditions. Client conditioning is therefore a critical component of listing and taking a property into your brokerage for marketing. There is no point in listing any property if the price is unrealistically high and the client is unreceptive to discussions around price and listing strategy.
Let’s say that you have found the right property and the right client to engage as a listing. Understanding that the client will have a focus on both pricing and timing, your job is to show the client exactly how you can achieve the best result in today’s property market. Here are some ideas to help you with that:
- As part of the listing presentation to the client, walk them through the property asking questions about their focus and requirements as part of the sale. A big part of the listing process at the front end of the presentation should be devoted to understanding the client completely and comprehensively. Selected questions will help you get closer to the real issues that the client has behind the need to sell the property.
- Engage the client in discussions and decisions relating to the target market for the property listing. Help them understand exactly how you will be tapping into that target market directly at a personal level. When they can see that you are going to put in the marketing effort, it makes a lot easier for listing to be converted exclusively.
- Give the client some idea of timing and strategy in moving the property forward through the listing process. Use a Gantt chart for the process, showing the client the strategic steps in the sale process leading up to the marketing process, through the marketing campaign, and after the closure of the contract. Many clients have absolutely no idea about the complexity of commercial property sales today; the Gantt chart will help client understand the commitment that you will apply to the listing.
- If possible, take the client around the local area to show them the competing listings currently on the market, and those other listings that have successfully sold over recent time. Give the client a comparable market analysis as part of your price assessment and recommendations relating to marketing. Your ability to convert the clients listing at a fair and reasonable price will be greatly supported by the comparable market analysis.
- Provide the client with some stories from the marketplace relating to other clients and other properties that are experiencing similar pressures of promotion and pricing. Tell them how you have solved similar difficult challenges in the past. Tell them how you will apply that experience to their listing today so that a reasonable price can be achieved from the campaign in a timely way. Experience and confidence are critical components that a client will look for when it comes to choosing the correct agent.
- It is essential that the correct method of sale be chosen for every exclusively listed property. The best method of sale should then be supported by a comprehensive and direct marketing package to the target market; vendor paid marketing funds will be part of the exclusive listing process. Your job is to help the client understand those factors as part of your listing pitch and sales presentation. The best time to condition the client to the prevailing market conditions is at the time of listing.
- A timed method of sale such as auction or tender will allow the property market to determine the final price. A timed method of sale will also help you when it comes to buyer motivation and client conditioning. Understand the advantages of auction, tender, and expressions of interest as part of this marketing approach.
The best way to convert more high quality property listings today will centre on understanding the client focus, helping the client understand the property market, and positioning the property for the best levels of enquiry.