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How to Choose the Right Listing Source in Commercial Property

As an agent or broker should have a few good listing systems as sources of new business.  In commercial real estate, the levels of listing activity will change during the year and will the levels of local business and investment sentiment.  Through all of that you really must have a few sources of listings driving the new leads and properties towards you.  These sources should be nurtured and shaped over time.

So what systems do you use now to pull in the listings?

Create your systems.  As you do that, remember the important rule here, ‘When you control the listing stock, you control the market and your commissions.’  Exclusivity is at the center of the process of listings and converting new business in our property industry.  Don’t forget that fact or disrespect the rule.  Listing your properties ‘openly’ will waste a lot of your time and resources.

Can you convert exclusively?

So there are a few listing sources that work year in and year out.  Here are some to get you started:

  1. Territory coverage – when you know about the local property activity, you will find listings. Keep a close watch on what property owners and occupants are doing and thinking.  Regular zone coverage will help you find things.  Drive your territory every day looking for the signs of change in property use and occupancy.  Talk to the ‘locals’ as you do that, and you will soon find the beginnings of property change and activity.  Take your notes and follow through on the changes noted, and the comments from local people.
  2. Referrals – you will have had many meetings with clients and prospects over time. Revisit the people that you know now and ask for referrals.  A personal relationship or business friendship can lead you to other opportunities.  It is a known fact that property investors and business leaders generally know plenty of other people that have an interest or an involvement in commercial real estate.
  3. Businesses – canvass all the local businesses at least 2 or 3 times per year. In talking to the locals you will find the things that are about to happen and change.  If you watch the business reports in the media and online, you will hear of businesses that are looking to invest, change, or expand.  Some business segments are more active than others, so work the segments that are under growth and change.
  4. Investors for the location – when you look back in the history of property ownership and development, you will find investors that are holding good volumes of property investment stock. Some properties will already be leased whilst others will be waiting for renovation and refurbishment.  Either way, those investors will be good targets for new business.  Make the contacts and keep up the relevance of communication.  Trust is a big thing in our industry, and investors like to work with the agents and brokers that they can relate to and trust.
  5. Sale records over 5 years – go back over the sale records in your town or city. If the city is large, then break down that process into precincts or segments.  When you look back in property sales activity over the years, you will find new people that you can work with and serve in sales, leasing, or development.


When you focus in this way you can relate to the property segments that are likely to offer you the best traction and advantage in new business.  Look, see, and investigate; get to know your property zones and precincts with ongoing research and examination.  Property opportunities are found through scrutiny and assessment of areas, activities, and locations.

Through all of this, don’t wait for the new business to come to you; get out and look for it.  Then follow the basic strategies of:

  • Work on specific property types for the region so that you are perceived as the industry specialist.
  • Talk to the local people and track your findings in a database that gives you flexibility in collation and research.
  • Provide valuable local property information in all of your contact processes
  • Keep the conversations moving ahead as you connect with new people

Simple rules aren’t they?  Don’t complicate your real estate career.  Choose the right listing sources and develop the systems that you use for the best results over time.

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