In commercial real estate brokerage, you must know your market in many different ways. When you pitch or present your ideas to a prospect or client, the current sale prices and rents will be a factor of discussion. How you handle those points will make or break the outcome of your conversations.
Many clients will test you on price or rent, as well as market conditions. That doesn’t mean you should answer them immediately on what you think the property is worth, but you should have some ways of directing the discussion.
Some ‘seasoned clients’ and those with property experience will try to push your responses and control the conversation. That cannot and should not occur. You are the industry professional and controlling the client conversation is really important. In most cases you should know more about market trends than the client.
Consider these things:
- You cannot give an opinion of price or rent without a total review of recent sales and lease activity
- Every property is different in many ways from others locally, and those differences will impact marketing and enquiry
- A quality property requires a full market investigation before you comment on the best method of sale or rent as well as the predicted outcomes
Recently a real estate friend was pressured by a prospect to comment about property price over the telephone. The prospecting he was doing had created an inbound call from a person that owned a shopping centre. The question was raised as to ‘What do you think my property worth?’ If anyone asks you that question over the telephone, they are not genuine. You simply cannot nor should you answer the question across the telephone. Market investigation is required.
The standard reply to a person that asks this question goes something like this:
‘Mr Brown, it would be foolish of me to comment on such an important matter across the telephone. Your property is valuable and special. I would like to fully investigate market trends and your investment before we get to a price range discussion. Let’s meet at the property today or this week to walk through it and discuss the variables and strategies that you have at your disposal.’
The fact of the matter is that many property owners will ‘try you on’ and test you. When they do that remember this fact. You are the industry professional. You are not desperate for a listing ‘at any price’. Control your marketing efforts and discussions.
If you let the client control the discussion, they will do so. Respond to unreasonable client requests in a logical and deliberate way. Do business ‘on your terms’, and not those of the client.