Looking Forward and Looking Backward in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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In commercial real estate brokerage it pays to look forward and to look backward in market trends.  You can learn a lot about emerging markets, dominant property types, and enquiry rates.

In your town or city things will change frequently in property prices, rents, time on market, and the supply and demand for stock.  That is why a ‘forward and backward’ approach to the market is of great value.

So what can you do with this?  You can gather valuable market leads and opportunities.  Here are some ideas to help you:

  1. Split your territory or sales area up into segments.  Use geographical boundaries and roads to do that.  Within the segments look for the ‘hot zones’ of activity and trending.  Why are businesses and property investors active in those zones?  Identify the players in each market segment.  They are likely to be quality property investors, business owners, larger tenants, and property developers.  From that point you will have a good ‘hit list’ of people to talk to about the region and their property interests.
  2. The top agents in the market tend to get the best listings.  That is usually due to what they can see coming up in property needs and opportunities.  You can tap into that ‘vision’ by visiting the ‘planning and building approvals office’ in your municipality on a monthly basis to see what new developments may be coming up.  It is great when you can tap into a property owner or developer when a new property is in the early stages of project consideration.  Your market experience will be valuable to the client in many respects.
  3. Changing property needs will see some redundancies and re-positioning of property assets by type and location.  Many older inner city office buildings today are being converted to apartments.  There is a good leasing and sale opportunity to be had by agents in that type of project.
  4. During a given year there will be fluctuations between sales and leasing activity.  That trending should be optimized.  Most top agents should to both sales and leasing; exclusive listings are preferred in that case.   When sales activity has slowed, move across to leasing, and vice versa.  One thing leads to another in our industry.

In closing on this set of ideas, a good real estate agent and marketer will produce results in any market at any time.  Commercial real estate doesn’t disappear, it just changes.  Fill your database with the ‘players’ of the market, and keep in regular contact. Ask questions of the people you know as to what is happening in their property world.

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