In commercial real estate today, there are many challenges when it comes to property investment and ownership. Many of the clients that we work for will have issues to be addressed in property performance, leasing, and occupancy. One client can be the source of many new business transactions and commission opportunities. Understanding how you can help them, and being available for the purpose is quite important.
This then suggests that we should be in constant contact with all of our clients. Providing relevant and up to date market information will help keep the contact process of importance to the client. There is nothing worse than a property agent providing little value and information to the clients.
A client will soon ‘close the door’ on any future communication if you are not providing something of interest or a value. When you are establishing a constant contact process with your clients, develop some tools and some research material to make it work. You can do that with newsletters, market commentary, industry changes, and listing updates. Regular telephone calls will also help to get you more meetings.
Here are some tips for working with clients in the property market today:
- The property investors that you know now may have challenges with leasing and vacancies. Your database of tenants in the local area will be of high value to your clients. Maintain regular contact with all the businesses locally so that any tenant movement requirements and relocation needs can be suitably serviced and directed to your clients.
- From your existing client list, split the clients into two separate groups. The first group will be the VIP clients that can bring you more business leads and opportunities over time. They will require special interaction and ongoing communication in a meaningful way. Provide them with regular market updates and appropriate market knowledge. Introduce your VIP clients to the greater brokerage business through quarterly updates and workshops. Help them understand how you can improve their property performance challenges. The linkage between sales leasing and property management will always give you a variety of services to provide. The specialists within your brokerage can be introduced to your VIP clients accordingly. That being said, you should be the client representative as the main channel of contact and representation.
- The second group within your client list will be the average clients that may require your assistance, but the same level of commitment and communication is not possible for necessary with this group. They may already be using other agents or not be as active as those clients in your VIP Group. You still want to stay in contact with this secondary group on the chance that something will develop. The VIP clients should be contacted on a monthly basis. The second group of client should be contacted once every 90 days.
- Track all of your meetings and conversations with clients and prospects. At the end of each day, the information into a database so that you can make a return call at the right time in the future.
- Establish a strong social media platform on the Internet. This should be a personal process on a daily basis where you can link your blogs and market updates to the various channels of social media. You can also link your listings into your client base and your social media channels. It is unlikely that your social media efforts will bring you a direct business opportunity, however it will help you stay in contact with the right people to build your brand and presence. Most of the sales and listing opportunities that we get in this business come from personal contact. Nothing will replace the high value of the personal meeting and the telephone call. Every day you should be striving to achieve more meetings and making better connections. Social media then is a backup strategy between meetings and telephone calls.
With all of these points being considered, the cycle of activity in commercial real estate is relatively long. It can be some months if not years before a client or a prospect is ready to take some action with their property issues. Your database needs to put you back in contact with the right people at the right time; establish a constant contact system for that process.