If you run a comprehensive database and contact management system within commercial real estate brokerage, there are plenty of opportunities arising from the contact process that will allow you to talk with local business leaders and owners on a regular basis. The questions and comments created lead to information; in any town or city that will help you find new business opportunities.
What is changing for them?
Each time you connect with your prospects you can and should firstly seek to understand what has changed for them in their business models and local business activities. Ask about change; look for the change leads to property opportunity over time. Look for the pressures of change in the various locations of segments of the property market and tap into it.
Asking the right questions
Some agents don’t ask enough questions or probe deeply enough into any key concept to get to the real facts. Read the body language messages that emanate from a client or prospect conversation; words are only one part of the equation.
Lift your levels of conversation and information. The prospects and the clients that you deal with expect to have an informative and direct conversations when it comes to property matters. Your skills in asking questions and providing that information will be valuable when it comes to winning new business opportunity.
What can you ask about?
Let’s say that you connect with many business people in a regular and ongoing way. Here are some of the topics that can be merged into the questioning process with business owners. If you specialise in a property type or business segment, understand the right questions that can be shaped in each category. Well-crafted questions will give you some valuable information and market intelligence:
- Business activities within each particular site or location – Find out about the success of a location for the business owner.
- Business ownership changes or management shifts – When business leaders or owners change, there are usually some property changes soon to take effect. Look at what a business is doing currently in your local area and assess levels of stock, staff numbers, and property presentation.
- Property ownership or occupation in different locations – Find out about the prime business locations for different market segments and customer segments or distribution points.
- Staff levels and customer pressures on property usage – Are the staff numbers changing for any reason? Similar questions could be asked of customers and purchasing patterns.
- Product offerings locally and regionally – Some businesses shift manufacturing or distribution points for longer term advantages.
- Seasonal changes in the supply of products and services – Certain times of year will be show peaks and troughs in business activity for particular companies and business segments. It is in the slower times that business changes generally occur. Those changes could be relocation, upgrade, expansion, or contraction.
- Global business trends impacting the local business – Today many of your local companies will be shifting and changing markets. Global supply is a common fact and opportunity given the ability of businesses to source products and parts economically from different locations. How will globalisation impact some of your local business segments and or companies?
Through all of these concepts you can see the opportunity that can exist for an astute and driven commercial real estate agent. Ask the right questions. Remember the differences between ‘open’ and ‘closed’ questions. Use them with skill and direction so that every conversation can give you valuable property leads and ideas.