In commercial real estate agency, you should strive to build solid and productive client relationships as quickly as possible. The industry is very much ‘relationship driven’ between agent and prospect. Note that I said ‘agent’ and not ‘agency’. The fact of the matter is that most of the business that you create and convert will come from personal relations that you build. Only a small amount of business will come to your ‘agency’ for the business identity that they are.
Focus on creating your personal brand in the local area; as part of that it is best to specialize in a property type and local area. You cannot be an expert in ‘everything’ when it comes to property; there is just too much to know and monitor.
Lack of knowledge will destroy your credibility and relevance in the eyes of the customer. They want to work with experts, not generic salespeople that regurgitate the same old processes and information that all agents use. Building relationships with the right people should be part of you prospecting model every day. Those people will be typically:
- Business owners
- Property investors
- Owner/occupiers of property
- Tenants in occupancy
- Franchise groups
- Property developers
In this simple group of people there are many relationships to be opened and made. It is interesting that many agents or salespeople do not do this consistently on a daily basis. That one fact is an amazing opportunity for those that do the regular prospecting.
Set Your System Up for Ongoing Contact
When you connect with a prospective client and open the door on future communication, try some of the following ideas as part of serving those people:
- Know who the key people are and how they like to do business.
- What type of business do they like to do? Do they sell, lease with regularity, or do they hold property for a long time? Do they have particular criteria that must be satisfied in any property acquisition?
- When you completely understand the client you can easily find them the properties or the property solutions that they require. Most top agents will do negotiations on properties ‘off market’ given that they are matching clients and properties most of the time.
- Know the properties in your area and what is happening with them now. Some properties may be on the market now whilst others will be coming up for sale or lease. This knowledge will help you connect your prospect with the property deal that they require.
- Always carry a set of support materials and market information. Given that most of your time should be spent outside of the office, you will need the right information at your fingertips to do a deal or to take a listing.
As you prospect every day, do so with a view to finding the right people and helping them with their property challenge. That property challenge may be current or something that they will have in the future. I go back to my main point; the commercial real estate industry is all about fresh relationships and how you build them.