In commercial real estate brokerage there are times when things will become more frustrating and difficult at a personal level. That is certainly the case when it comes to fining new property listings, clients, and sustaining the momentum behind the deals and the negotiations. Everything in commercial real estate stems from the actions and reactions of the broker or agent. We all have choices to move through and take. There are some rules to follow that will help you through those slower and more difficult times.
Throughout the year things will change when it comes to the local property market and the players or the people that you interact with. When you monitor the property changes locally, you can see what is happening, then prepare yourself for the difficulties and the variations of just about any transaction and client activity. Be prepared to adjust your marketing and negotiation skills with different people and with different property listings. Watch the local economy, the business sentiment, and the levels of local investment. You will see things that you can act on or capture from a business perspective.
Look for the pressure points
Understand the property market in your town or city for what it is, and assess the pressures that are at play. The pressures provide opportunities for the agents and the brokers that are prepared to adjust their approach to the industry. Every year things will change two or three times across sales and leasing requirements and listings within a location. Business sentiment will also change, thereby impacting the levels of inquiry and the levels of property relocation.
Be careful here. When you are not watching the local property market closely, you will miss the indicators and hence the reasons why you should change your activities and business focus. That then creates a good degree of performance anxiety and business pressure. Over time that will lead to business stress both in listings and commissions. When the stress starts, look at what you are doing, or missing as a local agent or broker.
Adapt and adjust yourself and your focus
So there are some things that you can do here to avoid the stress problem as an agent or a broker; most particularly you can identify what is happening and then you can adjust your business activities to suit. Professional salespeople in sales and leasing adjust and adapt to the changes in the industry as and when they occur. Don’t let the industry frustrate your commercial real estate career. Get things under control and avoid performance anxiety.
So what are the typical problems of performance anxiety? Here are some ideas to define the issues:
- too many open listings that are just not moving or creating activity
- lack of inbound telephone inquiry
- the commissions that you are achieving are smaller or slower to convert
- the local competitors in your market are converting more clients and more listings
- the negotiations for both sales and leasing activity are slower and more difficult to finalize
These issues are very common and will shift and change throughout the year for every agent or broker in the industry. Every location, prospecting territory, and property type will have pressures like these that frequently occur.
You are the control point
Don’t let the property market control you and your marketing activities; make sure that you have all of the control and the momentum. When something changes, you simply change your approach to clients, transactions, and listings. The new business is always out there for us to convert, it is simply a matter of personal adjustment and refocus.
To resolve all of these problems specifically and directly, you need to get back to the basics, and they are the issues that particularly matter at the front end of client and property involvement. When you control the client and the property listings, the market comes to you when it needs more information, or the resolve to a property challenge.
You want the property market and the people in it to remember you as the expert for the location. As you build your local profile professionally and comprehensively, that expert status will improve. Don’t complicate your commercial real estate career; keep things simple and basic.
Get back on track
To get back to the basics in today’s property market, the following strategies are very effective:
- Understand what people are looking for when it comes to property investment and occupancy. When you can track the levels of marketing coming to your business and the enquiry across the telephone, you will soon know what people are looking for and the locations involved.
- Spend most of the time away from your office out in the marketplace meeting new people. Simple conversations lead to opportunities. Spend at least half of your day out in the field talking to business owners and property investors. Conversations create connections. Connections lead to future property opportunities and greater levels of trust.
- Stop listening to others in the industry that are struggling with market conditions and business conversion. Most of the agents and brokers in the industry today are average when it comes to property activity and business conversion. They have very little to offer you in the way of ideas and momentum.
- Understand the buildings and the streets locally. Delve into property ownership and occupation so that you can directly relate to what people are doing and thinking as they own or occupy particular assets.
- Look for the pressures of change in particular property precincts. That may be a change to the road network, property zoning, and property use. As an interesting variation to this point, the best way to identify change within a location is to walk through the streets slowly and comprehensively on a regular basis. You cannot do that in a motor vehicle traveling at speed. Get out into your property precinct and walk the streets, making note of any issues that you can see with buildings and businesses.
- Track and measure your progress with a particular focus on prospecting, presentations, and listings. In today’s property market the bias is towards exclusivity when it comes to a good quality property entering the marketing process. You simply must control the listing in every way possible. Exclusivity allows that. The top brokers of the industry focus on exclusivity, and will generally decline any open listing request of the client.
- Build your profile at a personal level and at a professional level. The people in the industry need to know you as the property specialist for the location. Every listing that you take to the market should be promoted exclusively in a targeted way both online and off-line. I go back to the point that exclusivity allows you to adopt that process.