There is no point in being commonplace and ‘ordinary’ as a broker or agent in commercial real estate brokerage today. The competition will ‘walk all over you’, then take your listings and your clients. The generic agent doesn’t attract much business, retain it, or convert it. You have to be the best solution for the people that you serve in the industry. How do you rank now on that?
That doesn’t mean to say that the competition is anything special in most locations, it’s just that on average the volume of competition in our industry in most towns or cities is significant and will slow you down or confuse your conversions when you are chasing good properties; the local competition will quite likely frustrate your business efforts over time if you don’t control things and drive things from a marketing perspective. You must ‘stand out’ as relevant and real to your target market of clients and prospects; they have to remember you and know you.
Marketing at a Personal Level
So you need a comprehensive marketing plan at a personal level that can help support your efforts and focus to drive market share. I like to call it a ‘power marketing program’, and there are some very good ways that you can establish things to build your new business program.
Every agent or broker in today’s marketplace should have a plan of this type to help drive the opportunities and the referrals that they need over time. When you identify an opportunity with or for a client, it is time to nurture the relationship and start positioning for the property and the marketing event.
So a marketing program or strategy of this nature is quite specific and deliberate; it can also be a ‘factor of attraction’ in your personal marketing program. It is designed to give you leverage when it comes to pulling towards you some listings, clients, and referral business. Through all three of those things, you must stand out as the broker of choice for the location. That is a deliberate marketing choice.
Your Typical Client or Prospect?
To work with the problem, understand the profile of the typical client that you could work with. Differentiate between the ordinary business and the high quality business that you really want. Target specific clients. Make some choices when it comes to levels of commission, location of listings, and types of property. When you understand all of those things, you can start to focus your efforts into the business that you really require. I go back to the point that there is no point in being ordinary in our industry given the levels of competition that are typically surrounding us.
When you focus on particular clients and properties by location and type, you escalate your prospecting efforts and make it easier to convert inquiries and commissions. The better properties and the prime locations will always generate more inquiry, so focus on that. Your marketing should constantly center on that fact and opportunity. In every way possible, be specific and focused in your promotional strategies.
Prime Quality New Business
Understand the differences between average business and prime business; apply those differences to the properties within your business territory. Put yourself into a better position by focusing on prime properties and higher quality new business.
Here are some ideas to help with that deliberate high quality prospecting and promotional strategy in brokerage and agency:
- Location coverage – drill down into a location so that you can identify the best precincts to work with and within. Don’t make the location or territory that you focus within overly large. You will just complicate your efforts and make the coverage strategy more difficult. Be realistic when it comes to the types and numbers of properties that you can work with.
- Property owners – choose the best owners from the location with a bias towards those that own multiple properties and large properties. Some owners are better than others, so look for the best owners in the location and identify the prime properties that they own. Build the relationships with property owners around that information.
- Business owners – review the business owners and the businesses within the defined sales and leasing territory. Get to know exactly what they want when it comes to property changes and choices over time. Build the relationships with these people so that they remember you at the right time and in the right way.
- Property change cycle – in any town or city you can look into the history of property sales and leasing activity to identify a property change cycle. That cycle will give you the averages of ownership and investment over time. You can also look at the business sentiment for the area and see what businesses are doing when it comes to property change and business integration.
- Signboards – to dominate an area from a commercial property perspective, you do need to get plenty of signboards into the location of exclusive listing stock. Notice that I am focusing on exclusivity here! You must control your listing stock and therefore the inquiry. When you win an exclusive listing, make sure that you get a signboard onto the property as soon as possible in a prominent position. Survey the number of signboards in your territory to understand your position and ranking when it comes to signboard dominance.
- Internet – like it or not, the Internet is taking over the property marketing momentum today. You can move with this online momentum, or ignore it at your peril. The best agents know how to put themselves into a position of online dominance for the location and the property type. They usually achieve that position through social media, articles, editorials, website listings, and email integration. You can do the same thing with a deliberate online marketing approach to complement all the traditional off-line promotional processes.
- Marketing plan – establish a specialized marketing program in your business model prior to the commencement of every calendar year. Understand the business anniversaries and property change activities that happen in your town or city during the typical year. Adjust your marketing accordingly. Be prepared for the changes and challenges of the business year.
So all of these things are quite deliberate and direct. Focus your promotional activities into each of these things in an ongoing way. You will soon see where the next property opportunities are to arise and you can adjust your marketing approaches for the best outcomes possible. Be specific and real when it comes to your property positioning as a specialist in the industry for your location.