In commercial real estate brokerage, some agents fail to focus their efforts into a contained area of properties and within a property type. This then means that they are far too generic when it comes to specific property knowledge and experience; that problem is then it easily seen in a poor quality listing presentation to a client. Generic real estate agents really do not win much business at all.
To build your commission and listing opportunities in commercial and retail property today look at the advantages of specialization within a defined area of properties. Survey the area to ensure that there are a sufficient number of properties within the specialty that you have chosen, and that the predictable churn from sales and leasing activity over the next few years will give you significant income opportunity. As part of that analysis you will need to understand the number of competing listings, the number of competing agents, and the overall business sentiment for the area. There is no point working in an area with a property type where business sentiment is low or the number of agents already operating shows saturation and oversupply. Choose your market and location well.
Monitor and Collate Real Estate Facts
So let’s assume that you have chosen the right segment of market and property type to build your real estate business. From that point you will need to gather and monitor all of the local property information as it relates to your chosen segment. When you do that correctly and efficiently, you have a greater chance of successfully converting the listing, and winning a greater share of client presentations.
The agent or the broker that knows the market comprehensively will usually be the person to win the business. Knowledge creates confidence, and confidence creates an edge of opportunity when it comes to professional presentations.
So what information do you need to know about and what should you track? Here are some ideas to help you:
- Keep a close eye on the existing listings in the marketplace. Other agents and other properties will come and go from the market; some properties will be overpriced or over rented and as a result confuse the potential clients intending to sell or lease. It is your job to understand the real results in the market from the price and rental perspective, and then to be able to clearly display the trends and results as part of your property presentation.
- Understand the levels of available space and the future supply within the property type. Look for the upcoming changes that could shift the balance in vacancy rates, empty properties, and time on market. At any given point in time you should be able to quote the prevailing vacancy rate as it applies within the property segment. Anything below 10% will usually be acceptable from a market absorption perspective. Any new property development coming up could shift the vacancy rate percentage number out to over 20%, and that is when you will have significant problems in the property segment with both the time on market and net absorption. In such circumstances the rentals will usually fall and the lease incentives rise. Strategy then becomes essential to the marketing and pricing process; top agents thrive in difficult markets because they are ‘solution providers’.
- With every quality listing and within the property type you can and should track the levels of inquiry that apply to lease occupancy and buyer interest. Understand what the market is looking for and inquiring about when it comes to purchasing and renting properties within your segment. How have the trends changed over the last six months? How will they change in the next 12 months? These predictions will help you position yourself for improved inquiry conversion, and then direct your marketing efforts successfully.
So there are some specific things that you can do here when it comes to monitoring local property activity and gaining knowledge. It is an ongoing process that will give you the edge when it comes to winning more listings and converting more clients. You are no longer ‘generic’ when you have all the facts; the clients that you present to cannot refute or dispute real facts and trends.
Information will help you strengthen your profile as the industry specialist that you claim to be. That same information will help you convert listings at realistic prices and rentals, thereby shortening the time on market and achieving better results for the clients that you serve.