As a broker or an agent in commercial real estate, you should use a few specific planning aids as part of controlling your week, and thereby helping you improve your results with clients, listings, and transactions. Technology today can offer us so many different control tools to support the planning process. Every presentation, listing brochure, sale or lease, can be supported by online and electronic planning tools and aids.
You will need some basic technology systems to take with you during the working day. (NB – If you want more time management tips for commercial brokerage, you can get them here in Snapshot – its free)
Convenient Technology Systems for Brokers
The most valuable technology software related tools to use in real estate planning include:
- Cloud-based diary system – Gmail is very practical and free if you haven’t tried it. Works well with your mobile phone.
- Task control system – Wunderlist or Gmail have free alternatives that give mobile interaction.
- Cloud-based note taking system – Evernote is powerful and economical. ‘Keep’ on Google is also very useful if you have a Gmail account. Either way they are both very good tools to use.
- Digital photographs and online albums to use with property listings – just about every mobile telephone can give you online storage for photographs and albums. The power in that process is that you can call the photographs up from your mobile devices when talking with clients and prospects. A very useful approach to pitching and presenting your services or properties.
- E-mail and SMS contact systems – You can consider a free autoresponder system like Mailchimp if you haven’t got an integrated plan with a provider. The cost will ‘trip in’ when you get over a certain number of people in your list.
- Database software programs – There are usually costs to the database software programs, however Zoho is free in the ‘basic’ sense. It is also very powerful. As you get more people in your list, you can upgrade your account for a small monthly cost.
- Online and documentation Storage Systems for listings and transactions – use a ‘drive’ system attached to your mobile phone and laptop, so you can access photos, documents, brochures, and client files from anywhere.
- Mobile phone use – this is an essential tool for all brokers and agents so choose the telephone provider that can give you significant coverage with your mobile phone. Most of the day you will be out meeting people, so be prepared for communicating with your clients and prospects from the car, from home, and from the office.
- Outlook365 – if you are a ‘converted’ Microsoft product user, then Outlook365 is a subscription service that you can use in the ‘cloud’.
The agents and brokers that struggle in the property industry are usually those that fail to plan and systemize their activities for each working day; by that I mean with prospecting for new business, taking enquiries, working with active listings, clients, and transactions. They fail to recognize the priorities that apply within those critical elements of our business. Every day certain things need to be repeated and tuned to the current market conditions. Throughout the year the market conditions will change in any town or city. A systematic approach to brokerage and agency really works.
Most of the new business that you create as a broker or an agent will be personally initiated by ongoing contact with people and property owners. Your time and your resources devoted to contacting people are thereby critical to the outcomes that you seek with listings, clients, and transactions. Luck has nothing to do with the success of a commercial real estate agent.
Plan and Engage
Here is an example of planning and organization that can be implemented by a commercial broker or an agent:
- Prospecting calls can be researched the night before in preparation for making the calls the next day.
- Telephone calls should only be taken at certain times of the day.
- The calls on any mobile telephone system should be screened for priority and relevance. The message bank system is a successful way of achieving that.
- Prospecting activities should occur first thing each morning so that the balance of the day can be focused on the other more ordinary and less important things.
- Notes can be taken digitally on a mobile telephone, laptop, or tablet computer. Notes can be accessed again later and stored for future reference.
- Any meetings relating to listings or clients should be subjected to the listing checklist process and notes taken accordingly.
So, there are priorities to consider if you are working as a commercial real estate broker or agent; understand the value of new business to your goals and targets, and the best times of day to achieve systemized prospecting. Put your clients, listings, and prospects at the centre of your day to day activities.