In commercial real estate brokerage, there are very likely to be some key accounts in your city that need special attention over time and in certain ways. In the bigger brokerages, it is common to have key account managers to assist in the client engagement process. Experience and market coverage supports the process. (NB – if you need help with your existing key account systems in commercial real estate, you can get plenty of ideas in Snapshot right here – its free)
Why do this? The key accounts or high value clients are critical to market share and earnings; you need several of them to add to your existing (and ordinary) prospect and client list. It can take months if not years for a VIP or high value property client to move to the next step of property activity. When that happens, you want to be there with the right services to move on the opportunity. The same rules apply here with sales, leasing, and property management.
Start the VIP Contact Process
How do you do this in your brokerage? The right person on your real estate team (with all the right experience and ‘market savvy’) can stay close to the VIP client or prospect for that next level of activity. Patience and relevance is always part of the connection process with these valuable prospects and clients. It takes time and commitment to make this process work.
So, what is the role of a commercial real estate key account manager? Try some of these for starters:
- To keep in regular touch with the client – that will be to help the client with understanding the elements of change in the location and with property types. Updates on new listings, comparable properties, prices, rents, new developments, and time on market will all be interesting facts to communicate to the client.
- To offer the right brokerage services – understanding the best service solutions for a client is important. Regular meetings will help with that dialogue and awareness. They should also know the variables and facts about the client’s property portfolio.
- To provide a special and well-matched communication channel – some clients and prospects are very busy people; property may be a secondary focus for them as they strive to run a business or look at consolidating other investment avenues. Getting to the client with the right property market information at the right time is critical in helping the client with local area awareness. Communication methods should be used that get to the right people.
- To give the client real confidence in the brokerage backing – the key account manager will and should know many things about the client and their property situation(s). Those factors are likely to change throughout the year. When that happens and as the local property market changes, help can be provided with tenant changes, rent negotiations, leasing, and income optimisation.
- To resolve client challenges early – the idea here is that any property challenges are identified early and acted upon. That is a strategic and preemptive approach to client engagement.
Important strategies like these should exist in any brokerage and with the high value clients. Think about this question. Can you help the VIP client move to the next investment opportunity with control and risk reduction?
So, there are plenty of ways to implement a key account management process in commercial real estate; you could have a variation of these ideas or other ways of doing things. The important issue here is that the business strategy exists in your brokerage.
Make sure all your highly experienced team members are part of the VIP client engagement plan and process. They are the leverage that can give your business more traction and growth in listings and commissions.