The Theory and Practice of Positioning in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Positioning in commercial real estate marketing is something that must occur at a personal level for each and every agent.  In that way you will reach out to more people and find those high quality properties that you are seeking.

Positioning is actually a deliberate marketing message and something that can be understood by the clients and the customers in your local area.  The message conveyed in this way should be niche specific and location based.  You cannot be a real estate agent across all market segments and hope to build a reasonable market share.  You can be a specialist over a few specific segments and grow lots of listing opportunities from that process.

The choices that we have when it comes to niche selection include the following:

  • Industrial property sales
  • Industrial property leasing
  • Investment sales
  • Investment leasing
  • Retail property leasing
  • Shopping center management
  • Office leasing
  • Office Property sales
  • Tenant advocacy
  • Buyer’s agent
  • Commercial property management

Every segment offers the opportunity of and within the facts of specialization.  The trick is in understanding the segments that offer the best opportunity into the future within your town or city; that opportunity should be assessed in growth of the segment, listing opportunity, and commissions.

As part of that assessment, you should also look at the current market conditions and the numbers of agents currently servicing the segments.  Selectively look at the top agents within the area to understand the choices they have made in property niche selection.  Why are they successful and how have they achieved that profile?  Can you replicate that process or improve on it?  Be realistic in that assessment.

Top agents are well positioned from a marketing perspective and that is their deliberate choice.  They understand exactly the segments they want to serve and how much opportunity exists in those niche segments.  The assessment process can be merged into their business planning and the setting of key performance indicators.

So here are some practical rules to help with your niche positioning as an agent or a broker:

  1. Look at the known growth factors for your town or city particularly within business segments.  Particular industries will have trends to track that will have an impact on population growth, business placement, and property inquiry.  Your local area may have a large and prolific industry segment impacting the entire community.  For example it could be mining, timber, shipping, tourism, or manufacturing.  If there is a dominant industry segment in your town or city, understand the local factors impacting segment growth.
  2. The supply and demand for space locally will shift and change based on population growth and business sentiment.  New property developments will come into the market providing the growth predictions are substantial and proven.  For this very reason, check out the local property developments regularly to identify new projects under consideration and potential approval.
  3. Look at the competing agents locally to see what they are servicing by niche, and determine how good they may be in that process.  Will there be enough growth in the segment to see a new ‘agent player’ enter the niche?  Will the market accept another ‘specialist’?  Be critical in the assessment as you can waste a lot of time trying to build market share if your investigations are based on false assumptions or poor information.

Given these facts you are much more informed and can see where your industry can take you over time.  From that point onward, make the right decisions to build your business through directed prospecting.

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