In working in commercial real estate in your town or city, you will soon understand that you can be very busy in many different ways. The important thing here is that you are setting the right priorities and choosing the right tasks to work on every day. The right tasks are those that can lead to business opportunities, listings, transactions, and new clients. Yes, there will be administrative issues that you cannot avoid, but selectivity is important. (NB – you can get our commercial real estate course for brokers right here)
Priorities are critical when it comes to commercial real estate brokerage. Try not to waste your time on things and people that have little or no relevance to your career and business targets. You are the person to control your diary.
The Real Facts of Commercial Brokerage
Remember the facts and work within the rules. Here are the common problems and ‘balances’ that we all face daily in our rewarding but demanding industry. Some are more important than others to the end result that you seek:
- Inbound calls from local advertising and signboards – you have to quickly qualify the people that you talk to. Are they ‘genuine’? That is a critical question to work with as you take that inbound call. Have they seen other properties? What is their budget?
- Cell phone – whilst it is nice to have a cell phone with you for business convenience, the calls coming from people can shift your priorities and actions. Use voice mail as a filter for the people that are calling you. Use a good contact management system so you can see exactly who is calling you before you take the call. Google is good for that and the various apps that support contact detail, calls, and calendar activities.
- Inquiries from tenants, buyers, and business owners – determine if they are genuine and understand the local issues and property facts. Understand if they really understand the local prices, rents, competing properties, and the types of improvements that they should expect in a property.
- Meetings with all types of people – if a meeting is not ‘urgent’ or the people are not ‘important’ then move it to time of day that is outside your ‘core business period’. The first half of your working day is perhaps the most important in so many different ways.
- Listing administration – when you list a property it has to be done accurately and comprehensively. Every part of the property has to be investigated for facts and issues that could impact or change your marketing or inspection processes. A new listing requires marketing planning, advertisements to be placed, and photographs to be taken. It is best if you have a checklist for that process.
- Property inspections – they always take time, so preparation is the key to success here. Only take inspections with people that you have fully qualified. Make sure that they are genuine and can afford the property issue that they are looking at.
- Client contact – your existing clients will or should be contacted regularly with updates from inspections, marketing, and negotiations. The good thing here is that you can call them ‘off peak’ in the times of day where the ‘pressure is off’.
- Emails – most of us turn on the computer or the cell phone first thing in the morning, and the emails are waiting for attention. The volume of those emails can be huge. The rule here is ‘first things first’, so don’t let the emails take over your day and change your plans. Scan the emails for the very important issues, and leave everything else till later in the day.
- Negotiations – if you have a transaction that is active, then the priority is there and you will have to work with it at any time of day; closure is important and deal control is critical. Keep the deal documented, the client informed, and the negotiation moving ahead in a timely way. Your commission awaits a successful transaction negotiation and closure.
- Prospecting calls plus the required planning and research – one of the biggest mistakes made in the industry is that of poor quality prospecting. The research just has to be done. The clients and the prospects that you want to work with are out there, but the research and calls have to happen. Set aside a time of day where you can do that.
Now you can see why you must keep your time and your diary under control. Whilst you cannot avoid some of these issues, they are manageable. Look at your personal business systems and make sure you are fully under ‘time control’ in your business day.