In commercial real estate brokerage, each salesperson has a series of roles to play. Many of those roles are critical in the team and are vitally important to the brokerage results. Priorities are required for the roles and tasks associated with both listings and clients; that is by zone, by property type, and by territory coverage. (NB – you can get plenty of salesperson coaching tips in Snapshot right here – its free)
How can you handle this business requirement in your team? From the start, the right team members should be chosen and shaped in both performance and focus; ‘time and task’ factors come together at an individual level. Considerations are made and given for roles in the location, the brokerage, the client base, and the current market conditions.
The way ahead involves coaching each salesperson to ‘excellence’. If it becomes evident that any individual cannot respond with commitment and action to grow the business, then it is better that they move on (or are moved). Commercial real estate is an expensive business, and time passes quickly; commissions and listings are required. Plans and actions daily will help a broker or agent get results.
So how do you start the ‘salesperson’ assessment and then coach them to performance? Choosing the right salespeople for placement into a brokerage team is always a problem, and mistakes are common if not a reality of the business. The character and work ethic of any individual in the sales team can be well hidden or ‘manipulated’ at the start of their career or entry to the brokerage; the facts of personal performance and commitment will usually evolve and be seen within 60 to 90 days.
Watch the Team Members
Watch what each member of the team is doing each day, and how they approach the pressures of the commercial property market and property type. When you know how a salesperson responds to the pressures of the business, then coaching and guidance is wise and required.
A good degree of coaching and training will help a commercial real estate salesperson progress (if they cooperate and learn), but the facts of the matter always say that the salesperson should be personally responsible and task driven from the very start of their team involvement. Key performance indicators help each salesperson see what is happening and what is going on for them at a personal level.
Here are some of the other very vital roles for a commercial real estate salesperson today:
- To build market share with exclusive listings – control of listing stock is perhaps the most important element of business generation. Take every listing opportunity to ‘exclusivity’ through a listing presentation designed for that very process.
- Listing marketing processes – when a listing has been converted and won, the hard work of promotion starts. There are no short cuts in marketing, that is why ‘exclusivity’ is part of the process. Both the client and the broker or agent should commit to working together with the listing for a fixed period (at least 3 months and preferably 6 months). I call it a ‘listing partnership’.
- Converting vendor paid marketing funds – given the previous point about ‘exclusivity’, the generation and use of vendor paid marketing funds will be the essential focus of the listing pitch and conversion. Every listing must be well promoted and that concept only comes with campaign spending; vendor based marketing expenditure is required with every listing. Get the money up front as part of the listing process.
- Personal marketing processes – each agent should be prepared to personally promote themselves through direct marketing processes and ongoing ‘face to face’ contact. That is the real way the business evolves.
- Specialization locally to a property type – every person in the industry should ‘specialize’ in some way. Personal skills, property knowledge, and local area coverage can then evolve with some reasonable chance of success. It is virtually impossible for an individual to cover all property types and locations in a city from a brokerage perspective.
- Sales and Leasing coverage locally – every agent should know their market share and market potential. The threat of the competitors in the market should be watched and adjusted to.
- A growth of client lists and contact processes – a client list grows over time. The quality of the list and the growth of it should remain a personal focus for every agent and broker. The list is then the ‘bedrock’ to grow commissions and listings over time.
- Commission generation – every agent should have commission and listing targets. The commission ratio per transaction should also be looked at for improvement and growth.
There are some important roles to shape here in commercial real estate brokerage. They are some of the most important and vital roles of an individual salesperson working the market segments.