When you work in commercial real estate agency, it is easy to think that just about ‘any client will do’. Some clients however are much better for you than others. Over the long term you will see top agents being quite selective when it comes to the clients that they work for and serve.
When you look around the local area, you will soon see the properties and the owners that you should focus on. The larger property owners and the bigger businesses should feature in your prospecting model. That doesn’t mean to say that you should walk away from every potential client that approaches you. You should always base your client choices on the realities of the market, the property, and the client.
Here are some ideas to help you select the right client profile as you progress through the industry.
- The integrity of the client should be assessed to ensure that they will pay your fee in accordance with the appointment to act on their behalf. Many of us have heard of clients that avoid or reduce the commission commitment at the first opportunity. That being said, make sure that every appointment to act on a property and for your clients is correctly structured and legally strong. Don’t give any client the opportunity to avoid commission. Many clients solicitors and attorneys are specifically briefed by clients to find a loophole in the agency appointment.
- The best clients to have are those that own portfolios of property, or high quality properties within your area. As a part of your prospecting model, diligently work through the property ownership records to find these people. Many an agent has asked if there is an easy way to do this. The simple answer is, no. Chasing down the ownership records for a property can be time consuming and on that basis it is an ongoing task as part of your prospecting model. It is interesting to note that the tenants in a property will usually tell you who the landlord or managing agent is. That information can be utilised in the pursuit of the property owner. Quite simple really, when you think about it.
- Any large businesses in the local area will either own or rent the property in which they are located. Contact all the business owners locally as part of your prospecting model. Ask the right questions about property ownership and property needs. You can serve the business proprietor with future relocation requirements or tenancy needs. Some major businesses will also offload redundant excess property as part of their overall business plan. Look for businesses that are going through change; that can be either expansion or contraction.
- The franchise groups through your region are great sources of leads and opportunities. Generally the franchise groups are seeking to lease premises in good locations. You can be the source of providing information when it comes to local property. Many of these franchise groups will have specific needs when it comes to property location, lease terms, and usage. It is therefore incumbent on you to discover the essential property issues that they require satisfied as part of a new occupancy and leasing.
When you really focus on the clients that you work for, you lift the opportunity for referral business and also repeat business. That’s how top agents work to build market share and profile. Choose the best clients, and the commercial real estate industry will be a lot more rewarding for you.