In commercial real estate today the clients that we serve are likely to be in the market for quite some time. They may have property requirements across sales, leasing, or property management. They may also have challenging issues with tenant occupancy, property performance, or redevelopment. A good client can be a great source of future new business and commissions for you as an agent or broker.
Within the group of clients and prospects that you are currently networking, determine those that are of greater value to you. That will be as result of any of the following:
- They may own multiple properties in various locations
- Any property that they are in or may own today may be regarded as high quality or of high value
- If they run a business locally, they may have future expansion or relocation needs
- They have done business with you previously
- They may have multiple needs across sales leasing and property management
So these clients are of high value to you. It is a matter of opening the door to the future opportunity that obviously exists. Create a strategy of contact where you can grow the relationships and provide relevant market information that will be of value to the client or the prospect.
A lifetime of new business in commercial real estate can be extending over 5 or 10 years with any client. Your contact process needs to be forward looking to help the client with market opportunities, property challenges, and performance initiatives. Your market knowledge is a valuable commodity for every client that you serve.
You can do a lot with changes in tenant profile, lease strategies, vacancy management, and property redevelopment. A client from a single transaction should be encouraged to work with you in these other ways at the right time and in the right way.
Here are some strategies for you to implement and thereby increase the lifetime value of the client to you and your real estate business:
- Keep in touch in a regular and relevant way. Good clients and prospects should be spoken to at least monthly. As part of that process, you can send them articles, newsletter clippings, and market updates. You can be the source of market knowledge and market intelligence.
- Grow your customer list at every opportunity with particular attention to the process of referral and repeat business. Those good clients and prospects that you have served in the past, are likely to be the door ways to future referral business.
- Every sale or lease transaction can be converted to a potential property management appointment, or special study into tenant mix performance and or property optimisation. Be open to the challenges that a property presents, and offer the client some productive ideas to deal with it.
- Understand the value of what one client is on average to you today. Divide your earned commissions across your client database over the last 12 months to understand just how much money is actually coming from your established client list. Your target should then be to lift the number of transactions from within that list and the value of each transaction and or frequency of business. It should be remembered that the list should be growing every day through an ongoing prospecting process.
So this process of lifetime customer value is not hard, however it is a specific discipline that requires focus. Understand the value that you bring to your customer base and ensure that you are getting the message across. Your commercial real estate business will thereby improve and grow.