Understanding the Pitfalls and Advantages of Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you work in commercial real estate brokerage you soon understand the pitfalls and the advantages on offer.  If you want to succeed in the industry as a top agent or broker then it is time to consider the systems and strategies that you can implement; in entering the industry is important to remove the pitfalls and hurdles that can and usually do hold back your progress.

There are plenty of case studies and lots of market evidence to show the differences between top agents and ordinary agents.  Those agents that achieve outstanding results in the industry are usually those that have a systemised approach to the business and a deliberate focus on client contact each and every day.  We all have choices working as commercial real estate agents and brokers; it is essential that we make the right work choices and then undertake the necessary actions personally to move ahead in keeping with our desire to improve our results.

Here are some of the more common challenges in the industry today and some ideas to help you adjust around them:

  1. Select your brokerage carefully – There are significant differences between some brokerages when it comes to branding, marketing, administrative support, and skill based training.  Ultimately the brokerage is driven by the business proprietors, and supported by a business plan.  Top agents are always in demand so ask how the proprietors of the business will support your progress in marketing, negotiating, and growth of listings.
  2. Understand the commission structures – At the time of employment with any new brokerage, carefully consider the commission structures on offer and how they will be calculated.  Understand how commissions will be shared between agents in the event of a conjunction transaction.  Also ask a question regards the levels of commission available after the payment of franchise fees.
  3. Training and Skill Development – It is a fact that the property market changes frequently throughout the year.  Within property types and locations you will have many types of challenges to deal with when it comes to property detail, clients, and marketing challenges.  A top brokerage will usually provide all of its agents with appropriate training and skill development sessions each week.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the industry, you can always learn something new or improve an existing skill.
  4. Database control – The database management process within brokerages will be important to your growth of market share.  It is one thing to contact a lot of new people on a regular basis and put them into the database; it is another thing to have the correct database software to support ongoing contact and opportunity tracking.  Ask questions about the software provided to agents or brokers in tracking their business leads, referrals, and client opportunities.  Also ask questions about the ownership of the data in the event that you may choose to move location or brokerage.
  5. Review your territory for listing and commission opportunity – The territory that you are to be given from a sale, leasing, or property management perspective will have factors of competition, and potentially some limitations or advantages regards property type.  It is wise to review the territory comprehensively to understand the levels of competition you will be up against, as well as the future supply of listings.  In looking through the local area understand the number of businesses within the location, the types of properties, the frequency of property changeover, and the number of Property Investors.  Those four key indicators will give you a real understanding regards new business opportunity.  From that point onwards it is a matter of implementing your system of contact to open the doors of opportunity with the right people in the right way.
  6. Administrative support – The levels of administrative support offered to agents and brokers will have a direct impact on the ability that they have to list, market, and create new business opportunities through ongoing client contact.  Ask questions about how that administrative support team or person can be of assistance to you within the brokerage, and also identify how many other agents are supported by the same administrative people.  Sometimes there are far too many agents for the administrative person to assist productively, efficiently, and positively.

So the message here is quite clear when it comes to entering the commercial real estate industry as an agent or a broker; or perhaps changing brokerage midstream to improve your commission and listing opportunities.  Undertake the research in the right way so that you can seize the new business advantages of your listing territory.  Get the facts and make the choices.

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