Customer service in commercial real estate brokerage can and should be specifically designed and established as a consistent system across the team. In that way you can build the fullest opportunity for further repeat and referral business. There are also some well-established links to be remembered between sales, leasing, and property management. The customer experience in all three disciplines should be well considered and planned as part of the customer service process.
It can be said that the overall customer service model used in commercial real estate should be in keeping with the location, the property types you specialise in, the marketing campaigns you prefer, and the brokerage branding. A consistent message should apply through each of those categories. So here are some questions to consider:
- How can you help the client identify with your proven business skills and relevance?
- What can you do to improve the overall client experience as you move from the listing stage and through the marketing campaign, inspections, and the negotiations?
- What are your clients really looking for?
- How can your real estate services stand out as superior to that of your competitors?
Most top agents in the property market today will generate ongoing new business through consistent client service and their client commitment.
Client Service Model
Here below are some ideas to help you establish a client service model as part of the marketing of your commercial real estate brokerage. The strategies within each of the following categories can be merged into your business policy statement, and business plan. The agents and brokers within your business should commit to the same message and promotional process; that’s how you can build your brand and that then helps you standardise the client experience in every respect.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Preparation Processes – Every property should go through a preparation process when it comes to sales and leasing activity. You may need to review the tenancy mix, the property cash flow, lease documentation, the quality of improvements, and overall building presentation. You can have a specific preparation strategy incorporating those issues for both sales and leasing. Create a checklist that you can move through for both types of property promotions. Use a checklist in the presence of the client so that they can see your commitment to momentum and the property challenge.
- Best Method of Sale or Lease – Some methods of sale or lease work better than others when it comes to particular property types. Changes in the local property market will also indicate the preferred methods of promotion and marketing. Tell the client why you are at using a particular method of promotion when it comes to their property in its location.
- Marketing and Promotional Strategies – Make every marketing campaign special and real. Match the promotional strategies to the needs of the client, the configuration of the property, the time of year, the targeted market, and the improvements. Offer two or three alternatives when it comes to the marketing campaign and the costs associated with that. Clients will generally choose a campaign of medium cost and reasonable coverage. On that basis you can offer them three specific alternatives of marketing and promotion.
- Inspection Processes – Tell the client how the property will be inspected with qualified buyers or tenants. In other words you should have a specific inspection strategy taking into account how you will supply information about the property, take people through the property, and resolve any questions that may occur when it comes to the strengths and weaknesses of the asset, the tenancy mix, the improvements, the history, and the location.
- Negotiation Recommendations – In negotiating on any sale or lease you can set standards as to how a lease offer would be taken and then communicated to the client. As the parties move through the stages of the negotiation, your standards of control would include documentation, money collection, offer and acceptance, counter offers, and finalisation of the deal.
- Sales Team Involvement – Every person in your team should know how a listing, offer, or client communication is to occur. The client experience should be established, preserved and enhanced. You may communicate differently when it comes to the different activities of a listing agent, buyer’s agent, tenant agent, and in landlord contact. What are your standards and systems to take a client forward with your professional services?
- Feedback Channels and Updates – One small word such as ‘feedback’ contains so many concepts and factors of client communication. The suggestion is that the client be communicated with directly at all stages of the sale or lease, and that those communications be supported by telephone calls, documentation, emails, and meetings. Top agents communicate with their clients regularly and specifically so that the client knows exactly what is happening in progressing their listing or property transaction. When done correctly you will find that your conversions to referrals and other new business will be high.
So there are plenty of things to think about here when it comes to customer services in commercial real estate brokerage. Set your standards as part of your business plan and agency services. Give every client a valuable and timely business experience.