Customers are at the very core of the successful commercial real estate office. Over time those customers can bring in new business leads and opportunities with listings. Every customer should be encouraged to transact multiple times across sales, leasing, and property management. In saying that, the concept requires a productive and proactive commercial real estate team to make things happen with customers.
Here are some ideas to help you work with your customers and grow your client base in commercial real estate:
- Look at every customer at an individual level. Create a group of VIP customers to service at a whole new level across sales, leasing, and property management. Get to understand what they require when it comes to property selection, and location. Over time you can identify plenty of leads and property choices to introduce to your VIP clients individually and confidentially. An ‘off market transaction’ can then be made without the interference of the general market and other agents.
- Define the profile of an ideal customer for your brokerage, and within that profile and determine what a VIP customer would look like, how they would spend or invest money in property assets, and how you can support them with property information.
- Some of your top clients will require brokerage management support and involvement. A team approach should be considered when handling some of those top clients. The team leader or sales manager can help the momentum of any negotiation or the levels of service provided to the top client. It is worth noting that some clients will only work with top agents and team leaders. So you have some choices to make when it comes to supporting those high-value clients.
- Review the levels of interaction and the experiences provided to your clients today. At a personal level, understand the ways in which you can improve your personal involvement and interaction with your top clients as they consider property issues and challenges.
- Personal contact is a big thing. The face-to-face aspects of our industry are very important in generating new business. Most of the transactions created today will be as a direct result of personal contact and face-to-face involvement. Connect with all of your top clients regularly with telephone calls and meetings; provide those clients with up-to-date information from the market via property update reports and individual strategies. Track those meetings and discussions in your database. Connect with all of your top clients at least once every 60 to 90 days. When the client appears to be ready to take on another level of property activity or action, shorten the contact cycle and lift your personal involvement with that client.
- Through tracking your activities with your clients and importantly the properties that they own, you will be able to understand where change is required. Focus on the needs of your customers and understand how that relates to the local property market; understand the requirements of each client when it comes to property choices, rents, vacancy factors, tenancy mix issues, prices, timing, and income opportunities.
- Reinforce the simple issues of customer contact across the brokerage team; where necessary get multiple levels of contact underway through the team for the one special client. Post progress reports for certain clients each week as part of the sales team meeting. Your top VIP clients are likely to be working with three or four members of the brokerage team at any one time to take the property transaction to the next level. Communication within the team is therefore critical and important to ensure that the client experience is positive and productive.
So there are plenty of things that you can do here when it comes to customer contact and setting the foundations of a top-quality customer experience in commercial real estate.