In commercial real estate brokerage, what goes around comes around. The industry and the market can be relatively ‘small’ when it comes to spreading information and rumour. For this reason, your conduct and professionalism should be of the highest standard at all times.
Many of the people that we work with or against have questionable agendas. When the pressures of a property deal or a client seem unfair or unrealistic, stay within the bounds of professionalism at all times. Don’t allow the temptation of anger, threat, and innuendo to have an impact on your market or professional standards. Clients and competitors will happily spread rumour and negativity about your performance and standards; don’t give them a reason or a channel to do so.
So the rule is easy to understand. Maintain your integrity at all times regardless of the ethics and actions of other people. If a property negotiation, a competitor, or a client is overly difficult, it is better to walk away from the transaction than to destroy or taint your professional standards.
Quality clients and quality listings produce better inbound enquiry over time; that can then have a direct flow through to more inspections and better negotiations. You can underpin that formula through specialised services and professional standards. The parties to a transaction will know when they are working with a top agent of high professional standards.
I go back to the point that we all need to maintain our professional standards and image at all times, regardless of the difficulty of the deal or the client. The market can be very small and your competitors can be very unprofessional. Every negative event or a lapse of professionalism on your part will spread quickly and completely through the market.
So let’s look at some rules to help you here with your professional image as a top commercial real estate broker or agent:
- Local market knowledge and property information will help you with every property negotiation. It is difficult for any client or competitor to refute and dispute real market evidence.
- Clients and competitors can be selectively difficult in an attempt to gain an advantage in a negotiation. Your response needs to be professional and calm at all times. Put everything in writing when it comes to a critical factor of negotiation.
- An aggressive response from a client or prospect may be ‘strategic’ to a deal or negotiation, so look at the bigger picture in each case.
- Property negotiations and offers can be changed many times as part of achieving a final agreement. Some parties to a sale or lease transaction will say one thing and do another. Every offer and counter offer situation should for this reason be documented in writing and supported by the necessary deposits and monetary consideration. Have the parties commit to the deal correctly and directly on paper.
- Stay within the law and the local legislation that applies to the property transaction. If you have any doubts when it comes to formulating a contract or lease, seek the assistance of experienced people that understand the transaction type and the variables of documentation. Small errors in documentation can create huge legal claims later on.
- Remember who your client is in the property negotiation. Provide them with high quality communication, recommendations, and updates. They are relying on you to initiate, control and hold a deal together. That being said, professionalism is required.
- Understand the instructions of the client when it comes to the marketing, inspection, and negotiation process. Stay within the authorized parameters of your appointment to act. Provide recommendations to the client so that they understand the conditions of the market and the factors of the property. Help them understand the best choices to be made given the prevailing market conditions.
- Some parties to a transaction can ask you to overlook or manipulate facts and circumstances within a sale, lease, or property management. You cannot act outside of the law when it comes to a property transaction, and your obligations of servicing your clients. Be aware of the dangers that apply to negligence and misrepresentation. Review every property for accurate information, correct title, and documentary correctness.
So there are plenty of things here to look for and control when it comes to an average property transaction. Errors should be avoided and minimised through correct professionalism by the agent, and thoroughness in listing and negotiation. If you are in any doubt with any property transaction, seek assistance and guidance from other people with the right levels of experience.