On most days of the week as a commercial real estate agent or broker, you will be sharing property details with those people that potentially want to buy or lease new premises. The question is just how much should you tell them before you take them to the property? Start with the end target in mind; that is to set the foundations for negotiating and attracting offers.
Consider these facts:
- Can you tell a person too much about a property before the inspection? The answer is most definitely ‘yes’. In your eagerness to show and attract someone a listing that you believe will suit them, you can ‘oversell’ and you can leave nothing of attraction to get them to visit the property.
- Can you tell a person too much about a property at the very beginning of the inspection? Again the answer is ‘yes’. You can give them all the details of the property (improvements, amenities, and services) not letting the property and the timing of the inspection process do that for you.
Qualify and Connect with Prospects Comprehensively
The best way to connect with a prospective tenant or buyer to a listing is to qualify them first and then tell them just enough about the property suiting their needs to encourage an inspection; in doing so you are putting a strategy into the property inquiry and your response.
So, the rule here is to get them to the property first and foremost. After you do that you can ‘spread the real factors of attraction’ into a staged and timed property inspection. Its common sense really, but so many agents and brokers get it all wrong.
Consider this statement:
You can inspect a property like ‘tourist’, or you can inspect a property like a ‘specialist’. You have a choice in how you establish and complete the property inspection process.
It directly follows that you can and should have established an ‘inspection strategy’ for all of your quality listings. Exclusive listings are especially suited to the process (open listings not so). The strengths of the property for sale or lease should have been well established in the listing phase.
How to Prepare for Property Inspections
The very nature of the office, industrial, and retail property today is that most listed premises are complex and spread-out. It directly follows that you can and should prepare for things such as:
- Entering the premises (doors, lights, air conditioning, cleaning)
- Moving through the property (security, access, planned path)
- Understanding and talking about the property improvements today
- Showing amenities, services, floor plates, and property layout
- Tenant mix details (leases, rents, documentation)
- Rental and income information
- Outgoings costs and budgets (impacts net income and rental charges)
Understand exactly where you will start an inspection, and then how you will move through the property, taking into account the property strengths and weaknesses; be prepared to talk about each of these things as required, and have your answers ready given any existing property problems and obvious weaknesses.
Know the things that matter to any tenant or buyer, and how they can be featured in the property walk through. Build on the property strengths in a staged way as you move through the premises. Have full property detail available at your fingertips.
Some successful agencies and brokerages have a ‘standard listing packet form’ to use in establishing the ‘property walkthrough and inspection strategy’. The listing agent’s main task in completing the form is to strategically identify and build on the property features for the upcoming inspections; any member of the sales and leasing team can then read the form prior to taking any potential tenant or buyer to the listing. Some of these forms also display a ‘property diagram’ as part of establishing documenting the correct way to inspect the property.
Top agents prepare for any property inspection in a complete and detailed way at the listing stage of marketing preparation. From that point onwards, any property inspection has a much better chance of success. Some properties are more difficult than others to sell or lease so have your inspection strategies under control.