Friday, August 17, 2012

Commercial Property Manager Tips - Income Performance in Commercial and Retail Property

business woman looking at file
Keep good leasing and income records in commercial property management today.

When it comes to managing commercial and retail property, it is very important to optimise the income for the landlord.  The income for the property should be looked at both individually with separate leases, and across the entire property and the tenancy mix.

At the beginning of every financial year, there should be some form of budget created for the tenancy mix and the potential property income.  All of the leases currently existing will have rental strategies and rental increases to merge into the income budget.  This income budget can be incorporated into the business plan for the property for the upcoming year.  The best time to do the budget is in the months of April and May, just prior to the beginning of the financial year.

Here are some tips relating to income optimisation in commercial or retail property management:

  1. Always allow for some measure and method of adjustment given that the property market is always changing in your local area.  When you set a property income budget, it should be reviewed on a monthly and quarterly basis.  Any established trends in the local area should be tracked and then be used as a form of rental adjustment for the landlord if those trends are firm and established.
  2. The vacancy factor in your local area will change based on the supply and demand of available property.  To monitor this process, you should track down the changes to the property development plan in the region.  Look for any new developments that could have an impact on your property.  Those new developments will have a timeline of construction and occupancy; it is likely that those developers will also have an allowance for rental incentive to attract tenants into their property.  That incentive will have an impact on your property leasing strategies.
  3. Market rentals will change from time to time.  They do not always go upwards, and more commonly will stagnate or slightly reduce when the property market slows.  To help you with the levels of market rental, you will need to understand the impact of incentive in the market rental structure as it exists today.  If an incentive exists in any market rental negotiation, it creates what is called a face rental.  That face rental will be discounted by any property valuer back to a level that is truly aligned to the effective rental and the market.  Incentives create a false level of rental.
  4. Business sentiment will change from time to time based on the local and regional economy.  Some business segments and business types will be more active and successful than others.  Track those business segments and monitor the needs for property change or occupancy.  Some of those tenants could be relocated to your property if the opportunity arises.
  5. Existing tenants in the property should be categorised into long-term tenants and short-term occupants.  Some tenants will be more attractive to the landlord and the performance of the property over time.  They may have a tenancy profile or business identity that encourages other tenants to the property.  Reviewing the tenancy mix is called tenant retention.  You can create a tenant retention plan as part of your business planning model.
  6. Pressures of expansion and contraction will change from time to time with all other tenants in your tenancy mix.  Look for those changes, and keep close to those issues through the business year to identify any pressures of change that may need to be accommodated in the building.  It is better to have a tenant in your property that you understand and appreciate, than find a new one that is unproven and costly in occupancy changeover and leasing costs.

The income for a commercial or retail property can be enhanced when you fully understand all of the above factors and adjust the property accordingly.  It is not unusual to adjust the business plan or for a property three or four times during the financial year.

Commercial Realtors - Finding Leads and Prospects

business meeting in office at desk with 3 people
Finding leads for Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

Local business owners are a distinct opportunity for commercial real estate agents.  It is those local business owners that know the area and the activities of other property occupants and tenants.  To a degree they will know the local area far better than you as the property agent.

To build your pipeline of opportunity and a good database, at least half of your prospecting efforts should focus on the proprietors of those local businesses.

This is the type of information they can give you:

  • An idea of those other local businesses that are looking to change occupancy or location
  • Requirements of expansion or contraction subject to current business activities
  • Details of the landlord for the property if it is leased
  • They will tell you of any instability or discomfort they have with the landlord
  • A good history of the area so you can understand how things are changing

So how can you make contact here and why should they listen to you?  To answer the first part of the question, the best method of contact is by the telephone to arrange a suitable meeting.  In other words you should be making many cold calls into the local business community.  Set yourself a benchmark of 40 calls a day into the business community.  In making 40 calls you should achieve at least two meetings.

In making contact with these business people, it is essential to provide some form of relevance and interest to them.  That can be through one or more of the following strategies:

  1. Create a simple brochure of local property information on a single piece of paper.  This double sided single piece of paper can be copied conveniently when you require more of them to take with you as part of your prospecting efforts.
  2. Creating an Email newsletter to send to your prospects and clients on a regular basis.  As part of that process you should be getting their approval to receive such information.  The frequency of the e-mail newsletter is open for some debate although fortnightly seems to be very successful for most commercial agents and realtors.
  3. Create a blog on the Internet to talk about local property activity and property information.  Make sure that the blog is specifically relevant to a property type and the location.  This information from the blogging process will increase your Internet profile as a property specialist.  You should blog at a frequency of once per day if that is possible.  Anything less than posting a blog once a week will be a waste of time.
  4. Create a social media platform of different contact processes that can be easily activated and utilised with both property listings and local property information.  Use the social media platform at least once a day.

There is always opportunity in the local area for you to tap into as a commercial real estate specialist.  Build your systems and push your system forward each and every day into the market place.

Observations About Support Staff for Commercial Realtors Today

secretary answering the telephone
Support staff will help your commercial real estate agency business.

Some commercial realtors and commercial property agencies operate with support staff for the sales team, but they do so in many different ways.  If you get the support staff equation correct, the sales team can produce better results and more quality listings.

The targets of putting support staff in the sales team structure is to do some or all of the following:

  • Remove the mundane paperwork from the sales people so they can get on with listing and prospecting.
  • Build and maintain a quality approach to standard tasks that the salespeople must do for the clients and the listings that they are involved with.
  • Keep some more ordinary salespeople on task and controlled to the business working model
  • Monitoring the quality of the work that is put out by the sales team.
  • Put some quality control on the marketing of the listings in your agency
  • Creating standards to the administration of the sales and leasing listings.

So these are some really good reasons to have a quality support team behind the sales team.  That being said, the support team costs money and will be a burden on the business financially.  There is a very good case here for taking 5% or up to 10% off the top of the gross commissions to fund the support sales team cost.

Now many salespeople will have an issue with what I have just said with taking some of the commission off the top of the completed sale or lease transaction; however the reality of the situation is that someone has to do the mundane paperwork that is associated with each and every listing.  It is really important to put some quality systems into the activities of the sales team.  A good support team can do that.

Here are some tasks that a support team could control for the brokers or agents:

  1. Undertaking the property title checks before the marketing of the property occurs
  2. Gathering all of the correct paperwork before the property is taken to the market
  3. Establishing a quality marketing campaign that is aligned to the vendor paid marketing funds
  4. Following up on the sales team for client approvals of the draft advertising
  5. Listing the property on the websites associated with your real estate business
  6. Ensuring that all marketing material is sourced and aligned to any price adjustments
  7. Following up on contracts or leases, and the associated paperwork that is required to complete the transaction or take it to the next level.

Some would say that these tasks are the job of the salesperson; yes that is the case, but good support staff behind the salesperson can streamline the quality and the processes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reconciliation Tips for Commercial Property Managers

commercial property manager looking at a file record
Outgoings reconciliations need good records for the commercial or retail property.

At the end of any financial year in commercial property management, it is necessary to reconcile the financial activities of the commercial or retail building for the landlord.  In a building with many tenants in the tenancy mix, the process of reconciliation becomes quite complex and lengthy.

It can take some days if not weeks to ensure that the reconciliation has been correctly conducted and accurately reflects the true income and expenditure from the property.

Some leases require the property manager and or the landlord to undertake a formal audit of the completed reconciliation process.  The auditor then signs off on the records of the reconciliation so that any outgoings recoveries can be correctly implemented with the necessary tenancies.

All of this takes time, and on that basis should be timed into the requirements of the building, the landlord, the leases, and local property legislation.  It is not unusual to have circumstances or legislation where the outgoings reconciliation needs to have been completed and served upon the tenants in a particular time frame.

The reconciliation process occurs for the following reasons:

  • To determine that the income raised throughout the year across all of the tenants leases is accurate and correctly charged
  • To determine that the expenditure paid from the property financial records is correct and in accordance with the established rules relating to building occupancy costs.
  • To remove any items of a capital nature that should not be in the ordinary property expenditure category.
  • To ensure that any arrears and recovery processes are correctly actioned and reflected in the recoverable income.
  • To review all of the rentals charged to the tenants to ensure that those charges are correct and in accordance with the terms of each active lease.
  • To raise charges against the appropriate tenancies for recoverable outgoings still to be charged.
  • To apply any adjustments on the tenants in the tenancy mix for any outgoings paid in advance.

The accuracy of the outgoings reconciliation process should never be under estimated.  The reconciliation will have impact on the net income for the property and on that basis the potential sale price if and when the property is sold.

The levels of outgoings in a property will also impact the market rental when it comes to leasing any vacant space.  A property with a high level of outgoings will be difficult to lease and will not attract the quality tenants that you require.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Commercial Realtors - Tips to Help Your Clients Make a Decision

businessman and woman talking
Commercial Real Estate Clients need help to see the way ahead.

Some clients in commercial real estate can take too long to make a decision and take action.  Invariably that can mean lost opportunity for them and for you as the agent.  Top agents will move a client through the decision ‘gateways’ and put them on the road to action.  In saying that many a client wants to know that they are still in charge and have alternatives to choose from.  To help them with that fact you can offer a few alternatives in all the big issues such as marketing and inspection processes.

So the client should be directed or encouraged to see the benefit of moving ahead.  The best way to do that is to show them a time line of the issues ahead and how you intend to help them.  The Gantt graphing process is great for that.  You can have a typical model for sales leasing and property management.

The average client has no idea about the complexities of taking their property to the market.  In a Gantt graph you can time the bigger issues and show the client just how you will be involving them in the decisions and the actions.

How many issues are involved in taking a property to the market for sale or lease?  If you really think about it there are some 20 to 30 phases in the handling of a property for sale or for lease.  In breaking those down you can show the client just how important their choice of agent is in listing the property.  You should be the agent of choice and you can do that by showing them the way to get all the key matters under control.

Here are some issues to put in your Gantt chart for the client.

  1. The current market will include an assessment of a number of things including competing properties, time on market, price ranges, rentals, best method of sale or lease, and ways to attract enquiry away from any other property listed with competing agents.
  2. Marketing solutions can include drafting advertising, targeting the advertising, editorial, internet listing, signboards, brochures, direct calls, emails, database review, direct letters and many more.
  3. A timed marketing campaign can be designed around the market and the other properties that are on the market at the moment currently.  Competition is sometimes a good thing.  Matching to the timing of other property promotions in your office may also allow you to share property enquiry across similar property types.  A catalogue auction of a number of properties is just like that.
  4. Inspecting the property can involve strategy and features.  In simple terms it is a way of taking people to and through the property so you are building the right property impact.  A good property inspection will help you.

You can probably add to this list.  When you do this and put all of your issues in a Gantt chart, you are creating a selling tool to use in your presentation or pitch.

Tips for Interviewing and Employing a Commercial Property Manager

job interview between two business people
Ask the right direct questions in a job interview for a commercial property manager.

In commercial or retail real estate, the employment of a commercial property manager is quite special and detailed.  If any errors are made in the choice of person, it can directly impact the property portfolio for the agency and or the performance of properties for each landlord.

Given that a successful commercial or retail property portfolio is the source of significant new business and commissions for the agency, the choice of property manager is ever that more important.

There is no quick fix when it comes to the employment interview.  In many respects it comes down to the choices that you make as the office manager after you have reviewed all of the information provided by the candidates.  Importantly, you need to ask the right questions.

Commercial and Retail Property management is quite specialized in many different ways.  The skills required of the selected person are far more advanced than those that apply to residential property management.

Here are some of the critical categories that should be incorporated into the interview and questioning of a potential candidate in the role of property manager.

  • Lease documentation implementation and interpretation
  • Tenant communication skills and control processes
  • Maintenance routine awareness and essential services
  • Vacancy marketing given the potential upcoming vacancies and lease expiries
  • Income optimisation given the existing tenancy mix and lease profile
  • Lease negotiation with potential new tenants to the property
  • Rental strategies as they apply to the property type
  • Expenditure management given the property size and type
  • Landlord reporting processes on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis
  • Financial analysis and reporting from detailed property management records
  • Data entry and data interpretation relating to tenancy schedules, expenditure performance, and income analysis.
  • Tenancy mix management and business planning processes

All of these issues are quite detailed and special.  In retail property there can be others to add to the list; importantly the staff member that you choose for the property management role should be a good communicator, well organized, and proactive.

Landlords look to their property managers for both ideas, and control.  Those property managers need to follow the instructions and the targets of the landlord so that the property is ready for change or sale as the case may be.

So where do you find this person of great skill and quality?  They are out there, and they do command a reasonable income.  That being said, a good property manager will bring in significantly more fees to the agency over time from sensible property strategy and good landlord relationships.  A stable and well managed property will incur extra fees through rent reviews, lease options, and vacancy marketing.

It should be said that one experienced and good commercial property manager can nurture and train a new person into the role.  It all comes down to the right choice of people.  When you interview new staff for the role of commercial or retail property manager, take care and take the necessary time to formulate the correct decision.  Look for the levels of experience and diligence that the job requires.

Commercial Realtors - How to Prospect for More Commercial Property Listings

business man using the telephone and a laptop computer on a desk
Cold calling is a good part of prospecting.

When the commercial property market gets slow or tough, the agents prospecting process for new listings should get more active and comprehensive.  It is the quality listings that bring in the right sort of enquiry.  In slower markets it is the enquiry that helps agents get the commissions they require.

So each and every salesperson in a commercial real estate agency should be diligent and thorough when it comes to servicing property enquiry and finding quality listings.  The time on market relating to both sales and leasing will tend to blow out to many months and perhaps even a year in some cases with some difficult property types today.  Again I go back to the point that quality listings really matter when the property market is slow and tough.

Far too many agents and realtors struggle with open listings.  Whilst it may be nice to have an open type listing on a property, you have absolutely no control on anything when it comes to open listings.  The client cannot be trusted, and the client is likely to be an adversary in the entire marketing and negotiation process.

We need exclusive listings to control our market.  If we want to build market share, it needs to be built on the back of exclusive listings.

So the prospecting process is critical to the growth of our market when times are tough.  Every salesperson needs to take a serious look at the amount of prospecting that they are doing on a daily basis.  Order takers serve no purpose in tough commercial markets; we need the tougher salespeople that are prepared to drive better enquiry, exclusive listings, and quality properties.

So where do you find this magic person?  Are they looking to be employed or perhaps are they ready to be moving from another agency?  As in any agency principal will know, finding the right people to employ is always a daunting challenge.  That being said, it is always necessary to be on the lookout for good salespeople or those with the potential to be so.

Any job interview with a potential new salesperson should comprehensively and deeply explore the subject of prospecting.  Any new salesperson in this market must be prepared to prospect on a daily basis and do so in a comprehensive way.

A good prospecting model for this market looks something like this:

  • Researching the right property targets to prospect into
  • Incorporating a prospecting model into the daily diary process
  • Using a database for comprehensively connecting with clients and prospects over time
  • The ability to pitch and present their services as a specialised commercial property agent
  • The ability to not just list property but also market, inspect, and negotiate through to a satisfactory end result

When you look at the varied tasks required of a commercial agent or realtor today, prospecting still remains number one when it comes to daily tasks and activities.  Find the right people that can do this exceptional task to the right level.

Keys to Budget Creation in Commercial Property Performance

two wrenches joined together
Maintenance costs are a big part of the property budget.

A budget in commercial and retail property management helps keep the property to an expected level of financial performance in both income and expenditure.  That being said, it can be a challenge to establish a budget with a property that you have just taken over.  It is hard to establish a property budget for the landlord when you do not have the financial history of the property over the last few years.

To prepare for a property management budget process in a commercial or retail property, the following information will help you greatly:

  1. Get copies of the property financial records over the last few years.  That will include the income activity on a tenant by tenant basis broken down into a monthly separation.  You should check to ensure that all of the rent reviews and rental escalations were correctly charged at the right time.
  2. The income for the property is not just the base rental.  There are many other income issues that can occur on and with each of the separate leases.  They may be for factors such as outgoings recovery, storage rental, car parking, licensed areas, energy, cleaning, and special activities approved by the landlord.  On that basis every lease should be checked as part of the preparation for the budget process.  Ensure that you have been charging all of the appropriate rentals and outgoings recoveries.  It is not unusual to find elements of income that have been overlooked during the previous financial year.
  3. The expenditure for the property for the previous financial year should be reconciled to remove any errors or omissions.  In this way you will know that you will have a base of accurate expenditure to work from in establishing a new budget.  Expenditure can be broken down into a number of different things; this should be done so that you can differentiate between costs which escalate at different rates.  It may be that the municipal council rates are expected to escalate in the next year at a different rate than everything else.
  4. Look for any items of a capital nature that were included in the property expenditure in the last 12 months.  They are not normally to be considered as recoverable when it comes to a property budget.  Capital items are normally removed to a separate expenditure category.
  5. The property should be inspected to ensure that any immediate items of repair or replacement are known.  It is wise to have a discussion with the maintenance contractor's for the building as part of the preparation for the property budget.  They can assist you with estimates of operational costs and operational replacement.

There are many other items that can be added to the list subject to your local area and your specialised property type.  Importantly the budget process should be correctly prepared for and comprehensively worked through.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Commercial Property Agents - Win More Listings with Empathy

business woman climbing ladder with determination
Commercial Realtor's - Climb to the top of your market.

Every client in commercial real estate that we present or pitch our services to wants to be understood.  The only way you can do this is ask the right questions and then really listen to the answers.  They call it empathy, and it is one of the major skills of a top agent today.  Some less successful agents fail to do it well if at all.

Put yourself in the shoes of the prospect or client.  Wouldn’t you expect the salesperson to really show an interest and connect with the clients concerns and facts?   After all, how can you match your property services without aligning to the clients thinking?


Many times you will find that a salesperson just does not do that alignment to the level that the client wants or needs.  They simply forget to find out what is going on in the clients head, and how they are thinking.  Step into the client’s life and find out what they are thinking and how they see the facts of the property market; see how it impacts their property.

We can be too obsessed with presenting our ideas.  When this happens, we miss the listing and some other agent wins the deal.  Many clients will say that the unsuccessful agents did not really understand or listen.

Your visit with the client is not ‘eagerly anticipated’ by them; you are just another salesperson that ‘could’ help them.  Your offering and your recommendations are not relevant until you connect and lift that connection to a new level with the prospective client.  They call that empathy.  Many real estate agents could do with a ‘dose of it’ every day before they enter the client’s offices or place of business.

Here are the rules of empathy in commercial real estate agency:

  1. Seek to understand the prospective client fully before you get to the point of the discussion or your recommendations.
  2. Ask questions about the past so you can know how the prospective client got to own or occupy the property.
  3. Drill down on the situations of the present that the client sees are a challenge or of importance to them today.
  4. Create a picture of the future by asking the client about where they want to head with the current situation.

These simple questions create a momentum of empathy with the client.  The four points can be a checklist to take you to the next level and much closer to your recommendations or ideas.

Every piece of information that the client gives you should be noted and explored.  By really listening you can drill down to the next level of information and find out the trigger points that frustrate the client in the current property challenge.

Need more ideas to help your listings and market share in commercial real estate?  You can get them here at our website.

Commercial Agents and Realtors - What is Your Client?

business man shaking hands
What is your client relations like?

There is a big difference between commercial real estate clients that are adversaries and those that are an ally.  One could say that the relationship was set by the actions or lack of such by the salesperson.

Yes, I know that some relationships with clients are difficult for reasons that we cannot control; however far too many relationships are not established on solid and sound business principles.  You must set the rules for a great relationship with all your clients; in that way you will get referral and repeat business.

The Right Clients and Prospects

This commercial property industry is all about relationships with the right people.  It is wise to remember that as you prospect or present for a new listing or a new client.  Build the relationship; that’s what it’s all about.

Here are some facts that we forget:

  1. The client wants to trust us with what could be considered their biggest challenge; their commercial or retail property.  The trust only comes when they can see that you really are relevant to their needs and your confidence, skills, and property knowledge can solve the challenge that they have before them.
  2. The client wants to be our friend and expects the same back from you.  They have trusted you to take on a big challenge and they want the feedback and the solutions to move forward.  Constant and relevant contact is a part of the process when you take on a new listing.  Be different and be connecting with your clients; help them with all the difficult decisions.  You are the property expert remember!
  3. There is no excuse for letting your services and property solutions result in a poor relationship with the client.  You simply must do a great job (not an ordinary one) for the client.  A disgruntled client can do a lot of damage to your credibility personally and for the agency.
  4. Great clients are built from great service and positive solutions.  We can fail to service our clients if we have too many at one time or if we take low grade clients such as those with ‘open’ type listings.

Your goal as a salesperson with all of your clients should be to create allies that can help you build your market share and spread the word about your exceptional skills as a commercial property expert.  That is how top agents grow their market share.
When you get a listing, work it to the fullest of the market and the opportunities that exist.  Don’t let anything distract you from your clients and their needs.  Nothing is more important than client service.  They pay your commission and support the agency.

Need some more tips to help you with your clients and prospects in Commercial Real Estate?  You can get them right here at our website.

Top Commercial Realtors - Start Listening to Win More Listings

business man talking to a business woman.
Top agents really listen.

In commercial real estate, how many salespeople do you find that really do not listen to the prospect, or gear their sales pitch to something that is not matched to the client?  Unfortunately the problem is all too common.  Listening is one of the great skills of top agents today.

Everything we do in commercial property sales, leasing, and property management must be closely aligned to the client in many ways; if we cannot do that then the client will not either understand the big picture or accept any of our recommendations.

In the commercial property industry today there are many variables that happen on a daily and weekly basis; all of them can impact a property listing or a property performance.  

Here are some of the things that regularly change in the industry:

  • The time on market for property listings in the local area
  • The best methods of sale or lease in the prevailing market conditions
  • The availability of buyers or tenants to inspect and look at property listings
  • The delay factors for finance and or due diligence in a property transaction
  • The competing properties on the market today in close proximity to a listed property

So if these are the variables, it is tempting to just do a ‘dump and burn’ of information with the client when we pitch or present.  We expect them to listen to us!  Wouldn’t it be better to listen to them first?

Asking Questions

Asking the right questions will allow you to listen to the client and identify their focus and challenges.  All the clients that we work with have unique challenges with their property.  Nothing is similar in and with any property.  Questions are the key to align your solutions and services to the property owner or property investor.

Here is a simple strategy of questions that can apply to the client connection process before you get into the solutions and facts that you believe will help the client.

  1. The Past – What has happened in the past with the property to get it to where it is today?
  2. The Present – Why does the client need to do something today to move the property or solve a problem?
  3. The Future – Where does the client want to be or go in an ‘ideal world’ and when they get the outcome that they seek with the property?

With these questions you will find the answers that will help you match your sales pitch and property solutions to the client.  Ask the right questions and start listening.  When they give you information you want, take notes and refer to the notes with the importance that they deserve.

When you fully understand the facts, you can align your property information and the trends of the market to the client and the way they are thinking.  In this way you can improve your conversion rates in any sales pitch or presentation.  Its common sense really.

Do you need more tips to help your commercial real estate activities as an agent or realtor?  You can get them right here at our website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Prospect for Commercial and Retail Property Tenants Today

retail shop front on street sidewalk
Prospecting for Tenants is really important in retail property.

When the property market is slow and tough, the tenants in any commercial or retail property become critical to the cash flow for the landlord.  Whilst some may say this is the normal case at any time, a tougher property market will create huge pressure on the landlord when it comes to balancing the factors of income and expenditure on a monthly and annual basis.  The business plan for the property becomes even more specific and special in the strategy of ongoing occupancy.

Internet Impact on Retail Sales

It should be said that many businesses are going through change due to the impact of the Internet on their products and services.  In some cases, retail tenants are disappearing from shopping centres for this very reason.  This does not mean that shopping centres will disappear, they will just change.  Leasing executives look for the influences and match new tenants into the change factors.

So a commercial or retail property requires a tenancy prospecting strategy.  This can be implemented by the property manager, or the leasing executive.  Either way the strategy should be implemented to prevent income decline.

A good prospecting model for new tenants looks something like this:

  1. Close attention to the existing tenancy mix should occur on a weekly and monthly basis.  Look for tenants that are under pressure or requiring change.  That could be expansion, contraction, or relocation.  Your good tenants should be encouraged to remain in occupancy at all costs.  As to how that may occur, is always subject to negotiation and alternative premises availability.  Importantly the tenant should be encouraged to stay in the property if you believe they are good for occupancy over the long term.  A good tenant should be looked at in balance with the entire tenancy mix and with any anchor tenants that are in the property.
  2. Identify any competing properties in nearby close proximity.  They will be a source of alternative tenants for your property.  Look for any pressures that may exist in those other properties and that may encourage tenants to leave.  Direct contact with other tenants in other properties will always be a wise strategy.
  3. Make connections with franchise groups and franchise brands.  They are likely to need alternative premises from time to time.  Importantly you can understand their occupancy needs and specific leasing strategies.  They may be suitable to merge into your property at the right time when the right vacancy occurs.
  4. The local business community should be networked in an ongoing way.  Other tenants and other businesses will provide the necessary churn and change when it comes to filling vacancies.  Direct contact every day with new businesses and business identities should occur.
  5. Look outside of your regional area to the national businesses and tenants that could be considered suitable prospecting targets.  Merge them into your prospecting perspective.  There will be other tenants in other cities that may have not yet considered your city for suitable occupancy.

Prospecting for new tenants should occur on a daily basis.  That is the only way the income for a property can be protected.  If you manage or market the vacant space across a number of properties, it is important that you specifically look to solving the vacancy challenges as they can be predicted or arise.  Monitoring the tenancy mix and developing a strategy is all part of the process.

You can get more free tips for commercial realtors at our main website right here.

Commercial Realtors - Cold Canvassing on Foot Builds Better Market Share

female commercial real estate agent walking street to cold canvass
Cold canvassing on foot.

In commercial and retail real estate leasing you can and should cold canvass on foot in your farming territory.  Every business and every tenant will be a potential prospect for leasing business.  See the people, and find that opportunity that you are looking for.

At the times when the property market is tough or slow, the cold canvassing process is even more important.  Personal contact with the business owners and on site managers will glean much information about their business, and also that of the other businesses in the area.

Who Do You Know as Prospects Now?

So what businesses should you make contact with?  Just about all of them.  Here is a canvassing model that you can adopt.  It takes time to establish but the rewards are many.

  1. Get a copy of a map of all the streets that contain commercial or retail buildings (also industrial if that is your focus).
  2. Determine the best streets and locations for businesses.  This will be your primary focus for street cold canvassing.
  3. Determine the secondary streets and location for businesses.  They will be your secondary prospecting patch.
  4. You should be visiting 10 businesses per day on each working day.  Take your business cards and leave your business card in each location.  This is very important if you cannot see the proprietor of the business.
  5. Use a simple standard form to collate the information from each business that you call into.
  6. Each business will have a property need.  They may own or occupy the premises that they are in.  They may also have a future or current need for expansion, contraction, or relocation. Asking the right questions will get the facts that you require.
  7. Most business owners will not need your services today; however they will need some property assistance in the future.  On that basis the ‘drop in cold call’ should be regarded as the first part of the connection.  From that point onward you keep going back to those businesses and people that seem receptive to property information and your potential services.
  8. If you work a defined territory or property type, you can create a ‘one sheet’ marketing approach to use as you meet new people.  The single one sheet of paper can have a list of properties in the area that are available for sale or lease.  You can place on the reverse side some information regards rents and prices locally.  The golden rule with this process is that you must attach your business card to the ‘one sheet’. 

These facts and strategies are a simple but very effective marketing process for a single salesperson specialising in commercial or retail real estate.  The industry is built around people, and you must know lots of them.

If you want more free tips for commercial realtors and agents, you can get them at our website right here.

Things to Do with Anchor Tenants in Retail Property

female shopper holding up shopping bags in the air
Help your retail tenants thrive.

When you lease or manage a retail property, you will know that the retail anchor tenant is important to the future of the property.  In most cases the anchor tenant will be in occupancy for a long time, and will have a special set of lease terms and conditions to reflect that fact.  The anchor tenant will make or break the success of the property for all stakeholders.

Anchor Tenant Should Thrive

In an ideal world as a property manager or leasing executive you want the anchor tenant to thrive as a business in the property.  That is not always easy given that things change in the customer profile and shopper demographic.  Keeping a close eye on the changes to shopping trends is really important; the anchor tenant should be doing that themselves and making the necessary adjustments, but the property manager should be closely involved in that process as well.

Here are some tips to help you work with anchor tenants in a retail shopping centre or mall.

  1. Meet with the anchor tenant at least monthly to talk about shopping trends and sales figures.  You need the anchor tenant to be open and frank with you; in most cases they will, providing they know that growth of sales and property improvement are your main targets.
  2. Review trading figures for all the specialty tenants as part of working with the anchor tenant.  It is likely that there will be a link between the two numbers.  Specialty tenants can be grouped into categories so you can see the numbers and trends on a group basis.  Seasonally (summer, winter, autumn, and spring), it is possible that one group will be better than another in sales and growth of sales, then that ratio could change in another season.
  3. Get the anchor tenant involved with specialty tenants through marketing campaigns for the property.  As to who exactly should pay for the marketing campaign is open for discussion, but a good retail property should be comprehensively and continually marketed into the local shopping community.  It is in everyone’s best interests to promote the property; the tenants, landlord, and the anchor tenant all benefit from good marketing staged throughout the year.
  4. Review customer numbers coming to the property each day and each week. Over time you can see some trends in the visits and that will help you focus your marketing campaigns.
  5. Property presentation should always benefit the tenants and the customers.  If a property has been let to decline in presentation, shoppers will soon move their shopping habits to another property.  Property presentation as a point of focus is both common area and tenant related.  On that basis the leases for the tenants and the anchor tenant should feature a refurbishment provision to make sure that the tenancy looks good at all times.

Work closely with your anchor tenants, the property will benefit in many different ways.

Get some more tips for retail shopping centre management and leasing at our website.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Commercial Realtors - Client Communication Tips

man talking on mobile phone
Connect with your commercial property clients

In commercial real estate today, we have all types of technology at our disposal to help us connect with clients and prospects.  Given all of that you will frequently find that some agents and salespeople take far too long to get back to any person that has made an inquiry.

Time Frames?

So what is the acceptable time frame for getting back to a person that has left you a message?  The general rule is a same day response.  In a very worst case scenario it could be the morning after.
How many times do you here the prospect or clients say that ‘The agent didn’t get back to me’?  Unfortunately the issue is all too common.

The client is the lifeblood of the commercial real estate business.  They have the listings and require our help.

Strategies for Client Communication

So here are some other communication strategies that we can use to great advantage in commercial real estate agency today.

  1. Have a mobile number prominently displayed on all your listing signboards.  As part of that process, frequently check your signboards for vandalism and interference.
  2. Use email both in the office and when you are out of the office.  It is a great tool for immediate communication.
  3. SMS text messaging is a good tool to use when you have inspected a property or had a meeting that the client should know about.
  4. Put a client portal on your website so good clients and those with exclusive listings can log in to the site and see the latest activity on their property.
  5. Use an auto responder email system to send out newsletters to clients on a regular basis.  The automatic part of the process can save you a lot of time and effort.
  6. Send all paper work to the client in pdf form so they do not have difficulty in opening the document from an email.
  7. Any important paperwork or verbal instructions to and from the client should be evidenced in writing or on an email.  Many times you will find this strategy getting you out of any difficulty or disagreement.  The same rule applies to buyers and tenants that may be negotiating with you on any property.

Treat the communication with the client or prospect in the same way that we would want to be treated ourselves.  Professionalism can be seen and heard across the telephone.  If the client knows that you have returned their call promptly and efficiently, they will feel that we are the better agents to work with.  Selling or leasing commercial real estate is not an experiment.

Want more tips in commercial real estate agency?  You can get them here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to Negotiate Commercial Real Estate Commissions

two business men talking in street
Prepare for commission negotiations and choose the right time.

Many commercial real estate clients will try to get a commission reduction from you as the agent or realtor as part of the listing and marketing process.  In many cases you may feel that the commission reduction is the only way the client will give you the listing; your grounds for thinking this will simply and only be because the client asked for the discount.

Here are some tips from our bulletin for you.

Stop Everything!  

Stop!  If this is what you think, then stop everything before you agree to any reduction!  Consider the facts of the matter.  Do you really need to devote your precious time on a difficult listing in a tough market, and then only get paid a fraction of the normal fee?

If you are a top agent and the client knows that you are, then discounts and fee alterations will be out of the question.  Concentrate on the value that you take to the client and help them understand what that value really is in terms of results and time to them.

The fact of the matter is that a commission reduction will do nothing to help the client sell or lease their property.  On that basis you should remind the client of the priorities in their listing decision.

  • Do they want a good result, or do they want a cheap fee and potentially a less committed agent?  
  • Do they want something that could stay on the property for some time and potentially get very stale?

Here is a statement for you that will trouble many a client and help put their focus in the right perspective.

‘Mr Client, I understand your request for a fee (commission) adjustment.  That being the case I am certainly able to assist as you ask; in doing so I will need to adjust our listing and marketing approach from ‘exclusive’ to ‘open’ listing.  The time commitment in marketing a property is significantly different between the two listing methods.  Would you like to take the ‘high road’ or the ‘discount road’ in the marketing solutions for your property?’

Top Agent in Command

Show the client that you are really a top agent with a real command of the market.  When you do this correctly, they really have no choice; you are their best solution and the fee is then a secondary decision.

Comprehensively tell the client of the alternatives that you offer in:

  1. Market coverage
  2. Personal action
  3. Inspection strategies
  4. Listing timing
  5. Competition properties
  6. Competition agents
  7. Time on market

To be the best agent for the property you really do need to show it in all respects.  If the client still asks you for a commission or fee reduction you are probably not selling your skills and relevance enough.

Here are some tips from our bulletin for Agents this week.

Commercial Property Leasing Negotiation Tips

foyer of a commercial office building
Prepare for every lease negotiation the right way.

When you take a tenant through a vacant commercial property, they will ‘try you on’ when it comes to asking rent and lease terms and conditions.  When this happens you must remember just who your client is in the process and the target lease terms and conditions that the client requires.  To do otherwise will waste a lot of negotiation time.

Here are some tips from our Bulletin this week.

What's Easy is Not the Best

It is sometimes easy to take the ‘middle road’ when it comes to matters of lease offer and acceptance.  The reality of the matter is that the final lease offer should be relevant to the property and the prevailing market conditions.  Ask yourself, ‘Is it a fair offer in the existing property market?’

Top Agents 

Top agents are expert lease negotiators and are very prepared to drive a strong market relevant lease deal.  The rents and lease terms will be on par with the local area and the condition of the property.  A fair market rent is one that takes into account all the prevailing market conditions and property factors.

So here are some tips that can apply to negotiating a lease today in any property type.

  1. You should know that you are really dealing with the decision maker for the potential lease.  In the case of a company it may be necessary to get a business plan or company performance report from them as part of the qualification process.  It could also be necessary to get a company search done to ascertain where they are based and what the legal company structure is in your country.
  2. The offer that they make should be in writing and reflect the fullest terms and conditions possible that are on par with the trends of the local property market.
  3. Check the history of the tenant to make sure they are who they say they are and they have given you a real legal entity as a potential tenant.  Evidence from their solicitor or accountant may be necessary.
  4. The prevailing market in the local area will have levels of acceptable rental and lease profiles that would be applicable to the property type.  Target the best package that you can for the client that you act for.
  5. Factors of supply and demand will have impact on vacancies and levels of enquiry from tenants. Your clients should be fully briefed on those facts before you put a lease offer in front of them.
  6. Always negotiate face to face with all parties to a lease offer.  It is far too easy in a telephone conversation to decline or deny a fair and reasonable lease offer.

A successful lease negotiation is a reflection of a controlled and planned strategy from the very start to the very end.  Stay with the negotiation to the very end and be prepared to work any discussion or debate from a base of local market knowledge and fair market conditions.

If you want some more tips on leasing commercial or retail property you can get them here.

Time Management Tips for Commercial Property Managers

property manager with cables and wires
Property Manager under Stress??

If you work in commercial real estate as a property manager, the time management issues that you strike every day will be challenging.  If you cannot control them then the result will be stress and frustration.  That will lead to an unhappy time in your career and underperforming properties.

Here are some tips from our Bulletin for Property Managers this week.

It is interesting to note that the property management division in a commercial or retail agency is usually regarded as the ‘too hard’ part of the business; many agent principals overlook the essential ways to run the division and make it grow.  If they had negotiated the right fees in the first place with each management, then the situation might be a fair bit different.

Do Agency Bosses Understand?

Many office principals do not understand the complexities and opportunities that lie in the property management area.  They prefer the bigger commission hits that come from sales and leasing; whilst that is understandable, it is wrong.  It can be a long time between sales, and property management can solve that cash flow issue.

It is an established fact that a good property management division will support an agencies listings and commissions over the long term.  They take the ‘bumps’ out of the market and the dips in commissions.  They will also supply the agency with quality controlled sales and leasing stock.

When you list a property into your management section, you really do need to think ahead and handle all the fees that can come out of the appointment.

What Fees?

Those fees will include:

Leasing to sitting tenants
Leasing to new tenants
Sale of the property at the right time
Management of the financial versus the physical parts of the property
Rent collection
Arrears collection and recovery
Grow strategies for the tenant mix
Maintenance management fees
Property inspection fees
Attendance at court for disputes
Lease renegotiations with sitting tenants
Assignment negotiations (a tenant fee)
Subletting documentation (a tenant fee)
Budgeting the property annually

Have you got all of these bases covered when it comes to a new property management appointment and the fees that you require?

Some agents charge management fees that are far too low; they confuse the work load and work type of residential property against commercial or retail property.  They also try and ‘buy’ the listing on the premise of low management fees but future sale commission opportunity.  If that is the case you should share your sale commission or fee across into your property management division.

Advanced Property Management

The management practices involved in commercial and or retail property are far more advanced and complex.  You need good property managers that are well trained in the differences in that.  When you have a fair fee structure in the property management division you can build and support a group of expert property managers; over time they will attract more commercial and retail business to you.

So let’s go back to the issues of time management.  A portfolio of properties with correctly set fees will be a challenge.  Make sure that you set your management fees based on workload for each property and landlord.  Forget the percentage of rental approach when setting your fees; some landlords are intense when it comes to the reporting requirements in commercial real estate today.

On a final note, many property managers know far more about property performance than sales or leasing executives; interesting isn’t it?  Devote the right fees to these specialist people in your team and the time management pressures will diminish.

If you want some more tips for commercial or retail property managers you can get them here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Commercial Realtors - Are You on the 'Horse' or Has It 'Bolted'?

business man talking on the phone in a frustrated way
Get back into your market and drive inquiry forward.

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or sales person, you can feel that the market is getting away from you (the horse has ‘bolted’).  That particularly happens when you have had a break away from the office on annual leave, or you have taken a longer holiday.


Reality soon kicks in and you understand that you have little or no leads coming your way and the deals are going to your competitors in the market place.  Here are some tips from our Bulletin this week.

It takes time to get back into your routine (if you have one), and on that basis every salesperson should have a system or routine that holds them to doing the right things that matter in their market.  I liken it to getting on or off the ‘horse’.

Build Your Commercial Property Routine

Every day you must get back into your routine.  Top agents live by their routine and they are continually refining it as they proceed.  On most days the top agents will do only the things that matter to them.  That will normally be:

  • Prospecting and cold calling for new business
  • Serving their existing clients and property listings
  • Promoting their listings personally to local businesses and property owners
  • Maintaining contact with people in their database
  • Inspecting properties for all types of reasons
  • Checking out the local property trends, prices, rents, and time on market.

All of this is called ‘churn’ and you only get this when you ‘get back on the horse’ and ride it into your market every day.

If you have just come back from a break from your commercial real estate job, quickly take action to get back into your career and market.  Get your systems going again as quickly as possible!

If you are new to the industry, then you will soon see just how important these things are to your future listings and commissions.

If you want some more free tips for your commercial real estate career you can get them in our bulletin.

Cold Calling is Really Tough for Some Commercial Realtors

business woman talking on telephone
Get used to Cold Calling and talking to many prospects

When you first start up as a salesperson in commercial real estate, someone will tell you that you must prospect and cold call.  That’s where the problem starts for many a salesperson.  They have to stretch out well beyond their comfort zone.  They have to do things that they do not like or have not done much before. Here are some tips from our bulletin for Commercial Real Estate Agents and Realtors.

Now self-belief is a good thing; that is the belief that you will do the calls each and every day.  Real world experience says that most salespeople (8 out of 10) do little in the way of cold calls and will avoid it at every opportunity.

So Its Tough - Get Used to It

Make no mistake here, cold calling is really tough until you get used to it.  The only way to get used to it is to make the calls.  The real issue is that you must create a habit of the process, and so many salespeople struggle with that.
So how do you create a habit of this?  Here are some tips to help you:

  1. It is not natural to make cold calls for most people.  On that basis you must shift your mindset or thinking to that of ‘making an enquiry’.   If you understand that you are simply calling a person to see if they have a need or an interest, then the calling process can take a whole new momentum.
  2. Set a time each day for the calling process.  When you do this, it helps build your momentum and that will eventually become a habit.
  3. For a short while you will need to think about what to say in the calling process and you will need to practice.  The practice will help you significantly and fast track the results that you want.
  4. It takes about 3 or 4 weeks for the prospecting and cold calling system to become a habit in your business.  Lock up time in your diary for a full 4 weeks so you can stick to the process.

If you want more listings and better commissions in commercial real estate (and who doesn’t), then take on the cold calling process and make it work for you.  Challenge yourself to improve and grow with this great new tool in business.

Need more tips for your commercial real estate business?  Get our free bulletin right here.

Marketing Plan Strategies in Commercial Real Estate

business man and woman overlooking a desk and document
Create a good marketing plan specific to the commercial property.

When you take a commercial property to the market, the alternatives of marketing are many.  Importantly you are going to make the right marketing decisions based on the property type, the local area, and the prevailing market conditions.  Here are some notes from our Bulletin for Commercial Realtors.

It is interesting to note that many a commercial real estate agent or realtor will use a generic approach to marketing.  The end result in most cases will then be little or no enquiry.  With the market as tough as it is in most cases, you really do need a solid and direct approach to marketing every property that you list.  Enquiry must be generated at the best levels possible from the start of a promotional campaign.

Marketing Plan Strategies

So here are some specific strategies in commercial real estate marketing today:

  1. Survey the local area to understand just what other properties you are up against.  The information you will need will include time on market, price or rent, improvements, property size, points of attraction, and many others.
  2. Inspect your property listing fully to define exactly what its features will be to and in the advertising campaign.  Be creative and do not just look at the typical size, location, and layout of the property.  Every ordinary agent does that; top agents go a lot further into what the property is and what it can be for the target audience.  They describe the property in a better way that attracts the enquiry.
  3. Define the target audience that is relevant to your property.  In doing that, you will need market segments, market locations, ways to connect with that audience, time factors that relate to the promotion, and the list goes on.
  4. Top agents get involved with each marketing campaign on a personal basis.  They know that a good listing is a reason to talk to many people in the local area.  The process of connecting with others will always generate leads and information that will be of some benefit now or later on.
  5. Concentrate the marketing campaign to blocks of time such as fortnightly.  In this way you can assess the progress and type of inquiry.  You can also adjust the campaign if something is working or not working.  Do not wait too long to decide that you could have done things in another way.

Get the client involved in the property promotion.  Let them make some decisions with regard to advertising features, chosen media, and timing.  When they feel part of your activities that will help you get closer to them and that will be of benefit when they want to negotiate the sale or lease of the property.  Successful property marketing and negotiation is all about the trust between the agent and the client.

You can get more tips for commercial realtors in our regular bulletin.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Retail Leasing Agents and Realtors - Tips to Fix Vacancies in Shopping Centres

shopping cart used in supermarket
Choose the right tenants in your Retail Tenant Mix

Retail shopping centres are an important part of the local and regional economy in most towns and cities.  They are also critical to the success and growth of the regional demographic population.  Retail shopping centres support the requirements of the community with day to day consumables, and also more specific purchases associated with clothing, lifestyle, family, and the household.  That is why the design of tenancy mix and leasing within a shopping centre is so important.  Here are some tips from our Bulletin for Retail Leasing Agents this week.

Retail Property Leasing is Special

That being said, the leasing strategy required for retail properties and retail shopping centres is quite specific and specialised.  Only some real estate agents will have the required expertise and knowledge to successfully manage and lease the medium to large or shopping centres.

A good shopping centre will serve the customers within its demographic completely and successfully.  Vacancies within the property will be minimised, and tenants will be encouraged to generate more sales in serving the customers.

Fine Line Between Tenants and Landlord

There is a fine balance in a retail property between the landlord, tenants, customers, and property manager.  A retail shopping centre should be built and around the requirements of the consumer.  Any decisions regarding property performance or tenancy mix should be made on the basis of the total property and not just the single location.

Here are some of the key tips to apply to the marketing process with vacancies in any retail property.

  1. Monitor the activities of other shopping centres nearby.  They will have pressures of occupancy, and tenancy mix.  They will also have the tenants that may require relocation or adjustment to another property.
  2. The anchor tenants in any other retail properties locally should be monitored for movement and change.  The shift of an anchor tenant away from a retail property can create significant disruption in property performance and tenancy mix.  You can monitor the other anchor tenants simply by walking through their premises and observing the levels of stock, layout, presentation, and customer trade.  It is very easy to see weaknesses in a retail tenancy.
  3. Keep in close contact with your existing tenants and tenancy mix.  It is very common for other agents to be approaching your tenants for relocation.  A close working relationship with your tenants will usually preclude the involvement and threat from other agencies.  Your tenants should feel comfortable in approaching you with their business challenges and needs as they apply to their lease.
  4. Address the vacancies before they arise by monitoring lease expiry dates.  Every lease will have some expiry date or some date associated with a lease option.  Any dates of this nature inside of the next 12 months should be worked on as a current issue.  There is nothing wrong with negotiating a lease renewal or a new lease early.
  5. Rent reviews in a retail property can create friction between tenants and landlord.  This is particularly the case when it comes to market rent reviews.  Understanding the pressures of supply and demand in local retail property will help both parties come to a sensible outcome with a market rent review.
  6. Allow the tenants to expand, contract, or relocate at the end of lease term as their business needs may require.  Successful tenants invariably look for other space in which to relocate or improve their profile.  Your retail property should be adjusted to support appropriate levels of presentation and customer sales.  In this way your good tenants will stay at the end of lease.  Understand the other changes in lease occupancy adjacent to your good tenants.  Some upcoming expiring leases could be offered to existing successful tenancies adjacent.  Importantly, the tenants within your tenancy mix should support the needs of the customer and the growth of the property.  In this way the market rental will be underpinned and escalated.
  7. Directly approach all the relative businesses in your local area for potential relocation.  Successful retail businesses in all other locations should be identified and found.  Arrange direct meetings with the proprietors of those businesses.  Discuss them with them the requirements of future occupancy, relocation, and change.
  8. Work with the franchise groups locally and regionally that may require alternative space for tenant occupation.  Franchise groups are fast becoming a critical component of a successful retail shopping centre.  These groups will usually have key components of occupancy that must be satisfied.  The leasing manager or property manager for a retail property should take the time to understand the requirements of each retail franchise group.  When a vacancy is known to be coming up, a direct approach can then occur to the appropriate franchise groups.  It is also the case that a franchise group will likely have a standard lease structure and policy.  Within reason these can be negotiated to satisfactory terms and conditions for your landlord.
  9. Ensure that the vacant space is correctly marketed and presented.  Some shopping centre managers will share their vacancy needs and tenant requirements with the other retail agencies nearby or in the local area.  There is nothing wrong with a conjunction arrangement when it comes to leasing retail premises.  Many specialist retail real estate agents will work together when it comes to the leasing of major shopping centres and any complex tenancy mix.
  10. When it comes to any lease negotiation, never let the tenants have the keys until the lease is correctly signed, all monies have been paid, and the guarantees are in place.  The same process also applies to the commencement of any fitout works.

A successful retail property is a reflection of good tenant management and vacancy minimisation.  This is a process for specialists that understand retail property.

Need more tips on Retail Leasing or Shopping Centre Management?  You can get that in our regular bulletin for Retail Property Specialists.

Commercial Realtors - Get the Price Right Before You Proceed

commercial agents in boardroom looking at computer
Commercial Realtors - Get your price and market facts together. 

When a commercial real estate client approaches you to sell or lease their property they will have a predetermined idea of price or rental as the case may be.  They will however test you to see if your price or rental expectations match theirs.  They will also want to apply their ideas in the sale or lease process with regards to marketing and negotiating.  Here are some tips from our Newsletter this week.

So the entire listing process is actually a negotiation; that negotiation allows you to get a listing that is correctly formulated for marketing, inspections, and closure.  If the listing is incorrectly structured, it can be a very big time wasting exercise for the agent.  A confident approach to the listing of any property is required.

Price Hurdles

In most instances, the price or rental required by the client or property owner will usually be at the high end of the existing market evidence.  In some cases the price or rental that they require could be almost unachievable and well beyond any comparable evidence.  The question will be whether you want to take on the property as a listing and market it under those conditions.

Some agents will take on anything, believing that they can condition the client into the correct price range or method of sale or lease.  That is a strategic decision that can be made individually however make the right decision based on what you see and know about the client.  On a personal basis, I would not waste time with property owners that show little flexibility to prevailing market conditions.

Don't Waste Your Time

Some property owners can be a total waste of time as clients due to some or all of the following:

  • Unrealistic expectations with price or rental
  • Reluctance to commit to paying marketing funds as part of promoting their property
  • Failure to be fully open and trusting with the agent working on their behalf
  • Lack of flexibility when it comes to the method of sale or the method of lease
  • A tendency to work with many agents in an open listing situation
  • Lack of motivation when it comes to a property decision or negotiation

So we can take one of the most important issues here and review it has to strategy and approach.  It is the factor of price.  A property that is too highly priced is likely to stay on the market for a very long time.  Within approximately 90 days the listing will become stale and old news.  This does nothing for the image of the agent as a professional and expert in the local area.

To support your estimate of price range with the client, the following strategy is useful:

  1. Visit other properties in the local area currently available for sale or lease.  Take the necessary photographs and get details of the asking price or rental.  Also seek details of the existing time on market as it applies to each listing.  The improvements in each property should be relatively similar to the existing listing.
  2. Put together a history of other properties that have been sold or leased in the local area over the last 12 months.  In commercial property this can be a challenge due to the unique nature of property improvements and location.  If this is the case, you will need to break the price analysis back to a factor of yield or return on investment.
  3. Go through your database to see if you have some qualified prospects waiting for a property of this type.  They may be suitable for an early inspection in the property marketing process.  They can also give you feedback relative to the existing property price or rental.

The best property listings today are taken on an exclusive basis for a lengthy period of time.  That allows the agency and the relative salesperson to formulate and activate the correct marketing strategy.
The marketing of commercial and retail property today is not an experiment; it is a specialised process requiring careful strategy.  Protect your time as a professional in the industry by listing appropriately to the existing market conditions.

Need more tips for commercial real estate agency?  Get our bulletin right here.

Commercial Realtors - Tips for Keeping Yourself Out of Trouble

business man thinking
Watch what you do and say as a Commercial Realtor.

Any a commercial real estate transaction involving sales, leasing, or property management is likely to be complex and protracted.  On that basis there is a real requirement to be detailed and accurate in your dealings with all people.  Many a salesperson has come 'unstuck' through poor documentation and the recall of key events.  Here are some tips from our Newsletter this week.

Watch Out for the Legal Process!

It is a known fact that people like to sue the real estate agents that they are involved with when something goes wrong.  Certainly the legal process is there to protect parties that experience error, negligence, or damage.  That being said, many a solicitor will suitably prime their client to pursue the agent and the professional Indemnity Insurance that the agent will normally have available in times of dispute.

Set Some Rules

So here are some rules that will help your business processes as you work as a commercial real estate agent.

  1. The results of any critical conversation or negotiation should be noted into written form and placed on file.  It is remarkable how important these notes become when people enter into dispute and legal activity.
  2. If any party or person issues you with verbal instructions it is essential that you acknowledge those instructions in writing or via email prior to taking action.
  3. Do not take any action if it is in breach of any local laws or legislation.  When it comes to property and particularly commercial property, there are laws that specifically apply to the sales and leasing process.  Your awareness of those laws should be maintained and updated as required.
  4. When listing a property take the time to fully investigate the factors that relate to property ownership and property function.  Many property owners will deliberately withhold information that they believe could negatively impact the sale or lease.  That will in turn impact the negotiation on the property when the time comes.
  5. Remember who your client is in the transaction.  It is very easy to closely relate to the other third party in the transaction and hence neglect the client agent relationship that you have under the legal listing documentation.  The client pays your commission and requires your commitment to total service whilst adhering to the instructions outlined in the listing documentation.
  6. When it comes to selling and leasing commercial property is very easy to say something that is incorrect or not thoroughly researched.  The golden rule should be that comments are not made until information is correct or verified.  When in doubt, seek more information before response.

The longer you spend in the industry the more likely it is that you will be the subject of or involved in a dispute and disagreement between parties.  The only thing that can support you will be the documentation you made at the time of the events.

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