Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top Agent Sales Forecasting in Commercial Real Estate

commercial property agent standing outside building
Forecast your sales activities in commercial real estate.

In commercial real estate agency the ‘sales’ category is a number of different things including leasing of property, selling of property, and the management of property.  To add to the confusion there are categories of properties that are active in different ways such as office property, industrial property, and retail property.

Here are some tips from our Newsletter for Commercial Agents.

When it comes to making predictions on ‘sales’, you really do need to split the process up into segments of income so you can see where your business will come from over the coming time period.  As part of that process, get a good idea of what the market is doing now and how your team has responded individually.  You will likely have some people that are better performers than others.

There is a real difference between sales forecasting and sales goals.  Here are some rules to help you:

  1. Sales forecasting should be made across all property types and income generation categories, however you must split the numbers so you know your dominant market segments and those that are far from established.
  2. The sale forecasting process should be accurate and based on prevailing income trends, recent history, and market changes.  That will incorporate shifts in property sales, leasing, and property management growth.  Have due regard for your established market share and the expected changes and pressures coming from the other agents in your area.
  3. The sale forecasting process should be realistic and achievable.  Your forecasting will be of great interest to your financiers as well as the business team.  It pays to set up your forecasts at least 3 months before the start of the financial year so all stakeholders can understand where you are heading as a team leader over the coming 12 months.
  4. Split your forecasts up into the sales team, leasing team, and the property management team.  Individuals in those teams should share parts of those forecasts based on established skills and market share. Top agents will feature in your numbers as critical elements of performance.
  5. When you have set up your sales or income forecasts, you can then look at the goals that should apply for individuals and for the business.  Generally the goals should be higher than the forecasts; however they should still be achievable.   A 10% to 15% differential between forecasts and goals is acceptable.  The goals are very much geared to the individuals in the team; on that basis the team players have to accept their part in the business process for the next 12 months.
  6. Forecasts when set should be carefully tracked on a weekly and monthly basis both at the team level and the salesperson level.  In this way you will know when special attention is required of one or more members of the team.  Adjust sooner rather than later.
  7. The team members should be encouraged to accept their goals but only after they agree that the numbers can be achieved individually.  If they cannot see it happening, then ask them how they see the numbers.  You need their commitment to move into the new financial year.

When you take the right steps to plan your goals and your forecasts, the financial year for your commercial real estate business is less volatile and more predictable.

Need some more ideas to help your commercial real estate career?  Try our Newsletter here.