Saturday, July 14, 2012

Commercial Agents - How to Handle a Sales Slump

businessman loosening tie
Handle a sales slump

If you only sell commercial real estate then you are going to have a sales slump from time to time.  The commercial property market has cycles of price and enquiry, and those cycles create peaks and troughs in property activity.

To compound that fact the media today have a lot to do with influencing market sentiment and spreading unnecessary gossip on anything that will help them get a better readership. The activities of commercial real estate agents have become a bit more pressurised from these media activities globally.

Here are some tips from our commercial agents bulletin.

Today we are in a unique time that we have never seen before; real time global communications and the internet have fast and comprehensive impact on the property investors and business owners that have a lot to do with commercial property.

There are however a number of ways to deal with the potential downturn and stay ahead of the problem.  It all comes down to the numbers of people that you work with and know.

So what does a market downturn look like?  Here are a few ideas:

  • There will be an abundance of unsold listings on the property market.  Some of those listings will be quality properties that would normally have attracted inquiry.
  • The time on market for property listings is appearing to be quite lengthy and usually beyond six months.
  • The vendors of properties for sale tend to procrastinate when it comes to a realistic pricing for their property.  They waste time with inflated prices that produce little inquiry.  They choose methods of sale that can be an experiment rather than a definite marketing approach.
  • The supply and demand of future of properties for sale and purchase seems to have stagnated.
So, all of this gets very frustrating from an agency point of view.  There is however some specific things you can do to minimize the impact of the sales slump or market downturn.

The first part of the equation is to recognize that it will happen.  You have no control over the event other than the way in which you respond.  That being the case, it is necessary to build a few response strategies and solutions to take you through difficult market conditions.

Regrettably, a lot of salespeople do the same thing every day regardless of market conditions.  That is a recipe for disaster and applies no strategy to the differences in market conditions and seasonal selling.  If you do the same thing every day, you get the same results; that's the rule.

When the market starts to change, you also need to change your approach and focus.  One of the most important tools that will give you leverage in a difficult market is your database.  Talking to qualified prospects as part of a continual ongoing contact program will allow you to maintain reasonable sale conversions even in the toughest of property markets.  There are always successful property investors suitably cashed up that can act on reasonably priced quality properties.

Maintaining contact with the people in your database will help you through a sales slump.  The commercial real estate industry is built around personal contact and relationships.  When the right people need help with their property, they will go to the best agent that they know in the local area.  That is why the database works providing you maintain regular contact with the right people.

When it comes to working with these people, you will need information and strategies to help you through.  That would normally mean:

  • Extensive and provable evidence from the local area with regard to time on market and price.  
  • A comprehensive understanding of the types of inquiry currently coming into your office at this time.
  • Marketing solutions that really attract the right type of inquiry even in the toughest of property markets.
  • A resume of competing properties in the local area that will impact your particular property listing.
  • A shortlist of active property buyers or property investors that are looking for quality properties to purchase.
  • Maintain regular contact with all the local business proprietors to understand their property needs and points of focus today.
  • When you have listed a property for sale, it is wise to choose a method of sale that is a viable and correct solution for the particular property.

When things get tough and slow in commercial real estate selling, it is still opportunity to adjust your approach and work with the people that firstly need your help and secondly can act.  Now is a good opportunity to start making contact with more new people in the marketplace.

A tougher property market is sometimes a far better market for those agents and salespeople that can adjust their processes and strategies.  Those agents and salespeople will have developed a contact program and an accurate database to work with on a daily basis.  Review your database and start taking the right actions.

If you want some tips for commercial agents in this market you can get them at our main website or here.