Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Commercial Property Agents - Understanding Vendor Psychology and Drivers

businessman meeting with client in discussion
Tough commercial real estate clients

When it comes to the performance of top agents in commercial real estate, you generally find that they are experts at asking the hard questions and getting to the real facts of the property listing with the client.  They know how the client thinks and they match their solutions to the situation.

Don't Waste Your Time

Let’s face it; clients can waste your time if you do not take control of the discussion and establish the true motives and facts behind the property.

When you have all the facts, you have something to work with in your sales pitch or property solution.

Questions and Answers

There are 4 types of questions that can all be used in balance with each other to help the sales pitch and presentation process.  Here they are:

  • ‘Open questions’ – generally you cannot have a yes or no answer to these ‘open’ questions.  The correct answer requires information and facts.  As the property agent, that is what you want to help in understanding the client’s situation (e.g. ‘Tell me how you decided to market the property initially, and why did that not work?’ or ‘Why did you purchase the property initially?’).
  • ‘Control questions’ – these are based on facts and help you direct the conversation to a particular focus or topic, and to give you some control.  When you ask these questions you want the client or prospect to talk about one particular thing (e.g. ‘How did you establish that asking rental on the property?’ or ‘When did you first take the property to the market?’).
  • ‘Closed questions’ – almost everyone knows of the closed question approach.  It is used when you require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.  Frequently you will see it used in property negotiations.  That being said, it should only be used when you want to drive the matter to a simple answer; either way you should be prepared to handle the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer that you could receive.
  • ‘Confirming questions’ – these are useful when you want some acknowledgement or acceptance from the client to your understandings.  It is very useful in gaining the clients involvement in your conversation or ideas. (e.g. ‘Am I right in saying that the term of the lease will be important to you with the property holding?’ or ‘From what you have told me today, am I right in saying that the sale and marketing process has to be completed by December?’)

Leverage in Your Sales Pitch

When used in balance, these questions will give your sales pitch or presentation process some real leverage.  The show the client that you really do understand what the property is all about today, and just how they want to solve their current challenge.  Every client will have challenges, and you just need to find them.  Asking the right questions will help you convert the client to your solutions.

Get more tips for negotiating and working with commercial real estate clients in our bulletin right here.