Sunday, December 22, 2013

Perfection in Cold Calling is a Good Idea

The cold calling process in commercial real estate is quite a special process.  At an individual level, brokers and agents can improve their call dialogue and scripts to lift call conversions.

In this property market where new clients are required in sales and leasing activity, it pays to build your skills in call conversations.  Here is a video to help with that.  This is part of a larger commercial real estate training program by John Highman.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Landlord Reporting Systems in Shopping Center Management

The reporting process in shopping center is quite special.  As a complex property type, many issues need to be covered such as:

  • Tenant mix changes
  • Rental and Expenditure control
  • Budget results for the property
  • Maintenance controls
  • Risk Management
  • Lease documentation
  • Vacancy management, etc
In this video we help you understand just how things like these can be merged into the report that a Shopping Center Manager would make to a landlord on a monthly basis.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Podcast 161 - Commercial Real Estate Training Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Take your VIP clients on a bus tour, 2. Converting more quality listings in 2014, 3. Using marketing resources effectively. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commercial Real Estate Agent Sales Planning Ideas

When you work in commercial real estate agency and brokerage you will soon understand the high value in planning and strategic processes in your prospecting activities.

This video helps with the basic steps of establishing your sales plan.  This would be at a personal level and then moving your plan to integrate into a broader brokerage plan.

Get to know the right people in your property market that can provide opportunities in sales, leasing and property management activities.  Target your listings and drive better commissions with quality listings and clients.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Fundamentals of Shopping Center Operations and Management

When it comes to retail property today, many challenges exist to the day to day operations of a shopping center.  I have put together this video to explain the factors relating to risk and liability in shopping center management.

If you are a retail center manager or a shop leasing expert I am sure you can relate to the topic and the points raised.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Podcast 160 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio Online

Here are 2 topics for today. 1. How to build a prospecting plan for 2014. 2. Shopping Center Operations and Management tips. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cold Calling is a Game Changer in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

So many agents ask about ways to kick start their careers in commercial real estate brokerage.  They look too deeply and generally avoid the cold calling process thinking that it doesn't work or it is too hard.

The fact of the matter is that you can and should make cold calls in  our property industry.  The calls allow you to reach out to new people and strike new relationships.  There are plenty of property investors and business owners to call and connect with.

This video on the principles of cold calling will tell you what to do, how to make the calls, and what to expect as you do that.

You can get other tips like this at our  main website for agents and brokers right here.

Here is the video on cold call prospecting:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Podcast 159 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Online Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Full scale career opportunity in commercial real estate. 2. Full scale distractions to be avoided. 3. Full scale Goals in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Tips for Setting Goals in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage in 2014

Goals and targets are really important to the career of any commercial real estate broker.  Sales, leasing, and property management activities all require goal planning and business targets.

Here is a short video that handles the various topics in a goal planning process for agents today.

Sales Presentation and Listing Tips in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Here are some ideas on video to help you improve your sales listing process and presentation in commercial real estate brokerage using a check-list.  Agents and brokers can build a check-list to help their client connections and property reviews.

Podcast 158 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 2 topics for today. 1. How to make 2014 a better year in commercial real estate. 2. How to lease more premises in the property market today. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Commercial Real Estate Agent Business Planning Tips

The commercial real estate business planning process is a very important part of building your market share and marketing process.  I have put a few ideas in this video to help you formulate your strategic business plan and look at the factors of the market that really matter.

Understand the differences in sales and leasing activity and then add property management to them.  There are many ways to start a commercial real estate business today.

A Proven Blueprint for a Career in Commercial Property Management

female property manager sitting at a desk typing
Develop your Commercial Property Management career skills.

The commercial property management industry is highly specialized in many different ways.  It takes time to understand the elements of the industry and the requirements of professional services supplied to landlords and tenants.  The same can be said as it applies to retail property leasing and shopping center management.

If you are considering a career in commercial or retail property management and or leasing, here are some tips to help you with establishing your skills and growing your professional services.

1.       You will need to know about the current property market in many different ways.  Typically you will need to understand the market rentals, vacancy factors, property types, new developments, and landlord investment requirements.  All of these things will help you with lease negotiations and the services that you provide to your landlord clients.
2.       The different property types require different levels of property management involvement.  Industrial property is relatively simple and basic from the management perspective given that you usually have only one tenant to monitor within one lease and one property.  When you move your property management skills to an office property or a retail shopping centre you will normally be dealing with multiple tenants and variable lease conditions.  On that basis you will need to know the standards of lease occupancy, property legislation applying to leasing, and the physical attributes of the landlord and tenant negotiation.
3.       From every lease occupancy there will be issues to monitor and optimize involving rental income, property expenditure, risk and liability, and tenancy placement.  Each month it is normal to provide a landlord with a comprehensive property report relating to current investment performance, property maintenance, vacancy and leasing factors, together with projections from the prevailing market conditions.
4.       Most landlord clients will have a number of specific targets relating to their investments.  Those targets will be shaped by the age of the property, the tenancy mix, redevelopment requirements, and the local business community.  To serve your clients well, take the time to understand their investment requirements and intentions relating to the asset.
5.       With the larger properties, there will usually be a budget of relates to rental income recovery, and expenditure activity.  That budget will be established prior to the beginning of a financial year and then loaded into the business plan for the property for the coming 12 months.  Every month every quarter or budgeting process will be checked and changed depending on prevailing market conditions.

Professional property managers are specialists in many different ways.  Some will specialize in a single property type in their town or city.  In that way they can bring specific knowledge and information together with high levels of skills to the clients that they serve.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Podcast 156 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are some career tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers on audio. These are the skills of a top agent and how to get them. Commercial real estate training by John Highman.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Podcast 155 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

How to give out property information as part of taking a property inquiry today in commercial and retail property sales and leasing. Commercial real estate training by John Highman.

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Avoid Prospecting Pain in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

woman talking on telephone headset
Prospecting can be easy.

It is easy to suffer difficulty and struggle with prospecting for new listings and clients in commercial real estate.  Far too many agents and brokers push the prospecting process down the list of priorities on a regular basis.  This then leads to slowness in commissions and leads.

If you want to build market share the only way to do it is through connecting with new people.  Some agents and brokers will do that in a way that suits them and their skills; however the top agents prospect every day.

Here are some facts for you:

  1. You can waste a lot of time chasing properties for buyers and tenants that say they are ‘looking around and need something urgently’.  After a while you will understand that they were either not genuine or they were talking to every other agent in town on the same basis.  If a tenant or buyer wants you to spend time in finding them a property, get a listing appointment signed as a ‘buyer’s agent’ or ‘tenants agent’.
  2. When you have listing stock, every other person and agent has to come to you for the property information.  Focus on creating a good database of prospects and do that from a quality listing bank of exclusive listings.
  3. Your database will be the most important business resource and tool that you have available.  Some agents will spend a large amount of time finding a database to suit and then they do little prospecting.   Get a simple database or CRM program and then fill it every day by talking to new people.  That’s how you build market share.
  4. To connect with lots of new people and attract new business, a fair degree of practice and skill development is required.  The sooner you start the practice, the better your results will be.

They are simple rules and yet they are so important if you want to improve your results in listings and commissions.  Protect your time and your effort by directly taking actions each day with new people; they are the ones that are genuinely in need of an investment property or a property where they can run their business.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Prospecting Letter Tips and Ideas for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

The prospecting letter process should be part of an agents marketing process.  It can be added to a cold calling system or a database contact strategy.  Here are some ideas to help with the implementation of this letter marketing approach.  So who do you send these letters to?  Try some of these:

  • Property owners
  • Developers
  • Land owners
  • Tenants
  • Business owners
Here is the video to take you further into the topic.  You can get other tips like this at our main website.

Podcast 154 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics for brokers today. 1. Personal marketing strategies for brokers. 2. Strategic planning processes. 3. Tenant Advocacy Opportunity. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Personal Branding Solutions for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

smiling man
Build your commercial real estate brand carefully.

Successful commercial real estate agents and brokers are very experienced in self-promotion and communication.  They know how to reach out to the clients and prospects in their local real estate market; there is no point in them being a ‘secret agent’.  Every working day they are spreading the promotional message across target audiences and selected prospects.

In any real estate team every agent or broker should be comprehensively promoting the brokerage business and themselves across the market place.  It is a daily requirement and yet some agents really do not do it very well.  Focus is required.

Here are some questions which will help you understand how you can promote to and connect with your groups of clients and prospects.  Review these points relative to your own marketing activities:

  1. Time – how much time can you apply to the promotional activity every day?  That will involve finding new people to talk to, as well as strengthening previously established relationships.  In most cases it is necessary to spend approximately two or three hours per day in self-promotion.
  2. Pull marketing – this is a specific process where you are encouraging people to contact and connect with you.  It will occur when you are regarded as the industry specialist within a property type.  It can also occur when you are holding a dominant market share within a town or a city.  The process of pull marketing will strengthen over time if you are dedicated to the disciplines of cold calling, direct mail, door knocking, and constant contact.  It takes about two or three approaches to the same person to convert them to a meeting.  Consistency is the key to improving your profile with pull marketing.
  3. Money – the marketing process does cost money and for that reason needs to be strategic to a target audience and the location.  Spend your marketing money wisely.  The traditional business card remains the most professional and successful way of self-promotion.  It is simply a matter of spreading and circulating your business cards into the groups of investors, property owners, business proprietors, and tenants.  Make it a target to talk to 20 new people per day; give them your business card as part of the process.  In many situations, the business card will be retained for future reference.  This is in stark contrast to the traditional brochure or direct mail piece that will be discarded.
  4. Sales pitch or presentation – over time you will get plenty of practice to help you with your sales pitch and property presentation.  If you specialize within a property type, this process can be relatively easy and quite specific to the target audience.  The more specific you are in the presentation, the greater your chances of listing conversion.  You can improve your chances with any sales pitch by doing some simple regular practice within the sales team as part of role playing.  The sales team can share some of the challenges from the marketplace so that you can integrate those problems into your sales pitch and practice your responses.
  5. Relevance – the more relevant that you can be to the property type, location, the property, and the client, the easier it is to convert the listing exclusively.  Approach every sales pitch with the end targets in mind.  Be quite specific when it comes to the marketing alternatives and the direction of helping the client.

So, all of these points can be looked at from a personal and specific angle of promotion.  Put yourself into the marketing of every quality exclusive listing.  The more convincing you are in the process, the easier it is to win the new business opportunity.  The agents that are not good at converting listings are usually the ones that approach the presentation and pitching process of generically.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Strategic Action Planning in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

business man with newspaper in hand
Start your real estate agent action plan.

Today every real estate agent and broker should have an action plan based on their goals and business plan.  Our industry can be quite unforgiving when it comes to any agent that takes a generic approach.  When you do basic things in a random way, you achieve the average results.
Top agents do specific things to a plan that has been well considered and structured.  Filling their pipeline of opportunity will always be important when it comes to new sales and leasing opportunity.  The same can be said from a property management perspective understanding that the client targets are more long-term than short term.

So the action plan you create should allow for current market conditions, your client base, marketing strategies, and the resources that you have available at your disposal.  Before you can get what you want, you need to know exactly what you do want.  The action plan should be structured around that.  Set goals that are realistic but challenging.

What resources do you have at your disposal?  How are you using them today?  Here is a list to help you with resource identification:

  • Time to do the work required
  • Support staff and administrative staff
  • Marketing Materials within your brokerage
  • Reports and market evidence relative to the local area and the property type
  • Social media tools, newsletters, and websites
  • Blogging activities
  • Your current database of clients and prospects
  • Communications Systems and tools including the telephone, e-mail, and direct mail

This is a simple list and yet so many agents are doing very little within some if not most of those categories.  The resources like these are usually available and yet generally under-utilized.

Here are some tips to help you with this strategic action process within commercial real estate sales and leasing:

  1. The reality of the market will always be around you and observable.  There will be leads and opportunities to seize and delve into.  Every property, client, and professional relationship will give you leverage for asking questions about referrals, leads, and repeat business.
  2. One of the simplest of marketing tools that we have available is that of the business card.  You really don't need many other tools to help you build fresh and new relationships.  Make it a target to give out at least 10 new business cards per day.  Most business cards that we handout are kept rather than discarded.  Many top agents have created their success and market share momentum from distributing business cards regularly each and every day.
  3. Whilst there are plenty of technology based tools to use including social media, websites, newsletters, and e-mail marketing solutions, most of the successes that you create as a broker or agent will be from ongoing personal relationships established with qualified prospects.  On that basis you do need to get in front of the right people to establish trust and loyalty over time.  Relevance and property specialty will be part of that process.
  4. Mix and match your prospecting activities around the things that you are comfortable with and can implement every day.  Most top agents will diversify prospecting within cold calling, direct mail, newsletter activity, door knocking, success letters, signboards, and industry related listing brochures.  A simple approach will always get you in front of new people quite comfortably and frequently.  Your prospecting approach must be a habit in your diary.
  5. Set some target numbers that relate to your business plan.  The numbers should be related back to daily activity and weekly targets.  Normally the targets should be focused on the outbound calls, new meetings, property presentations, successful listings, exclusive listings, and advertising dollars.  All of those things will have a direct impact on your market share.  Track and measure activities within those categories.  Increase the numbers to a substantial ongoing target.

When you create a plan of action at a personal level, track and measure your progress so that you can see how things are improving at the end of each week.  The property market will always change and as a direct consequence your prospecting activities should similarly be adjusted for best practice and outcome.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Be Breathtakingly Humble in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Today

businessman climbing ladder
Humility builds success in Commercial Real Estate

Your success as a real estate agent or broker may be significant but don’t let that impact your image as a quality person and a property specialist.  Overblown ‘ego’ can get in the way of progress in any property market and with your clients.  ‘Ego’ can destroy a career make no mistake; clients and prospects will usually avoid ‘overblown’ attitude and ego in our industry.

A successful and difficult deal today should not give you any reason to feel that you are better than anyone else.  Humility is a powerful tool in professional sales so use it fully.

Here are some facts and ideas for you:

  1. Accept your success in sales and leasing transactions with humility and creativity.  When you have achieved a positive result for your clients move on to the next stage and client need.  Stay active and focused.  That’s how you win referral business.
  2. Build real ongoing trust with your clients through valuable ongoing contact.  Tell them about the trends in the market and how they can be part of that.  Understand what they are looking for in property type and give them the advance notice of ideal properties coming up and investment opportunities.
  3. Take every exclusive listing on in a way that builds momentum towards a target market.  Help the client see how you are spending extensive time on the marketing process and that you are not just relying on advertising to do things for you.  Take every exclusive listing to the target market and focus your efforts at a personal level.  Every good listing is a solid excuse to talk to a lot of new people.  That is how you can build your database.
  4. Be easy to find and relate to.  Those clients and prospects that want to talk about property or market trends should find it easy to reach you.  How can they do that?  Are you using social media to integrate into their life?
  5. Show your clients total respect and relevance when it comes to property today.  In an ongoing way supply them with information and market updates that are tuned to their property need. Don’t just send lots of listings and hope that the client will talk to you.  When you send any information to those people in your database, make the follow-up calls and see how the clients and prospects are tracking with their property needs.  That process of follow-up is all too often overlooked by many agents and brokers.

The best real estate agents in the market have usually built strong and robust client relationships that are nurtured into the future.  That’s how they get referral business and repeat property activity from their database.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tenant Advocacy Leasing Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Tenant Advocacy is quite a special process.  When it comes to leasing a property the client is the tenant for the Agent or Broker.  Here are some tips to help brokers and agents tap into this very lucrative segment of the property leasing market.

This is a video about how to help tenants in this situation, so sit back and see what ideas you can get from the program.

Podcast 153 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Training Radio

Here is a special topic for agents and brokers on 'Tenant Advocacy Services in Property Leasing'. This will help you in establishing a professional leasing advocacy service in your brokerage. This is part of Commercial Real Estate Training by John Highman

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Podcast 152 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Training Radio

Here is a special topic for Commercial Real Estate Property Managers about setting management fees and charges for services provided. This is a commercial real estate training program by John Highman.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Podcast 151 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Training Radio

Here are three more topics for today. 1. How to Develop Internet Marketing Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. 2. How to be a Leasing 'Boss'. 3. Why Some Brokers Fail and How to Fix that. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio Podcast Number 150

In this commercial real estate broker podcast I will be talking about for the need to be screening and qualifying property buyers and tenants in today's property market. Commercial real estate broker training by John Highman.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Podcast 149 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio Online

Here are 3 more topics for you today. 1. What to expect with commissions and salaries in commercial real estate brokerage, 2. Internet Marketing Tips and Strategies for Brokers, 3. Prospecting Letter Systems and Cycles. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commission and Salary Structures in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Setting commission rates and salary structures is a hard thing.  That is especially the case for those people that are starting up as salespeople; they have so much to learn whilst earning commissions and growing their client base.

To get your salary and commission under control early in your career, I recommend focusing on prospecting and client growth.  Attract listings as soon as possible.

Here is a video explaining it a bit further.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Marketing Alternatives for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

real estate agent in car.
Develop your marketing system in commercial real estate.

In commercial real estate brokerage, there are various marketing alternatives to be used when it comes to the property listings we work with.  The same can be said for the personal marketing process for you as an agent or a broker.  Utilizing the right marketing tools in a systematized way will help you with generating the listing inquiry you need, and building your personal brand locally.

So let’s look at the marketing alternatives that are available for you at a personal level in promoting your professional skills as an agent or a broker.  Consider the following list of strategies:

  1. Most of the clients and the prospects that we work with will choose an agent or a broker for personal reasons usually centered on factors of confidence, relevance, and professional skill.  All of your marketing methods should spread this clear message in a comprehensive way.  Generic marketing simply doesn't work.  There are far too many agents and brokers in any town or city for generic marketing to be of any benefit at all.  Every marketing message that you send out should be quite specific with the target market in mind.  What do they want to hear about and what can you tell them?
  2. The traditional signboard on an exclusive listed property remains a very powerful tool for marketing today.  Any quality property exclusively listed and promoted with a signboard will direct a lot of inquiries back to you.  The most successful agents and brokers in the industry today are those that control the listing stock and have lots of signs in the territory.  The way to do that is through exclusive listings.  Your sales pitch or presentation should be suitably structured to win listings on that basis.
  3. Every exclusive listing should include a marketing package that is vendor funded.  If the property owner is serious about the need to sell or lease the property, they will be serious about spending marketing funds to help that process occur.  Every marketing package should be specifically designed for the property to attract the target market correctly and effectively.  When this is done, you generate a lot more inquiry for a quality property.  Over time that allows you to build your database with qualified prospects.
  4. To a large degree the clients and the prospects that we work with will choose an agent or broker based on personal activity and personal skill.  On that basis you can and should build your personal prospecting methods directly with the people that need your services.  Regular ongoing contact with those people at a frequency of once every one or two months will help you establish relevance.
  5. The social media process will help you with interacting with your database.  That being said, remember that some of your clients and prospects will have little interest in social media and will still rely on the traditional methods of personal contact and personal marketing.  Make it a priority to get in front of the right people on a regular basis use social media for those that interact with the process, but include the traditional methods of direct marketing as part of your prospecting model.
  6. A special note should be made regards the use of the telephone is a prospecting tool.  When used correctly, it will help you generate meetings, follow up on opportunities, and create leads.  Every day you can use the telephone to contact new people in a simple and direct way.  To make this work for you, research is required.  Make it a target to contact between five and 10 new people every day via the telephone; each evening you can do the research required to get the necessary telephone numbers together.  From that the initial telephone approach with these people, you can establish valuable meetings and send out more brochures.

Put yourself into the marketing process; that’s what this industry is all about.  Get to know more people personally at each and every opportunity.  Use your business card as the principal method of marketing in any meetings, telephone calls, and written correspondence.  Make it a target to send out or handout at least 10 business cards per day to new people.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Commercial Real Estate Brokers - What to Expect in Commission Formulas

man giving OK hand sign
Make sure your commission in commercial real estate is fair and results related.

In commercial real estate brokerage there are plenty of formulas for commission that apply to agent remuneration and salary.  When you start work in a new brokerage it is important to know that your commission base is fair and adjustable for the results that you can achieve.  It is also important that you negotiate a fair fee for the services offered and the demands of the property listing and or client.

A salary base plus a low commission is acceptable when you are learning the ropes and the industry.  You will thereby get some reward for deals done.  Over time you can lose the ‘training wheels’ and move up the scale of commission; in doing so the ratio of risk and reward changes.  Greater reward creates greater risk.

Be prepared to take the steps to drive your business forward.  It is a personal thing; your brokerage will only be a small part of your new business equation.

So let’s look at the alternatives in commissions today:

  1. If you are paid a ‘salary’ for the start-up of your career, it is likely that a ‘debit and credit’ arrangement will exist to reimburse the broker for costs until your commissions gain traction.  The process is fair and reasonable; however do not let yourself get too far behind in ‘debit’ where it will take a long time to reach pay back.
  2. Your performance and success should be accommodated in an upward commission adjustment.  Far too many brokers take too long to reward achievement within the team.  Soon they see their top performers move to other ‘greener pastures’.
  3. It is valuable to work on a ‘sliding base’ of remuneration, as well as an escalating scale of commission reward.  The sliding scale should be adjustable quarterly or annually depending on your property type and the deal or commission averages.  If you sell or lease lots of smaller properties then the scale will be different than if you sell and lease larger properties at high value less frequently.  Look at how many deals you can do in each quarter and what the opportunities are in the market to sustain that for the whole year.
  4. Top agents will usually work on commission only.  It takes some time to get to that level of market dominance and success.  You will need a business plan and strategy of action to get to that stage of commission only reward and remuneration.
  5. It is good practice for a brokerage to reward agents differently when it comes to exclusive listings and faster results in closed deals.  This then gives clear reasons for the agent to focus on generating the new business faster and more effectively with a focus on ‘controlled listing stock’.

Many agents think that they are better than they really are in skills and knowledge.  If you are assessing your sales and leasing potential, be real and relevant in your assessment; look to the future but understand the reality of today.  Commissions and listings over time will come to the agents that understand the importance of hard work and the creation of market share.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shopping Center Performance Analysis and Performance Tips

shopping mall people walking
Understand your shopping centers performance

In reviewing the performance of any retail shopping centre there are many things to look at.  As a type of investment, the typical retail property is dynamic and active in many ways.  A true property professional will review all the facts before getting involved in property marketing or any sale or lease.  Many things should be understood first before any action is taken.

What makes a retail property so different?  It is integrated heavily into and involving the stakeholder’s interests; the stakeholders are the landlord, the tenants, customers, financiers, managers and leasing specialists.  In an ideal investment situation the retail property manager would be balancing the tenant mix to improve retail sales and lessen the vacancy rate, and then to take steps to improve the landlord’s net income.  Within those two issues there are many things to look at.

It can be said that retail property managers are perhaps the most specialised in the property industry.  Their knowledge, skill, and systems will have a major impact on the property overall.  On that basis the retail management fees paid today in a quality property should be substantial to cover the time required in property control and optimisation.  The management processes and leasing activities in a retail property are intense.  Mistakes or omissions made can impact the property in many different ways.

So here are some basic factors to help you get started in checking and optimising retail property performance from the aspects of the leases and tenants.  You can add to the list based on location and property configuration:

  1. Tenant mix – review the tenant mix in all respects.  That will include lease documentation, critical dates, tenant offering, sales performance, and lease longevity.
  2. Lease terms and conditions – in a property you will have many leases.  All of them will have lease terms that are unique to the premises and the lease situation.  You must know about the leases before any sale or marketing proposal is contemplated.
  3. Sales figures – most good retail properties will be tracking sales turnover by retailer.  This will be done as a standard term and condition of the lease.  The numbers will show segments of trade and the MAT average over time.  MAT stands for Moving Annual Turnover and it will show how the sales figures are trending in retail segments in a shopping centre. It is a valuable analysis.  It helps you see weaknesses in trade, tenant mix, lease structure, and clustering.
  4. Vacancy factors – given that you have leases in a property, you are likely to have vacancies as well, together with the threat of a vacancy with tenants getting to the end of lease occupancy.

Looking at all of these things you have the basis of understanding just how the tenants and leases impact the property and its current cash flow of rental.  From that point onwards you can look at other associated issues such as outgoings, net income, and customer interaction.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Podcast 148 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Online

Here are commercial real estate topics for brokers today; 1. How to play the numbers game in client contact and market share; 2. How to be more Socially aware for prospecting new clients. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Podcast 147 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 more tips for commercial real estate brokers today. 1. The laws of attraction in brokerage, 2. A 3 Step Formula for Your Sales Plan, 3. Ideas for Shopping Center Renovations. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Podcast 146 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics today for brokers and agents. 1. How to choose your commission formulas, 2. The advantages and problems of straight commission, 3. Avoid Wasting Time as an Agent. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tips for Setting Commission in Commercial Real Estate

Setting commission in commercial real estate brokerage requires good presentation skills on the part of the agent.  The commission should be structured for the services that the agent provides and the requirements of the clients served.

Here is a short video about commission structures for real estate agents.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Podcast 145 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Online

Here are 3 topics for today; 1. What Sales Letters Can Do for You, 2. How to Start Your Selling System in Commercial Real Estate, 3. Shopping Center Marketing Tips and Plans.  These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Avoid Time Wasting Things in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

people walking on clock
Get your time under control in commercial real estate brokerage.

It is easy to waste time in commercial real estate brokerage.  When that is happening you will find that the clients, listings, and deals all suffer.  If you want to get somewhere quickly as a broker or agent, now would be a good time to look at your daily business system.

So to help with this topic, here are some of the biggest problems and diversions in our real estate industry:

  1. Having no plan is the most common issue.  Starting the day without a plan and process is like starting your car without any idea of where you are heading (you waste petrol and create costs).  You must have a day plan and it should include the 4 or 5 key things that are most important to you and your business.  Those 4 or 5 things will not normally change.  Every day you should do those things.
  2. Meetings can be a real time waster.  Don’t call or attend a meeting unless you know that it has relevance to you and your business.  When you have those meetings, keep them to an agenda and track the time.  Any business meeting on a working day should be over in one hour.
  3. Random telephone calls coming in and the dreaded emails each day can divert your attention in a big way.  Control your time by addressing these things once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  At all other times get someone to take messages for you.  The only exception to the rule will be if you have a deal or negotiation active.
  4. Unqualified prospects can take a lot of your time, and then you find that they are talking to a number of other agents.  If you are going to meet with a prospect, qualify them across the telephone and if necessary get them to meet you in your office.  If they are genuine they will come to your office.  Get them to prove to you that they are ‘real’ in every respect.
  5. Long telephone calls can divert your thinking and your attention.  If you are in the middle of a long telephone call, find a reason to cut it short and continue the conversation at the end of the day.
  6. A cluttered desk is a sign of confusion and random process.  Any broker or agent with a desk that is ‘out of control’ will send all the wrong messages to clients and colleagues.  Get your workplace under control.  The same can be said for your motor vehicle.  People judge you on what they see around you.  Control that image and keep it professional.

So these simple things can be easily controlled with a bit of personal effort and focus. Don’t start a working day without a plan that keeps you on track and within your focus.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sales Pitch and Presentation Ideas for Commercial Real Estate Agents

woman with laptop
Understand how you will present and pitch for a real estate listing.

In commercial real estate brokerage, some agents rely too much on ‘computer’ based presentation material, and in doing that they ‘disconnect’ from the client.  So who is presenting the proposal anyway?  Is it you as the local property expert or ‘Microsoft’?

The best presentations and sales pitches are won on the basis of relevance and experience of the agent individual to the client and their needs.  That will be built around:

  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Choices
  • Costs
  • Experience

Any computer based presentation only plays a small part in that process; perhaps you may need a full slide show presentation when you are pitching your services to a ‘board of directors’ or similar client.  In most cases you should work to a proposal or pitch from a personal process and level of connection.  If you are the top agent in the local area, that will help your confidence and your client connection.  Give the client the market information and the evidence that they require to make the right choice in marketing, inspecting, and negotiating.  Help them see that you have those solutions that are not generic and are quite specific.

In ordinary terms you should only use your computer when a point needs to be supported by a complex chart or information.  Certainly do not degrade your presentation or pitch using generic PowerPoint slides or similar ‘generic fluff’.   Most sales pitches are ‘won’ on the strength and confidence of the individual.

One valuable strategy when doing a sales pitch in commercial real estate is to incorporate a large number of quality photographs into a rolling slide show.  For most presentations, you will need approximately 20 to 30 photographs taken at different angles, within different parts of the property, and at different times of day.

Show the property from its strengths and its opportunities.  The client will have an immediate connection to the photographs of the property.  That is far more so the case than a generic slide show presentation.  When you use the photographs, it is simply a matter of connecting your comments and recommendations to the photographs supplied.

So here are some tips to make your presentation relevant to the client and the opportunities of the property:

  1. Show the client that you completely understand the property and its strengths currently in this market today.  You can take them through the important selling features that will be used in the marketing campaign.
  2. Position the property to a particular target market, and then build your marketing recommendations around those facts.  Tell the client exactly how you will attract the enquiry from the target market, and then how you will qualify the prospects, inspect the property, and negotiate the necessary terms and conditions that could apply to the contract or the lease.
  3. Most clients like to have a few choices when it comes to choosing an agency or brokerage.  You are likely to be pitching your services against other agents from your town or city.  For that reason, give your prospective client a few choices when it comes to the marketing process.  Sell your marketing solutions with a few alternatives and costing solutions.  Make sure that the marketing process comprehensively covers the best choices of media for the property in question.  Be quite specific when it comes to choices and recommendations.

So there are some specific things that you can do here as part of your presentation and sales pitch process in commercial real estate.  Remember that the success of the presentation will be largely built around your confidence and communication skills.  Only use a computer based presentation where circumstances require it to support complex details and information.  Show the client that you are the best solution when it comes to tapping into the right target market in the best possible way.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Mind Map Your Sales System in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage you can and should ‘mind map’ your sales system and business opportunities regularly.  The visual approach helps you see the factors of the business that impact your results as the year and the business seasons change.  It can also help you shift focus on key strengths where new business may exist.

You really don’t need much time to get this process underway.  Some colored pens, a large piece of paper, and a few cups of coffee will do it.  Quite soon in doing this you can see the factors of the commercial real estate business that can be changed.  Revisit your mind map on a monthly basis for any new factors or things that are changing.

Understand this one important fact.  The property market changes frequently and will do so due to the pressures of the economy, business sentiment, supply of vacant stock, construction costs, investor requirements, and availability of vacant land.  Look for the variables in each category and then track the changes for listing and commission opportunity.  Build your personal marketing efforts around those factors.

So here are some tips to help you construct your ‘mind map’ in commercial real estate brokerage:

  • Break up your mind map into separate arms in these categories; sales territory, property specialty, client base, listing base, competitors, economy, market place, resources, brokerage, goals, prospecting, and marketing.  If you can add one or two more categories based on your location then do so.  When you get the ‘big factors’ defined on the chart you can then move on to the lesser items of each arm subset.
  • So each of the ‘arms’ can be broken up into subset factors, and then the strengths and weaknesses that you know can be considered for your area.  For example the ‘territory’ arm of the mind map can be split up into these categories; region defined, size, property numbers, client types, demographics, growth factors, supply and demand.  Do the same on your mind map and then repeat the ‘sub set’ process on the other ‘arms’ of the chart with the chosen categories that you know should apply in your case.  

Soon you will see exactly what is going on locally in your industry and you will get the ideas as to how you can deal with it.

The one arm of your chart that stands out as a ‘bit different’ is that of ‘goals’.  What it does is put your personal focus and personality into the business and also the chart.  The ‘goals’ arm should be realistic in every respect based on your capabilities, and your commitment to make it happen.

So now you have a very valuable resource tool to help you focus and plan your real estate career as an agent and broker.  Some things will require ongoing research so you know numbers and current positions, however from that point you can ‘track and measure’ the critical things in your real estate business.

Set your goals and use the chart to take actions on the things that matter to building listings, quality clients, and commissions.  The industry is all about focus, and the people that you know.  Build quality relationships with your clients each and every day.  Be the ‘agent of choice’ in all respects.  Your mind map will help you see how you can do that.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Start a Career in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Sales

There is no doubt that commercial real estate sales can be very rewarding.  From a brokerage point of view the industry can offer you a lot of opportunity in many ways.

I put together this short video to give you some ideas about how to grow your real estate business and market share.

You can get lots of other tips like this at our main website right here 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Podcast 144 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio Podcast

Here are 3 new topics today for Commercial Real Estate Brokers. 1. How to Custom Design a Real Estate Prospecting Plan, 2. How to run a strategic planning meeting in commercial real estate, 3. Lease and Tenant Management in Shopping Center Renovations. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Successful Sales Meetings in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

real estate agent meeting
Weekly sales meetings are valuable strategies in commercial real estate brokerage.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the weekly sales meeting can be a powerful tool when it comes to building the market share momentum for the real estate business and the sales team.  The meeting can be well planned to achieve positive leverage and momentum across the agency.

With most agencies today, the weekly sales meeting is a good idea to keep the agents on focus and task.  That being said, an agenda is required to achieve that.  Minutes should also be created from the meeting to track and measure the efforts of individuals.  Good salespeople thrive on positive recognition and individual performance tracking.  They understand the benefits of the process.

Weekly sales meetings should occur in the mornings before the business day commences.  They should also take no longer than 1 hour so that that the team can get back to the marketplace and the daily activities required.

So the goals of the sales meeting should be to achieve the following:

  • To encourage the team forward with activities in listings and commissions
  • To sustain the momentum and the focus across the group in a positive way
  • To track and measure the activities of individuals
  • To establish positive communication between the sales team and the administration team

It should be remembered that most salespeople dislike lengthy meetings.  Any top agent or broker will prefer to have a firm agenda to stick to when it comes to weekly reporting and meeting attendance.  The team leader or the sales manager should control the process.

Here are some tips to help you establish a positive process of meetings for your sales team:

  1. The location of the weekly meeting should be varied to encourage activity and attendance.  You can move the meeting between different venues and times of day.  Breakfast meetings are usually quite successful, and the same can be said for lunch meetings.  You will however need an agenda for the process.
  2. Peer group praise will always be a useful tool within a successful sales team.  The team leader or the sales manager for the agency should encourage that activity.  When a salesperson has achieved great success or an extraordinary deal, share that information around the group at the right time and in the right circumstances.
  3. Once a month allow the full sales team and the administrative team to come together as part of social drinks.  The interaction between both groups will be important for the success of the agency.
  4. Establish a points system between members of the sales team.  The points system should be varied based on a number of different criteria.  In that way you will be recognising and encouraging everyone, and not just the top agents with the best deals.  Look at the different achievements of the week including the best deal of the week, the best marketing campaign, the greatest numbers of inbound calls, cold calling targets, exclusive listings, and new meetings.

Top agents and brokers like efficiency.  They also like to get to the point quickly and effectively.  Any sales meeting should take no longer than 1 hour, minutes should be created, and agendas should be circulated prior to the next meeting.  Respect the time of your top agents, and they will respect the attendance requirements at your sales meetings.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Podcast 143 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 more topics today for commercial real estate brokers. 1. How to find quality retail tenants in shopping center leasing, 2. How property managers can work smarter, 3. How to use prospecting letters today in real estate brokerage. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commercial Real Estate Broker - Habits are Hip

commercial real estate broker writing in diary
Systems work in commercial real estate brokerage.

The habits that you create in commercial real estate brokerage will make or break your career as a top agent.  Systematized process will help you tap into the market and the clients that need your services.
Take a serious look at your business habits and determine the weaknesses that need to be addressed.  Understand your strengths as well in that process and build on them.

So what habits should you focus on when it comes to your career as a commercial real estate agent?  Typically they are the following:

  1. Servicing clients – it takes time to convert clients and listings in commercial real estate.  When you have spent a number of months if not years building a relationship with the client, it stands to reason that your client connection process is should be well structured and professional.
  2. Prospecting – the prospecting process is critical to growth of market share.  Every day of the working week should include elements of prospecting for new people and new properties.  When you control the listings, you control the inquiry.  Far too many agents focus on buyers and tenants because they are easy to find.  That then leads to a secondary problem of finding a property to suit the buyer or the tenant.  Top agents focus on attracting and converting listings.  When you control the listing, you control the property opportunity and commission outcome.  
  3. Quality listings - every top quality property should be converted to an exclusive listing.  When you advertise a top quality property all the buyers and the tenants of the market will come to you.  The same can be said when it comes to other agents seeking to introduce their buyers and tenants to your listing.
  4. Marketing – the marketing process in commercial real estate will be both for the listings that you create and also for you personally.  Listings create inquiries, but the personal marketing process can be even more important.  It applies to your skill and property specialty will help you penetrate the best clients and the opportunities for future business.  This then says that you should have a regular marketing process that applies to your listings and yourself personally.
  5. Specialized skills – almost every working day you will spend some time on marketing, negotiating, inspecting, and prospecting.  Each of these things requires special skills and dialogue.  You can improve your skills by practicing within the team and on an individual basis.  Professional dialogue in a sales environment is quite special.  Start the day with a practice routine relating to dialogue improvement.  You can do that before you get to the office.

So there are lots of things that you can do here to improve your market share and commission opportunity in commercial real estate brokerage.  Understand the things that will provide you with the better outcomes and opportunities with listings, commissions, and clients.  Selectively prioritize important issues into your diary and get them done every day.

You can get more tips like this for commercial real estate brokers at our main website

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Podcast 142 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 more topics for today. 1. Best Sales Pitch Tips in Commercial Real Estate, 2. How to Adjust your Marketing Campaigns and Why, 3. How to Develop a VIP Client List of Prospects. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Market Intelligence Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

graph of property trends
Commercial Real Estate market information for your sales pitch is essential.

In commercial real estate brokerage you need high quality market information to produce the right recommendations for your clients and prospects.  Where you get that information from and its accuracy will be very important.  Can you trust your sources?  Do you know that the information is accurate and not based on ‘hearsay’?

During an average year in property investment, all of the following factors will change quite a few times:

  • The levels of inbound enquiry for property purchasing
  • Tenant enquiries for new premises
  • Rent and price ranges
  • The supply and demand for local quality property
  • Negotiation factors in any contract or lease
  • Government policies impacting property
  • Local market conditions
  • Activities and sentiment from the local business community
  • Transport and other local demographic issues
  • Competing properties
  • Time on market
  • Seasonal selling cycles

A good real estate agent or broker has to stay on top of these issues.  To do that you must capture and share the right market information with key people.  Quality information from the market will help you win better listings for sale or for lease.

So let’s look at where you can get accurate market knowledge and information that you can use.  Try some of these ideas:

  1. I would start at the local planning office.  Just about every sale or lease will be impacted by shifts in property planning activity, new projects, and future supply of quality property.  Each month visit the planning office to see what properties are being considered for change or new development.  They will have an impact on price, rents, and incentives.  They will also impact methods of sale or lease.
  2. Monitor the completed sales and leasing activity.  You can get that information from industry sale reports and fellow agents.  On that basis it pays to be on ‘positive talking terms’ with some of your professional competitors.  Choose some good agents to share information with.
  3. Watch the listings coming on to the market.  Asking prices and rents will be visible in the internet advertising.
  4. Understand the methods of sale or lease that work for the different property types.  The improvements in a property will impact the target market and your inspection strategies.
  5. Inbound inquiries to your office from buyers and tenants will have trends and factors that you can monitor.  To lift the levels of inbound inquiry you can focus on ‘vendor paid marketing’ on all of your quality properties.  Practice your presentations and listing pitches to get those funds.
  6. Professional Property Valuer’s and Appraisers will have plenty of industry information for you to tap into; they will only do that if you share information with them.
  7. Some very active quality clients will have information for you to consider from recent deals and property promotions.

So the message here is that you can ask questions of the right people to get on top of the trends of prices and rents in the local property market.  Get to know the right people and share information ‘both ways’.

Get more commercial real estate broker tips in our newsletter right here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Use Alternative Marketing Strategies in the Promotion of Commercial Real Estate

office desks in building
Every commercial property has an alternative marketing strategy.

When it comes to marketing a commercial property for sale, there are plenty of choices to be made in the promotional process.  The generic marketing approach does not work well today, given that there are plenty of listings on the market for sale, or the factors of competition require special decisions and strategies.

Look at all the alternatives to marketing any commercial or industrial property.  If you really want to make a sale, match the advertising to the target market, and then get personally involved in the promotion.  Every property that is listed exclusively should be marketed ‘exclusively’.

Recently I heard an agent talking to a client about a listing that had been on the market for a very long time.  There was little inquiry coming in and agent was blaming the market and the price for the current situation.  Whilst those factors can be somewhat true, the real facts of the matter are that the agent did not get out into the business and property investor community to push the listing.

We are or should be ‘masters’ in matching properties to buyers.  Every new listing should be carefully promoted.  That says not just advertising the listing and hoping for a result.
All the ‘alternative’ marketing strategies should be looked at when you are preparing for a sale promotion.  Choose the right ones based on the target market.  Here are some ideas to help you:

  1. When you list the property on the internet, create a few different formats of advertising and layout so you can change them weekly over a 6 week campaign.  The same property can be re-worked with different descriptions and photographs.
  2. Use the keywords in your advertising that match those words used in the market or target segment of buyers.
  3. Get some high quality professional photographs prepared for use in your campaign.
  4. Have a professional copywriter finish off your adverts before they are submitted to the media.
  5. Set up a direct mail campaign to qualified property buyers that exist in your database.  When that happens, have a checking process to personally follow up all of the direct mail.
  6. Create an email marketing campaign to buyers on your database, given the criteria identified in earlier discussions or property inspections.
  7. If the property is matched quite clearly to a market segment such as ‘doctors’ or ‘solicitors’ you can start a direct mail and call approach using the local telephone book and your business lists.
  8. Door-knock the local businesses to see what they are doing with property today, and if they are looking for a property change over or purchase soon.

Every good quality listing will give you plenty of reasons to talk to other property owners and business leaders.  Focus on quality and the deals will be easier to put together.

It is easy to dominate your market when you are known as the agent with all the best listings.  That strategy is easier to achieve when you work to a marketing plan and adopt alternative marketing strategies.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Podcast 141 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Online

Here are 3 topics today: 1. How to renegotiate and commercial lease and why, 2. How to deal with commission challenges in today's property market, 3. Don't let Tenants Get Out of Control and How to Fix That. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Podcast 140 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics today: 1. How to use the educational approach in pitching and selling, 2. How to get started in commercial real estate brokerage, 3. How to solve the 4 barriers to commission value today. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commercial Real Estate Brokers - Successful Marketing Campaign Tips

Here are some tips for commercial real estate brokers in creating a successful marketing campaign in commercial real estate sales or leasing.  There are plenty of ways to tap into the opportunities of the market in finding more buyers or tenants to inspect your property listings. Every listing should be matched to the market and the current enquiries.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Podcast 139 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. How to roll out a marketing campaign in commercial real estate brokerage, 2. How to increase your leads in commercial real estate sales and leasing, 3. How you can make more commissions in commercial real estate brokerage. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Guide to Success in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Sales and Leasing

man standing outside office building
Plan your commercial real estate career.

The commercial real estate sales industry can be very rewarding to brokers and agents.  That being said it requires focus and consistent effort if you are to reap real rewards and become a top agent.

Many salespeople join the industry with the hope that ‘things just start to happen’ as part of working for an agency or brokerage; unfortunately those salespeople do not last very long at all.  After 6 months or so the reality of the market ‘kicks in’ with few if any commissions coming in.

It takes about 3 months of real effort to change your personal market conditions and your income.  It is not a stop and start process.  Things should happen to a plan and that will be a plan that you implement every day.

The agency or brokerage that you work for has little to do with the listings and clients that you create or serve.  When you start working in the industry, start working hard on your commitment to personal success and progress.  You will need a business plan or something similar that keeps you on task.

So what do you need to make the industry work for you?  Try these for starters:

  1. A good database that you keep up to date in all respects
  2. A list of prospects and clients in your database that you can talk to in a continual way
  3. Market knowledge and skills relating to your specialist property type
  4. Sound and established negotiation skills for listing, inspections, marketing and negotiation
  5. Excellent documentation skills relating to your property type, contracts, leases, and any other supplementary documentation
  6. Personal drive and a passion for prospecting and selling
  7. Excellent marketing skills in both direct, and indirect marketing
  8. Communication skills that are advanced for the complexities of property sale, leasing, negotiating and closing.
  9. Good time management and documentation processes that allow you to start the day early with momentum and results.
  10. Targets and goals that you can track.
  11. Exclusive listings that you control for your clients.
  12. Referral opportunities with established clients and prospects.
  13. Clients that trust you and your skills to help them resolve property problems.

To give momentum to these things it requires deliberate effort.   Every agent or broker has plenty of opportunity to rise up in the ranks of the market.  The key to making it happen is ‘personal activity and planning’.