Monday, July 15, 2013

What You Need to Know About the Commercial Real Estate Client

two business men walking and talking
Understand your client's focus and needs

In commercial real estate brokerage, the clients that you work with or for will all be different and have a unique set of requirements when it comes to solving a property challenge.  On that basis you need to understand certain facts when it comes to the current situation and their points of focus.

Here below are some tips from our Newsletter.

The top agents in the market today take the time to connect with their clients and really understand the unique situations that they face in a sale or a lease.  You could say that the process is all about ‘empathy’; however the issue is supportive of converting the listing and finding a property buyer or tenant as the case may be.

So what do you need to know about the client or prospect that you are about to help?  Here are some ideas:

  1. In most cases there will be a time factor that the client may need to satisfy.   Question them on the ideal timing of a transaction.  If the property is unique and perhaps difficult to market, then this timing factor is very important.  It may even be unrealistic.
  2. Understand the net financial result from any sale or lease situation.  To support the discussion you will need market information and comparable property detail.  Whilst the client may want one thing, the market may be giving another.  Conditioning will be an important issue.
  3. In some situations you will find that the client or prospect wants confidentiality in the property sale or lease.  If that is the case then a unique approach to marketing will be required.
  4. There may be some ‘third parties’ involved in the  transaction such as financiers, mortgagees, planners, developers, and even other property owners.   Ask the questions to get the fuller picture.  Information will always help you move to a deal faster than otherwise possible.
  5. The ‘decision making process’ for a sale or a lease may be subject to ‘governance rules’ or ‘complex board decisions’.  You will see this with corporate clients and prospects.  If that is the case then you should get to know how to provide all the right facts at the right time to facilitate a timely property decision.
  6. Every property will have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to marketing and negotiating.  Investigate the property completely so you can find those problems and handle them prior to any due diligence process that could frustrate the sale or lease.

Whilst these issues are quite logical, many commercial real estate brokers and agents do not ask enough questions of the client when it comes to listing and marketing.  At a later stage in the transaction they then struggle with hurdles and frustrations that could have been dealt with earlier.

Prepare yourself for a productive client service and relationship from the very start; get all the situational facts and act on them.