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.