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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