Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Enterprising Business Owners Are Commercial Real Estate Opportunities

line up of women
Look for commercial real estate opportunities in business.

The enterprising business owners in your town or city are property opportunities in waiting.  As part of their entrepreneurial activity they will require business relocation, expansion, or diversity.  For this very reason, it pays to keep in contact with all the local business proprietors in your region or sales territory.
Over a number of months or years, you will see the regular contact process with these groups give you greater opportunity with both fees and transactions.  There will be sales and leasing opportunity coming from the business community.

Many agents struggle with the fact that these business owners look at property in a different way.  In the first instance they may be tenants in occupancy.  Over time they can move to potential property ownership.

When you approach these business owners today, you should do so on the basis of their current business function and the way in which they need property for that.

It is also the case that some business owners will own the property in which they are located.  That can then evolve into a potential future sale, or sale and leaseback.  They may also require other properties in the same vicinity as part of an expansion strategy.  What you need to do here is ask the right questions and remain in contact with the right people.

So here are some strategies to help you work with the local business owners as part of a commercial and retail property service:

  1. Identify all of the larger businesses through the region.  Choose the quality businesses that are aligned to your property type.  If you work with office, industrial, or retail property, then get closer to the tenants within those categories.  Make direct contact with all of those businesses through a cold calling and direct mail process.  In each case you will need to be talking to the decision maker or the business owner.  Identifying that person can take some time, however the rewards are many when the research is correctly undertaken.
  2. Understand the franchise groups that will require space or property occupation within the region.  To get close to the franchise groups, you will need to make direct contact with their property managers or leasing strategists.  Understand the lease terms and conditions that they normally apply to property occupancy.  Look for the properties that may suit occupancy or any future franchise agreement for those groups.
  3. Get involved with the local business communities and commerce groups.  The networking process will help you find the successful people in the market today.
  4. When you connect with business owners, you will find that they quite likely understand more about the local area than you do.  On that basis they can be significant sources of opportunity and referral business.  Ask the right questions at the right time to seek those leads and local market place ideas.

So the message here is quite clear.  There will be the leads and opportunities evolving from the local business community.  Understand their property needs and or usage factors.  Get closer to the pressures of property change and relocation.  Help them understand that you are the top agent with the best contacts in the market today to help them take their business forward.  Stay in contact.

Want more tips?  Join our Newsletter right here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Podcast 127 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 more topics for today. 1. How to improve cold calling for commercial real estate brokers, 2. The Top 10 Negotiation Tips of Today, 3. Your Career as a Top Broker as a Work in Progress. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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How to Prepare for a Commercial Real Estate Sale

city skyline
Every commercial property for sale needs understanding and strategy from a marketing perspective.

In today’s property market, the sale process is quite specific and very special.  All factors of the property and the market must be looked at by the agent before the marketing campaign is established and actioned.  If you really want to sell the property, pay particular attention to the preparation process for every quality listing.  Exclusivity is required.  Here is an article from our newsletter for brokers.

So what can you do?  When you fully understand the prevailing market conditions and the factors of the property as it exists today, you can productively move ahead in marketing and promotion.  You may even have some property challenges to work through before you establish the campaign of promotion.

Here are some things to look at:

  1. Review all leases relating to the subject property.  As part of that make sure that any weaknesses are addressed. There is no point in having ‘hurdles to address’ in the upcoming advertising or property inspection period.
  2. Review the services, amenities, improvements, and locational factors.  Look for the strengths and weaknesses in each.
  3. Assess the competition properties in both price and location.  The other properties locally will have a history of marketing and enquiry; that will give you hints and ideas of the issues that are working when it comes to property promotion.
  4. Understand the prices recently through the area.  Are prices lifting or are they stable?  Perhaps they have fallen over the last few years (that’s not unusual).  There are cycles to the pricing process and they are quite easy to see.
  5. Look at the time on market that applies to the property type today locally.  Given the chosen method of sale, the time on market will be quite important.  Choose the method of sale that brings the best results in a timely and efficient way.
  6. The property owner will have price and market perceptions that may need to be shaped.  Get details of comparable sales as part of that process.
  7. Look at what competing agents are doing locally with other properties.  You may have some other listing challenges in the area that impact your marketing campaign.
  8. Go through your database to see if you can create a ‘short list’ of qualified buyers that are still in the market looking for property.  They can be quoted the property as soon as it is released to the market.
  9. Establish a marketing campaign that is targeted to the right segment of buyers.  Make sure that the promotional process is quite specific and complete. You will need vendor paid marketing funds for that.
  10. Review the property for any repairs and maintenance issues that should be addressed prior to the promotional process commencing.

So there are plenty of things to do as part of preparing a commercial or retail property for sale today.  A good property preparation will help the inbound enquiry rate considerably and shorten the time on market.  Most marketing campaigns should be very focused for the first 4 weeks of release.

Get more tips for commercial real estate brokers in our regular newsletter right here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Podcast 126 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Marketing techniques, 2. Working smarter in commercial real estate, 3. Technology Tools to use. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Top 10 Negotiation Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

man giving thumbs up sign
Prepare for your negotiation in commercial real estate.

In today’s commercial property market there are plenty of situations every day where you will be negotiating.  Just about every stage of a property transaction will have negotiation issues.

Think about these events from the working week:

Cold calling
Arranging meetings
Presenting your services
Closing on a listing
Arranging marketing money from the client
Building the case for an extensive marketing campaign
Qualifying people to inspect
The inspection process
Taking offers and counter offers
Closing on a deal

It can be said that ‘negotiation’ is at the centre of all the activities for commercial brokers and agents in creating sales and leasing opportunity.  It directly follows that we should be very good at the process and practice ‘negotiating’ on a very regular basis.

  1. Gather all the facts about the property and the people.  Nothing is more frustrating when you have to break the momentum of a deal to get more information.
  2. Listen more than talk when in a critical part of discussion or exchange of ideas.  Ask questions to get the fuller picture from the other person.   Every sale or lease situation will have twists and turns to understand.
  3. See the bigger picture in the response from the other person.  What they say should be measured with what they are doing and how they appear in the process.
  4. Understand the alternatives to no agreement for both parties.  If either party cannot reach an agreement, what can they do?  Are there other properties in the local market that could be a ‘fall-back situation?’  If that is the case you will need to know what you are up against with those other listings.  Could you claim that your property is better?  Gather the facts to support that claim.
  5. Don’t hurry a negotiation. Eagerness creates errors.  Look for clarity in the responses from the other party and support all negotiations with a written agreement.  You then have something to work with.  Verbal agreements are ‘not worth the paper they are written on’.
  6. Don’t be in a hurry to give feedback or a response.  Seek time to think about the offer or counter offer.  Remember who your client is in the transaction.  Focus on the best outcome for the client.
  7. Be willing to slow things down or walk away from current stalemates that seem impossible
  8. Don’t give things away in the deal without getting something back
  9. Aim high and with focus from the very start of your negotiation.  Confidence and momentum are the keys to moving things ahead
  10. Understand the pressure that the other person may be experiencing and use it to your advantage (or that of your client).

It is interesting to observe the actions and strategies used by top agents and brokers in listing and deal negotiation.  They are well aware of the alternatives that may come up. They have handled those difficult situations so many times before and they know what to say if ‘hurdles’ arise again.  You can fast track your skills as part of that; some personal daily practice and role play in the team will help you greatly.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shopping Center Leasing Strategies for Real Estate Brokers

woman with shopping bag
Choose your retail tenants well for your shopping center today.

If you are managing or leasing a retail shopping centre, you will understand the importance of the tenancy mix and the leasing strategy.  When you select the correct tenants for the property, you can build on the property performance and the market rental.  Over time, you will also reduce the factors of vacancy.

Every retail property should have a defined strategy relating to selection of tenants, and leasing conditions.

The strategy can be set out in separate documents relating to the property business plan.  Those documents should be called:

  • The tenant retention plan
  • The tenant mix strategy
  • Leasing standards
  • Vacancy marketing and management

So there are these four separate documents that help you build the tenancy profile for a quality retail property.  They form separate parts to the property business plan.

Before I go too much further, it should be said that every quality retail property should have a well-structured business plan.  The plan should be reviewed every month and every quarter so that the key performance indicators to the property can be adjusted with the shifts in the market conditions.

Given the four documents mentioned earlier, there is a degree of investigation and research required as part of creating the separate strategies.  Here are some notes to help with that:

  1. Understand your shoppers and why they come to your property.  Every day you should track the numbers of customers visiting the property and understand how they get there.  You will see fluctuations during the week with different types of customers and sales activity.  Recognise that there are patterns that relate to retail tenant sales, and customer visits.  Look for the patterns as you establish your tenant and leasing strategies.
  2. The people that visit your property will get there through a number of different modes of transport.  Look at the interaction between public transport, roads and freeways, taxi’s, motor vehicles, and foot traffic.  All modes of transport need to be well supported at the property.  Part of the transport review process should include the operations of the car park, the security for the property, lighting, gardening, and visual appearance.  Understand what your customers see when they arrive at the property; understand what they do when they move into the property and through it.  Ensure that the overall retail experience is positive and encouraging for customers to stay at the property and return conveniently and easily.
  3. Choose the best tenants in the relative retail categories.  The shopping patterns and the customer demographic will have some reflection on choice of tenancies.  Will your property require a high degree of neighbourhood shopping and convenience, or will it require a mix of services and destination tenants?  
  4. Destination tenants are a major draw card for the property providing they are matched to the needs of the shopper.  Destination tenants include the post office, banks, specific retailers, and franchise groups.
  5. Anchor tenants will offer stability to the property over time.  That being said, they also need to interact with the speciality tenants to encourage overall retail vibrancy.
  6. Look at the competing properties in the local area to understand their strengths and weaknesses.  You will see some factors of opportunity and change that you can react to.  Learn from the other properties and the other tenancies.  Understand what works and what should be avoided when it comes to tenancy mix and leasing strategy.
  7. Look at the vacancy factors through the region to pick the trends of market rental, vacancy activity, tenant enquiry, and property offering.  Ideally your property should be offering the best value for the asking rental.  In that way you will encourage ongoing tenant enquiry.
  8. The market rental locally will be impacted by existing vacancies, gross and net rentals, occupancy costs, new property developments, and the supply and demand relating to the region.  Review all of those factors as part of understanding your retail property performance.

So there are quite a few things to look into as part of the leasing strategy and tenant retention process.

When you have the correct information to start with, you can make some quality shopping centre leasing choices regards quality tenants and property offering.

You can get more leasing tips in our newsletter right here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Create Trust in Prospecting Commercial Real Estate Leads

man smiling
Build trust in your prospecting processes.

When you are prospecting for new commercial real estate clients and opportunities, you must control the process, and the only way to do that is through well considered and directed questions.  The quality of your questions will help you maintain the focus of the conversation.  Some conversations will go nowhere, but those that do can be directed by the flow of your questions.

There are many things to talk about in commercial real estate today.  Your questions simply need to align to the current market and the client’s current property situation.  When you do this correctly, it helps you convert more meetings or listing opportunities.

As part of your regular weekly sales team meeting, spend half an hour focusing on practising relevant scripts and dialogues.  All members of the team can share their prospecting experiences and challenges from the last week.  On that basis the role playing and dialogue process can be geared to the current challenges of the market today.

Here are some questions to merge into your prospecting dialogue.  You can add to these questions the necessary the local property market information:

1. What caught your eye when you looked at the property?
2. What will be the ideal time frame to you given these property requirements?
3. When it comes to finding the right location, what will be the ‘must have’ requirements?
4. What made you give us a call on this property today?
5. What do you see as the most important issues to you in changing property?
6. If I could solve this property challenge today, what would the ideal outcome look like?
7. What to you are the 3 top features of this commercial property and how can you use them?

Notice how all of these issues are ‘open ended questions’?  You can get more traction in the conversation with the information gleaned.  You can also drill down on better information if needed.  One question can lead to three or four more so you really understand how they see the final property decision.

Consider the property market today in your town or city.  What things will have an impact and will be of primary importance to tenants and buyers.  You know the location better than most tenants and buyers so establish a list of key concepts and questions that you can use in a prospecting conversation.  The quality of the conversation will help you convert the deal.  Pitching is not normally part of a prospecting strategy.  Conversational ‘trust’ will take you further than anything else.

Join our Newsletter here for more tips in commercial real estate brokerage.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Podcast 125 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Understanding tenancy mix factors. 2. Property Management Handover tips. 3. Action rules for Brokers and Agents in this market. These are Commercial Real Estate Training Programs by John Highman.

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Free Wall-chart for Commercial Brokers on Marketing

marketing wall-chart
Free marketing chart download for commercial real estate brokers.

The marketing process for commercial real estate brokers has become increasingly important.  It is not just important to market your properties for sale or lease; it is now critical to market yourself online and across the internet.

There is no point in you being the biggest 'commercial real estate secret' in your town or city.  Now is the time to get the message out.  Take your specialty and skills and start spreading the word on the internet.

I have put this special marketing wall-chart out as a free download for you to use in building your online profile.  You can get it here as a pdf download.

If you like the file you can also pass the link around your team.  It will help with the profile of the entire team.

My best to you.  If you want more information like this you can join our newsletter here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Understand Gross and Net Income When Pricing a Commercial Property

woman using a calculator on desk
Check the income rents and the outgoings in any commercial real estate property sale.

When it comes to commercial and retail property performance today, it is essential that you understand the variables that relate to gross and net income.  You will find that knowledge essential when it comes to marketing the property for sale or for lease, and in negotiating.  That is certainly the case when it comes to an investment type property.

When you look at any property type within your sales territory or region, you will find averages that apply to the rental yields, and the net and gross income bases.  The modern properties locally will have higher and more predictable rentals; they will also have lower vacancy rates.  The older properties will be in a state of decline when it comes to gross and net rentals.  The older properties will have increasing vacancy rates.  On that basis you should carefully consider the properties that you work on when it comes to leasing and selling.

Choose the properties that provide the greater levels of enquiry and inspection opportunity.  Putting all of these financial facts together, understand the trends that apply to gross and net income.  That will be within your local area and the property type.  Here are some other factors to consider in this process:

  1. The rentals will change throughout the year based on the levels of supply and demand for vacant space.  For that reason, watch the new developments coming through the approval process.  A new development can shift the balance of market rentals, incentives, and supply.
  2. In any town or city, there are likely to be seasonal factors that apply to leasing vacant space.  That will be due to the local business cycles and business sentiment.  As part of your prospecting process, connect with all local businesses and tenants.  You can then assess the focus points and requirements of those groups when it comes to relocating, leasing, and purchasing quality investment property.  Track those needs and opportunities in your database.
  3. The gross rental for the property will reflect the total amount of rental income paid by the tenant or tenants.  Whilst it is quite desirable from a landlord perspective to have a higher gross income, the outgoings for the property will have an impact on the gross number to get to a lower net income.  It directly follows that you should understand the averages that apply to outgoings and rentals within various property types.  
  4. Any property with a high outgoings factor will quite likely be difficult to lease and sell.  When you list a property for sale or for lease, review the outgoings as they apply to the property today.  Also look at the history of those outgoings over time.  Look for any discrepancies or manipulated numbers.  When it comes to the final price paid for a property, and certainly in the case of an investment property, there will be a capitalisation or yield relationship between the net income and the price paid.  Within your territory your region, there will be certain averages that apply to the property type with that process.  Understand the averages.  That will then help you price any property for sale or for lease.

Some property owners will attempt to influence and escalate the net income by providing an outgoings understatement or misrepresentation.  That can get you into a serious amount of trouble when it comes to the property marketing, and the sales and leasing process.

When in any doubt about rentals and net income, ask more questions and comprehensively review the leases for the property.  Seek evidence relating to the property cash flow from the leases, and the outgoings re-conciliations.  Understand the averages that apply, and investigate the property accordingly.

You can get more tips on commercial real estate brokerage at our main website.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Podcast 124 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Radio

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Hiring Sales Assistants in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. 2. Job description for a Broker. 3. Signboard strategies in today's market. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commercial Property Management Business Ideas and Tips

In any commercial real estate brokerage, the property management division has an important role to play.  I have put together some simple thoughts on this in the video.  See if you think a commercial property management team should operate in this way.

How to Design a Successful Commercial Property Inspection

city buildings
All property inspections require preparation by the broker.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the inspection process for a property should be well controlled and planned.  As a general rule, you should never take a buyer or tenant to a property until you completely understand that property yourself.

A prospective buyer to a property will have plenty of questions during an inspection.  The size and the nature of the property will extend and escalate the questioning process.  When in doubt, and if the required information is currently unavailable, seek more time before you provide the response to the buyer.

There have been many examples of where brokers and agents have incorrectly answered questions only to find that they are the subject of a future legal dispute and claim between the buyer and the property owner.

So the golden rule here is that information relating to a listing or a property should only be provided if it is correct and accurate.  On that basis you need to prepare for a property inspection well before you take anyone to it as part of a presentation or an inspection.

Here are some rules to helping you with the property inspection process:

  1. Qualify the person comprehensively before you take them to any of your listings.  Also understand if they have been looking at other properties locally with the other brokers and agents.  Look for any situations of conflict or pressure that could occur from other brokers and agents with that person.
  2. Understand how they have located you and the particular property that they are seeking to inspect.  This information will be valuable when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of marketing today with all of your listings.  The information will also help you with understanding how to respond with property information, prices, and location factors.
  3. The nature of commercial property varies greatly from office to industrial to retail.  At times you will deal with many complexities of tenant mix, lease documentation, property income, improvements, and property usage.  All of these things should have been checked as part of the listing process.  If any weaknesses exist with the property, they will be identified by the buyer as part of the due diligence process.  Seek to resolve any weaknesses in the property prior to the commencement marketing.  You don’t need unnecessary hurdles and obstacles as part of promoting and marketing the listing.
  4. At the time of listing, take the client through the property to explain your priorities and focus points relating to upcoming inspections.  You can also establish a logical inspection process that features the property correctly and positively.  With larger properties, this can be a very big strategic issue that will have a major impact on negotiations and inspections.
  5. If the property is to be promoted as an investment based on a cash flow with the tenancy mix, you will need to go through the lease documentation, income and rental profiles, and the current property use.  In many respects, the leases will have influence on the coming sale.  Make sure that you understand those leases and the advantages or the weaknesses that they bring to the marketing process.
  6. Look for any risks and liabilities that may apply to the property title, ownership structure, and occupation.  Ask questions of the property owner as part of that process.  Take notes to ensure that you have the necessary factors of record if disputes occur in the future.  Many property owners will conveniently forget what was said earlier at the time of listing.

As you can see, there are many critical things to consider as part of the property promotion process.  Preparation is the key to a successful commercial real estate inspection and transaction.

You can get more commercial real estate broker tips like this by joining our newsletter at our main website right here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Podcast 123 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Choosing the Right Clients, 2. How to Prepare for a Commercial Sale, 3. Talking Shop with Commercial Real Estate Brokers. These are commercial real estate training programs in podcast by John Highman

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Finding the Right Tenant Mix for Retail Investment Property

woman with shopping bag
Choose tenants wisely for your retail property.

In shopping centre management and leasing today, it is essential that you find the right tenant mix to encourage customer sales and tenant activity.

Every tenant that you place in a property should be carefully considered for product or service offering, together with their relationship to other tenants nearby.  That is where the tenancy mix process becomes really important.

So the message here is quite clear, the right tenancy mix can improve the property in a number of ways.  Consider these issues:

  • Successful tenancies underpin the market rental for the property.  They will also create a factor of attraction to other tenants considering occupancy.
  • A lower vacancy factor over time will improve the relationships between the tenants and the landlord.  Most tenants like to be part of a successful shopping centre.
  • A tenancy mix that has been matched to the local shopper demographic can be easily marketed to the community to encourage future sales and customer visits.

So the choice of a tenant to fill a vacancy is quite important.  At the beginning of every financial year, the property manager together with the landlord should make some observations about the market, and formulate some choices about tenant selection and placement for the coming 12 months.  This then simplifies the tenant replacement process when it needs to occur.

These rules or guidelines can be set as part of a tenant retention plan and the tenant mix strategy.  They are two separate and essential initiatives requiring consideration by the landlord.  When these strategies are developed, they can be merged into the business plan for the property and therefore considered as part of the bigger leasing picture.

In establishing a tenancy mix strategy, consider the following questions and issues:

  1. Some of the tenants in the property will do little towards property profile and market rental.  Over time those tenants should be replaced with better quality tenants.  It is a fact that a successful shopping centre will usually feature high quality tenants and a wide variety of products.
  2. Understand the relationships that your anchor tenants have towards your speciality tenants.  In an ideal world, both tenancy types should be moving towards a productive shopping centre relationship and an increase in sales.  Make the connections between your anchor tenants and your speciality tenants; market the property accordingly.  
  3. Remember the impact of seasonal holidays and festivities.  Market your property comprehensively to the shopping seasons and festivities.  It will be likely that you will need a funded marketing campaign for that; a marketing Levy can be installed and negotiated into the tenants leases as part of the leasing process.
  4. Review the surrounding properties for ideas when it comes to tenancy placement and selection.  Some of those properties will have strengths and weaknesses that are of value to your leasing decisions.
  5. Undertake a marketing survey of shoppers within the property.  That should occur two or three times a year so that you can understand the shifts and changes to the shopping patterns.  Most shoppers today are looking for convenience, value, and comfort.  It can also be said that the presentation of the shopping centre will have a lot to do with the attraction of shoppers to the property in an ongoing way.  The entire retail equation needs to be well managed.
  6. Connect with the local retail franchise groups, to see if any can be encouraged to consider occupancy in your property.  They will have standard terms and conditions that relate to their business model.  Those terms and conditions will also have an impact on the design of the lease for occupancy.

Given all of the above factors, look at the subject property to understand exactly how people enter it and move through it.  You will see areas of high traffic that will give you advantages when it comes to tenant placement and marketing.  Generally the entrance ways to a property and the zones of high foot traffic will be suitable for smaller tenancies and therefore higher rentals per unit of area.

You can get lots of tips like these in our Newsletter right here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Talking Shop with Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Opportunities abound in commercial real estate brokerage.

In the commercial real estate market today there are plenty of challenges and opportunities.  It is just a matter of what you see and how you react.  Most top agents and brokers move between sales and leasing opportunities as required.  That being said, they usually focus on the quality properties in the market today.  We all have choices when it comes to taking on a listing.

Here are some tips and ideas that apply to the commercial real estate market today.  You can compare these to your activities in the local area and sales territory.

  1. It is an established fact that the top agents of the market have a comprehensive and up to date database.  Every day they are growing the database and consolidating the connections with key people.  Most top agents will have a database containing at least 1000 well qualified prospects.
  2. The exclusive listing process should be your priority if you want to dominate the market and improve your market share.  Exclusive listings give you the ability to work with the client in a productive way and also encourage inspections and opportunities.
  3. When you look at the pressures of the market today, certain skills and factors of knowledge are more important than others.  From a brokerage point of view, your prospecting and presentation skills should be of the highest order and skill.  To achieve that you will need to practice and develop your dialogues.  Weekly practice and role playing will help.
  4. Watch the trends in the market that apply to methods of marketing, prices, and rentals.  Some listings will stay on the market for a very long time due to the poor choices of property promotion and inspection strategies.  When you win an exclusive listing, make sure that both of these issues are well considered and planned.
  5. Given that the levels of enquiry for most properties will have lessened over the recent years, you need to ‘do more with less’ when it comes to converting an enquiry to an opportunity.  Some properties will have fewer than three or four qualified prospects in either a sales or leasing campaign.  Those prospects should be encouraged to make a move towards an offer as soon as possible.  This then says that the marketing package and or method of sale or lease should be carefully considered to encourage a transaction as early as possible.
  6. The attraction time for a new listing will be relatively short.  With most marketing campaigns, the first three or four weeks will be the make or break to achieve a reasonable level of enquiry.  Make sure that every marketing campaign for an exclusive listing has been structured for maximum exposure in that time.  You can reassess your campaign later and go to a ‘stage 2’ strategy if necessary.
  7. Choose the best method of sale or lease based on the property type and location.  Some methods will work better than others.  Understand the trends of the local market today and seize the opportunities from other marketing campaigns.  Any buyer or tenant that has been unsuccessful with one listing can be moved to another property listing of similar type in the same location.  That is where the database tracking process becomes very important.
  8. The agent that controls the listings will control the market.  Whilst it may sometimes seem sensible to work with buyers and tenants, understand that they will quite likely be talking to many other agents at the same time.  I go back to the point that the agent with the listing controls the deal and controls the client.  As a general rule 80% of your new business focus should be on generating quality new listings on an exclusive basis.

Opportunities are always available for the agents and brokers that track the trends of the market today.  When they can see the opportunities, they simply need to take the correct level of action to a planned and systemised process.  The top agents of the market do that all the time.

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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Podcast 122 - Commercial Real Estate Broker Training Radio

Here are 3 topics for brokers and agents today. 1. Two Sales Performance Tips for Agents and Brokers, 2. How to Design a Retail Tenancy Mix, 3. How to Manage Commercial Real Estate Tenants Today. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Commercial Property Managers - A Brief Check list for Tenant Management

office desks and chairs
Understand your tenants needs

In commercial real estate property management the tenant communication process is quite important to the stability of the property and the income generated.  As a priority, the property manager engaged for the portfolio should be comprehensively connecting with all tenants and monitoring the leases accordingly.  All communications with tenants should be documented and tracked for progress.  If you manage a lot of properties at any one time, this can be a big issue.

So the tenant management process is quite specific.  The level of interaction with the tenants will vary from property type to property type, and location to location.  Some properties create the need for greater interaction and tenant control.

Ultimately the property with a stable tenancy mix and tenant profile will produce far better income and lower vacancy factors.  It is interesting to note that a property manager with a great number of properties and or tenants in their management portfolio is likely to struggle with the time required to communicate with the tenancy mix.  Ultimately that can mean that a property and the occupancy will suffer.

Here are some things to incorporate into your tenant communication and management process.

  1. Understand the differences in each property and how the tenants need to be controlled.  As a general rule, a retail property will require far more control as will the tenancy mix.  Retail tenants tend to be quite active and sometimes volatile.  The success of a shopping centre will be centred on the stability of the tenancy profile.  It is not unusual for a shopping centre manager to meet with all of the tenants at least once per week.
  2. Understand the permitted use factors that apply to the tenant’s leases.  The permitted use should be quite specific so that the tenants can be matched within clusters, and locations.  A successful tenancy mix is usually a reflection of successful clustering and permitted uses.
  3. Know the essential terms and conditions of each tenants lease.  In a larger property this can take considerable time however the process needs to be done.  Each lease will contain certain critical dates and responsibilities relating to the tenant and the landlord.  All of those factors should be understood and responded to in a timely way. 
  4. Many tenants feel the pressures of business operations, expansion, or contraction.  When you meet with the tenants regularly, you can control those situations more effectively and retain the tenants for the long term as they move through their business pressures and changes.  You may be able to relocate a tenant to a better location in the property rather than lose them to a competing property.

So there are some important things for you to track and control.  A successfully managed commercial or retail property is usually a reflection of the skills and actions of the property manager.

You can get more tips for commercial property managers at our main website right here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Free Wall-Chart for Top Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Top Commercial Real Estate Broker Free Wall-chart download
Top Agents and Brokers plan their week.

In this commercial real estate market it is really important for brokers to stay focused on a daily and weekly basis.  To help with that I have prepared this special wall-chart.  It tells you about how you can focus your efforts on the things that really count.

I did send this chart out earlier this week to our Newsletter members, so my apologies if you are seeing it twice. :)

When you look at the chart you can see how certain things are repeated.  That is because they are the most important things that will have an impact your your business and market share.  If you want more sales and leasing opportunities, this chart will be of real benefit.

If you like the chart, please leave your comments on this blog, they are always appreciated.

You can get the chart right here.  Its a simple pdf.

My best to you in the industry.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Podcast 121 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are three topics for brokers today. 1. Some leasing targets for brokers, 2. Things to do in commercial sales, 3. Performance goals for commercial property managers. These are commercial training programs by John Highman.

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Goal Setting in Commercial Property Management

two people standing
Commercial property management goals are required.

The role of a commercial property manager is a bit different than that of a sales or leasing specialist.  On that basis the goals to be achieved should be different.  Work quality is really important in a commercial or retail real estate brokerage.  Everyone must perform as part of the total team.

When it comes to goals, you would expect that a sales or leasing specialist would focus on a mixture of the following:

  • Listings
  • Commissions
  • Time on market
  • Market share

You can track all of these on a monthly basis and then see where things are changing.  So what would you track and monitor from a property manager perspective?  Try some of these:
  • Arrears as a percentage of portfolio income
  • Vacancy factors in the portfolio
  • Time to respond to a tenant contact call
  • Time to respond to a maintenance event
  • Time to complete a  maintenance repair
  • Reports to clients being sent out on time
  • Time to respond to requests or calls from clients
  • Income earned from the portfolio

These points are all very good key performance indicators.  The fact here is that these numbers start to ‘blow out’ when a manager is under-performing or heavily loaded with work.  That’s when you see the errors occurring.

It is a sad fact that the ‘property management division’ in many brokerages are the ‘forgotten cousins’ of the business.  When things are going well, everyone leaves them alone.  When things start falling apart in the division, the whole brokerage struggles.

For a commercial property brokerage to thrive, it needs a very good management division that is operating at ‘peak performance’ all of the time; that includes the property managers and their work results.  It directly follows that sales and leasing opportunities for the brokerage will occur over time from a top commercial or retail property management service.

Tracking the actions and results of managers in their respective portfolios will help in client service, property portfolio growth, and the contribution of supporting fees.  The tracking process will also help expose under-performing or poor quality property managers.  Training or replacement of the manager can then occur.

So how can you do something with this?  Take these factors listed above, and make them central to the reporting process in the weekly team meetings.  In this way you can compare the numbers coming from each property manager or portfolio.  Any threats to the business and the portfolio can then be seen and responded to.

Whilst this may seem like a ‘witch-hunt’, the reality is that you must keep the property management division of a commercial real estate brokerage functioning efficiently and accurately.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Podcast 120 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Shopping Centre Management tips, 2. Appointing a new commercial property manager to your team, 3. How to manage your database.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Commercial Real Estate Prospecting is a Work of Art

city skyline of buildings
Great city!  Great prospecting opportunity in commercial real estate brokerage.

In commercial real estate brokerage, prospecting is almost a work of art.  It requires refinement, practice, and dedication.  The more committed you are to the process, the greater the results that are achieved.  Over time that can lead to better listings and commissions.  

Here below are some tips from our Newsletter.

It should be said that many commercial brokers and agents simply struggle with the whole prospecting concept.  They do some things but not enough of them.  They change tactic or drop off the momentum (the latter is more common).

So let’s fix this.  To get real traction in the business building activity it is necessary to work on some key factors.  Here they are:

  1. Make it simple.  It is better to do one or two things very well, than it is to do 5 things poorly.  Choose the prospecting activities that you can relate to and get started.
  2. Once you have chosen the key tasks to implement, there will be a degree of refinement and practice.  Every day you should seek to improve your actions and conversions.
  3. Split up the process into steps that you can track.  If you are making contact calls then track the numbers.  If you are sending letters then tally the letters out on a weekly basis.  Consistently try to keep your numbers above a set number.  Perhaps that is 40 calls per day or 5 letters per day.  Either way your benchmark should be set.  You are improving against yourself on a daily basis.
  4. Track your numbers that flow from the actions taken.  How many meetings, presentations, listings, and deals will you create from the prospecting model?  Track the numbers weekly.  Watch for improvements as they will encourage you.
  5. Build long term relationships and establish trust with the people you connect with.  Get a good database to help you with that.  Capture your daily actions in a call register and a database.  Make it personal and take ownership of what you do.
  6. What should you focus on as a market segment?  Will it be Sellers, Buyers, Tenants, or Landlords?  They all have differences so you should decide exactly who are to be the active groups in the market to focus on.
  7. Watch the trends and ‘seasons’ of the market.  Things will change and so should your business model.
  8. Take off the pressure in any prospecting connection and create conversations.  The object here is to get a meeting with a person or a business that has a need or an interest in the property market.   That need can be current or in the future.
  9. Increase your value to the people that you speak to.  What can you say or do today that will help your clients and prospects?  Understand what your competitors may be offering and go that bit further.

So it is easy to see that all of this is quite a specific process.  It is a choice and a commitment at an individual level.  Prospecting in commercial real estate brokerage is clearly a ‘work of art’.  You are ‘the artist’ to the process.

Join our on-line community of brokers and agents here for more tips and ideas.

Job Interview Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Employing a new commercial real estate broker can be a real challenge.  You need to check out the experience and the history of the person.

Here is a short video on some of the things I would look at if I was employing a broker today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Podcast 119 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 4 topics for today. 1. How to Add Character to Your Sales Pitch or Presentation. 2. Ways to check broker competency in employment. 3. What you need to know about your commercial real estate clients. 4. Some proven prospecting tips for brokers. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Key Listing Presentation and Sales Pitch Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

The listing presentation process today should be well planned if you are to attract the best listing outcome.  After many years of working with brokers and agents I still see very ordinary approaches to the presentation process.

This short video helps you understand the importance of preparation when it comes to attracting the exclusive listings that you require.  This is part of a commercial real estate training video by John Highman.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Podcast 118 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. Key ways to improve workplace performance. 2. How to do list management in commercial real estate. 3. You are the product to sell first in brokerage. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Improve Workplace Performance in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

man with computer and sitting down
Control your time and win more business.

There are many pressures in commercial real estate brokerage today.  The important issue is that we control the interruptions and diversions that occur (and they will).  In only that way can we be in control of our market and opportunities.

Many people want a slice of our time.  The requests and priorities of others are not necessarily relevant to where you want to head as an agent in the local property market.   Here is a list of typical pressures in an average working week:

  • Inbound enquiries for properties from our marketing efforts
  • Clients that are seeking updates from inspections and marketing
  • Work colleagues seeking guidance or information
  • Managers wanting meetings on market and business issues
  • Other brokers or agents wanting listing information or conjunction agreements
  • Requests for inspections of listings
  • Paperwork associated with deals and listings
  • Marketing activities

So what do you do first?  Where are your priorities?  Some of these things are ‘reactive’ whilst others are ‘proactive’.  The brokers or agents that struggle in the industry are those that do too much reactive ‘stuff’.

At least 40% of your day should be totally under your control, so use that for ‘proactive’ things.  The balance of the day can be released to responding to others.

Responding to the requests of others needs real control and tracking.  You will not have a day where you can avoid the requests of others so control the process.  Here are some rules to help you with that:

  1. Set some business goals so you know exactly what has to be done and when.  Some of those things will be critical to the strength of your market share.
  2. Use a written diary in addition to your computer based diary.  Write things down each night for the next day.  This simple process helps you with the right use of your time.
  3. Be prepared to say ‘no’ or ‘later’ when it comes to responding to others that want a slice of your time.
  4. Set priorities in your workload so the most important things to you are always done regardless of other people and tasks.
  5. At the end of the day, audit the use of your time.  You will soon see problems and challenges that need to be fixed.
  6. Be prepared to ‘delegate’ ordinary tasks to others and let them report back to you.
  7. Avoid the distractions of the email and the telephone.  Only deal with those issues at certain times of the day.  The answering of emails and the telephone are typically reactive.

The success of a commercial real estate broker or agent is largely self-generated.  Take the right steps to improve your actions and reactions.  Don’t get diverted to the pressures of others.

When someone wants a slice of your time, carefully consider exactly why you should do that.  Look at the bigger picture in all respects.
Don’t let the ‘office’ book appointments for you.  In professional selling that is a big error.  Quite soon you will see that you are getting very little of the correct things done.

What are the key factors that you should focus on?  Try these:

  • New business
  • Prospecting
  • Servicing clients
  • Market share
  • Negotiating
  • Closing on listings, contracts, and leases

Success in commercial real estate brokerage is a result of choices and actions.  You are in control of both.  The equation is quite simple.

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

Friday, July 12, 2013

Do Not Change Commercial Brokerage Without Asking These Questions

man with briefcase
Plan your change of brokerage.

As a commercial real estate agent may from time to time want to change commercial real estate brokerage.  That may be for a variety of situations; however the choices you make in the change are really important.

Don’t rush into the change without investigation.  There is no point in moving to a new brokerage that you have not fully checked out.  

Not all brokerages are equal, if you know what I mean.  Understand all the elements of employment and market share before you move across to the new brokerage.

Here are some facts for you:

  • Support and administration are really important when you are working in the industry.  Listing, prospecting, marketing, and negotiating all involve a high degree of paper work and follow-up.  Some of those things are typically (or should be) shared into the ‘administration team’.  In that way the broker or agent can get more of the right things done.  So you need to ask the question, ‘How will the support team provide back-up on listing, marketing, documents, and database?’
  • Marketing a property can be complex.  Advertisements will need to be drawn up and lodged into the media outlets and onto the internet.  Standard layouts on advertising will help although the advertisement has to be written and drafts approved by the client.  It all takes time.
  • Marketing yourself is a personal issue; however you will require some marketing support tools from your brokerage.  In other words you will need a good supply of professional branding materials.  What will the brokerage supply to you as you canvass the market and speak to lots of property owners and tenants?
  • Telephone costs will be an issue and a potentially high cost.  You can establish and control the cost of your mobile telephone, but what about the office telephone on your desk?  Will you be required to pay for its use and cost?  From an individual business point of view, it is better if you can use your mobile telephone number on your business cards.  When you move you take your mobile telephone with you.
  • Signboard costs including erection and replacement will be a cost to relate to.  Are you expected to pay for the cost of the signs on your listings?  Who will be putting up the signboards, and how will they be maintained?
  • Ownership of contacts and data is always an issue.  Restriction on use of your database and contact information can be imposed on you through an employment agreement, so always read what you sign and understand the implications of the document for the future. 
  • Stationery costs will exist.  What are you expected to pay for when it comes to business cards, letter head, photographs, and brochures?  What is the printing cost and is that competitive?  Don’t forget to ask about postage costs as well.
  • Website listings and marketing in any new employer or brokerage may be professional or not so.  Review the on-line marketing strategy of your ‘preferred brokerage’ to ensure that they really understand what they are doing on-line and that they have a plan that is professional and productive for agents.
  • Social media activities should be allowed to occur within reason and to a plan.  In the business sense you should be allowed to write articles, blog, and use your social media channels to boost your client and customer contact.
  • Exclusive listings are a priority in commercial real estate marketing.  That being said, the effort that you put into the exclusive marketing campaign will be significant (and should be).  The more exclusive listings that you have at any one time, the busier you will be.  How will that workload be shared or supported?
  • Commissions will vary from property type to property type, and broker to broker.  The same can be said for the commission that you get from a sale or lease situation.  So what will be your base commission and how will that escalate with ‘improved performance?’  It pays to get a good understanding of other ‘commission packages’ around the industry.  Seek a fair and reasonable commission on a personal basis.
  • Base salary (excluding commission) can be a consideration as you get started in a new brokerage, however in most cases the debit and credit calculations from base salary will require ‘payback’ from commissions.  Be prepared to work hard so the ‘debit’ does not get too high and uncontrollable.
  • Market share or precinct control can be a bonus or a restriction.  Make sure that you will not be hampered in your property type or area of coverage.  Ask about the interaction that you will have with other agents in the team.  Find out how conjunction commissions and situations will occur.  Will the ratios be fair and convenient?  Are there set rules?
  • Find out about agent and broker training.  In our industry the training issue is really important.  Understand just how you will be allowed or encouraged to improve your skills in negotiation, marketing, documentation, and listing.

So you can see from the list that you have some important things to ask if you want to change brokerage.  The ‘grass is not always greener’, so check all the facts first before you make the move to another brokerage.

If you want more tips on employment in commercial real estate brokerage today, check out our main website for many articles.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Commercial Property Manager Lease Income Review - Handover

When you take over a new commercial or retail property for management, it is quite important to understand the lease income from the property.  Tenant leases, vacancies, incentives all have an impact on the income cash flow.  Here are some tips for property managers in assessing new leases and tenants in a managed property.

Check out the video here.

Best Ever Prospecting Letters

address book rolodex
Send your prospecting letters regularly.

In commercial real estate brokerage the prospecting letter process really works.  To be successful at it you need to plan the process and control your actions as you progress.

Why will the ‘letter’ process help your prospecting efforts today?  Well, it’s because the letters are less inclined to be ‘binned’; that is of course if you plan them correctly and follow the rules.

Here are some facts in comparing letters to emails in prospecting for new clients:

  • Prospecting emails are not very successful at all.  Most of the people you send them to will delete the communication quickly.  As a by-product of the process you must have their approval to communicate in that way, otherwise you will be breaking the laws on ‘spam’.
  • A letter is very professional as long as you do not ‘overdo it’.   In commercial real estate the best letter is compiled on one single page.  The contents should be contained in no more than 4 paragraphs.  Sign the letter personally in blue ink.  Ensure that your signature is legible and professional (don’t sign in a ‘scrawl’ as it sends the wrong message).
  • Create the correspondence to introduce your upcoming telephone call.  Make the call a few days after the letter has been received.  The prospect will be expecting your call and will be more inclined to take it.
  • Always put your business card in the envelope.  Don’t put anything else in a prospecting letter.  The object is to sell yourself and your upcoming telephone call.  Don’t confuse the message with bulky brochures on other issues and property matters.  Focus on the one thing that is important, and that is your upcoming telephone call.
  • Design the letter for the person you are writing to.  In other words you should have separate letters covering sales, leasing, property management, and retail.  Get away from the generic approach and be specific to a part of the industry.  Sell your upcoming telephone call on that basis.
  • Get a reference book on ‘words that sell’ or ‘phrases that sell’.  Add a few words from the books into your letter to increase readability.
  • Every good prospecting letter should have a great headline.  You want the person to read the message.  Perhaps the headline you use could reflect local property activity or changes.  Understand the concerns of the market and match the letter to the focus of investors, property owners, or tenants as the case may be.
  • The letters should be sent every 60 to 90 days.  As part of that process, follow-up as many of the letters that you can.  It directly follows that you should not send out too many at once and thereby create a situation where you cannot make the calls.

This is a system of prospecting.  The letters are part of the bigger picture.  They do not replace cold calling, but they add to the momentum that you would have in other prospecting processes.  Start using the system as a boost to your market share.

If you would like more tips like this on prospecting, please join our Newsletter right here.

Podcast 117 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 3 topics for today for commercial real estate brokers Globally. They are: 1. Superior Service in Commercial Property Management. 2. Superstar Prospecting Tips for Brokers. 3. Creating and Exclusive Listing Check-list. These are Commercial real estate training tips by John Highman.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grow Your Strengths as a Commercial Real Estate Broker

In today's property market there are many pressures on Agents and Brokers to do more with less.  On that basis it is really important to do more with less.  Here are some tips on video about the things that really matter in commercial real estate brokerage today.

Can you improve?  See what you think.

Top Gun Prospecting Tips

man holding 8 ball
Understand the prospecting game and play it well.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the prospecting process is critical to the commissions and listings that you attract.  The best agents and brokers in the industry have a quality approach and system when it comes to prospecting for new business.  Every day they are implementing their system into new segments of the market and with new clients.

To revitalise your career and your market share, you can adopt a ‘top gun’ approach to all of your new business efforts.  You could say that the approach is based on an ‘attitude’ more than anything else.  When you direct your thinking towards creating new clients and new business, everything tends to follow with leads and opportunities.
Action is the key to getting anywhere in this industry.  It really doesn't matter what agency or brokerage you work for; personal branding and networking will allow you to achieve the results you want with listings and commissions.

Here are some ‘top gun’ tips to help you with your growth of market share and client conversions:

  1. Make it easy for people to contact you.  Over time extend your brand into the local area and with the right people through constant contact.  To do this correctly, you will require a networking and contact model that devotes 50% of your time to current contacts, and 50% of your time to new contacts.
  2. Take advantage of technology through the use of auto responders, e-mail marketing, social media, mobile telephones, and call prospecting.  The ultimate goal in any new business effort is to get in front of the right people to establish a long-term relationship.  In our industry, the elements of trust and knowledge go hand in hand.  It can be many months if not years before someone is ready to use your services.  Staying in contact over and for the long term is really important.
  3. Be prepared to put in the time and the effort when it comes to building your market share.  Every day approximately 2 or 3 hours should be devoted to the prospecting and networking model you have devised.  That itself can be a very large challenge for some agents.  They simply do not have the discipline for the process and hence do not take the required action.  When you think about it, this leaves the market wide open for those people that can get organised and stay on track when it comes to their real estate business plan and opportunity network.  It is a personal thing.  It cannot be delegated.
  4. Tracking your efforts and your results will be important to getting traction in building market share.  Understand the number of calls that you are making every day, the meetings you are creating, and the presentations under-way for new listings.  Seek to improve the numbers in a logical and consistent way.  Commit time to the process in your diary so that you can reach new people with new property requirements.
  5. It should be said that the prospecting process usually involves a degree of discomfort and skill development.  You can fast track the process through practice and role playing.  You can merge those activities into your regular weekly sales team meeting.

A successful prospecting model in commercial real estate will take you quickly into the local property market and help with many new quality commercial listings.  Consistency and focus will be required to stay on track and get the conversions that you require.  The agents and brokers that control the listings, control the market.

If you would like more prospecting tips for commercial real estate brokers, simply join our Newsletter at this website.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Podcast 116 - Commercial Real Estate Broker

Here are 3 topics for brokers and agents today. 1.Setting new standards in commercial real estate cold calling. 2. Setting new standards in property leasing. 3. Creating a marketing letter campaign in commercial real estate today. Commercial real estate training by John Highman.

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A New Experience in Prospecting Commercial Real Estate

man using loudhailer
Create your prospecting system in commercial real estate.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the prospecting process is part of the job.  That being said, when you systemize the prospecting process you get greater traction and results; of course that would be a good thing at a personal level for many brokers and agents.

So exactly who are you looking for as a client or prospect today?  Clarity with that will help your networking and prospecting system.  Know exactly the type of person you are l looking to connect with and understand why they will need you.

It is therefore wise to establish a contact model for each of the following prospect types:

  • Sellers of commercial property
  • Buyers of investment property
  • Buyers looking for  owner occupation
  • Tenants looking for relocation
  • Landlords requiring property management services

When you look at each of the categories you can easily see why you require a separate contact system.  Each of the categories will need a strategy or approach process.

If I take one of these categories as an example, you can see what I mean about establishing your contact model.  Let’s take the ‘sellers of commercial property’ as a point of reference.  If I wanted to connect with many sellers this is what I would do:

  1. Define a territory of focus so I could work the better locations and streets where the good properties are located.
  2. I would get copy of the streets and property ownership records for the region.
  3. Research the sale records for the last 4 years.  Most of the sales occur after year 4 to 5 so you have a target list of upcoming sellers to focus on.
  4. Drive through the streets to get to know locations and current listings.
  5. I can research the property owners singularly based on property location.  Note that this takes time so allocate an objective of 2 property owners per day as a sourcing target.
  6. I would start making the calls and door knocking the businesses in the target zone to get some up to date market intelligence.
  7. I can also then concentrate on the top properties singularly and the businesses that may be occupying them.

It is remarkable just how much information you will pick up in commercial real estate when you get highly organised in business and property owner contact.  Asking questions like these will help you:

  • What are they doing now with their property?
  • How long have they owned the property?
  • Have they noticed other activity in the area?
  • If they were considering a move or sale, what would be the ideal outcome?

Simple questions like these will help you reach into your property market and find the best clients to serve.