Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Commercial Real Estate Agents - A Direct Approach to the Opportunity in Investment Property Sales

City view of high rise office buildings.
Commercial Investment Sales is a special segment of the property market for agents and brokers.

Commercial property investment sales will provide a good commission based income for agents if they understand the mechanics of the property market in their location, and if that awareness translates into lead generation and listing conversion.  Commission only comes to those agents that work for it.  Systems and processes will help grow results in investment sales.

Here are some ideas from our recent Agent Bulletin.

Why focus on this segment of the market?  Well, it is a known fact that investors are repeat buyers and sellers of quality properties.  On that basis you can get to know a number of local investors that are active in particular property types.  That being said these investors know what they require when it comes to rental income, tenant types, lease strategies and property selection.  They are discerning and selective.

Established property investors are on the lookout for better properties to complement existing property portfolios.  Knowing who those investors are and how to contact them is the key to market growth and consolidation for any agent or broker.

Top agents know how to find and service investors.  Local market knowledge is a valuable commodity to be offered by any agent to a property investor.

Here are some ideas to help you get this process underway.

  1. Who are they? - Look for Property Investors in your area or city.  They will want to move properties and acquire more from time to time.  If you are the agent with all of the quality listings then it stands to reason that investors will speak to you when something of interest is listed.
  2. What do they want? - Understand what investors are looking for by way of property, cash flow and location.  There will be differences across your city with rents, prices, and growth.  Some investors hold property for certain periods of time and look to structure investment improvement during that time.  The question is will the property offer capital gain and income or rental improvement.  Look for the key performance indicators that can show you the trends.
  3. Property Watch? - Track new and existing property opportunity.  Things can change locally with property zonings, roads, building approvals, and planning changes.  Keep a close eye on the activities of the planning approvals board at your local municipal council.  Watch for the regional changes that can impact property use or ownership.
  4. Marketing Choices? - Choose the best methods of sale and marketing.  Results are everything in investment property activity.  Some methods of sale and marketing will work better than others.  Determine what strategies work for different property types and build your marketing campaigns to suit.
  5. Conditioning Clients? - Condition your clients to the prevailing market conditions.  You know your property market (or should do) and your clients will have their opinion of what the market is doing.  Keep up to date on current market conditions so you can put ‘comparables’ together as part of conditioning your clients to today’s prices and rents.  Don’t take on a listing unless you truly believe that you can convert a successful transaction for the client at somewhere near their expectations.

Confidence and knowledge are the keys to results in commercial investment sales.  It is hard for any client or prospect to debate or refute existing market facts.  Ask better questions of your clients and prospects and show them why you are the best choice of agent to help them.

Need some more help with Commercial Real Estate Brokerage?  Join our online community here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

198 - Commercial Real Estate Training Online

Commercial Real Estate Training Audio

Here are 3 more topics for commercial real estate agents and brokers. 1. How to start a career in commercial real estate brokerage today, 2. How to create a commercial real estate listing kit, 3. How to qualify a tenant in commercial real estate office leasing. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Staying Ahead of the Game in Commercial Property Management Part 1

Commercial property management is a very special part of the real estate industry.  It requires skill and knowledge on the part of the agent.  With large office, retail or industrial buildings it is likely that a team of people will be required to manage the tenants and the daily activities in the building.

In this video we cover 5 of the important factors to monitor in commercial property management.

196 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Training

audio headphones in recording  studio
Commercial Real Estate Agent Training pod-cast

Here are 3 topics for today on commercial real estate agent and broker training. 1. The 5 Most Common Mistakes Made by Agents Today and How to Avoid Them, 2. How to Get into Commercial Real Estate Investment Sales, 3. The Property Development Activities to Track for Opportunity. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Commercial Real Estate Agents - How to Lease Commercial Office Space Effectively and Efficiently

office premises foyer with table and chairs
Understand the complexity of commercial property office leasing.

Commercial office leasing can be a specific process when you understand the complexities of building occupancy. A successful commercial office building will be structured through the correct balance or mix of the following items:

  • lease documentation
  • rental strategies
  • tenant mix
  • market rental
  • tenant selection
  • occupancy costs
  • property improvements
  • landlord investment
  • financing solutions
  • tenant management
  • successful property management

Taking all of these issues to the correct levels of involvement, you will need certain resources to help you control the leasing process and the lease strategy. 

Here are some resources to help you consolidate your professional leasing services and skills:

  1. TRENDS TO TRACK: Track the trends and the activities of market rentals in your local area with a focus on both location and property type. Market rentals will change and on that basis there will be an impact on the net income for the landlord. Incentives will also change based on the current levels of enquiry and vacancies locally. Track and measure the vacancy activity in your town or city; look for factors of oversupply and vacancy saturation. When that occurs, incentives will rise to attract the best tenants to the vacancies that you have.  Incentives are a lease cost and should be factored into any lease negotiation.  Recover the cost of a lease incentive through creative rent review structures over the initial lease term.
  2. LOCAL BUSINESS: Understand the levels of business sentiment that apply to property occupancy and business efficiency in your town or city. Some properties will be more attractive than others.  Where do businesses like to move to?  Why do they want to move?  When will they be moving?  When you know the answers you have some real advantages as a leasing agent.
  3. MODERN PROPERTY SERVICES: Many properties today can bring you advantages when it comes to technology, energy, and communications. Modern businesses require the communications portals to the clients and the market segments that they serve. Energy efficiencies are also required to reduce occupancy costs and maintain appropriate levels of expenditure. A highly efficient and modern building will be easier to lease than any older building in the same location.  Choose your listings carefully.
  4. TENANT MIX: There are differences between tenancy mix strategies in office buildings versus retail buildings. In any office building you are looking to accommodate the appropriate tenants in the best location to underpin market rental and to support the correct synergy with other tenants. Some office type tenants will impact others in the same location, so be careful when it comes to choosing a tenant for any building, floor, or premises.  In a retail property the tenant mix choices that you make will be largely driven by customers, sales, and clustering.
  5. STANDARD LEASES: Consult with the client (property landlord) and their legal advisors to ensure that you have created appropriate standard lease documentation to support the asset as an investment. The lease documentation should address investment requirements, occupancy rules and regulations, outgoings recoveries, and rental standards. Over time the rental for the premises should consolidate and strengthen with each tenant and within the tenant mix. On that basis rent reviews and options should be carefully negotiated and implemented.
  6. CRITICAL DATES: Lease expiry dates and option dates are critical in a property where you have a number of tenants.  Don’t have a lot of vacancies coming up at the same time.  Stagger your lease expiry dates in the asset so you remove pressure from the cash flows and any vacancies that could have an impact on those vacancies.
  7. BUILDING AGE AND QUALITY: The age of the building will have something to do with the levels and types of outgoings that will be recovered each year. In any older the building, the greater will be the escalation in outgoings over time. Conversely, the efficiencies of a modern building can save money when it comes to energy, lighting, access, and occupancy.  If your office building is heading to redundancy or high occupancy costs, something has to be done with building running costs, or perhaps a refurbishment.

So there are some good things to do here with property efficiency and leasing strategies.  Ensure that your lease process handles the occupancy costs directly and correctly for the landlord income targets that you are working to.

You can get more commercial real estate training tips and ideas in our regular email newsletter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Podcast 194 - Commercial Real Estate Training

Here are 4 topics this week on Commercial Real Estate Sales - 1. Some ideas to help you build a Selling System that works, 2. Creating Prospecting Letters to Grow Market Share, 3. Developing Drive and Focus in Commercial Investment Sales, 4. How to Play the Numbers Game in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. These are part of a commercial real estate training program by John Highman.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ways to Manage Tenants in Commercial Property Today - Commercial Property Management Tips

Here are some ways to effectively manage tenants in commercial real estate today.  Look for the pressures of rents, maintenance, and location.  Understand just what the tenant needs to make things work for their business.  Here is a video to help your commercial property management focus.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Podcast 191 - Commercial Real Estate Training

Commercial Real Estate Agent Training Podcast by John Highman.

Here are 4 topics this week. 1. How to negotiate better commissions in commercial real estate leasing, 2. Understanding that lease options are not always a good thing, 3. A shortlist of what really matters in commercial real estate lease negotiations, 4. Ways to solve vacancy issues in commercial investment property today. These are specialised commercial real estate agent training programs by John Highman.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Lease Options in Commercial Real Estate Investment Property Leasing

Lease options should be carefully considered

When negotiating a lease in commercial investment property with a tenant, they are likely to ask for an option for a further lease term as a period of years. They may also ask for multiple options to be available and renewable through the terms of the lease. Before agreeing with that lease option requirement, understand the plans of the landlord when it comes to that particular property; also look into the age factors and the physical tenant mix changes that may be required over time.

So exactly what is the problem? A lease option will tie up the property from an investment perspective. The lease options are normally at the discretion of the tenant, and on that basis the landlord can as a result of a tenants option to renew, be restricted from implementing investment changes in the tenancy mix, improving the property through renovation, and expanding the property with further tenants.

In any new or relatively new property the option availability or process may be quite acceptable providing that the option term is not overly long. Typically most options will be for multiples of three or five years.  It is worth noting that the owners of larger shopping centres will not normally grant lease options in a lease negotiation given that they restrict property and tenant mix changes.

Here are some further thoughts on the ‘option’ matter for you to consider and potentially implement as the local investment property leasing specialist within your property type:

  1. To achieve or retain tenant mix control for the landlord it is wise to restrict your lease option negotiations to sensible and short additional lease terms that do not frustrate further property activity and improvement.  Consider the future in all you lease negotiations.
  2. Understand the age of the property and the pressures of renovation and refurbishment that will apply from time to time. As the property ages, it is wise to consider shorter lease terms and the use of renovation clauses obligating the landlord and/or the tenant to undertake certain works to maintain and improve tenancy presentation.
  3. Stagger your lease expiry dates so you don’t have too many leases expiring at the same time in the one property.  In that way you can then focus on filling vacancies before they fall due.
  4. If the tenant is to be given a reasonable lease term with extra options, understand the impact of the permitted use granted in the lease in case that permitted use has implications for other tenants within the property.
  5. In any long lease or lease that has multiple options, ensure that the rental is reviewed to market from time to time (generally at least once every 3 or 4 years). In that way the landlord can achieve the correct levels of return that apply to the property type given current market rental negotiations.
  6. The levels of supply and demand as they relate to the property type and the location will have an impact on available space and lease negotiation. Monitor the upcoming property developments and the impact that they may have with properties that you lease and manage.  Look for the threats of change with any oversupply of available space.

So the message here is quite clear when it comes to lease options in any investment property. If you are going to negotiate and grant lease options to tenants as part of any lease negotiation, take the time to understand future of the location, current elements of the property performance, the landlord, and the local property market. Only allow lease options to be agreed to where the landlord’s investment strategy is supported and strengthened.

You can get more leasing tips at our main commercial real estate leasing training website here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Essential Cold Calling System for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Every commercial real estate agent should implement a cold calling system to find new business leads and opportunities.  This video explains how it is done.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Podcast 184 - Commercial Real Estate Training Online

Here are 3 more topics for you. 1. An important tip for cold calling, 2. Resources to help your prospecting list, 3. How to use technology today in commercial real estate brokerage. These are coaching programs produced by John Highman, Coach, Broadcaster, Real Estate Broker.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Commercial Real Estate Brokers - High Quality Listings Help Your Build Market Share

commercial real estate woman sitting at desk smiling
Quality Listings help build your real estate business.

In commercial real estate brokerage, the types of properties that you list and the quality of each property will have a lot to do with the enquiries that you create.  If your focus is to work with listings of good quality, then you will find it a lot easier to locate property investors, business owners, and property developers.

High quality listings always create greater levels of inbound enquiry.  To take that fact further, a good quality property should be converted to an exclusive listing so that you can control the marketing campaign, the enquiries, inspections, and the negotiations.  

Choose the best method of sale or lease with each quality listing so that you can apply some real momentum to the end result, be it a contract or a successfully signed lease document.  As they say, ‘it is better to start with the end in mind’.

Here are some ideas to help you focus on the best properties in your location, and how to convert them to exclusivity at the right time and in the right way:

  1. Quality: The quality of a property can be defined in many different ways depending on your location and your town or city.  The proximity of the property to end user markets, ports, transport, clients, or the business precinct will give some real momentum to inbound enquiry.  Understand where businesses like to locate today when it comes to improving enterprise and opportunity.  Some parts of your town or city will give local businesses the higher profile and exposure they require to make more sales and to serve their customer base.
  2. Improvements: The business community today can be quite demanding when it comes to the level of improvements within any property.  Regular contact within the business community will help you identify exactly what they need when it comes to successful property occupation and use.  There are ‘use differences’ when it comes to office, industrial, and retail properties.  Property design, area of occupancy, technology, property presentation, plant and machinery, services and amenities, and fitout design will all have an impact on the attractiveness of a property to the end user.  Stay ahead of the shifts and changes to technology and the occupancy requirements of property buyers and tenants today.
  3. High quality marketing campaigns: When you focus on exclusive listings, it is easy to design and work through a high quality marketing campaign that is vendor funded and brokerage driven.  Every good quality property should be the subject of a targeted marketing approach so that you are reaching the right people and the right way, and therefore optimizing the enquiry that you get.  A good quality marketing campaign supported by professional photographs and video will help create the ‘churn’ that you require to give you the greater number of inbound telephone calls and from that the potential property inspections.  So the equation here is quite clear; a high quality listing leads to exclusivity, and exclusivity leads to targeted marketing and better inspections.  You can put in the promotional effort when you know that you can control the enquiry and the client.  That is how you will achieve better results over time.
  4. Focus within a property type: There are many different property types in most towns or cities.  You should choose the property type that you can relate to and that you know is in reasonable supply.  Those two simple facts will help you with the confidence that you need when it comes to conversations with sellers, buyers, tenants, and business owners.  Stay within the property type and get to know the variations of marketing, pricing, best methods of sale or lease, and best methods of marketing.
  5. Brand yourself as the property expert: Take the time to promote yourself locally as the property expert within the location.  Write articles and editorials that you can publish online through websites, article directories, and blogs.  The Internet today is increasingly a critical component of property promotion and enquiry conversion.  Through writing a number of editorials and articles and placing them online you can expose yourself as the property expert for the location; that is assuming that you deliberately write about the location and the property type.  The search engines are always on the lookout for quality content and quality information to help service the inbound enquiries and the search criteria they seek to satisfy.  Google remains the popular search engine portal for most property enquiries today; make it a target to rank yourself highly in the Google search engine for a particular property type in your town or city.  For example your focus on a property type could be ‘industrial properties in New York’.  On a regular basis write editorials and articles about industrial properties through the New York area.  You can talk about enquiries, different property types, investment, supply and demand, and particular precincts of activity.

In using these five simple factors, you can consolidate your profile around high quality properties locally.  In that way you can improve inbound real estate enquiries and the opportunities that you will have with listings and deal conversions.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Podcast 180 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Training Online

Here are 3 topics for today. 1. How to do a successful listing presentation, 2. Tips for Identifying Property Features, 3. How to list an industrial property effectively. These are specialised commercial real estate coaching and training programs by John Highman, Broadcaster, Speaker, and Author.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to be a Better Commercial Property Manager

Here are some tips for commercial and retail property managers to help them stay ahead of critical issues and building matters.

The management of an investment property is quite complex.  This video helps with the processes.

Podcast 178 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Training

Here are 4 topics for commercial real estate agent training today. 1. Create Around the Clock Motivation, 2. How to Control Your Commercial Real Estate Sale or Leasing Deal, 3. Why you should keep accurate information, 4. How to do a Tenant Mix Analysis and Create a Tenant Mix Strategy. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Give Your Commercial Real Estate Client More Feedback on Marketing Results

man reading newspaper and smiling
Improve your Commercial Real Estate Marketing

To understand the success of your commercial real estate marketing campaign you should use a number of standard channels of data to assess progress.  That ‘feedback channel data’ shall normally be sourced and tracked in the following way:

  • calls from the signage
  • calls from the media advertisements
  • enquiries from the direct mail and brochures
  • enquiries from brochures and flyers
  • email enquiries from websites
  • database generated leads

Given the above feedback channels, always seek to understand the buyer's perception of property value and price when they talk to you.  The feedback will help you shape the clients thinking.  Consider these:

  • The information from the buyers and the media results should be provided to the client both as a number of enquiries and the verbal feedback that the buyers provide.
  • Record the number of inspections arranged from the initial enquiries.
  • Give the client feedback from the property inspections.

Web sites and Internet traffic today are also providing significant enquiry from marketing efforts  Internet traffic and Internet advertisements, together with ‘hits’ on listings should be a larger part of assessing your promotional package.

In this way you will soon know the best methods of promoting properties for sale in your region and precinct.  Marketing is essentially a balance of cost against the best ways of attracting the target market.  Assess your progress on a daily basis and report to the client accordingly.

You can get more tips like this on commercial real estate marketing at our main website here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Podcast 177 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Training Online

Here are 3 more topics on commercial real estate training. 1. How to develop real leadership in Retail Shopping Center Management and Leasing, 2. How to make your property marketing Sizzle for greater enquiry, 3. How to qualify and take a tenant leasing enquiry for an industrial property. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Podcast 176 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Training

Here are 4 topics for today. 1. Three Good Prospecting topics to find new clients, 2. A Place to Find New Client Leads, 3. How to Fix Prospecting Roadblocks, 4. How to Grow Customer Inquiries for Properties. These are commercial real estate training programs by John Highman.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Podcast 175 - Commercial Real Estate Training Radio

This is a special podcast on prospecting and Cold Calling for Commercial Real Estate Agents. There are 5 topics to help you understand the best ways to prospect for new clients. 1. The Cold Calling System is Not Dead, 2. Some Effective Cold Calling Tips, 3. How to Improve Client Connections, 4. Don't Hang Up in Calling, 5. 10 Ways to Improve Your Commercial Real Estate Agent Career Opportunities. These are training programs by John Highman for Commercial Real Estate Brokers and Agents around the World.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Podcast 174 - Commercial Real Estate Agent Radio

These are commercial and retail real estate training podcasts for agents and brokers around the world. 3 topics for today. 1. A Day in the Life of a Shopping Center Manager, 2. How to Choose the Best Clients, 3. The Advantages of Listing Quality Listings. Audio provided by John Highman, Commercial real estate agent and Coach.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Create a Shopping Center Asset Plan

The management of a Retail Shopping Center will be enhanced when you use an Asset Plan.

Here is a short video to help you put together a plan for the Asset, the tenant mix, and the property performance.

You can subscribe to other retail shopping center training videos like this at our main website