Saturday, April 5, 2014

Creating More Clients in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

two business men talking
Clients are like 'gold'

Good customers are an asset to commercial real estate brokerage, and over time every good customer should be nurtured and encouraged into further property activity.  The leverage to make this happen is in the agent understanding the client’s property situation and the plans they may have for the future.

So the message here is that a quality customer owning a good property will require help at some stage in the life-cycle of that investment.  That help can occur across sales, leasing, or property management.

Here are some specialized services that have a ‘flow through effect’ when working with property investors:

  1. Sales – From a sales situation you can keep in close contact with the investment property buyer for the time that they may need help with leasing and or property performance.  A property purchased today is a property needing refinement or ‘tuning’ over time.
  2. Leasing – From any lease situation, the new tenant in occupancy will require management.  Some owners like to manage a property themselves however many owners are not structured up to do that.  There will also be issues of lease performance to track and improve such as rent reviews, options and expiry dates.  The terms and conditions of the lease also require complete understanding as well as enforcement.  Most property owners don’t know how to do that.
  3. Property Management – Any investment property will require property management services.  A professional property management service will include lease management, maintenance controls, income optimization, property code compliance, and vacancy minimization.  A business plan for the property can pick up these issues and steer them in the right direction given the plans of the property owner.
  4. Tenant Retention – As the name implies, tenant retention is a process; that process should be merged into a lease and property management program for the client given the factors of the property and the market currently.  You can charge a good fee for retention planning and tenant mix optimisation.  The retention plan will be part of vacancy management and will also be merged into the property business plan.
  5. Market Rental Assessments – During the year the local property market will be impacted by vacancy factors, supply, and demand for property.  From those three things you will get pressures and changes to market rental.  New property developments will also shift the pressure points on rentals, incentives and available space.  If a property is on par with market rentals today, then the finance and cash flow structure for the property is easier to support.
  6. Net income optimization – Within a property with a number of tenants, different leases, variable critical dates and lease expires, the net income during the year can fluctuate.  That is where a good plan to optimize income is of high value.  Essentially the plan helps you to stay ahead of tenant and lease volatility.

So there are some special services for real estate agents and brokers to supply here.  Importantly, take the time to understand the commercial or retail property as well as the client so the right match and service support can be made.