In this property market things are changing faster than ever before. Eventually we will have a new property market that is working from a new base and at the start of a new property cycle. Landlords and tenants, sellers and buyers, they will all have made adjustments to their expectations, and transacting property deals will again be the norm.
At the moment we are waiting on the banks and lending groups in many locations to come back into the larger property deals. Some countries are feeling this pressure more than others.
Given that most things are changing faster today for all elements of the commercial property market, we have listed what we believe are the critical elements of market intelligence that as a commercial property agent you will need to bring to the clients and prospects that you work with.
The correct information and market intelligence is the foundation of a good listing, better negotiation, and faster closing today. It is mainly the evidence and facts that will support your position in negotiation. It is almost as if the clients and prospects we work with need a reason to accept the obvious! The market has changed!
Be Informative and Professional!
So when meeting with the owner or landlord of a property, you should ensure that you have the correct critical mass of information and in the correct format to match the meeting momentum and the property needs.
Focus your attention on the information that will support your discussions and position. There are 5 parts to the process.
Property Data: first and foremost, you need to know everything about the property that your prospect owns. This may be a building, land, or development site. When looking at a building, understand the physical details of the property such as the area of the land and premises, the rental so achieved within the property, tenant profile, floor plans and plates, car parking facilities, age of the building, and the improvement history. If you are lacking any information, you can question the building owner appropriately and with focused comments. They will appreciate professional questions relative to their property. They will also however expect your professional knowledge of the marketplace. Typically building owners will always want to talk about their property in reasonable detail given the opportunity. This is a process called ‘Freudian slip’ in negotiation, where a person will divulge almost any information you want when you ask them sufficient well directed questions.
Ownership Detail: the owner of the property needs to be explored for critical owner’s information. Ask them about the ownership structure, timing of ownership and disposal, hurdles and challenges they currently face, tenancy detail, lease tenure and structure, and their perception of the market. It is common for property owners to have an inflated view of their property in the current market. Identify this difficulty from the outset and shape their attitude appropriately as you proceed. In most cases, you will be able to tell the property owner where their property sits in the current market and your opinion of relevant price or rental. We again emphasise that there is no point taking on an overpriced listing in this economy. The only situation in which this should be done is where you can see reasonable chance of sale or rent through price adjustment and owner flexibility.
Market Detail: whilst we should understand the greater commercial real estate market fully, we also need to identify with what has happened to the subject property in the current market. Most particularly identify if the property has been marketed by other agencies in recent time. There is no point taking on a stale appointment to sell or rent a property unless there is a significant adjustment of price or rental. People watch the market and the new listings coming and going through it. The only way you will reactivate interest in an old property listing is through a reasonable price adjustment. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the owner’s relationship and results with the previous agency to direct them towards a fresh property price adjustment. When a property has been unsold for some period of time you will find that the property owner will be more open to adjusting the price or rent. Do you want to take the property listing on an open or exclusive basis? Do you want owner funded marketing campaigns? These are important points of consideration today.
Agency Information: when meeting with property owners, give them information which supports your expertise and activities in the marketplace. This will include details of essential staff, recent sales, market intelligence, evidence of effective marketing programs, evidence of buyer and tenant prospects that are desirable for the subject listing, and anything else that can reinforce the reason they should select you as their agent.
Moving Forward: regardless of whether you have achieved a listing or simply information from the client, you should always close your first meeting with an agreement to move to the next stage of contact. Momentum and decisions are the key elements of success in commercial real estate. Keep your clients and prospects moving ahead in the direction you desire!
The most successful people in the industry will move forward to a fixed contact plan and structure of meetings. A good CRM program is foundational to this process and will form your pipeline of opportunity.
How many people should you be actively contacting on a regular basis? The answer is about 1000 contacts across an equal balance of businesses, investors, and tenants in your region. You need to contact them at least every 90 days to set up a professional contact cycle. This is your funnel for business generation.
One useful strategy in moving towards the next meeting is to tell the prospect or client that you would like to undertake further specific study of market trends relative to their property type. In doing this you would like to return to them in a few days with more market intelligence and feedback. This extra time will allow you to formulate a specific report that they will find useful in their future decisions and discussions.
The complexity of any commercial property commonly needs detailed market investigation; consequently you can use this delay strategy successfully as leverage for more time and further contact.
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John Highman is a prominent investment real estate speaker and coach that helps real estate agents and real estate brokers globally to improve their commercial real estate market share and close more sales and leasing deals. He himself is a successful real estate agent that has specialised in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate of all types for over 30+ years.
Whether you specialise in real estate sales, leasing, or investment, John has the tools that can help you and your office succeed in your market.
Today John Highman gives workshops and keynotes to real estate agents and brokers globally on how to be professionally better than your competition in any market and drive more of the right listings and commissions.