When it comes to a career in commercial real estate, there are many advantages, and quite a few challenges. When taken in balance, the career and industry offers significant opportunity. The level of success that you can achieve is driven from your commitment to various knowledge processes and taking the right personal action.
So many people enter the industry without due regard for the hard work that needs to be done. As with any sales related career, commercial real estate is very challenging and yet very rewarding. When the market gets tough, you find a number of salespeople leave the industry because they have not established the right systems in their personal business.
If commercial real estate is for you, then get organized and systemized. You need to plan for the future and take consistent action every day to build your market share and obtain quality listings. Talk to more people; it is a people based property market and those people need to know you as the expert. Over time you can become the agent of choice.
Here are some of the key factors required to consolidate your personal focus and action in your career. Consider how these key issues apply to you and how they can be improved. Consider also how they apply within your marketplace and your property specialty.
- Sales skills are required on a number of levels. You are effectively selling yourself in the first instance, and then you are pitching and presenting across a number of topics. To be an expert in this property market, personal confidence and local knowledge are important factors. The property market is changing on a regular basis with new pressures within selling, leasing, and property management. Understand how to sell your services across these three disciplines as they change and shift.
- Prospecting will always be the most important thing that you do every day. Everything else in your diary ranks a clear second when it comes to prospecting. Cold calling and prospecting must occur on a daily basis with new people and with those people that you have spoken to before. You need a business model to sustain regular ongoing contact with qualified prospects at least once every 90 days.
- Commissions will vary depending on the pressures of the market place, the client, the property, and the services provided. Importantly the commissions you charge should not be discounted to any great degree. It takes significant effort to achieve results in commercial real estate today. The clients that ask for discounts could receive a discounted service if that is what makes them happy. They soon understand that results are more important than discounts.
- Quality listings should be the focus of your prospecting and networking. It is the quality listings that will bring you good levels of enquiry. Some low quality listings will distract you from the quality properties that you should be working on. You work as a salesperson and your commissions are driven from results. Results are much easier to obtain from quality listings. It should also be said that quality listings should be optimized to exclusive agency appointments. In this way you will gain the sufficient time that you require to comprehensively cover the market place.
- Property specialty is a good thing. When you focus on one particular property type it is far easier for you to become the expert in the local area. Many agents focus on industrial property initially given the simplicity of the property type. Over time you can move to Office Property and eventually Retail Property. They are more complex when it comes to selling and leasing.
- Competitive agents exist in every marketplace. You need to know who they are and what they’re doing. It may be that they already successfully service a segment of the market that is similar to yours and therefore you will be pitching and presenting against them frequently. Understand these competitors and the pressures they will apply on your business and sales processes. Be better than the other agents that are out there. This is a skills and knowledge based process that you can work on.
- Systemize your business day and career as much as possible. At least 50% of your day should be devoted to market growth and prospecting. It is very easy for this to be overlooked or postponed given the pressures of your existing clients, listings, and current deals. Self-discipline and focus will get you through the problem.
Those salespeople that choose to improve their actions and systems soon rise to the top of the market. It is a deliberate choice that should be made early in your career.