What’s next? How do you really get started in the business?
Just 18 months ago this was my challenge. And while it’s not science there are some things that you can do to make your transition as effective and efficient as possible. Most of these pointers will seem like common sense, but actually practicing them can be a bit harder, so here goes…
Most people have heard or even used the expression “Stay in Your Lane,” and almost everyone would apply it to when they are behind the wheel of an automobile. But it can have significant meaning in the world of Commercial Real Estate (CRE). We live in an age of technology where the internet and social media have increased the amount of information available and the speed at which someone can obtain information about almost anything, including commercial properties.
This access has certainly benefitted the general public as would-be buyers and tenants can peruse the various websites anonymously to search for the right property that meets their needs, and only after identifying such property, will they engage the assistance of an owner or listing broker. However, this accessibility to information has also “allowed” or even encouraged real estate brokers to venture into areas where they may not have comprehensive and thorough knowledge.
As most of the country is finally digging out from a long and snowy winter, it’s a great time for commercial real estate (CRE) professionals to add value to their existing client base. What is the one thing that we hear so often from our colleagues and clients? Answer – “there’s not enough hours in a day,” especially with continual interruptions thanks to the growth of mobile technology.
As their trusted advisor, you can lessen their load while making you more valuable to them by doing one easy, yet often over-looked task. Each spring, I make the time to visit each of my landlord and seller client properties for the sole purpose of looking at them with a fresh set of eyes, just as a prospective tenant or buyer would do on their first time into the property. CRE professionals, landlords and sellers often get tunnel vision after pulling into their property day after day, making it too easy to overlook deferred maintenance items.
Commercial Real Estate (CRE) transactions range from the fairly simple to immensely complex! The degree of transaction complexity can be mitigated by an educated and understanding commercial real estate broker who has expertise in your type of transaction and the resume to prove it.
A broker’s education and experience on specific sides of the transaction make he/she more understanding and knowledgeable of the other side’s needs. If you’re a commercial real estate landlord, you should seek out the expertise of a broker / agent with a significant amount of Landlord Rep. experience as the needs for a landlord typically differ from those of a tenant. It would also be beneficial to you if that broker/agent also has tenant representation experience, so they understand what typical expectations are from small business tenants to corporate tenants, etc.
Every one of us is a broker. That is to say, we’re all using someone else’s money. Whether you’re a baby-faced runner at CBRE or quarterbacking a big-time pension fund, you’re still a broker—you need to sell your deal to somebody, whether to a mom & pop investor or a bored investment committee. It’s not your money and, for that matter, it’s usually not theirs. The only true principals in real estate may be the millions of 401K retirees who are the capital behind every major player in the industry. Even the old rich guys still in the game are using some else’s money; in their case, it’s their kids’.
Commercial brokerage is a bit like bull-riding. Only a handful of agents, the best, last much beyond their twenties, the vast majority unable to deal with the pressure of having their cash flow meter reset to zero every January 1st.
To fully understand and thrive in commercial real estate one has to understand much more than the simple “bricks and mortar” that make up a building. A successful commercial real estate broker (developer, investor, or lender) wears many hats and should have knowledge across a variety of different industries and disciplines.
Contributing Author: William F. “Felton” McLaughlin, CCIM, SIOR
When it comes time to sell a commercial property that sits in a challenged location, the first course of action for a seller and/or the listing broker should not be to wonder about the size of the discount that should be placed on the valuation of the property. Rather, focus your efforts on all characteristics of the property that are either unique or offer some sort of competitive advantage. If you can identify how these unique features benefit the user, you can market the challenging property more effectively.
As the recent sale of a veterinary medical office building will show, we discovered some unique property attributes that helped the seller achieve a sale price close to the asking price.
As we kick off a new year, we are always looking for ways to improve our brokerage services and provide the best possible experience for our clients. In 2019, we will be focusing on numerous things to continue being the best commercial real estate brokerage we can be. Setting guidelines and goals can help balance your calendar, while increasing your success and happiness throughout the year.
As a commercial real estate (CRE) broker or salesperson, you may operate as part of a group, however, you are also an independent contractor, and in many ways, operating your own business. This means you should be developing a marketing strategy of your own, in conjunction with your firm’s marketing plan, to help you grow your personal brand, get more listings, and become a leader in your market and/or area of specialization.
There are many great tools available to help business owners leverage technology, and this is equally true for marketing yourself, growing your brand, and measuring your efforts.
Here are some tools you might want to consider adding to your toolkit.
Congratulations, you successfully signed up a new listing, now you have to perform and sell the listing. If you are looking to perform quickly, to the best of your abilities, and acting in the best interest of your client you should be open to cooperating with other brokers. This can have some drawbacks, as brokers have overlapping clients, but overall the more people working on a listing the greater the chances the deal turns into a transaction and closes. Also, half of a commission is better than no commission. In today’s market buyers are coming from all over the place, not just other states but outside the country as well. In order to reach more buyers and increase leverage as a seller’s agent you have to reach a large audience and create buyer demand.