In commercial real estate, you will undertake a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business-like in nature, focusing on the needs of the tenant, the property buyer or the property seller.
Get to the Core Issues
Each of these groups has unique property requirements and points of focus. It is their needs, which must be identified and clearly addressed, in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the clients or customer so that they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or customer in a few days with a well-structured proposal that addresses the needs of the customer or clients.
It’s all about them, not you!
When you design an investment or commercial property proposal for presentation, the document should be 90% regards the property and the clients. Frequently you see this rule disregarded or broken with the proposal document being largely regards the agency and the personnel.
Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the property rental, the property price, or the physical elements of the property. In most situation, it is the combination of these things which must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or clients has. In getting them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the customer or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.
Tenants are Experienced
It is interesting to note that many clients and customers in commercial real estate are reasonably comfortable in circumstances of business negotiation. This means they may not tell you the total big picture or all the element of a transaction until they are ready. Conversation and connection in the presentation process should be biased towards the client or customer using well-selected questions that allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the client’s response.
When you believe you have identified the element of client’s pain related to the property transaction, you start to magnify the problem in terms of today’s market,
Then offering stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the clients or customers. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centers on financial matters such as:
- High Vacancy Factors
- Property Choices and Chances are Available
- Underperforming Leases
- Unstable Cash Flow
- Unstable Tenancy Mix
- Tenanted Conflict
- Escalating Building Operating Costs
- A Shift in Demographics That Exposes the Property to a Unstable Future
- Mortgage Payment Pressures
- Age of the Asset
- Needs for Refurbishing or Extension
- Competition properties Attraction Tenants Away from the Subject Property
This type of information and interpretation requires your intimate knowledge of the local region. This is by both property type and by location. This is the highest value that you bring to the customer or clients. Being able to distinctly define local market awareness is a major advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. You must be seen as the best knowledgeable solution to the problem.
After many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry I found that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that any formal presentation to the client.
Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a solid and sound way will help the client understand that they need your services. Coupling that with your extensive and relevant database of enquiry cleanly shows the client that they need you.
Commercial Real Estate is…
A fantastic commercial real estate presentation is a function and balance of lots of things like:
A well-established pre-planning process is a strategic advanced for every commercial real estate presentation. Strategy is everything in commercial real estate. Every property presentation requires planning.
Making sure you are asking the right questions of the client or prospect. Plan your questions relative to the subject property so that you help the client think about opportunity and changes that are possible.
Using your market knowledge by giving good answers. Have a variety of market facts and trends available to call on. Feed them into your presentation; facts are always useful. They can also be used as a channel to direct the discussion when the client is forcing you to justify your approach or your experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of your property presentation. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost.
Is Making Personal Presentation Important?
Making sure your personal presentation is optimized for the connection in the presentation. It can be that you are using a combination of the proposal document the marketing document, and computer slide presentation, samples of your database, photographs of the subject property projected on to slides, and photographs of comparables properties projected on to slides.
Choosing the placement of people at the table or strategically positioning them in the room is always important. Much has been written about where you should sit relative to the client. The basic rule is adjacent to the client rather than across an area of barrier such as a table. Being within arm’s reach allows you to pass documentation to the client at the appropriate time. Documentation should not be provided to the client until you are ready for them to review it; otherwise it is a distraction of their attention.
Make sure that your proposal is simple and yet well directed with a clearly defined outcome of sale or lease. Many proposal documents in commercial real estate are much too wordy so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less wordy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mixture of 25% words, 25% pictures, 25% graphs, and 25% white space. This becomes a document that is clearly read and understood.
Combine good illustrations and photographs of the subject property into the proposal or presentation so that any lengthy descriptions or paragraphs are broken up. This will keep interest of the client in your documentation.
Your Marketing Package in Commercial Real Estate
Make sure that your marketing package is value for money, and yet reaching the target market that the property serves or needs to attract. All too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader and less specific marketplace. Showing the client that you clearly know and will attract best the target market will always help your conversion to a potential listing. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
Ensure that your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option as is will make you poor and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. “Cheap” means ‘low-cost and without focus’ and the client needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not cheap because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine relevant history and details of happy customers into your presentation you will make the client feel more comfortable.
Always display clear and sound market knowledge that impresses the client relative to their property. This will include extensive awareness of comparable properties that compete with the subject property. You should be able to talk solidly about property prices, comparable rents, rental growth, returns on investment, changes to the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases, it pays to walk around the local area just prior to any property presentation so that you bring immediate and clear picture of the precinct to the discussion. Many times this has been of signification advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighboring properties localizes the client and they’re thought processes.
Come up with a variety of ways to serve the client. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the Internet and technology.
Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that the listing for sale or lease stands uniquely different in its marketing campaign from the others in the area. This does not have to be expensive to the client or to your office, given that the Internet and electronic technology is historically costs effective. In today’s market, the traditional methods of publishing the property in the property pages of the local paper, is becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and tenant research the market from the Internet first and foremost.
Almost every property agency will say that they have excellent communication and connection skills to support the property promotion process. From experience, this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will exercise ordinary communication channel with the client. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the adverts are producing little response. When a property campaign is not production the result, it is important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you get to the property campaign correct in the first week. It is in this time that you must consider fine-tuning the promotion process so that the target market is being researched in a timely and effective way. This means that every property enquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand what channels of marketing work effectively with the property in question.
What to do When Addressing Clients?
When addressing the client or the client group in a formal property presentation, the answer and information you give must be delivered well and provide relevant solid property knowledge, in a practiced and professional delivered. Any sales or presentation tools relative to the property must be relevant and you should know how to use them with exceptional skill. The client does not tolerate fumbling and faking information. So there you have it. These are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Whilst many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote sell and rent commercial property, the reality is they do not get the message across when it matters most in front of the client.
To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you must show that you are just so, and you do this in the first 10 minutes of the time that your presentation takes. The client will have formed an opinion by then.
Be prepared to walk away from any demands for discounting that the client or customer demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent providing a great job; discounting is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands discount in marketing or lower commissions.