Secrets to More Commercial Sales and Leasing Listings

In commercial real estate today, all too often salespeople focus just on getting the sales master lease optionslisting and transaction as a single event. This approach limits both your success and ongoing market activity. The most successful agents in the industry are highly involved in both leasing and sales at the same time. This then says that the true professional must be very conversant in both types of transactions and be prepared to act in both.

Leasing is the major road to future sales business. Leasing is a service that is commonly needed by most landlords at various times during the asset life cycle. This also says that sales people must have a strong knowledge of leasing strategy and the benefits that leasing creates for asset.

In creating a new commercial market identity or presence for your office, the best way forward involves identifying leasing needs in addition to the normal sales opportunities that are ever present.

It is the leasing needs which will provide identifiable benefits to the owner of a property in the immediate sense. It is the leasing needs which add value to the asset for future sale. That potentially means a pipeline of sales listings driven from your leasing activity. We have split these leasing concepts into a series of market advantages below that you can implement in your market.

ADVANTAGE #1 – Watch the Cycle

It is interesting to note that many investors in commercial property have a cycle of buy and sell approximately every five to seven years. Certainly some investors will keep their properties for much longer and other investors will sell sooner, however the average says 3 to 5 years is the time where an investor will either sell their property, or consider buying another one because of success in their current portfolio ownership. Another observed fact is that many investors become bored with their existing assets between 3 and 5 years, hence seeking greater diversity or a different investment challenge. This time factor is the major catalyst for listings and a significant opportunity for agents and salespeople.

ADVANTAGE #2 – Work Around the Agents Boards

When another agents board is put on a property, it is your trigger to work all other properties and owners around that listed property.

It is an established fact that adjacent property owners near a property that is listed for sale or lease, actually prefer to list their property with competitive agents and not the agent that has listed the original property.

This can become part of your ongoing prospecting system. It is surprising how many listings you will pick up in this way.

ADVANTAGE #3 – Relationships are Essential

To establish your name and presence in the real-estate business, a big factor in the game is establishing relationships with the key investors and business leaders. As we all know, relationships take time, and on the basis you need to work up a strategy of approach. Networking and a data-base strategy are essential.

It is unlikely that a client will provide a listing appointment to an agent that they do not know well and respect.

Commonly you will see the agents being put through a competitive tendering process or marketing presentation against other agents in the area. Competition in tendering can provide some frustrating results of lower commission or restricted marketing opportunities. For this reason it is the relationship building from the early days in the property ownership life cycle which builds the confidence with client alleviating the necessity for the agents high level involvement in competitive tendering.

ADVANTAGE #4 – Make Relationships a Contact System

Relationship building with the property owner should start from the early days in the life cycle and particularly by around year three of the ownership. Taking that a step further, you should research properties in your area to identify those owners that purchased property approximately three or four years ago. They will be the owners that could consider either purchasing another property or selling the current one soon.

By establishing rapport with this customer and keeping in contact with them at least every 90 days, you will be positioning yourself to provide professional services when they are needed by the client.

ADVANTAGE #5 – Market Commentary

It is common for agents to provide market information and updates. This is certainly productive but can be taken to a total new level of interaction by providing some initiatives associated with leasing.

For example you can be commenting towards a standard lease structure that matches the needs of today’s market. You can also do the following for the property owner:

  • Implement Tenant Fit-out Guides,
  • Create Tenant Building Manuals, and
  • Run Tenant Retention Plans

These are all solid services that the property owners can use and benefit from.All these issues are support strategies that can be provided by agents as a value add service to their commercial real estate customers. They also provide a solid reason for you to go to the owner of property with something different, and a motive for them to be interested in your service.

ADVANTAGE #6 – Master Lease Considerations

Respect the link between leasing and sales, and focus on the customers standard lease as it applies to the property. This can be a significant part of your services to the clients in your market.

To do this you should understand how their standard lease works and offer constructive comment towards its structure, given the current elements in the property market today. Look at the components of the lease and particularly rental structure, outgoings recovery, incentives, bank guarantees, lease terms, and options, plus many others.

Remember the focus of the master or standard lease as it applies to the property. The lease is there to provide the owner with growth and stability in the property asset relative to its location.

Most Solicitors acting for owners are simply legal people that are not market savvy, and this is where you can add value with your specific property knowledge of the owners property and the region. Solicitors rarely see the property on which they create a lease document. That is their weakness and that is your advantage.

You are well positioned to guide owners solicitor in the alternatives of the master lease as it applies to the property and its performance specific to its location. You know the neighbourhood and the future of the region, so use that knowledge with skill and relevance.

John Highman is a prominent commercial real estate speaker and trainer in Asia Pacific, UK, and USA. His other articles for commercial real estate agents and brokers can be accessed at


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