In giving a client a marketing proposal and strategy to sell or lease a commercial property, a number of things need to be well detailed in the proposal itself. Here are some of the main ones that should never be overlooked in your property proposal.
- Why Should I Use Your Agency? It is an important question and hopefully you have a very clear idea of the advantages you bring to the sale or leasing process. Generic statements like ‘we know the market’, ‘we are the best agent in town’, ‘we have been here for 50 years’, and ‘we will serve you well’, just do not cut it in competitive markets. Consider why your real estate agency can stand clear and separate to other competitive agencies in promoting the property. Make sure that the client knows without any doubt why they should choose you as the agent of choice. Do not base your marketing point of difference on low commissions or agency paid advertising; that just does not work in this market and will put you out of business fast. Your agency must have something that is special and not copied from other agencies; it should also be so unique that you are the first choice as the real estate agent to take on the listing. If you do not have this clear mindset, then welcome to the world of the ordinary real estate agent that has to fight for every listing. Be separate than everyone else, create your point of difference and then market it well.
- Happy Existing Clients & Recent Sales: Evidence of market activity and positive results will always come in handy as you attempt to advise the client on the right strategy to adopt for their property. In this property market with an abundance of available property stock, you should never take on overpriced listings. On average it is better to walk away from them and work with listings that are closer to the market price or rent. Your time is a valuable resource and must be protected from unrealistic vendors. A realistic property owner that works within the property market is far better than a property owner that is trying to set their own property market.
- Prospective Buyer Activity on a Property: Telling the seller or landlord of your current and prospective sources of enquiry is a worthwhile part of your marketing plan. This lets the owner of the property know that you are really on the right ‘wavelength’ when it comes to locating tenants and or buyers. Some agents also adopt the strategy of getting a series of inspections done quickly with potential buyers from their database even at the early listing stage. It is surprising how many listings are sold or rented even before they reach the market officially.
- What is Value? What is a Property really worth? Whilst exact prices and rents are hard to pinpoint, you should have a reasonable idea to within 5% as to what price or rent you could achieve with any given property. If you have no idea of the rent or the price then it is better to put the property to the market on the basis of ‘expressions of interest’. In that way the market will tell you what they think. With some very unique properties this is necessary given the limited pool of buyers that can participate in the purchase.
- Methods of Sale and Timing: The main possibilities when selling a property are usually sale by auction, sale by tender, sale at a price, sale by negotiation, expressions of interest, trade or exchange. Knowing the best one to choose is the key to success. Putting the property on the market at a price is the less successful way of property marketing. The reason for this is the market will judge the property and try to reduce the price; if the property is too highly priced it will ‘kill’ any genuine enquiry before you even hear about it. One other fact needs to be remembered and respected here; a property will become ‘stale’ on the market after about 90 days. If it does not sell by then, it is better to remove it from the listing books for some reasonable time, to freshen the property for the next stage of marketing that you need to go to.
- GANTT Model: For those of you that may not be aware, this is a way of graphically displaying activity. It is a common graphing process. It just so happens that it is a very powerful tool when you put it in a commercial property proposal for sale or lease. The display shows the client exactly what you are going to do for them and when.
- Question and Answer: As part of your property marketing proposal, it is wise to have one or two pages that handle the concerns and questions of the client. From the preliminary meeting with the client you will have ascertained what matters concern them; you can merge these concerns and your answers into a Q&A format within your proposal.
- Executive Summary: Always use an Executive Summary at the front of your document. It should be no longer than 2 pages, and bring all the main points to the front of the proposal. Adults generally do not want to read a lengthy document, so all your great work may largely go unread unless you can get the key points to a place that interests the client to read further.
- An Exclusive Selling Agency Agreement: Why should you do one? The obvious answer is that you can best serve the listing and the client; you can also control the competition agents that may be chasing the same property. Open listings are not desirable and are essentially a waste of time unless you specifically have a purchaser that is a strong contender to take the property immediately. Occasionally I come across an agency that has a business approach of listing everything they can regardless of agency type; whilst this method can work, it does require you to have a very large number of listings and plenty of signs on properties. In only that way will you get the enquiry and conversion numbers that you need for KPI’s on commissions.
- What are the advantages to a Vendor in having only one Agent when selling a Property? Tell the client why one agent is the best way to go. Multiple agencies working on the one property do not allow focused communication of offers and marketing coordination. Tell the client how you will connect with them on marketing, negotiation, due diligence, and property settlement.
- Advertising: Yes advertising is expensive and it is still necessary, although you can be selective. You need to get the property message out to the market in the most efficient and direct way. How you do that is really property specific, although the conventional processes of newspaper marketing (expensive) are becoming less necessary. The internet is taking over as the main advertising channel in commercial real estate sales and leasing, and offers your client far better and cheaper ways of putting the property to the market. A key strategy for property marketing is to create 3 different levels of marketing for the client to consider (gold, silver, and bronze), as it gives them the feeling of control when it comes to spending on vendor paid advertising.
So these key points should be well handled in your property proposal. When you get the points clearly set out, the client knows what you can do and why they should choose you as the property agent of choice.