Commercial Real Estate Agency – How to Use Signboards to Build Your Business and Market Share

When you sell or lease commercial real estate, the signboard becomes an extremely important part of your marketing process. The greater the number of signboards that you can place on the good quality properties in your sales territory, you will usually find that the enquiry and new listings will be easier to achieve. Your telephone will ring more frequently with fresh new enquiries for properties.

Property owners want to deal with the agent that has the largest slice of the local property market. They want the agent that has the biggest database and attracting the most enquiries from other properties. Time on market today can be quite frustrating so the property owners and the business proprietors do not want to experiment with average agencies with low market profile.

So the signboard is a key part of your business profile and market penetration. On this basis the signboard should feature three things:

  • Your name and contact details for any inquiry
  • Significant and clear branding of your real estate office as specialists in the area
  • Details of the property and the improvements to attract the target audience that you need

It all comes down to the perception of the marketplace. Signboards create the positive perception with the local businesses and property owners that you are the most active real estate agent in the area; the signboards also create ongoing enquiry at low cost and that is the foundation of a good database.

Here are some strategies to help you with your signboard process:

  1. Identify the main roads in your area, and get signboards on those roads and intersections wherever possible.
  2. Ideally you should be seeking exclusive or sole agencies for all your listings. In such case the signboard should be specially designed and placed. Vendor paid advertising should compensate for the cost of this special signboard.
  3. Research the rules and regulations that apply to the placement of signboards on properties for sale or lease. Municipal councils will have restrictions that you must comply with.
  4. Any openly listed properties should also get a signboard where possible, although those signboards will be ordinary in type, size, and cost. Invariably there will usually be a number of signs from different agencies on each property that is open listed. Many signboards placed on the one property will cheapen the marketing process for the property owner, but that is their choice. Still put your sign on your open listings.
  5. Undertake a signboard count in your territory at least once every two weeks. As part of that process you should be identifying the number of signboards in the territory and your percentage of those signboards. Other agent’s signboards on exclusive listings should be tracked for listing expiry. Time on market today can be lengthy and therefore the exclusive listings will commonly expire and become available for other agents to chase.
  6. Do a regular signboard survey of your listings to ensure that the signs are not damaged, destroyed, or covered in graffiti. In some sales territories and real estate markets, it is not unusual for other agents to deface or remove the signboards of successful agents. There are strategies around this problem such as the fixing process for the signboard, the quality of the signboard, and the proximity of the signboard to public access. If you are experiencing this problem, you will need to survey your signboards on a weekly basis to stay on top of the issue. Damaged signboards that are not replaced create a negative impression for your business and the property listing; in some cases other agents would like that.
  7. Only put a signboard on properties where you have a legally signed and accepted agency appointment. To do otherwise is foolish and will get you into trouble.
  8. When you sell or lease a property, get a sticker put on the board to show the status of the listing. Your success in the listing should be displayed to the local area; it will encourage others to talk to you even after the sale or lease processes are completed.

The property signboard is a silent but effective marketing tool. It has local area impact and it is as important as listing the property on the Internet today. Signboards are a key process to your market dominance.

When the signboard is placed on the property, it is the time to contact all the adjacent property owners and business proprietors. It is quite likely that they will want to talk about the listed property; so the signboard becomes the catalyst for prospecting.

The same contact process applies to the signboards of other agents. Any other agents signboard placed in your territory will give you reason to talk to the adjacent property owners and business proprietors near that board. Systematic questioning is part of the prospecting process and the way that you can get your database to grow.

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Call Capture is Turning Good Real Estate Agencies Into Great Businesses

Call capture is one of the trade secrets that many successful real estate agencies use, and can provide the distinction between struggling businesses and booming operations. Simply put, call capture can be defined as any telephone-based technology that is used to obtain personal information from potential clients. The type of information generally gathered is the client’s name, address, and phone number. Merely gathering the information, however, is not enough. Business owners must take steps to ensure that they are using the information resourcefully to build a client base which can generate leads used later on. Call capture can provide a boost to real estate agents by providing a client base filled with possible leads.

The first way an agent can start using call capture to increase business is by obtaining a capture phone number. These are generally toll free numbers and include multiple extensions in which to store information that can retrieved by the caller. They are then placed in a variety of places to help generate business. Often times, the agent will place the number on the sign-riders that many individuals recognize from its placement next to a “For Sale” sign outside a house on the market. Calling the number will provide the potential client with a number of options like leaving a voicemail, listening to a description of the house, or hanging up.

Another option provided is the ability to transfer directly to the agent. But what if the prospect hangs up? Without call capture, the real estate agent would not be aware of the potential clients that expressed interest by dialing the phone number. However, by utilizing the features of call capture, the real estate agent is actually notified every time anyone makes an inquiry by dialing the phone number listed on the sign. Additionally, the agent receives details on the client’s name, address, the phone number they called from, as well as the property they were interested in. These records can then be added into a database of potential clients, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

Even if the client does not pursue the original house listed, the prospect’s interest in buying a new house still acts as a lead, as the real estate agent might be able to find a better match for them. This also eliminates the frustration of cold calling, as every person in the database has expressed some interest in the agent’s services. A more accurate term would be warm or even hot calling, because the real estate leads are directed straight to the agent, reducing costs.

Further, there are minimal legality issues associated with this type of calling due to the fact that “Do Not Call” laws apply differently to returning calls to leads captured by this kind of system than traditional telemarketing rules. In telemarketing, an associate will cold-call businesses or residences to generate sales for their company. This information is stored in a database and displays the vendor ID, address, phone number, and name. In these instances the person being called most likely has never contacted the company on whose behalf the telemarketer is calling on. With call capture, because the potential client made the first contact with the agent when they called to get more information about their services or property, agents can then legally contact them for 90 days even if they are on the Do Not Call List (unless they specifically ask them not to call them back).

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Let Market Updates Boost Your Client Contact Success in a Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency today, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with your clients and prospects. Doing so in a relevant way will help you with building market share and listing opportunities.

Given that we regularly prospect as part of our business activities, providing market updates will help you with connecting with clients and prospects. Relevance and fresh information are the keys to the process.

As the year progresses, there will always be changes in the local property market. Those changes are of interest to the local property investors, business owners, tenants, and property developers that you work with. In many respects, they do not have the same sources of information that you have, and they are likely to be less informed when it comes to current prices and rentals relating to commercial property.

Capturing the latest information from sales and leasing activity will help you build relevance with the clients and contacts that you work with. Up to date information will always be of interest and for use in your meetings, prospecting, and client updates.

Here are some ideas to help you with providing high quality market updates:

  1. The information that you provide from the market will always be valuable. That being said, it does need to attract the attention of the reader. Interpret the prices, rentals, occupancy rates, and capitalisation rates into trends that can be graphed. The visual approach will attract attention. The best graphing model to use with trending is a bar chart. It is very suitable for our industry. You can get some simple graphing packages from the Internet which will allow you to display numbers and figures relating to property trends. In a very basic way, you can also do the same thing using an excel spreadsheet and set up the graphing alternatives from the spreadsheet.
  2. Use plenty of photographs in your marketing material relating to the local area. In saying that, the photographs should be of reasonable quality taken at an attractive angle. Those photographs may be of properties that you have sold, leased, or developed.
  3. Tell stories about the market and also the clients that you have served. As part of that process, you do need to have the consent of the property owners and clients at the centre of the story. Testimonials will always help send the right message as will positive stories from recent sales and leasing activity.
  4. To freshen up your marketing content, you can use professionally taken stock photographs that connects to your feature story or article. The stock photographs can be purchased and downloaded across the Internet so that you do not infringe any copyright ownership rights.
  5. Find a local copywriting specialist that can produce an interesting article from the property market on a weekly basis for you.

Regular market updates will help identify and support you as an industry specialist in commercial property. Consolidate all of your marketing activity into specific communications processes that reach the prospects and clients that you work with. That will normally involve emails, database, blogs, and social media.

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Indestructable Focus in Commercial Real Estate Agency Brings Results Today

In commercial real estate agency we are the best people to bring in the results for the clients that we serve. Whilst your office and your market are part of that process, the fact of the matter is that your success as an agent is largely governed by your actions and focus. Clients want to work with confident and top agents that dominate the market.

When the property market is slow or tough, most ordinary salespeople will say that there is little going on for them and that the deals are impossible to do. They will blame everyone and everything but themselves.

The fact of the matter is that your focus and your systems are really critical in commercial real estate agency. If you want to get ahead in your local area, take a solid look at what you are doing now in marketing and what could be done better.

Marketing yourself is a critical part of commercial real estate agency. Every day it is a matter of reaching out to new people that you have not connected with before.

Here are some other points of focus that can help your career as a commercial real estate agent. Check out the list to see if there is anything that you could do better.

  1. Know your specialty property type and local area comprehensively. It is surprising just how many people will quote numbers and results to you about other property locally. Invariably a lot of that information is hearsay.
  2. Believe in yourself and your ability to be a top commercial real estate agent. Certainly the concept is obvious, but a good degree of self-belief and focus takes time to bring this about.
  3. Control how you pitch, present, and negotiate. Every property listing can be a challenge given that the differences are always going to stretch your property skills. Practice your dialogue so you can convert more listings with the right people.
  4. Do not lose control or your temper for any reason. Some of the clients and prospects that we deal with are not the easiest people to work for or with. They will ‘push your buttons’ simply to get an advantage in negotiation. Many of the business people that we deal with are expert negotiators and understand that if they can ‘throw you off the tracks in the negotiation’ they are likely to get an advantage.
  5. Do the hard stuff first every day. We get our fair share of difficult things to do. Prospecting and cold calling is one of them. Always do the hard personal stuff every day, first thing.
  6. Develop willpower as you will need plenty of it to keep you on the right track and focus. Top agents stay on track regardless of things that surround them.
  7. Keep fit mentally and physically so you can do your best every day. Working hours for most of us are 7am to 7pm. It’s a long day and it contains many challenging things that will stretch your abilities. Stay fit so you can create the best outcomes.
  8. Use a time management system to control the things that you must do. Many agents struggle with ‘unimportant’ stuff. You are the only person that can take your career steps forward. Make sure those steps are the right ones.
  9. Grow your database every day with new people. This requires a prospecting mindset and should be one of the first things that you do every day.

Give me one really focused and driven commercial real estate agent. They are better than 10 ordinary ones.

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