6 Action Tips for When Commissions Are Low in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency, the average working year for agents will have peaks and troughs when it comes to contracts and lists. The seasonal sales patterns of the year are fairly easy to pick and you should always prepare for them. In an ordinary year you have about 10 months where you can market…

In commercial real estate agency, the average working year for agents will have peaks and troughs when it comes to contracts and lists. The seasonal sales patterns of the year are fairly easy to pick and you should always prepare for them.

In an ordinary year you have about 10 months where you can market and promote your listings quite well. Your success in that 10 month period will depend on your list of contacts and how you work your database.

Some agents if not many have 'dips' in agreements and listings each year due to local area changes and personal holidays. When this happens they need to take firm and decent action to get back on track.

The success of a commercial real estate agent is large built from personal effort and action. Top agents are extremely focused and do the right things every day to build their market share and negotiation potential.

Here are some tips to help you when the lists and responsibilities you have on your agency books are slow or low in volume:

  1. Exclusive listings are of high value in our industry. They are the only way that you can really control your market and client base. If you have too many open listings, expect that your clients and most negotiations will be all that degree harder to get across the line.
  2. On a weekly basis check where the majority of property enquiries are coming from and what people are looking for. Track the volume of inquiry coming to you and your office. Make sure that you are getting your fair share of the action. If any of these numbers are low, you should take action in moving your marketing focus.
  3. Quality listings are critical to help you build personal market share. If you have low quality sales or leasing stock, you will always struggle with inbound enquiries for your listed properties. Top agents work with high quality listings; you should make quality properties a focus as well.
  4. Work with all your clients to get prices reduced to a range that is realistic. Property buyers and tenants in commercial real estate are very selective. Make sure that all your listings are priced to create good local market inquiries.
  5. Lift your marketing effort with vendor paid marketing. This VPA process should be a key feature of your sales pitch for exclusive listings.
  6. Prospect more every day. When you prospect, opportunities are readily available. You have better people to talk to and negotiate with.

If your responsibilities and listings are low, take a look at all of these things and take action to improve your personal efforts and focus. It takes about 3 months to get out of a 'dip' in agreements and listings. Stay personally focused, and get the leads coming back in to your agency.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Client Connection Rules

In a commercial real estate agency you need clients and lots of them if success is something that you aspire to as an agent. Without a good base of clients you will struggle with finding listings and putting sales or leasing deals together. There are issues to think about here. It is a very competitive…

In a commercial real estate agency you need clients and lots of them if success is something that you aspire to as an agent. Without a good base of clients you will struggle with finding listings and putting sales or leasing deals together.

There are issues to think about here. It is a very competitive industry so some of your clients will move agent from time to time, or possibly leave the industry. The cycle of commercial real estate is also quite long so it can take months if not years to get a client relationship to convert to a transaction.

You need lots of clients to move your career forward. Where can you find these clients? What are the rules? Try some of these:

  1. If you choose to work with the better clients and higher quality commercial or retail properties, you will generally have a greater level of property inquiry coming from advertising and marketing. You find that the tenants and buyers that can act in this market will make themselves known to you. On that basis you will have something to work with when it comes to inspections and negotiations. Your database will also be of better quality and more relevant to the property market of today.
  2. Why should a client or prospect do business with you? It is a real question that should have a solid answer. If you do not know the answer, then it is quite likely that the clients will also struggle to see your relevancy. Top agents have a real relevancy to the property market, and clients or prospects seek them out.
  3. Finding property owners to talk to and work with is a slow and tedious process. It takes time to find the right people that own properties and that may have a future need of your services. Many times I have been asked by agents to provide some 'short-cut' or 'magic bullet' to the process of finding property owners and clients. The fact of the matter is that there is no 'short-cut'. Prospecting for property owners to serve or work for takes time and real effort. Make it a target of your business day to find one new owner in the local property market. If you can find one new property owner per day, that average will help you build market share quite well.
  4. The easiest group of people to find and work with in commercial real estate, and that may need property help are the business owners and proprietors in the local area. Use the business telephone book for that process. You can also travel to the streets and business areas where good businesses are thriving. Get the names of the business owners and make the calls or send the letters.

If you want a solid and successful career in commercial real estate agency, look at your client list and build it on a daily basis.

Move to the Next Level in a Commercial Real Estate Agency

It is a fact that commercial real estate agency offers significant opportunity for those salespeople that can work with focus and diligence. It is a very rewarding industry. As with anything it should be said that the salespeople that do not put in the effort will struggle and involuntarily leave the industry. There are certain…

It is a fact that commercial real estate agency offers significant opportunity for those salespeople that can work with focus and diligence. It is a very rewarding industry.

As with anything it should be said that the salespeople that do not put in the effort will struggle and involuntarily leave the industry. There are certain parts of the job that are absolutely critical to business conversion and commission growth. Each of those parts should be optimized for knowledge and skill development.

Here is a list to help you understand those facts:

  • Researching the people to talk to as part of your prospecting model
  • Gathering the right information relating to the local property market at prices, rentals, best methods of sale, and best methods of leasing.
  • The correct marketing methods that will help you create the property churn and activity with your quality listings.
  • Prospecting each and every day into the local area and within your property type
  • Pitching and presenting your services to potential clients and customers requiring help with sales leasing or property management
  • The packaging of a listing to ensure that you achieve market penetration for the target market
  • The inspection process that applies to each listing showing the features and benefits of purchase or lease
  • The negotiation process to move the property forward to a successful transaction for the client
  • The follow-up process to keep the finalized transaction heading towards completion
  • The opportunity for referral and repeat business from the client that you have served

Each of these stages can be considered as critical to the success that you want to achieve as a commercial real estate agent. By improving your skill and knowledge in each of the stages, you can increase your conversions of lists and responsibilities.

So a person that is new to the industry or considering entering commercial real estate should take on the requirement of personal development in knowledge and skill. It is a daily process and will allow you to move up in the local property market as a good agent.

You should expect competition from other agents in your region. Some of those agents will be aggressive and potentially unethical. Some agents like to 'jump' your listings and interfere with your client relationships. The only way that you can counter these problems is in providing a top service, quality communication, and the relevant experience that the client needs.

In entering the industry, you will soon know that the quality of the lists that you attract will have a significant impact on the levels of inquiry that you achieve. You will also know that prospecting is a critical component of your daily activity. Set the rules in motion to make your career one of success and growth. The opportunities are available for that.

Develop Your Call Contact Plan for Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting

In commercial real estate agency, you need to prospect every day. Cold call prospecting is part of that process and in fact is likely to be the most important part. Commercial real estate agents that simply start making calls without a plan are likely to fail in the process. The random approach to making calls…

In commercial real estate agency, you need to prospect every day. Cold call prospecting is part of that process and in fact is likely to be the most important part.

Commercial real estate agents that simply start making calls without a plan are likely to fail in the process. The random approach to making calls really does not work very well. You need to develop your contact plan so that it integrates into your local area effectively and efficiently.

Here are some tips to help you with a call contact plan in your commercial real estate agency practice.

  1. If you share the office with other agents, it is quite important to know where your territory is located. Nothing is more frustrating than making calls to people that have been spoken to before by other agents in your office. The client is left with a perception of confusion when it comes to the right person to talk to. Define your territory so that you can contact the right people and property owners within that area.
  2. It is desirable that you focus on a property type. That may be commercial office, industrial, or retail. That focus and specialty will allow you to create stronger and more relevant dialogue for call prospecting. You will be able to talk about trends in prices, rentals, and time on market. You will know what the tenants and the buyers are looking for when it comes to your property speciality.
  3. On a daily basis, you should be making at least 40 to 50 calls. Half of those should be to people that you have spoken to before, and the other half should be to new people that you have identified as opportunities.
  4. Many agents struggle with the necessity to get a list of call prospects together. When you first start in the industry, the easiest people to call are usually the business proprietors and business owners. You can do that from the business telephone book.
  5. The details of property owners and property investors will come to you over time through talking to other people and ongoing research. When it comes to identifying the property owners, the process takes time and on that basis you should target one or two property owners per day. Anything beyond that number is just too difficult when it comes to the required research and investigation.
  6. Understand what the client or a prospect looks like to you. That will be by definition, location, property activity, and capability. When you drill down into the quality of the person or property investor that you talk to, you will find that the better listings will come to you over time. That's what the top agents do.

From all of these things you will see that consistent work is required on a daily basis to make a prospecting model work for you. Every night you should be researching the people to call the next day. Track the results of the calls through a simple database program.

Keep the contact going every two or three months with the right people that have a potential business opportunity for you. It has been proved that it takes about two or three approaches to the right person to get a meeting established. Personal confidence in the process will help you get there faster. That's what cold calling is all about.

5 Tips for Saving Time in Researching Commercial Real Estate Agency Leads

In commercial real estate agency, you must research your local property market constantly to know what is going on and how you can tap into it. Changes are always occurring with property owners, tenants, business owners, and local property zoning. Everything is an opportunity to those agents that get active to a plan. So you…

In commercial real estate agency, you must research your local property market constantly to know what is going on and how you can tap into it. Changes are always occurring with property owners, tenants, business owners, and local property zoning. Everything is an opportunity to those agents that get active to a plan.

So you need to do your own research and keep ahead of the changes in your market. Each day and each week you can collate the information that you find relevant. In this way you can target the right market segments for more business in property sales or leasing.

Here are some ideas to help you with the research process:

  1. Define your local territory so you have something to focus within. Highways and city boundaries are of benefit here. Understand that you have sufficient property owners and properties in the zone to create the business and listing opportunity.
  2. Get the old sale records for the local area from about 4 or 5 years ago. These records are on average likely to contain the people and businesses that are next to do a new property transaction (sale, purchase, or lease). Get in touch with these people and establish the links for ongoing relevant contact. What can you talk to them about that will be of ongoing value?
  3. Every time a signboard is placed on a property locally by one of your competitors, you should get in touch with the property owners and businesses near that sign and subject property. It is a fact that one property signboard in a street or precinct will create action on the part of any other property owner or business proprietor that is considering some property action.
  4. Look back though all your prospect and client contact records. Make contact with the people that you have helped in a positive way. Ask about referrals and other business. Keep the referral concept open for leads and opportunities later. Keep going back to those prospects and clients to see what they are doing with local property and their portfolio.
  5. It is a fact that doorknocking the streets where local businesses are located will create significant opportunity. Those business owners know a lot more about the street and the location than you do. They can tell you about changes and other businesses moving. Ask the questions.

All of these things are relatively simple to implement. Take the action and keep the process on track. You will see that property research as an agent is not too hard at all.

Myths About Commercial Real Estate Agent Fees and Commissions

In commercial real estate agency you will hear many stories about responsibilities and fees. Far too many agents listened to those stories and shape their pitch or presentations accordingly. The fact of the matter is that these stories are just 'myths' created by other agents to justify their shortcomings in fee negotiations. Top agents do…

In commercial real estate agency you will hear many stories about responsibilities and fees. Far too many agents listened to those stories and shape their pitch or presentations accordingly. The fact of the matter is that these stories are just 'myths' created by other agents to justify their shortcomings in fee negotiations. Top agents do not negotiate on fees or awards.

If you truly believe in your commercial real estate services, and you can provide the right message to the client, your fees and decisions will come to you. You do not need to cut fees and discount commissions to attract listings. You just need to tell the right story about where you are taking the client and their property.

Here are some facts for you in handling fees and commissions:

  1. If the client requests for a discount, you have not necessarily sold your relevancy and skill as the agent that the client needs.
  2. Requests for discounts should be declined. Show the client what will happen when you take on the listing. Make that story real and relevant. Tell the client why your processes are special and how they will more than offset any benefit they get from a discount.
  3. Show the client exactly how you have assisted other property owners and what the outcomes were in each case.
  4. Let the client see why you are very different and far more relevant to the property marketing than the competitors that could be pitching for the same property.
  5. Give the client some feel for current inquiry for property. Tell them about the prospects that you have on your books that you will introduce the property to immediately when the listing is signed and released to the market.
  6. Commissions reward your hard and direct effort. Every exclusive listing should be the subject of a lot of direct marketing effort. Tell the client how that will work. Put yourself in the equation and get away from generic marketing.
  7. Direct efforts on your part can spread the story about the property to the right people. Give the client a timeline as to how you will do that.
  8. Marketing fees should be paid by the client when it comes to each exclusive listing. Get sufficient funds to promote the property comprehensively to the right target audience.
  9. Ask for a reward or increase in your commission in your legal agents appointment if you sell the property sooner or at a better price. Set a short time frame of say 1 month so you can put in maximum effort to get the momentum from buyers for this 'stretched target'. This extra commission should be based on a stretched target that the client wants and that you believe is achievable with some hard effort. Most clients are comfortable with paying for a better exit. That being said, make sure you stay within the legal rules of decisions and agency appointment in your location.

So the message here is that you can justify a good commission and marketing fee. You just need to match your services accordingly and help the client understand what you are doing and why.

Choosing The Ideal Holiday Home For You

Holidays are an integral part of our lives, but what if you could buy a permanent bolt hole in the sun? There is always a risk when you choose a new destination or different hotel for your time out. Just imagine if you had your own holiday home or apartment just waiting for you all…

Holidays are an integral part of our lives, but what if you could buy a permanent bolt hole in the sun? There is always a risk when you choose a new destination or different hotel for your time out. Just imagine if you had your own holiday home or apartment just waiting for you all year around. You could add your own personal touches and would not have to worry about rude hotel staff or even ruder guests. Here we look at some of the best holiday apartments and destinations you might want to consider for your long term plans.

Lion's View – Cape Town

This is a stunning part of the Cape Province and set along the beautiful Lion's Head Mountain. The building was designed by an award winning architect and features a myriad of accommodation options. You can choose from the main house with five double bedrooms or sometimes the penthouse with two double bedrooms will float your boat. The features include a fantastic swimming pool and a spacious barbeque area overlooking the Atlantic ocean.

Venice Beach Eco Cottages – Los Angeles

This is a legendary holiday venue for locals and tourists alike. The stylish Venice beach venue is a perfect companion for this eco-friendly vacation abode. Featuring full solar power supplies there are three apartments for the discerning traveler to choose from. Each place has an individual design theme and all are equally beautiful.

BA Parisian Elegance Apartment – Buenos Aires

Total elegance is represented by this Argentinean apartment design. It was converted from the second floor of the old French Embassy building from the nineteen twenties. The new design has retained some of the classic features from its original guise and these have been mixed with some modern designs. It is situated in the trendy Recoleta neighborhood and is a must try apartment for those of you who love galleries and parks to walk in.

Inhouse Potts Point – Sydney

A one bedroom apartment that is located in harborside Potts Point, takes up the first floor of a late nineteenth century house. Featuring Tasmanian oak flooring and twelve foot high ceilings, this airy abode is recommended to those of you who wish to visit the beautiful city of Sydney.

Chakrabongse Villas – Bangkok

Situated along the stunning Chao Phraya river, these four apartments have a distinctly island feel to their aura. There are separate themes to all threes abodes and each one sleeps two. When you are staying in this peaceful setting among the grounds of a hundred year old house, it is hard to believe you are in one of the busiest capitals in South East Asia!

Dar Musique – Marrakech

A stunning private house located in the Mouassaine area of ​​Marrakech. This setting is as atmospheric as you can get and has a distinct regal finish to the décor. The house can sleep up to eight guests comfortable and you will be able to enjoy a steam bath with visiting masseurs if you really have to!

Top Commercial Real Estate Agents – Control Reactions and Improve Results

In commercial real estate agency you will strike many different characters and clients. Egos and conflict are not unusual in our industry. Many of the people that we work with have a strong opinion of what they know and what they see. Your communication skills and reactions to these clients or prospects are key components…

In commercial real estate agency you will strike many different characters and clients. Egos and conflict are not unusual in our industry. Many of the people that we work with have a strong opinion of what they know and what they see. Your communication skills and reactions to these clients or prospects are key components in moving a relationship forward.

Top agents are very professional in communicating with the right people. Confidence and relevance underpin most conversations when it comes to top agents.

Practice will help you move ahead with all the variables that you strike in this market. The fact of the matter is that you can control how you react. Start some 'role playing' at your weekly sales meetings to lift your communication skills.

Let's look at the business for what it is:

  1. You need to find the right people to help.
  2. You must understand their needs and property challenges.
  3. Negotiations are regularly slow and difficult.
  4. You will strike people with firm opinions.
  5. Protect what you say and do by having up to date and accurate information about the property or the negotiation.
  6. Document everything on the understanding that disparities occur frequently in our industry.

Your success in the industry is large based on what you do and how you react. Many of us have seen clients and prospects that choose to over react. That is usually a negotiation strategy on their part, and you do not have to follow suit; you can control how you react. Do not give your clients and prospects the 'knee-jerk' response that they are seeking from you.

Our industry is full of challenges. You will face a lot of rejection, and disappointments. There will be complaints, disputes, and deals that collapse. Through all of this there will be the deals that move ahead.

Do not let the difficult deals stop or slow your progress. Stay on track with the things that matter.

It is remarkable how a difficult client or property disagrement can take over your focus for hours if not days. The salespeople that easily loose the focus are the ones that do not have enough other business to get on with. If you have a large database or pipeline of opportunity, you can simply get back on track after a disaggregation by moving onto and with other properties and people that need your help.

Do not take things personally in commercial real estate agency no matter how difficult a client or prospect is. If things are really difficult you can simply walk away. Preserve your focus and professionalism; to do otherwise is a waste of time and a weakness.

How to Motivate Yourself As a Commercial Real Estate Agent

In commercial real estate agency it is essential that you motivate yourself every day. It is so easy to get tied up in the 'things that really do not matter'. Everyone around you will also take a 'slice of your time' if you let them. Understand that you are in charge and on that basis…

In commercial real estate agency it is essential that you motivate yourself every day. It is so easy to get tied up in the 'things that really do not matter'. Everyone around you will also take a 'slice of your time' if you let them. Understand that you are in charge and on that basis all of your decisions should be made as an agent.

Motivation in our industry is usually central to doing some of the more mentally challenging things. It is very easy to put off the things that we do not want to do. Moving something to another day or tomorrow will not solve the problem in commercial real estate agency.

So what are the difficult things that most agents and salespeople avoid?

Try some of these:

  • Prospecting (that is always a big hurdle in this industry)
  • Client communication
  • Reactivating failed deals
  • Talking to clients and prospects after a disagreement or failed transaction
  • Compiling written reports
  • Listing research and investigation
  • Prospecting research
  • Paperwork associated with preparing a property for the market
  • Writing adverts and editorials
  • Creative briefs and marketing material
  • Undertaking a property inspection on weekends

You can probably add to the list quite easily. As you can see there are many things that frustrate us as agents. The point is that you must stay motivated. Be prepared to do the hard things and get them done first every day before you move on to the things that you like to do.

Other big problems in the commercial real estate agency business are the negative people that can enter the workplace, and the media that can try to influence what we think and what we do. If this is a problem for you remember this:

  1. Negative people are looking for excuses and sympathy. They want support for their lack of action or failed negotiations. Many failed agents are simply a product of their own inaction and lack of focus. Do not let that rub off on you.
  2. The media is only and always looking for readership or listeners. They will do and say anything to get you to tune into the TV or radio. The media is large about selling the advertising between the news and community commentary. The media is designed to get people to listen and they will 'bend the facts' to suit. They need ratings and will create the situation for people to listen.

As a commercial real estate agent, you can not and should not expose yourself to either of these things. They will do nothing for you in market share, listings, or client relationships.

You must protect your thinking and your actions. Every day you should rise to the opportunity of the property market and not the skilled facts of the media or fellow workers.

Does this mean that you should live in a 'bubble'? Perhaps not, but do not let others influence what you do and think as an agent; create your own 'news' based on what you know and do, not what others tell you. You can refuse to listen to local and poor quality media, and you can walk away from others that are seeking excuses and support. Stay motivated and build your commercial real estate business.

Daily Results Are the Name of the Game in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency it is the results that you achieve every day that will help you grow your market share and commissions. On that basis, daily results are the name of the game. To know what your daily results are, track the right things that mean a lot to your personal growth and…

In commercial real estate agency it is the results that you achieve every day that will help you grow your market share and commissions. On that basis, daily results are the name of the game.

To know what your daily results are, track the right things that mean a lot to your personal growth and new business opportunities in commercial real estate. In most cases that should be:

  • Outbound prospecting calls – most agents should be making at least 40 outbound calls every day. From those calls they should be connecting with at least 15 to 20 people. Many agents struggle with the amount of research required to get this momentum underway. Over time however you can build a significant database of contacts and prospects. Soon you will have plenty of people to talk to. As part of the outbound calling process, give due regard to the do not call register that applications in your location. Follow the rules.
  • Meetings booked with new prospects – if you follow the call process previously mentioned, it is generally quite easy to create two new meetings per day. In doing that, you will soon find the new business you require.
  • New business converted from meetings – assuming that you are creating one or two meetings per day five days a week; you should be finding one new business opportunity per week from that meeting activity.
  • Growth of database – your database should be growing regularly and consistently. This will only occur if you prospect on a daily basis. On average most agents should have at least 600 qualified contacts within their database.
  • Exclusive listings on the market – the exclusive listings that you create and convert will help you with market share and building an image as a top agent. If you work from a base of open listings, it is very hard to establish any relevancy as an agent locally. Practice your sales pitch and presentation as it relates to an exclusive listing process.
  • Time on market – through the calendar year, the time on market will change based on economic conditions and prevailing market pressures. Track the time on market relative to your listings and that of others.
  • Closed transactions – some properties will be successfully closed to a sale or release. Other properties will fall from the market as an unsuccessful transaction. Either way you need to watch what's occurring when it comes to these numbers. Generally speaking the numbers of closed transactions should be on the increase as you continuously prospect through the local area.

When you set results and track them, you can see performance standards that apply to your personal focus and activities. Every day is a new day in commercial real estate where you can connect with new people, find a better quality prospects to work with, and list good properties. That is exactly what top agents do in this market. They keep connecting with new people and put them into their pipeline of contact.

It is interesting to note that ratios and results will differ from person to person. Some commercial real estate agents will be better at prospecting while others will be better marketing. The same can be said when it comes to negotiating.

Understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses as an agent will help you address any shortcomings when it comes to skills and opportunities. Personal development is a key part of our industry.

DIY Vs Agent, A Guide to Renting Your Property

The current housing slump and continued difficulty facing first-time buyers in trying to convince the banks that they are worthy of being awarded a life changing lump of debt to help them get onto the property ladder. Means that landlord numbers are growing, 2013 according to a number of national newspapers is the year of…

The current housing slump and continued difficulty facing first-time buyers in trying to convince the banks that they are worthy of being awarded a life changing lump of debt to help them get onto the property ladder. Means that landlord numbers are growing, 2013 according to a number of national newspapers is the year of the landlord, as relatively wealthy individuals with good credit ratings continue to buy up property at a discount with a view to taking advantage of the dynamics in the market .

One property investor I spoke with recently likened the UK property market to the Klondike gold rush. Many of the miners will make it, but even more will fail – ill equipped and poorly educated in the ways of profitable mining. As with mining, making money from Property investment requires the correct tools. If you choose to take a short cut beware you could end up losing the lot.

Letting Agents provide a valuable service in the process of monetizing property, which could be viewed as the go to guys in the mining community. Letting agents can guide Landlords through the letting process, they:

· Outline the successful letting process

· Can source reliable suppliers of landlord services ie painters & decorators, builders, plumbers and so on.

· They can market your property to the widest possible number of tenants

· Putting up a for let sign.

· They often have tenants on their books who are actively looking for property

· They will vet prospective tenants

· They will arrange the contracts

· They will conduct Inventories

· They will manage the property and do bi-annual checks

· Collect rents

· They can provide advice on the right insurances

In the past a good letting agent has been an integral part of the property investment process. All this sounds great I hear you say, what's the problem. The fundamental problem most landlords have with letting agents are the fees they pay and the total lack of customer service they receive in return. Although if truth be told a properly sourced investment property can easily accommodate these fees.

Often the tenant sourcing element of the service will cost up to 50% of the first month's rent, there may be additional charges for contracting, tenant reference checks and so on and so forth. If you end up getting them to change any doors or carry out any work they may put as much 25% on top of the contractor fee just for arranging the work. I suppose Advocats would say that you are paying for the agents network and expertise, although this holds little water with many landlords.

In this day and age there are lots of other options available at the other end of the spectrum is the DIY landlord, as the name suggests DIY landlord will do the whole process themselves. There are lots of pitfalls which can trip up the inexperienced landlord choosing to DIY it themselves.

There are rare providers that Landlords can use who will do elements of the process and at the same time provide the landlord with helpful advice. This is the middle ground and one which I think more and more landlords will opt for. Landlords can do as much or as little as they wish. There are tenant sourcers who can help landlords get their properties markeded across the internet, they will also arrange the views and conduct initial vetting all for a flat fee which is nowhere near 50% of the first months' rent.

As long as landlords are happy to do viewings they can save them a lot of money and still get the same type of advice as they would if they opt for a full letting service. The internet and the development of new business models to satisfy niche elements is enabling this to happen. I will give you one example of how the internet and proliferation of the smart phone is helping to save landlords money if they choose to educate themselves as to what is out there. Letting agents can charge up to £ 100 to do a full inventory, there are some app's that will run you through the whole inventory process, enabling you to take photo's and create an in-depth report for only £ 5.00. The report is emailed to you within seconds of it being uploaded to the app owners website. Funnily enough the smart agents are also using the same app to do their inventories and guess what they are charging for it, suffice it to say they are making a minimum 1000% market up, great work if you can get it. And not to dissimilar to the type of profits that were made by a few way back in the Klondike gold rush of old.

The Role of Customer Service As a Real Estate Agent

I do not look at residential real estate as a sales career. If I did then I would have chosen a different profession. That's just not my thing. So I started thinking about my friends that are successful in sales and what common factors contribute to their success. What I discovered is that they all…

I do not look at residential real estate as a sales career. If I did then I would have chosen a different profession. That's just not my thing. So I started thinking about my friends that are successful in sales and what common factors contribute to their success. What I discovered is that they all build trust and lasting relationships with their clients. On the surface, my friends appear to be natural salespeople but what makes them good at their job is that they EXCEL at customer service!

That was good news to me because customer service has always been something that I enjoy doing. Yes, that may seem weird to some of you but I loved waiting tables and working retail.

More recently, I've worked in the corporate world and I can see how my customer service skills have been helpful to my career. Think about this, no matter who you work for or what you do you will have internal and / or external “customers” that need your product or service. You have to build trust and relationships in order to have a successful and enriching career and that IS customer service.

One key item to mention, in order to provide great customer service you must provide a quality product. So whether you're providing a sales forecast or processing payroll you must provide quality output.

At the risk of over simplifying the real estate agent duties, to me the only thing I have to “sale” to a potential client is me. After a client chooses to use my services it's all about serving my client. Now at this point some of you may be wondering about the listing side of the business – is not that sales? I consider that marketing. It's our job to attract buyers to our clients listing and to do that by using the tools in our marketing arsenal that includes all sorts of ways to get agents and potential buyers to the home. However, I will not try to push someone to buy a home that is not right for them just to earn a commission. That's NOT providing good customer service.

My friends and I have had some lively discussions on the dividing out what exactly is marketing versus sales versus customer service so we just agreed that there is some gray area. However, we all did agree that providing excellent customer service is the key to getting and keeping customers.

So what do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Please visit my blog at http://www.basictrainingforrealestate.com .

Property in Mauritius, Investment Opportunity?

Mauritius has been attracting more and more investors and residents over the last few years since the gloomy international business climate – why? If we take a closer look at what the country has to offer and the changes it has managed to implement in order to attract this needed FDI it may offer a…

Mauritius has been attracting more and more investors and residents over the last few years since the gloomy international business climate – why?

If we take a closer look at what the country has to offer and the changes it has managed to implement in order to attract this needed FDI it may offer a clue.

Property in Mauritius although only recently available to foreigners through the Mauritius RES, IRS and IHS schemes has provided a hit with buyers from all around the world putting money down to stick a claim to a little piece of this paradise island. One could argue that the many tourists that have flocked to the island over the years have served up as “pent up” claim while foreigners could not purchase in Mauritius (up until end of 2005) so when the government made changes to the legislation allowing for them to buy there was was something of a mad rush.

Fast-forward to around 2008 and the world's financial system basically melts down leading us into quite a serious recession globally, Mauritius certainly has not escaped the impact of it but has managed to still show impressive growth and where other countries are taking strain in terms of their property markets Mauritius still has quite a buoyant market with new developments springing up both in the residential and commercial sector. The manufacturing and agricultural industries, more specifically textiles and sugar have dropped off primarily due to the competitiveness of the eastern markets and price drops in sugar – this lead the government to take quick and bold steps to find alternative revenues for FDI – by encouraging off- shore business's to setup in Mauritius with attractive tax incentives, stable business and political environments, allowing foreigners to invest in property and relaxing VISA controls Mauritius has managed to maintain a positive growth rate.

Ranked among the easiest places in Africa if not the world to business by various publications things like having the second cleanest air in the world, its ideal geographical location between Africa and the East, natural beauty and last but not least sound micro and macro economic policies put Mauritius in a very strong position for the next upswing in the global economy.

When considering whether or not Property in Mauritius is a good option as an investment it is a good idea to visit the Board of Investment of Mauritius website to get more specific details on legislature relating to foreign ownership.

AGENTS – Want To Know How To Take Photos That Sell Properties?

Do not we all! Because better photos bring in more buyer inquiry. Did you know that over 90% of real estate buyers now look on the internet for properties for sale? So, if you're looking to sell your listings, you need to grab the interest of these buyers. Here are 5 key points to help…

Do not we all! Because better photos bring in more buyer inquiry.

Did you know that over 90% of real estate buyers now look on the internet for properties for sale? So, if you're looking to sell your listings, you need to grab the interest of these buyers.

Here are 5 key points to help you improve your real estate photos.

Check out what the professionals are up to

You can pick up lots of good ideas simply by looking at other listings on the internet that have great photos. Have the Owners de-cluttered? Is there good light in the room being photographed? How has the photographer 'composed' the picture?

Then you can use these ideas to develop your 'eye' for a good picture. So do not be shy about getting some good ideas from the experts.

Get your Owners / Sellers to prepare the property for photography

Want to only have to do one quarter the work when you arrive to take your photos?

Well, here's a clue: make sure your Owner / Seller knows what to do to prepare the property for photos. Ideally, have a great checklist to give them a list of what you need them to do – BEFORE you arrive. Now that's smart thinking. (It can also help out if you have a tenanted property.)

Let the light shine in … for better photos

There is a reason why good photographers often lug around lots of off-camera lights and all the other equipment to trigger them. It's simply because better lighting creates better photos.

But you do not have to carry around all that extra stuff. Open the curtains, turn on all the room lights, highlight a dark corner with a lamp. These are quick and easy ways to help improve the light in a room. Small things can make a big difference.

Think like a Buyer

Spend a moment, before you start taking your photos, walking through the house.

What are the special features you want to highlight to entice your best Buyer? The stunning designer kitchen, a fancy rain shower head, a special scenic view, a relaxing alfresco area or maybe a great shed out the back?

Most real estate photos just show average views of average rooms. Walk around and find the angle that shows the buyer what you want to tell them. Remember, you're telling a story.

Get your verticals straight!

The quickest way to tell the world you're photos are not very good is to have the walls sloping and the edges of the windows crooked. Basically you need to get a tripod and / or work out how to bring up the grid overlay on your camera preview screen, so you can see what is going on. Then you can use the grid to align your verticals and horizontals in your photo.

Remember, do not use a lens that is very wide angle with your camera – unless you want to spend your valuable sales time doing lots of adjustments in post processing.

But do adjust, adjust, adjust your position when you're taking your photos – until you have the alignment correct. Believe me, it's worth the effort.

Practice will develop your eye for a good shot and remember, with a digital camera you can take as many photos as you need to make sure you get the best results. Have fun!

The High Value of a Client in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, the specialization that you create as an agent is of great relevance to the clients that you serve. Just about all top agents specialize in some way or form. That will usually be in commercial office, industrial, or retail. Every market segment will have factors of specialty that you can build…

In commercial real estate, the specialization that you create as an agent is of great relevance to the clients that you serve. Just about all top agents specialize in some way or form. That will usually be in commercial office, industrial, or retail.

Every market segment will have factors of specialty that you can build your market share around. A top agent will be so relevant to the property type, that the clients will seek them out.

So let's say that the client approaches you for assistance when it comes to a property need. They may only have one focus today and that may be in purchasing, selling, or leasing. Whilst you may satisfy that need, from that opportunity you will have other situations that you can work on.

Here are some ideas to help you work with your clients:

  1. Many clients refer to a property type and prefer that property type as part of their investment portfolio. This then allows you to focus on pricing trends, rentals, leasing solutions, buyer inquiry, tenant occupancy, and new development needs. All that can occur within the property type.
  2. It is interesting to note that many clients and property investors purchase properties through the local area and rarely go outside of those boundaries. They stay within the zone of property that they understand. That then presents a weakness to the client if they only invest in one property type in the local area. If that single property type is exposed to changes of inquiry, supply and demand, or rezoning, the client will suffer financial pressure. On that basis it does pay to recommend to your clients that they diversify their property ownership types within the local area. That diversity should spread across to office, industrial, and retail property. If one segment is performing well, that will then protect the underperforming segments.
  3. Many clients think about the rental returns when it comes to investment property. You can focus on the bigger picture of gross rental and the recovery of outgoings from tenant occupancy. Every client and every landlord that you serve should have a strategy relating to lease structure when it comes to outgoings. Wherever possible, the gross rental or the outgoings recovery structure in the lease should help the landlord to optimize net income.
  4. A client that owns the property with multiple tenants should be approached regards a tenant retention plan, and the tenant mix strategy. This is certainly important when it comes to retail property but would also apply in office commercial. You can be the agent to help them to minimizeize vacancies, and optimize the current tenancy mix.

A client that is well served in today's property market is a client that will give you another opportunity with repeat business and referral business. The relationship that you strike with your clients can be productive and ongoing for many years. Always focus on exclusive listings with your valuable clients. In that way you can provide the quality service and focus that they require.