Tips for Employing New Commercial Salespeople

We all know that salespeople come and go from the commercial property industry. When the property market gets tough, it is the good people that get through because they work harder and have a great database, and the average people that leave the industry because their income is too low. On this basis you as the office manager or agency principal should always be on the lookout for better people in the market that can work for you.

Here are a few ideas about finding and employing new people in the typical commercial real estate agency today:

Other agents working for the opposition should be watched for opportunity. If you decide to take on one of these people, test them out on skills and proven deals done. Not all salespeople are as they appear.
If another agent from another office comes to you and asks for employment, be careful to assess their reasons for change. In most cases they are not performing in their current business; you need to know why.
Look around the existing properties in your area and see just what agent has the greater numbers of signs. Track their time on market and success rates with their listings.
A great salesperson is highly motivated to do the right things every day. This skill does not easily come to all, so ask the questions and get real some answers about how your candidate for employment would operate their business day and week.
Local property knowledge is essential to attract listings and convert them to new business. Ask questions of your candidate in regards to the local property market and what they know about it. This will soon highlight any shortcomings.
An established prospecting model should be part of the agent’s current business processes. Get them to tell you how they prospect and why they do it. Ask to see the size and type of database. Get them to explain how they work their database.
Listing skills are primary to finding and converting new opportunity. A good listing agent will build your business faster if they really have the listing ability under control and optimised.
Marketing skill will help convert a listing to enquiry, and it is this enquiry that can move to inspections and closed deals. This property market requires great salespeople that really know how to market, inspect, and negotiate.
Documentation skills should be established. An agent or salesperson with poor skills here will likely be a liability and a risk to your professional indemnity insurances.
Property knowledge in commercial real estate is an interpretation process involving rents, prices, leases, sales, incentives, and factors of supply and demand. There are reasons that a sale or lease will occur and the answer usually lies in these categories. Ask questions about these things and what the candidate knows about them. Continue Reading

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Job Specifications in Commercial Real Estate Sales and Leasing Agency

Every commercial real estate agency should have a job specification in place that relates to the individual roles of selling and leasing property. The job specification can be provided to potential candidates when they are considering employment in your agency. The specification can also be used as a benchmark when salespeople are underperforming or not getting the results that you seek.

There are differences in activities between property sales and property leasing, however in each case you require a highly motivated salesperson that is prepared to drive their market share and build more business.

Here are some tips regards the typical specification that can be drafted for your agency employment processes. You can add to this list based on your business, location, and targeted property types.

The agent should be required to prospect for a period of at least 2 hours on every business working day. The method of prospecting will really depend upon the property type and the surrounding market, although you would expect the prospecting to include cold calling, face to face meetings, and door knocking business owners.

The agent or salesperson should be producing a certain number of listings on a weekly basis. This number will depend upon the property type and the local area although most typical agencies would expect at least two new listings per week. That being said, you then get into the qualification of the types of listings required and that will include open and exclusive listings. The bias should be towards exclusive listings on a minimum agency term of at least three or four months.

You may want to nominate the types of business to come into your agency. That will be in the form of sales listings, leasing listings, and property management appointments. As part of that process you can also qualify the ideal level of property size, price, or rental. In that way you will get away from the less profitable and smaller properties in the local market. One of the biggest problems facing new commercial agencies today is that they take on just about everything that comes in the door. In many cases, the same amount of work is required for a small property as opposed to a large and complex property. If a small property comes to your agency then you need to decide whether it is worthwhile handling the listing or alternatively passing on to another agency.

You want all your salespeople to develop a significant market share within the property type that they specialise on, and the location. As part of monitoring this, you need to know their signboard presence and Internet listing presence on a monthly basis. The salesperson can track these numbers for you and provide you with a summary at the end of each month. Alternatively you can get your administration staff to track these numbers locally from sign counts and internet listings across agencies. Continue Reading

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Commercial Agents – Problems in Expanding Your Commercial Sales and Leasing Team

When it comes to commercial real estate sales and leasing, expansion of the sales team will give you some opportunity as an agency and as an agency principal with commissions and listings. In seeking to expand, you really do need the right people. Here are my thoughts on that.

The commercial real estate industry is quite unique and requires dedicated knowledge and experience. Finding the right people to fit this need is quite a challenge. Make sure that you have a people with the right character and diligence to drive the business forward. Every potential candidate for employment should be scrutinized for business skill and new business generation.

When you choose the wrong people you will typically have one or more of the following problems:

Call prospecting will not be successful and is likely to be overlooked. Many salespeople will avoid the prospecting process at each and every opportunity. They expect business to walk in the door. Call prospecting is perhaps the most important part of the business model for the agency and for each salesperson.

The conversions of calls to meetings, and meetings to listings or opportunities will be low. It is necessary to track the numbers of calls and meetings on a person by person basis. When successful conversions are not available or are not occurring, it is time to consider whether or not you have the right staff. Spending too much time with the wrong people can be a costly experience.

The level of trust established between clients and staff will be low, and not give you the levels of referral business that you need. Referral business is a significant part of commercial real estate agency activity. It will only occur when you have the right people creating the right networking and connections with clients.

The database in your business is likely to be neglected when it comes to the actions of average salespeople. Only the top operators usually maintain the database to a significant level of accuracy. The database is the foundation for future opportunity within your business and without it you will find listings and deals will be harder to convert. Continue Reading

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