When you work in commercial real estate agency, you will soon see that the industry is very competitive in many respects. In this economy and property environment, many agents are struggling with listing quality stock.
It is not unusual to have other agents chasing your listings even though they may be exclusive listings. It is also not unusual to have some buyers or tenants approach the property owner directly in an effort to get a ‘cheaper deal’. Unfortunately at the time of listing and marketing, a client will listen to anyone that has something to say; you have to control this fact.
On that basis it pays to inform your clients early in your listing processes that they will likely be approached by other agents seeking to take your listing and derail the marketing efforts. When and if that happens you should tell the client to refer all contacts from anyone to you, the exclusive agent.
When you control the property enquiry, you keep these distractions to a minimum. You control all communications and can qualify any enquiry to make sure that it is genuine.
In the property industry it is always desirable for an agent to have exclusive or sole agencies. On that basis the client will commit to your services for a fixed period of time and you can control the marketing and inspections.
When you take into account the property type, the level of property enquiry, and your listed property location, it is likely that your agency term should be for a minimum of 90 to 120 days. In that time you can market the property comprehensively and capture the correct level of property enquiry through targeted marketing campaigns.
Some of the more notable problems in competitive real estate areas can best be summarised as follows:
- The signboards on your listed properties are likely to be interfered with or removed. It is not unusual to place a sign on a property and see it disappear within 24 hours. This of course is an illegal process; you still have to find the person that removed or damage the sign.
- When you place a sign on a property, the agents in competition to you are likely to approach the client directly. They will tell the client a number of things to infer that they are the best agent that can help them when the listing expires with you.
- Other agents will tell the client that they have made certain mistakes regards marketing of the property through your, and that those agents already have a source of qualified buyers ready to inspect immediately.
- The other agents will tell the client that they have some buyers that want to look through the property right now and they will simply seek approval from the client to do so. The agents infer that they always conjunct with you and will talk to you later (not true).
Given all of the above, at the time of sale the client is inclined to listen to anything and everyone when they are trying to sell or lease their property. This is a fact and problem you need to control.
Keep Control as the Exclusive Agent
Whilst it is not ethical, other agents will seek to cross over your listing or go behind your agency appointment, and get their ‘foot in the door’ when it comes to that particular property listing. As soon as you put a signboard on the property or list it on the Internet, the property becomes common knowledge to everyone. Prepare the client for the pressures that they will be under and tell them that all enquiry needs to be directed to you as their agent in the transaction.
The successful agents working in the industry provide a high level of service and market knowledge to the established clients and prospects that they work with. The best commercial agents will not adopt unfair and unprofessional business practices, knowing that the word will soon spread locally, and it will have some impact on their image and reputation in the marketplace.
Commercial real estate agents are best to cooperate with each other through an established conjunction agent relationship. When the market is slow, this level of cooperation has benefits all round, both in the sharing of information from closed deals, plus the opportunity to introduce your clients or buyers to other agent’s properties.