How to Do a Sales Pitch in Commercial Real Estate | Real estate

In commercial real estate, you will undertake a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business-like in nature, focusing on the needs of the tenant, the property buyer, or the property seller.Get to the core issuesEach of these groups has unique property requirements and points of focus. It is their needs which must be identified and clearly addressed in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the client or customer so that they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or customer in a few days with a well structured proposal that addresses the needs of the customer or client.It’s all about THEM, not YOU!When you design an investment or commercial property proposal for presentation, the document should be 90% regards the property and the client. Frequently you see this rule disregarded or broken with the proposal document being largely regards the agency and the personnel.Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the property rental, the property price, or the physical elements of the property. In most situations, it is the combination of these things which must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or client has. In getting them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the customer or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.They are ExperiencedIt is interesting to note that many clients and customers in commercial real estate are reasonably comfortable in circumstances of business negotiation. This means they may not tell you the total big picture or all the elements of a transaction until they are ready. Conversation and connection in the presentation process should be biased towards the client or customer using well selected questions which allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the client’s response.When you believe you have identified the element of clients pain related to the property transaction, you start to magnify the problem in terms of today’s market, then offering stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the client or customer. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centres on financial matters such as:
High vacancy factors
Other property choices and chances are available
Underperforming leases
Unstable cash flow
Unstable tenancy mix
Tenanted conflict
Escalating building operating costs
A shift in demographics which exposes the property to a unstable future
Mortgage payment pressures
Age of the asset
Needs for refurbishment or extension
Competition properties attracting tenants away from the subject propertyThis type of information and interpretation requires your intimate knowledge of the local region. This is by both property type and by location. This is the higher value that you bring to the customer or client. Being able to distinctly define local market awareness is a major advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. You must be seen as the best knowledgeable solution to the problem.From ExperienceAfter many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry, I found that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that in any formal presentation to the client. Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a solid and sound way will help the client understand that they need your services. Coupling that with your extensive and relevant database of enquiry clearly shows the client that they need you.A fantastic commercial real estate presentation is a function and balance of lots of things. Things like:
A well established pre-planning process is a strategic advantage for every commercial real estate presentation. Strategy is everything in commercial real estate. Every property presentation requires planning.
Making sure you are asking the right questions of the client or prospect. Plan your questions relative to the subject property so that you help the client think about opportunity and changes that are possible.
Using your market knowledge and giving good answers. Have a variety of market facts and trends available to call on. Feed them into your presentation; facts are always useful. They can also be used as a channel to direct the discussion when the client is forcing you to justify your approach or your experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of your property presentation. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost.
Using your experience in the marketplace so that you are telling relevant stories of success in similar properties. Stories of other properties will always interest of the client.
Making sure your personal presentation is optimised for the connection in the presentation. It can be that you are using a combination of the proposal document, the marketing document, and computer slide presentation, samples of your database, photographs of the subject property projected on to slides, and photographs of comparable properties projected on to slides.
Choosing the placement of people at the table or strategically positioning them in the room is always important. Much has been written about where you should sit relative to the client. The basic rule is adjacent to the client rather than across an area of barrier such as a table. Being within arm’s reach allows you to pass documentation to the client at the appropriate time. Documentation should not be provided to the client until you are ready for them to review it; otherwise it is a distraction of their attention.
Make sure that your proposal is simple and yet well directed with a clearly defined outcomes of sale or lease. Many proposal documents in commercial real estate are much too wordy so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less wordy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mixture of 25% words, 25% pictures, 25% graphs, and 25% white space. This becomes a document which is clearly read and understood.
Combine good illustrations and photographs of the subject property into the proposal or presentation so that any lengthy descriptions or paragraphs are broken up. This will keep interest of the client in your documentation.
Make sure that your marketing package is value for money, and yet reaching the target market that the property serves or needs to attract. All too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader and less specific marketplace. Showing the client that you clearly know and will attract best the target market will always help your conversion to a potential listing. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
Ensure that your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option as it will make you poor and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. ‘Cheap’ means ‘cheap and without focus’ and the client needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not cheap because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine relevant history and details of happy customers into your presentation you will make the client feel more comfortable.
Always display clear and sound market knowledge that impresses the client relative to their property. This will include extensive awareness of comparable properties that compete with the subject property. You should be able to talk solidly about property prices, comparable rents, rental growth, returns on investment, changes to the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases, it pays to walk around the local area just prior to any property presentation so that you bring immediate and clear pictures of the precinct to the discussion. Many times this has been of significant advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighbouring properties localises the client and their thought processes.
Come up with a variety of ways to serve the client. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the internet & technology. Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that the listing for sale or lease stands uniquely different in its marketing campaign from the others in the area. This does not have to be expensive to the client or to your office, given that the internet and electronic technology is historically cost effective. In today’s market, the traditional methods of publicising the property in the property pages of the local paper, is becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and tenants research the market from the Internet first and foremost.
Almost every property agency will say that they have excellent communication and connection skills to support the property promotion process. From experience, this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will exercise ordinary communication channels with the client. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the adverts are producing little response. When a property campaign is not producing the results, it is important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you get to the property campaign correct in the first week. It is in this time that you must consider fine tuning the promotion process so that the target market is being reached in a timely and effective way. This means that every property enquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand what channels of marketing work most effectively with the property in question.
When addressing the client or the client group in a formal property presentation, the answers and information you give must be delivered well and provide relevant solid property knowledge, in a practiced and professional delivery. Any sales or presentation tools relative to the property must be relevant and you should know how to use them with exceptional skill. Fumbling and faking information is not tolerated by the client.So there you have it. These are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Whilst many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote sell and rent commercial property, the reality is they do not get the message across when it matters most in front of the client.To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you must show that you are just so, and you do this in the first 10 minutes of the time that your presentation takes. The client will have formed an opinion by then.Be prepared to walk away from any demands for discounting that the client or customer demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent providing a great job; discounting is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands discount in marketing or lower commissions.

How to Spice-Up Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for a Professional or Business Service | business services

Standard marketing advice tells most small businesses to create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to help differentiate your service from competitors. “What benefit makes your service different?” is usually what the USP is about.But in reality, a USP only takes you so far in the efforts to attract new clients.Why?First, let’s look at some potentially good USP’s for a business-to-business service:- “We specialize in the XYZ industry — with more than 20 years helping clients like you.”- “We’ve developed an exclusive eight-step assessment program that’s unique in determining your best opportunities to improve your operations.”- “We promise to deliver results in less than 60 days, or your money back.”While these are strong USPs, no matter how good your service is, how specialized you are, or how great your service guarantee is, it’s still difficult for a prospective client to get a sense of how it will benefit them. And that means they are still unlikely to choose (or change to) your service over others in a cluttered marketplace.So what can you add to a strong USP?Business buyers are ultimately looking for tangible results for choosing a service provider. They’re looking for more than how you are different than other services available. They want hear about a measurable business outcome for their decision to do business with you. .Here are a few examples of what business buyers are looking for:- reducing costs- increasing revenues- saving time- keeping customers- minimizing risk- reducing labor costsSo, how can you spice-up your USP?Add specific results you’ve achieved from previous clients, using statistics from your best customers.Here are some examples:- “We help businesses like yours reduce costs by up to 25% annually.”- “Our service has helped clients increase sales in less than 3 months.”- “90% of our clients last year saw increases in productivity of their workers due our training program.”In sum, the Unique Selling Proposition helps you break the ice in differentiating yourself. But being different is only part of the game.Add a results statement to your USP that appeals to the prospect’s bottom-line needs, and you’ll be much more effective in winning new clients.

Your Guide to Online Marketing Success | Online marketing

In today’s business world, online marketing isn’t just effective; it’s essentialAt one time, business essentials were limited to business cards, yellow page ads and brochures. Newspapers, radio and television were used by cutting-edge businesses of yore and still reap huge rewards for big-businesses today. Mass media are generally just not cost-effective for most local businesses. In the 21st Century, it’s clear that the impact of these tools is diminished by the world wide web. We search for products and services online from our desktops, laptops and cell phones. Yet most local business owners don’t take advantage of the affordability and profits available through online marketing.Like a business plan and a budget, an Internet marketing strategy is essential for modern-day small business success. While a website provides a good starting point, online marketing requires more than a couple of static web pages. Instead, a successful internet approach requires a dynamic and well-rounded web presence that builds relationships in addition to sales, fans in addition to customers.A comprehensive Internet marketing strategy replaces newspaper ads with banner ads, yellow pages with search engines, snail mail with e-mail, town squares with social networks and sales letters with custom content. The technology is as evolutionary as it is revolutionary, and smart businesses are taking advantage of current environment to trounce their competition.Tools and technology aside, there are dozens of reasons to engage actively and often in Internet marketing. Here are a few of the most persuasive:1. When they need information, modern-day consumers go online; your successful internet marketing program will make sure they find you when they are shopping for your product or service.
2. Online marketing has tremendous research potential; if nothing else, companies should engage in online marketing research in order to collect data about their customers, prospects and competitors.
3. By marketing on the internet, companies can reach a highly targeted audience; what’s more, they can reach it quickly, intimately and more cost-effectively online than traditional marketing approaches.
4. Online marketing lends itself to instant conversions. Customers can quickly and easily find what they want and immediately click through to purchase it.
5. Compared with many traditional marketing vehicles, Internet marketing services are both more affordable and more effective.
6. Internet marketing provides marketing power to local business owners; by marketing online, your company can enjoy big-business marketing exposure on a local marketing budget.Action Steps. Some contacts and resources to help you get started with your online marketing:Search engine marketing strengthens your online marketing strategy.
Once you have a website, Internet marketing via search engines will help your customers find it. Consider search engine optimization, which will improve your search engine rankings, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which markets your company via relevant, targeted search engine queries.
ACTION: Before you build a web site, use Wordtracker’s free keyword suggestion tool to choose keywords; use those keywords in your descriptions and meta-tags, PPC advertising via Google AdWords and Yahoo! Sponsored Search in order to build search engine traffic.Select appropriate display advertising and leverage online marketing tools
Display advertising, including banner ads, is a basic form of online marketing. Because you’ll pay for impressions – banner ads are usually priced using CPM, or cost per thousand impressions – make sure you place ads only on websites that your target markets visit.
ACTION: Yahoo! Advertising provides Internet marketing services to design, purchase and place your Internet advertisementsPublic relations promotes your online marketing image
Marketing on the internet includes more than advertising; it’s also about public relations. Generate publicity online and continually monitor, build and maintain your online reputation.
ACTION: Include Google Alerts in your online marketing strategy. Use them to keep tabs on mentions of your name, your company and your products online; search Technorati for mentions in blogs and social media. And, when you write press releases, distribute them via a newswire service like PRWeb, which allows you to tag your release for exposure on social bookmarking sites like Digg and Del.iciou.us.Engage e-mail marketing to reach your online market
Promotional e-mails, including targeted messages and periodic e-mail newsletters, are effective, opt-in tools for one-to-one marketing. Send news or send coupons, but whatever you do, don’t spam.
ACTION: VerticalResponse is a popular e-mail marketing vendor that can help you develop and execute a one-on-one marketing strategy; browse its resources page for e-mail marketing research, tips and advice.Pursue affiliate marketing to leverage online marketing relationships
A collaborative approach to Internet marketing, affiliate marketing consists of advertisements on other people’s websites. When a customer clicks on the ads and visits your website, your affiliate gets a small commission. You can also reverse the process and get profits from promoting other vendors’ products
ACTION: LinkShare and ClickBank are examples of companies that provide affiliate-focused internet marketing services, AffiliateScout.com and AffiliatePrograms.com are directories where you can search for affiliate networks based on location, industry, etc.Make blogging an integral piece of your internet marketing strategy
Blogs offer business owners an affordable and personable way to connect online with customers. Blogging about your business, your industry and your life positions you as an expert, an advocate and most importantly, a real person.
ACTION: For a low monthly fee, you can publish your own blog via sites like TypePad and Movable Type; Blogger and WordPress, meanwhile, are free. Don’t forget to market your blog via RSS feeds; while most blogging software will create RSS feeds for you, online marketing companies like SimpleFeed can help, too.Get involved in social networks to broaden your online reach
Social networks are the networking component to your modern-day online marketing strategy; giving your company a presence on popular social networks especially engages younger consumers and turns them into brand evangelists.
ACTION: While MySpace, Friendster and Facebook tend to be the most attractive social networks for companies who are marketing on the Internet, other sites, such as Second Life and Twitter, are becoming major players. Still other sites, like LinkedIn, are proving themselves important stomping grounds for B2B marketers.Photos and video provide impact to your online marketing
Use pictures of your business, staff and customers everywhere you can. Images touch us emotionally and convey messages quickly. Remember that surfers have short attention-spans.
ACTION: Start taking pictures of your business’ world right now, poast them to your website and social sites, like your Facebook page.Release viral marketing to spread your online marketing message
Whether you send a viral e-mail, produce a viral video or build a viral website, Internet marketing of the viral variety spreads far and fast, allowing you to start small and finish big.
ACTION: Consider uploading branded media to sites like YouTube, Revver or Flickr. A video or photo that goes viral can attract heaps of new business.Generate online word of mouth with consumer-driven Internet marketing efforts
Internet marketing is about interactivity. Give your customers a platform for expressing-and sharing-their opinions online in order to build buzz and goodwill.
ACTION: Customer reviews provide credibility for companies that give consumers the power to do their Internet marketing for them; while many shopping cart solutions, such as Zoovy, now include built-in customer review functions, companies like PowerReviews specialize in them.Tips & Tactics
Helpful advice for making the most of this Online Marketing Guide
o More than advertising for your website, Internet marketing should provide you with an entire online brand. Your Internet marketing strategy should go beyond just making sales and toward building an engaging online web presence.
o Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. When you’re marketing online, reserve a portion of your budget for offline advertising, such as direct mail, which you can use to push traffic to your website.
o Keep in mind that not all online advertising can be bought; a big part of Internet marketing is building relationships and earning reputations.
o Whether off-line or online, marketing requires a clear and comprehensive understanding of your target customers. Find out who your best customers are and where you can find them online, then go after them.
o Internet marketing is about usefulness. It’s not enough to build a pretty website; you must also build one that’s engaging and easy to use. If you focus your Internet marketing strategy on creating a positive user experience, it will eventually be profitable to you.