When it comes to selling commercial real estate, you can be just another broker in the crowd, touting the same properties as your peers, or you can take the opportunity to differentiate yourself. But how?
By letting your specialized knowledge help you weave a story that sells.
Find the story
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to do more than just read and regurgitate specs and other area data from research you’ve done remotely. You need to find the story no one else has by doing the kind of recon that requires boots on the ground and critical thinking skills.
Ask yourself questions from the client’s perspective and then do a little digging to come up with the answers that can help you turn a maybe or a no into a yes. Most of all, when it comes time to talk with your client, you’ll need to know the property’s story inside and out.
And you’ll need to be able to share that property’s story in a compelling way that reaches and connects with your client’s needs. But in order to do that you’re going to need some pretty solid property research, a good understanding of your client and a gift for great storytelling.
What to look for
Going to see the property in person first before showing it to any client is a no-brainer.
Even if you’re employing the latest technology that allows your clients to take a virtual reality property tour—and especially if that’s the case—you must first have done a bit of onsite research on the pros and cons of the property in order to best serve your client’s needs.
Here are some of the basics you’ll want to check out:
Property and space condition
First, you’ll want to look at the property through the eyes of those who’ll be using it. Really taking in what the daily experience may be like for a tenant will help you spot the features, benefits and challenges the property may have and allow you to share that intel.
Check for things like:
- Adequate parking
- Visibility and accessibility
- Nearby traffic flow
- The exterior surroundings both on and off the property
- Building entrance and exit points
- Condition of elevators and/or stairwells
- Public bathrooms conditions and access
You’ll also want to verify the actual property specs and compare them with those on the property record to determine if the individual tenant spaces are move-in ready or need improvements.
What’s the surrounding neighborhood like? Are there any issues that could sour the situation for your client or their tenants? Keep an eye out for some of these potential problems:
- Criminal activity
- Unsightly neighbors or NIMBYs
- Major construction
For more specific questions to ask and things to look for, check out our best practices on property tours.
Putting it all together
Once you’ve done your research, take the time to shape what you know into the best property story possible. Taking care to show the client what you know both about their needs and how the property best fits those needs.
Prepare a tour book that goes beyond the compiled third party data and location map, delving into additional information like detailed rent comp information, market data and comparisons. Point out any advantageous features or solutions to issues you know they might want to know about.
Also, provide plenty of blank space for their own notes and comments as they tour the property, turning their tour book into a powerful resource for making decisions. Providing materials like these that include insightful on-the-ground information, along with your expertise and thorough property analysis, will help tell your client a property story that sells. And that makes their selection process smoother and their path to “yes” easier.