Selling Commercial Real Estate: Do More with Less

July 7, 2022
8 min

Every broker must have noticed how challenging and competitive selling commercial real estate has become over the last few years. With remote working, e-learning, and telemedicine adoption unlikely to cease any soon, commercial real estate sales in the US alone fell by 16% in April 2022 and are expected to continue the downward trend in the following years, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In times of economic turmoil commercial real estate sales predictions might look gloomy, but I will tell you a secret: to sell commercial property fast today, brokers need to invest in 2 assets – relationships and technology.

Ascendix, like nobody else, does know how to sell the commercial property fast and smart. So, whether you’re puzzling over selling industrial property or leasing office space, our list of the most actionable tips for selling commercial real estate curated by true CRE gurus with 16 years of experience in the CRE space will serve you a good purpose.

Customer Relationships Management in Selling Commercial Real Estate

Believe it or not, selling commercial real estate is more about maintaining trust-filled relationships with your clients – whether you represent landlords, tenants, or buyers – rather than just closing commercial real estate deals. You might lease or sell a commercial property once, but if you do not “nurture” your client, they are not going to stick to you long term, or worse, they might drop in the middle of your sales pipeline.

So, if you constantly rack your brains over how to sell commercial property fast, the first thing you need to start with is customer relationships management, or CRM for short.

Customer relationships management (CRM) is a process of centralized administration of all your interactions with customers, typically using a CRM tool – a system where all your contacts, companies, properties, and workflow reside. Examples of CRM software for CRE brokers include AscendixRE, Buildout CRM, RealNex, etc. A good CRM is a cornerstone of business growth.

How Can a CRM Benefit Your Business?

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However, if you do not have a CRM system or are still in the process of choosing one, no worries! As the tips for selling commercial real estate we’re going to discuss below can be used by any commercial real estate brokerage.

How to start selling commercial real estate fast:

  • Don’t just sell property – deliver a high level of service to your buyer or tenant
  • Cut your time on crafting marketing deliverables and ensure your documents look professional
  • Organize all your commercial real estate deals into a visualized pipeline so all your brokers are on the same page
  • Integrate all your tools and accounts (like Gmail or Outlook) into one core system
  • Store your past correspondence and follow-ups so you can always get back to them.

Don’t Sell Commercial Property, Sell Experience

73% of people point to customer experience as a principal factor in their purchasing decisions, reports PWC. This percentage can vary globally going up to 89% in Brazil, but the trend remains the same: people are not interested in just the product, which is the property in our case, they want a product accompanied by a high level of service when buying or selling their commercial property via a brokerage.

 

Importance of Customer Experience in Selling Commercial Real Estate

Importance of Customer Experience in Selling Commercial Real Estate

 

And considering the astronomical price growth of 30% for commercial property over 2021 and 2022 in the US alone, the service plays an even greater role if you want to win a prospective client from a competitor.

What makes for good service in commercial real estate sales? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And one big connector: personalization, or making your tenant, landlord, or buyer feel special.

Below you’ll see how Salesforce, a leading producer of CRM systems, defines the personalized experience and the ratio of its importance to business buyers:

 

What Customers Expect When Buying and Selling Commercial Property

What Customers Expect When Buying and Selling Commercial Property

 

Here is how to sell commercial property fast using personalization techniques:

Track your customers’ journey

To sell commercial real estate fast, you need to know how your prospective clients engage with your brand, whether through a website / email campaign / social media, e.g. what content they were interested in or what buttons they clicked on, to diagnose their needs and then come up with a range of properties that match those needs. You can analyze this data using one of Salesforce marketing tools.

Collect data about customers’ milestones and key events

Keeping notes about crucial events like current lease expiration dates will help you reach out to your prospects when they need you most.

Say, a prospective tenant mentioned that their lease will expire in a year, and they will need to look for another one around that time. You don’t want to call them in a month trying to sell your commercial property – it’ll be completely irrelevant. A much wiser step would be to reach out to them a month before the lease expiration date and provide them with a pre-prepared list of properties they might like.

However, whereas small brokerages with a couple of people on board can get by with Excel spreadsheets, medium to large agencies won’t be able to manage growing amounts of client and property data without a centralized CRM system in place.

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Keep your properties, clients, and deals in one place. 

Value Your Salespeople Time in Terms of Sending Follow-Ups and Deliverables

The best way to sell a commercial property is to deliver the property info to a tenant in a meaningful, digestible, and professional manner. However, crafting nice-looking brochures and flyers does take some time as you need to either ask someone more creative, like the marketing department, to get it done for you or use some amateur tool like PowerPoint.

Not every broker has a marketing department. Not every broker can afford to spend a better part of an afternoon putting together a brochure. And not every customer will be happy to wait that long for the requested information.

To speed up your commercial real estate salespeople and make the most of their time, you might want to use a specialized tool for report generation, which ideally would pull all the data from your CRM system, so you wouldn’t need to fill in property information by hand.

Composer – a flyer generation tool created for commercial real estate professionals – generating a document takes 4-5 clicks and you’re done – you can move to another task.

Imagine you’re on the phone with a tenant asking you about office availabilities in Northern Dallas. This is what your conversation looks like with Composer: “Hey Bob, I’ve just searched across the Northern Dallas areas and found several office buildings that might look really compelling to you. Let me send this over to you in 5 minutes”.

Rather than: “Bob, let me go and do some research for you. I need to go to my marketing department to generate this marketing availabilities list. Give me tomorrow and I’ll get back to you”.

It is about self-sufficiency and not having to rely on someone else to generate something as simple as a flyer, translating into a higher level of service you provide to your client.

Ensure a 360-degree View of Your Commercial Real Estate Deals and Pipeline

To sell commercial property fast, you need to have a clear picture of the sales funnel. The sales funnel is a visual representation of the path that prospects take to become your clients. In commercial real estate sales, it may consist of the following stages:

  • Project initiation
  • Long list
  • Short list
  • Tour
  • Negotiation
  • LOI (a letter of intent)
  • Client acceptance
  • Lease / sale execution
  • Project checkout

 

A sales pipeline visualized within a single interface can serve as a guideline for your commercial real estate agents, ensuring that each rep follows the same steps for creating, nurturing, and tracking opportunities.

Otherwise, they can end up with discrepancies, disparities, and redundancies that can result in inaccurate forecasting and ineffective sales of commercial property.

 

Integrate Your Tools into One Core System

Brokers’ productivity and the amount of closed commercial real estate deals are directly connected with how fast they can switch between tasks and screens. If you often find yourself hustling between your mailbox, property records, and other data commercial real estate brokers usually track, you desperately need to integrate all this information into a single interface.

For instance, AscendixRE can link to your Outlook and provide you with seamless access to leads, deals, contacts, and other essential CRM functionalities within your Outlook inbox.

How the integration works: highlight an email, and you will notice that the intelligence behind the system has recognized that the selected email address exists inside the CRM system. The relevant contact information will pop up on the side of the panel which when clicked allows you to see the details of this client’s record and the interaction you’ve had with the contact to date. If the email address is not recognized, you will be prompted to add the new contact information to AscendixRE right from the Outlook interface.

Thus, you can have a grounding of your interactions with clients without having to switch between the systems back and forth.

Track Your Correspondence and Follow-Ups

In commercial real estate sales, you can’t expect your brokers to keep track of all past communications with a client and remember the dates of every meeting or appointment set up to clarify the deal.

That is why a proper database with scheduling functionality is a must-have tool every real estate agent should have. With such a tool, all your team can have shared access to all past records and notes about a client and his preferences, so nothing will fall through the cracks.

Mature CRM systems can also send reminders to get you notified when a task is due and sync it with your calendar. Apart from that, you create a set of recurring tasks, say flagging an expiry date or a 6-weekly courtesy call, to save your time on planning future deals.

Here is what the correspondence timeline looks like in AscendixRE CRM.

How to Sell Commercial Property Fast with AscendixRE

Driving sales and cutting down on expenses is every business’s dream but the trick is to do it smarter, faster, and better than the rest of the crowd to close maximum commercial real estate deals.

Hundreds of commercial real estate moguls like JLL and Cresa have already leveraged the unlimited power of CRM systems, with AscendixRE CRM as a top choice.

Our bespoke CRM system incorporates all the nuances that we’ve learned over the 16 years in commercial real estate so you can rest assured that your brokerage is in safe hands.

AscendixRE CRM can power you with:

  • Smart Prospecting / Contact Management Tools
  • Property/Lease/Sale Tracking
  • Lease/Sale Comp Tracking
  • Deal Management
  • Commission Tracking
  • Integration w/ Outlook / Gmail
  • Workflow tool for automation
  • Powerful Reporting and Marketing Tool – Composer (integrated with the CRM)
  • Tool for Advanced search of Contacts/Companies/Properties/Leases/Inquiries – Ascendix Search
  • Secure virtual Collaboration and Deal Rooms for signing NDAs and contracts – MarketSpace.

 

Advantages of AscendixRE commercial real estate CRM:

  • High accessibility to skilled professional resources
  • Flexible CRM customization and configuration
  • Centralized data management and automated interactions with stakeholders, clients, partners, tenants, and investors
  • Appealing pricing plans
  • Industry-tailored CRM functionality
  • Concierge service

 

If you want to grow your commercial real estate sales with a bespoke CRM system, let us know and we’ll schedule a free demo or consultation session to find the best solutions for your organization.

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