A commercial strategy is essential for tenant brokers if they are to find the best properties and the best clients to lease them. But it goes beyond the charisma of a great sales representative — tenant brokers have to dig under the surface a little to create a successful commercial strategy, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking and foresight and positions you as an expert in the field.
Plan To Plan
Knowing what the customer needs and prefers is the very first step toward achieving an effective commercial strategy. Invariably, the customer relationship begins with a meeting or call to discover exactly what those needs and preferences are, but it is the perfect time to execute the first part of your commercial strategy.
These meetings regularly take the form of an informal chat, where the tenant broker jots down revealing details as the customer voices them on a Post-It or notebook. But this initial meeting can be leveraged much more effectively if the broker formulates an official, digital procedure for these meetings, based on a checklist like this one.
A standardized questionnaire with a mixture of open and closed questions can not only help you look more professional, instill trust, and find out exactly what your customer needs, but it can also be a useful mine of data that you can compile and analyze to better your service with every new client.
The questionnaire can be broken down into sections including Location & Amenities, Design Preferences, Utility, Traffic, and Finances. Of course, you can design your own categories knowing the type of customer you usually attract. These categories could contain questions such as:
- How important is a bus/subway connection for your staff? (Location & Amenities)
- Is a car park required? For how many vehicles? (Location & Amenities)
- Do you prefer furnished or unfurnished? (Design Preferences)
- Do you need the space to be move-in ready or are you open to renovating the space?. (Design Preferences)
- Do you need outside terraces or gardens? (Utility)
- Do you need kitchen and cooking facilities? (Utility)
- How many people will use the office daily? (Traffic)
- How many personal, executive offices will you require? (Traffic)
- What is your monthly budget? (Finances)
- Is budget your top priority? (Finances)
Naturally, these examples serve to highlight the types of questions you could ask but are not exhaustive. The more in-depth this questionnaire is in your initial meeting, the lighter the workload for the broker as the search begins, as you can immediately throw out options that don’t serve your customer.
Not only is this the case for the broker, but it also saves the client a lot of time visiting multiple properties that do not fit their requirements, making them feel understood and therefore more satisfied with the service of the brokerage team.
A Note on Design
It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on the market and break the ice with property owners when desirable properties surface, even if you don’t have a potential client in the pipeline yet. Networking is a fundamental part of any 21st-century business plan, and keeping contacts and properties that could interest customers up your sleeve means quicker offers and sales when the right customer comes by.
When scoping properties for your portfolio, it’s particularly interesting to look for multi-purpose properties, with a clutter-free, minimalist design that has the ability to be transformed easily to what your customer needs. Minimalist design is still a huge selling point in 2022 because even if a customer is looking for something highly specific, a blank canvas is much more easily converted into what they are looking for.
Compare and Contrast
Keeping a close watch on the market and turning on alerts for when new properties become available will allow you to study which kinds of properties spend a long time on the market, and which ones fly off the shelves — or listings, in this case. Create a spreadsheet or document with fields that allow you to observe what it is that these properties have, be it minimalist design, spacious terraces, or great locations.
All About The Marketing
Branding and marketing are paramount to success. Take time to create an emotional connection in your listings. Present facts in a creative way. If the office space doesn’t have great public transport connections, market it as a ‘rural oasis,’ and ask your client if they’ve ever thought about running a shuttle service for their employees. If the flooring is old and worn, state the potential for brand new flooring and maybe even a dancefloor — get your potential customers excited.
Similarly, know how to showcase the strong points that the properties have, and invest in staging and good photography. After all, sales skills are nothing without getting your ideal customer through the door in the first place.
Dwight D. Eisenhower is reported to have said something similar “Plans are useless, but planning is essential.” For tenant brokers, planning is necessary and should constitute the greatest volume of work to find out exactly what it is your client needs. Backed with tasteful design, an eagle eye on the market, and a strong overarching marketing campaign, leasing the best property for your client has never been easier.
- Detailed planning during the onboarding phase is key
- Minimalist design still trumps other decorative palettes
- Spend time researching market trends
- Set aside a budget for effective marketing