When you work in a commercial real estate agency, you will soon see that the industry is very competitive. Many agents struggle with listing quality stock in this economy and property environment.
It is not unusual to have other agents chasing your listings even though they may be exclusive listings. It is also not uncommon to have some buyers or tenants approach the property owner directly to get a ‘cheaper deal.’ Unfortunately, when listing and marketing, a client listen to anyone with 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. If that happens, you should tell the client to refer all contacts from anyone to you, the exclusive agent.
When you control the property inquiry, you keep these distractions to a minimum. You own all communications and can qualify any investigation to ensure it is genuine.
It is always desirable for an agent to have exclusive or sole agencies in the property. The client will commit to your services for a fixed period, and you can control the marketing and inspections.
When you consider the property type, the level of property inquiry, and your listed property location, your agency term should likely 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 inquiry through targeted marketing campaigns.
Some of the more significant problems in competitive real estate areas can best be summarized as follows:
- The signboards on your listed properties will likely be interfered with or removed. It is not unusual to place a sign on a property and see it disappear within 24 hours. This is an illegal process; you still have to find the person that removed or damaged the sign.
- When you place a sign on a property, the agents competing with you will likely approach the client directly. They will tell the client several 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 inevitable mistakes regarding marketing the property through you 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 who want to look through the property and will seek approval from the client. The agents infer that they are always conjunct 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 a problem you need to control.
Keep Control as the Exclusive Agent
While 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’ regarding that 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 they will be under and tell them that all inquiry needs to be directed to you as their agent in the transaction.
The successful agents in the industry provide a high level of service and market knowledge to the established clients and prospects they work with. The best commercial agents will not adopt unfair and unprofessional business practices, knowing that the word will soon spread locally and will impact their image and reputation in the marketplace.
Commercial real estate agents best cooperate through an established conjunction agent relationship. When the market is slow, this level of cooperation has benefits, both in sharing information from closed deals and the opportunity to introduce your clients or buyers to other agents’ properties.
by John Highman