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Real Estate

How to make a sales pitch in commercial real estate

In commercial real estate, you will conduct a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business in nature and focus on the needs of the tenant, property buyer, or property seller.

Getting to the core issues

Each of these groups has unique ownership requirements and focus points. It is their needs that must be clearly identified and addressed in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the client or client so they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or client in a few days with a well-structured proposal that addresses the needs of the client or client.

It’s about THEM, not YOU!

When you design a commercial or investment property proposal for your presentation, the document should be 90% property and client. Frequently, you will see this rule ignored or broken, as the proposal document is largely about agency and staff.

Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the rent of the property, the price of the property or the physical elements of the property. In most situations, it is the combination of these things that must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or client has. By leading them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the client or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.

they are experienced

It is interesting to note that many commercial real estate clients and clients are reasonably comfortable in commercial negotiation circumstances. This means that they may not tell you the whole big picture or all the elements of a transaction until they are ready. The conversation and connection in the introduction process should be biased towards the customer or customer by using well-selected questions that allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the customer’s response.

When you think you’ve identified the element of the client’s pain related to the property transaction, you begin to magnify the problem in today’s market terms, and then offer stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the client. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centers around financial matters such as:

  • High vacancy factors
  • Other property options and possibilities are available.
  • Low Yield Leases
  • unstable cash flow
  • Unsettled holding mix
  • tenant conflict
  • Increased building operating costs
  • A change in demographics that exposes the property to an unstable future
  • Mortgage payment pressures
  • asset age
  • Reform or expansion needs
  • Competing properties that lure tenants away from the property in question

This type of information and interpretation requires your in-depth knowledge of the local region. This is both by type of property and by location. This is the highest value you bring to the customer or client. Being able to clearly define local market knowledge is a huge advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. It should be seen as the best informed solution to the problem.

By experience

After many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry, I discovered that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that in any formal client presentation. Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a strong and grounded way will help the client understand that he needs your services. Combine that with its extensive and relevant query database, it clearly shows the customer that they need it.

A fantastic real estate business presentation is a function and balance of many things. Things like:

  1. 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.
  2. Making sure you are asking the right questions of the customer or prospect. Plan your questions related to the property in question so that you help the client think about the opportunity and the changes that are possible.
  3. Using your knowledge of the market and giving good answers. Have a variety of market data and trends at your disposal. Feed them in your presentation; facts are always helpful. They can also be used as a channel to lead the discussion when the client forces you to justify your approach or experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of presentation of your property. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost yourself.
  4. Use your experience in the market to tell relevant success stories in similar properties. Stories from other properties will always interest the client.
  5. Making sure your personal presentation is optimized for the connection in the presentation. You may be using a combination of the proposal document, marketing document and computer slide show, samples from your database, photos of the subject property on slides, and photos of comparable properties on slides.
  6. It is always important to choose the location of the people at the table or to position them strategically in the room. Much has been written about where you should sit in relation to the customer. The basic rule is adjacent to the customer rather than across a barrier area like a table. Being close at hand allows you to pass documentation to the customer at the right time. Documentation should not be provided to the customer until it is ready to be reviewed; otherwise, it is a distraction from him.
  7. Make sure your proposal is simple and well targeted, with a clearly defined result of selling or renting. Many commercial real estate proposal documents are too wordy, so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less lengthy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mix of 25% words, 25% images, 25% graphics, and 25% white space. This becomes a document that is clearly read and understood.
  8. Combine good illustrations and photos of the property in question in the proposal or presentation to break up lengthy descriptions or paragraphs. This will keep the client’s interest in your documentation.
  9. Make sure your marketing package is value for money while also reaching the target market the property serves or needs to attract. Too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader, less specific market. Showing the customer that you clearly know and will best attract the target market will always help their conversion to a potential list. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
  10. Make sure your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option, as it will impoverish you and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. ‘Cheap’ means ‘cheap and unfocused’ and the customer needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not stingy because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
  11. Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine the relevant story and the details of happy customers in your presentation, you will make the customer feel more comfortable.
  12. Always show a clear and solid knowledge of the market that impresses the client in relation to your property. This will include extensive knowledge of comparable properties that compete with the property in question. You should be able to speak strongly about property prices, comparable rents, rent growth, return on investment, changes in the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases it is worth walking around the local area just before any property presentation to bring clear and immediate pictures of the premises into the discussion. Many times this has been a significant advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighboring properties locates the client and his thought processes.
  13. Think of a variety of ways to serve the customer. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the Internet and technology. Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that your listing for sale or lease stands out uniquely in your marketing campaign from others in the area. This does not have to be expensive for the client or his office, since the Internet and electronic technology are historically profitable. In today’s market, the traditional methods of advertising the property on the property pages of the local newspaper are becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and renters research the market primarily through the Internet.
  14. Almost all real estate agencies will say that they have excellent communication and networking skills to support the property promotion process. From experience this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will use ordinary customer communication channels. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the ads produce little response. When a property campaign isn’t delivering results, it’s important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you hit the right property campaign in the first week. It is at this point that you should consider fine-tuning the promotion process so that the target market is reached in a timely and effective manner. This means that each property inquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand which marketing channels work most effectively with the property in question.
  15. When addressing the client or group of clients in a formal presentation of a property, the answers and information you provide should be well delivered and provide solid and relevant knowledge of the property, in a practical and professional delivery. Any property-related sales or presentation tools must be relevant and you must know how to use them with exceptional skill. The client does not tolerate the manipulation and falsification of information.

So there you have it. Here are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Although many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote the sale and rental of commercial properties, the reality is that they do not transmit the message when it matters most in front of the client.

To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you need to prove that you are, and you do so in the first 10 minutes of your presentation time. The customer will have formed an opinion by then.

Be prepared to walk away from any demand for a discount that the customer or client demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent that will provide a great job; the discount is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands a marketing discount or lower commissions.


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