What do clients need from a commercial real estate professional?
A commercial real estate deal demands a high degree of trust. Before making a six- or seven-digit investment, clients need to know their agent is a competent, capable person who can handle such a significant responsibility. If they don’t instill confidence, the client will look elsewhere for someone with more experience.
Naturally, this presents a challenge for new agents. They don’t have an established reputation like veteran professionals in their field do, therefore a commercial real estate agent at the start of their career has to convince a potential client to take a chance.
So how can real estate professionals engender a sense of security in commercial real estate deals? As long as they follow the five suggestions below, they’ll strengthen their reputation as a dependable professional worthy of consideration.
1. Anticipate the client’s needs
Agents who anticipate their clients’ needs will naturally foster loyalty. The clients will return to the agent for future deals, as their earlier meetings were effortless. They never had to ask for a critical piece of information, as the agent always delivered that information in advance.
Of course, this type of foresight comes easier with experience, but even inexperienced agents can set aside time for research and consulting of veteran agents. When they’ve prepared the necessary material, and treat each of their clients as a unique individual, they’ll gradually feel more comfortable in guiding the conversation.
2. Maintain full transparency
A commercial real estate professional empowers their clients when they provide information. It’s at the core of ethical decision-making, and clients will appreciate when their agent demonstrates full transparency in their dealings.
If an agent or broker thinks a specific detail is common knowledge, they should touch on it anyway to avoid confusion, especially if the client is new to commercial investing. Terms and concepts that are familiar to an industry professional may be confusing to clients who lack experience in commercial real estate.
3. Demonstrate commitment
Clients in the process of selecting a qualified real estate professional will often research them in great detail. They look into the professional organizations the candidate has membership in, reviewing their qualifications and designations. These reflect the agent or broker’s commitment to their field.
Commercial real estate professionals can demonstrate this commitment when they actively engage with others in their industry. When they belong to an organization that requires more than just an annual fee, it’s indicative of their dedication and enthusiasm for their career.
4. Refine client interactions
Research has shown clients remember the first and last minutes of a service encounter more than the rest of it. An agent’s introduction and departure stay with them far longer than the actual contents of the conversation. These pivotal moments are excellent opportunities to make a positive impression.
Agents and brokers should consider this fact as they refine their client interactions. It’s often beneficial to bring up a detail from a past interaction, such as an offhand remark a client might have made about a restaurant they were interested in. Asking if they had a chance to visit is personable, but not pushy.
5. Keep the answers simple
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Though the buying and selling process is complex, agents and brokers need to keep it accessible. In doing so, they display their knowledge of the subject and an understanding of their client’s situation.
If the client repeatedly asks the agent or broker to rephrase an explanation, they’re not successfully conveying the idea. Among other difficulties clients contend with, they feel particularly agitated by poor communication. Professionals can address this issue when they offer information in a clear, direct way.
Focusing on client satisfaction
A firm handshake and a smile aren’t enough to win the confidence of clients. Commercial real estate professionals need to make a concentrated effort, whether they join an organization, refine their interactions or follow a similar suggestion on this list. When they engage in these strategies, they’ll pull ahead of their competition.
Commercial agents who want to build their client base: start by researching the techniques above and reviewing your current practices, making changes where necessary.