Toolbox Tactics in Commercial Real Estate

You may say that the commercial real estate sales and leasing market is difficult at the moment. You will not be the first agent or investor to observe that fact. This is however a major opportunity market with properties adjusting to the beginning of a new property cycle.

You are at the beginning of new opportunity. Tenants, buyers, and sellers are still out there. It’s just that their sales, purchase, and rental strategy has needed to shift. So if you are a commercial real estate agent that works on retail, office, or industrial property, we are going to let you in on a major marketing secret that works tremendously well to generate listing opportunity in this economy and investment property shift.

Moving Your Business Forward?

So how do you move forward in this market to create real opportunity? You create a significant pipeline of opportunity from speaking to many people and helping them with the market adjustment process. This means that the help they require may be a listing or property this year, next year, or the year after, however they will need well qualified and experienced property professionals.

You must be that solution for them. You must be confident in this market. You should use a marketing point of difference and most particularly your ‘toolbox’ to attract and convert the clients that you need.

Sales and Leasing Together

In this market the best commercial real estate agencies specialise in both investment property sales and investment property leasing. In those specialist categories they can bring significant strategy and understanding to the property, together with a ‘toolbox’ approach for the customers and clients.

A great lease will one day support a great property sale. This means that every lease should be planned and structured to optimise the situation for the property owner. This is where ‘toolbox’ stands head and shoulders above generic marketing of commercial real estate services.

Solicitors Awareness of Property

Whilst talking about leases I would like to make an important and relevant observation. In doing so I do not want to upset the solicitors and legal people of the ‘property investment world’ however the following is a real fact.

Most solicitors and legal people that do the lease documents for the investment property owner have little awareness of the actual property in question and probably have not even inspected the property.

My apologies to the legal people that are the exception to the rule!

This random process of lease preparation is not good investment practice, considering that the property lease is to produce a cash flow over a number of years. Solicitors and property agents need to get together and make sure that all the elements of the property that enhance cash flow are well considered and placed in the property lease before it is signed!

In only this way can they bring real strategy and stability to the occupancy and cash flow!

What’s Your Agency Point of Difference Today?

Only yesterday I was speaking to a real estate agency that was working on identifying a point of difference in this market. They realized that the competition agencies they were up against in the market place were doing nothing special to attract and retain new business.

Those competition agencies were simply continuing the same practices of prospecting and conversion that they have been doing for years. They were not offering any new approach or support process to the clients in the market today.

Let’s face the facts. This market today requires experienced real estate agents that can bring solid levels of property strategy to the investor including:

  1. Rental strategies for the long term that match the lifecycle needs of the property owner
  2. Lease documentation which minimises cash flow and vacancy exposure
  3. Strength of tenancy profile that gives an element of prestige to the building
  4. Tenants that bring financial strength and stability to the building
  5. Lease deals that will enhance the opportunity of sale when the time comes
  6. A balance of net and gross rentals to optimise the best return on investment for the property owner
  7. Well controlled building operating costs that are contained within the averages of that property type for the area
  8. An occupancy experience in the property which strengthens the relationships between landlords and tenants
  9. A target market of tenants that are clearly identified and pursued in the marketing campaign.

So this list is in fact the elements of a ‘Lease ‘toolbox” approach to the market. Many commercial real estate agents will generally say that they do these things anyway. The reality is they do not. Most lease transactions today are undertaken in a ‘one off mindset’ with little balance to the long-term future and strength of the building.

In recent seminar workshop I asked the agency staff in a larger industrial agency to tell me what they would do for ‘me acting as the client’ in a lease transaction of a vacant space in a sample building. Many of the agency staff gave me a broad variety of initiatives and processes that were fairly standard in the industry. It was interesting to note that all of these ideas were not ‘bundled and packaged’ into something that was even remotely attractive to the ‘me’ as the property owner.

Let’s understand a simple fact. If you do not logically document and display for the client the stages of your professional commercial real estate property service and give it a name that the can client relate to, you are affectively a generic marketer. This is the major problem in the industry today. The client needs specific help and you must market your services in a ‘toolbox’ approach. Give your ‘toolbox’ a name and then market your business around it.

I also recommend that you use the advantages of PERT and GANTT models to do this ‘toolbox’, given that this great illustration approach really interests most clients. This helps you stand apart from the competition. You become the agency of choice.

‘Toolbox’ is Your Tactical Advantage

Every sales and leasing program should be subjected to the processes of the ‘toolbox’ so that the client knows that the best results, controls, and outcomes are seen to be achievable. The ‘toolbox’ process also suggests that you have a quality control procedure that every property is exposed to.

This ‘toolbox’ is simple marketing; however it can be easily implemented into your agency business making you more professional and desirable as the commercial real estate agency of choice in your region. Your ‘toolbox’ becomes your marketable point of difference. You should have a separate ‘toolbox’ for:

  • Commercial real estate sales
  • Commercial real estate leasing
  • Commercial real estate property management

Within each of these elements of service you should have a specific ‘toolbox’ which supports the property disciplines of:

  • Retail Property
  • Office Property
  • Industrial property
  • Specialist tourism and leisure

Listing Strategy in this Market

Let’s talk about the sales ‘toolbox’ now for a brief moment. In most cases the time needed to sell or rent a listing would be no longer than 12 weeks even in a tough market. After that time a listing becomes stale and a waste of your time. Choose your listings and the time on market with care.

A couple of essential rules need to be set here and incorporated into your sales ‘toolbox’. They are:

  1. Always seek vendor paid advertising – you are not the source of advertising funds to promote property no matter how good you think the property is. Vendor paid advertising sets the foundation of ve
    ndor commitment.
  2. Always seek exclusive or sole listings when you can – controlled stock is the only way to go. A seller of an open listing cannot be trusted and is likely to ‘shift in the wind’ on who they deal with. It should also be noted that exclusive listings are much more desirable than sole agency listings. It is your choice as to whether you would take on a sole agency.
  3. Always seek to list properties for sale on the basis of a ‘time driven’ method of sale such as tender, auction, or expression of interest. This is the best way to go to get and sustain momentum in the property promotion. Properties that are listed for sale at a fixed or nominated price are likely to be this undesirable hard to sell listings or over priced listings with little momentum. In such situations a buyer will make an offer; maybe that works for you; maybe it doesn’t.

These 3 rules above infer that you are the driving force that creates the quality listing. Nothing could truer. You drive the quality of the listing appointment that you want. If you let the owner of the property dictate the rules of engagement, you are likely to suffer poor results. Remember that you are the expert consultant to help people with commercial real estate needs; you are not the agent that lists everything and anything that comes your way at any price or rental.

In closing this ‘toolbox’ topic, here are some important rules:

  • In every listing know what you are doing and why.
  • Focus on the outcome that you want for the client.
  • Use your ‘toolbox’ as your point of difference to attract the client’s interests.
  • Understand that your time and expertise is precious.

What It Takes to Save Money on Car Insurance

You can save money on car insurance and you can do so without going to extraordinary lengths to do so. Insurance costs continue to rise, but you can hold these increases in check by employing several proven strategies that are designed to save you money.

Driving Record

Your auto insurer is likely already familiar with your driving record and has a record of your driving history going back several years. Do not assume that this information is complete or accurate. If you have a flawless driving record, your insurer will typically reward you with a discount of at least 10 percent. Contact your insurer to ensure that your clean driving record is reflected in your current rates.

Insurance Savings

You can enjoy additional insurance savings if you insure at least two vehicles with the same insurance company. Such multi-policy plans result in discounts that are applied to your entire policy. The more cars insured, the deeper your discounts.

You can also realize savings by bundling your insurance plans. For instance, if you own a home or rent an apartment, or have some other insurance plan, your insurer will thank you for you business by offering you a discount on a bundled plan. Ask your insurance represent about discounts for multiple insurance plans or policies.

Life Changes

If you were single last year and are married this year, certain life changes can impact your insurance rates. Let your insurer know about your current marital status if different from last year.

You can also receive discounts if you are a college graduate or if your high school children are excellent students. Discounts for customer loyalty are also given.

Your Information

If you have moved within the past year or have had made some other change such as a reduction of driving points for completing a driver awareness program, then your rates could be adjusted downward. Your credit score may have an effect on what you pay too — the higher your credit score, the lower your insurance rate. The opposite is true too.

Vehicle Considerations

The information your insurer has about your car should be accurate too. Typically, your agent will ask for the vehicle identification number or VIN, a step that will offer detailed information about your car including engine displacement, transmission and trim level. However, if you had aftermarket enhancements completed, including the addition of a security system, your insurer probably is not aware of this. Contact your insurer and review your car details to ensure that it accurately reflects what you are driving.

Get That Perfect Pair of Horse Boots to Enjoy a Smooth Ride!

People fond of riding horses very well understand the importance of good horse boots. A horse riding boot is footwear worn for the purpose of riding on horses. Classic riding boots have been used since ages immemorial and refer to those that rise as high as the knees to protect the legs from being pinched by the leathers of the saddle. These boots also have a well-built toe that protects the rider’s feet when on the ground, and are also combined with high heels prevent riders from slipping through the stirrup.

But again all boots are not the same. There are several different kinds of horse riding events or sports and there are different boots to go with it. Wearing the correct horse boots for a specific sport or style is an essential element for each horse rider. It has been seen all throughout history that most societies have used horses combined with special clothing and boots in order to make best user of the horses. There are different sorts of boot styles and a very famous one amongst those is paddock boots. These boots have always been associated with aristocracy and luxury and have been worn by very famous people. Paddock boots use laces on the front and a heel.

Though there are various sorts of riding boots; horse boots are mainly divided into two categories, namely English and Western. The English boots are made with soft leather that is of high quality. English boots consist of different styles like tall boots that come up to your knees and paddock boots that come just above the ankle and provide the lower leg with more flexibility. The long ones also come in different styles and look quite graceful.We also have Jodhpur boots that are worn with Jodhpur trousers that come down to the ankles.

The Western boots are also available as long and short types. They are normally made of leather with a solid heel and sometimes have a decorative pattern on the calf area. Western boots always will come up to your calf. These are usually made of cowhide but sometimes even materials like alligator or snakeskin are used. Perfect and suitable horse boots are very important both for the rider as well as the horse to avoid accidents and injuries.

Mobile Auto Detailing and Car Washing At or Around a Sports Stadium – Market Potential

Well, I started out in the aircraft cleaning and detailing business, and later I had franchised mobile auto detailing and car washing units around the country. Today in retirement, I am often contacted by people in the industry, or new start-ups in the sector, and they have some rather intriguing questions. I doubt there’s much I don’t know about in the industry, or have not encountered, and despite all the new technology that is now being used, the actual operations of the business haven’t changed all that much yet.

Indeed, I say that because I believe someday there will be autonomous mobile detailing units which will send out a robot to detail a car. But that’s not today, these robotic systems will be detailing the personal flying craft of the future in 30 years I suppose, maybe 20 or 25. In any case, I was talking to a fellow entrepreneur about all this the other day, and he indicated to me that he would like a mobile robotic unit to help him clean cars at sports stadiums. He lives not too far from a sports stadium, and he said that over 25,000 cars show up, and they’re only there for three or four hours, and there is no way no matter how large his crew is, or how many units they have that they could ever possibly even clean a small percentage of all those vehicles.

Whereas that might be true, he ought to get busy and clean as many as he can. The best way to get this type of business is to go make friends with those that run the Stadium, and the sports teams that practice and play there. If it is a baseball stadium, make friends with the coaches and players to detail their cars, once on the property you can make friends with the facility maintenance people, and try to get a contract giving you the exclusive for specific areas of the parking lot. When people come in you collect their money, give them a ticket, clean their car, and when they come out it is completed. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Further, often car dealerships will have events where they sell their used cars in these giant parking lots, and there are always other events going on. Once you are in, and they have a copy of your insurance, you should be able to clean cars for anyone who shows up at any event in the future. You just need a crack team that can go balls to the wall for 3 to 4 hours and complete as many cars as possible in that time period. Indeed I wish you luck if this is a sector of the mobile detailing industry or mobile car washing industry you care to expand into. Please consider all this and think on it.

A Resource Buying Guide For Internet Marketers

The “make money online” crowd is probably the most actively targeted niche market on the internet. Which is quite ironic when you think about it; “The hunters become the hunted.” And it’s not surprising we are so serviced with offers continually, the truth is we are, on the whole, information junkies. We are suckers for a good ebook, report, or video.

The problem is that an over supply of internet marketing tools (even good ones) can leave you feeling overwhelmed, unproductive (too busy reading about internet marketing to actually DO any), and flat broke!

So how do we filter the offers we are bombarded with, so that we invest sanely in our education and resources?  Let me offer this simple “buying guide” to help.

When you boil it all down there are basically 4 different kinds of products on the market, and you have to be able to recognize them so you don’t waste your time and money:

1) Basic training guides & tools. Everyone needs some of these, but you don’t need to be buying 10 versions of the exact same information.

2) Advanced techniques. These are the “Shazaam!” products.  The ones with truly unique and creative ideas. If I can identify which ones these are, I’ll buy them all day long. If I can get ONE really good, repeatable idea, it is money in the bank.  The caveat, though, is you’ve got to actually implement them – otherwise you’re just wasting your money, and spinning your wheels.

3) Tools that make life easier.  These are OK if you’ve got disposable money to spend on them, but if you’ve got a limited budget (like most marketers that are still getting going) you’re probably better off spending it where it can be best leveraged for the most effectiveness.

Case in point: At the time that I’m writing this article I’ve been getting emails all week — I’ve had at least 15 just today – promoting a particular hot product.  The free teaser report is great — it includes a couple of really exciting ideas (see point 2).  However, when I looked at what is actually being offered in the main package – 8 software programs that collate information in various forms from around the internet — they’re all really cool tools, but they are nothing that you can’t already do yourself for free. Cool, but not necessary. Convenient, but not essential.

4) Snake oil. These are the products that are thrown together to make sales to newbies, but they do not work. They are bad advice. You’ll discover that usually the author hasn’t had any success with the method he’s teaching at all, but he can make a few bucks wasting other people’s time with it.

So, when you’re considering buying resources to help you build your online business, read the sales copy discerningly.  Honestly evaluate the product and classify it in one of the above 4 categories.  Then it’s a simple decision to make the appropriate response:

Category 1:  Buy it if you don’t already have a product covering the same topic, or if you are reasonably convinced that your understanding is going to be increased sufficiently to justify the investment.

Category 2:  Buy it, and DO something with it! Don’t procrastinate — take action.  Winners are taking imperfection actions while others are still formulating their “perfect” plans.

Category 3:  Buy it only if you have surplus cash, and don’t mind blowing some on a luxury — because that’s what it is.  Ask yourself, “Could I leverage the money I’m about to spend on this to better effect in my business?”

Category 4:  Click that little “x” button at the top of the browser window, and be proud of yourself that you’ve developed the wisdom and experience to stop wasting time with that kind of rubbish.  If you already bought it before you figured out that its “snake oil”, ask for a refund and chalk it up to experience.

Buying is far more an emotional decision for us than we “savvy entrepreneurs” would care to admit. Anything we can do to take pause and inject some thought into the process will save us time and money. This buying guide offers a place to start.